15 Gift Ideas for Worship Leaders Unique ideas to bless the musician in your life

It’s that time of year again where you want to get the perfect gift for the church musician in your life. Buying something thoughtful or useful for a musician can be hard; they know what they like and they know what actually works. Because finding the perfect something can be a tall task, I’ve put together a list of creative gifts that any worship leader or church musician would enjoy. I’ve already vetted all the options, read the reviews and chose the perfect product.

Buying presents for a creative person means that your gift will not just be consumed, but be used to multiply goodness into the world. Happy shopping and giving!

1. Books on Worship/Creativity 

Here are some great titles that would bless the worship leader in your life. These are “easy” reads, but still intellectually rich and lasting. Even if they already have one of these titles, these are all classics and will be a welcome duplicate to share on the bookshelf of any worship leader.

For All God’s Worth – N.T. Wright

You Are What You Love – James K.A. Smith

A Brief History of Christian Worship – Jame F. White

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration – Ed Catmull 

 

2. Low Profile Folding Guitar Stand

Most guitar players could use an EXTRA GUITAR STAND that breaks down but still can hold the instrument safely. This particular stand is a personal favorite. It’s so common to show up to a church or a gig and realize you don’t have a stand for your guitar, this low-profile stand will be the perfect practical gift. This adjustable stand fits acoustic guitars, electric guitars, basses, and ukuleles.

K&M Heli 2 Guitar Stand Folding A-Frame for Acoustic and Electric Guitars (17580B)

3. Guitar Humidifier

This highly rated GUITAR HUMIDIFIER is the perfect gift for any acoustic guitar owner that wants to keep their guitar in perfect health. Even if they already have one, they could use another. This is the perfect unexpected stocking stuffer for the guitarist in your life.

4. Throat Coat Tea

HERBAL MEDICINES THROAT COAT TEA  is world-famous with singers in every genre of music. It’s perfect for worship leaders or anyone that’s just “not feeling it” early Sunday morning. Couple this gift with TEA KETTLE on this list and you will be a best friend forever!

Traditional Medicinals Herb Tea Og1 Throat Coat 16 Bag

5. Theo Wheel (Simple Music Theory Tool)  

This really well designed THEO WHEEL makes music theory simple for worship leaders and those they lead. I imagine this staying around the worship green room or in the office of a music leader. A really fun and educational gift!

6. Worship Training Posters

Brilliantly designed by artist Andrea Bryant, these  ONE OF A KIND POSTERS are a perfect gift for the worship leader and/or singer in your life.  “The Perfect Set List” offers some wise approaches on how to choose songs for a church service. The next poster is called “Before You Sing” and provides great guidance for vocalists before they sing. These look great hanging in a church green room or music director’s office. Order by Dec 15 for Christmas Delivery!

7. The Best of the Best Notebook for Creatives 

Leuchtturm is known for making the best notebooks. You will get a big smile from just about any creative person as they open this AWESOME NOTEBOOK that speaks for itself. Right before the new year, this book will be the perfect inspiration for new ideas, songwriting, and journaling.

 

8. Variable Temperature Hot Water Kettle

Hot water and tea are the secret weapons for just about any singer. Having THE PERFECT ELECTRIC WATER KETTLE for warming up water to a drinkable warmth is a must!

9. A Fun Foot Tambourine 

This FUN FOOT TAMBOURINE is the perfect gift for the worship leader or musician that has to multi-task. By just stomping your foot, you will turn you into the drummer you’ve always wanted to be. This might seem like a silly gift, but it’s very practical and will put a smile on your loved one’s face. Bonus: check out this very cool ANKLE SHAKER.

 

 

10. Nostalgic Tabletop Metronome

This groovy tabletop metronome (a device that helps musicians keep time) is a perfect gift for a musician. There are now countless computer and app-driven devices for keeping time, but this NOSTALGIC  TABLETOP METRONOME will fit perfectly in your musician’s office or practice space.

11. Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth

Having more instruments is always a good thing! This FUN LITTLE POCKET SYNTH will be a unique addition to the music makers in your life.

 

12. Clip-On Tuner

Staying in tune is job number one for the string instrumentalists in your life. We might already have one of these crucial devices, but we could always use another. Please buy us another CLIP ON TUNER we will thank you for it! This is for stringed instrument players.

Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner for Guitar, Bass & Violin (Current Model)

 

14. Extra Music Stand Light

Every music maker at some point in their life needs a MUSIC STAND LIGHT. Dark stages can make reading music a drag and it’s nice to have one of these in your case. Bonus if you buy this before our Christmas Eve Candlelight service!

 

15. The Most Popular Affordable In-Ear Monitors

Most musicians are using in-ear monitors to listen to what they are playing on stage nowadays. I can’t count the number of times I have left my monitors at home and it’s always a great idea to have another extra pair. These IN-EAR MONITORS are really affordable and have incredible reviews! Tip: I suggest buying the clear ones since they are the most in-demand and least obstructive on the stage.

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My name is Mike O’Brien and I am passionate about teaching and mentoring worship leaders and teams. My calling is to use my experience as a producer, worship leader, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist to come alongside musicians, helping them more fully worship God with their instrument and lives. Find out more about how I can help your worship leaders and teams HERE.

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Kingdom Theology and Advent

The Kingdom of God in Advent is slow, contested, and unexpected. For worship leaders, the weeks preceding Christmas are a fitting time to highlight the tension in the Kingdom of God as we wait for the coming Messiah. In our prayers, songs and language we can once again enter into the story of longing and hope that crescendos into incarnation. Even though we know the end of the story, we need to help frame incarnation for all who are being formed by it as we worship and lead others.

Check out my encouragement here for worship leaders during this Advent season:

 

My name is Mike O’Brien and I am passionate about teaching and mentoring worship leaders and teams. My calling is to use my experience as a producer, worship leader, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist to come alongside musicians, helping them more fully worship God with their instrument and lives. Find out more about how I can help your worship leaders and teams HERE.

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What the Vineyard Can Learn from Liturgical Streams

Reclaiming historic worship elements for modern services

When I walked into a Vineyard church in 1994 my mind was blown. On a Friday night, the room was full of expectant people singing TO God. Coming from Presbyterian roots, the only time we gave this expression of exuberant praise was at summer camp! For the first time in my life, I learned of the power of the Holy Spirit through an extended, uninterrupted time of singing.

Fast-forward a couple decades and the “5 songs + sermon” model has become the standard “liturgy” of the modern church. Outside of our empowered ministry prayer times, you would be hard-pressed to see what makes a Vineyard Church distinct from many evangelical church models today.

I believe that as a movement, a time has come for us to pause and reconsider the way forward in worship, both musically and sacramentally. What did we fail to carry forward as a new movement (started in the late 1970’s) that can be reintroduced with care? Here are a few practical ways worship planners in the Vineyard can consider and implement elements of liturgical form in our services:

 

1. Eucharist (celebrated weekly)

Avoiding mindless, heartless repetition is a common reason many Vineyard pastors say they don’t want to lead their congregation to the table on a weekly basis, favoring to do it once a month or less. It begs the question why we sing, preach and offer prayers repetitively? Are these features any less special because we repeat them over and over? Are we increasing demand by planning scarcity?

A weekly invitation to feast on Christ is a beautiful picture of our Kingdom theology (God is here, now). In the meal, we are reminded that His active presence is with us; it is a vibrant and visceral picture that embodies all the senses while engaging everyone on the same level. Creatively and enthusiastically inviting our people to the meal more frequently might be the greatest discipleship plan we have.

  • Church planter, Luke Geraty recently submitted an excellent paper on Sacraments to the Society of Vineyard Scholars, check it out HERE.

10 Hidden Songs for Advent

Worship in the Waiting

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I never fully understood Advent until my wife and I experienced seven years of infertility. During those years each Christmas was more difficult than the last. Underneath the bliss of parties and cheery songs hid a deep sorrow that was only welcome in the church.

Here is a quote from my friend Ryan Flanigan about the season:

…we put ourselves in the countercultural posture of silence and waiting. We refrain from the instantaneous gratification of getting whatever we want when we want. And we allow ourselves to feel our need for a savior.

For worship leaders and planners there is a beautiful tension we can highlight in the songs, visuals and prayers we oversee. As much as I appreciate the rich legacy of our Christmas Hymns, I love to search for (and create) new expressions that highlight the happy-sad season of Advent. Here are 10 hidden gems that people can and will sing during the Advent season.

Come Lord Jesus (A Song for Advent)
Diane Thiel-Sharp – Vineyard Worship USA 

The Sun Will Rise
The Brilliance

A WORSHIP LEADER’S GUIDE: Surviving and Thriving This Christmas {VIDEO}

Ten years ago, leading into the Christmas season I had a nervous breakdown as I was frantically preparing songs, dramas, and choirs for our medium sized congregation. The pressure of making Christmas “extra-special” for everyone nearly broke me. Below is a video of my story and a few ideas of how I reclaimed the Advent season. This is a VIDEO re-post of a previous text blog from last year.

My name is Mike O’Brien and I am passionate about teaching and mentoring through music. My calling is to use my experience as a producer, worship leader, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist to come alongside musicians, helping them more fully worship God with their instrument and lives. Find out more how I can help your worship leaders and teams HERE.

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