I’ve pretty much done almost all of these, so I’m kind of exposing all my secrets. ;) If you’ve ever played with me, just pretend you’ve never heard me say these. But here’s your favorite worship leader phrase, and what it really means:


  • “I really can’t hear my voice at all.” = I still have some other instruments in my monitor.
  • “It could just be me, but I’m hearing…” = It’s not me.
  • “Was I off-key there?” = First person to actually say yes gets a death stare.
  • “I feel like my monitor’s low.” = Turn my voice up in the monitor.
  • “What you’re playing is great, but…” = What you’re playing is not great.
  • “Can the drums go BOM bom bom BOM bom bom bo bom BOM bo bom BOM bo bom DO DOT DO DAT DAT” = “Drums play ‘With or Without You.’
  • “Just play whatever you want.” = Play a driving riff in the key of G on the 8th notes alternating between the 1 and the 5 notes.
  • “Maybe we should listen to the cd.” = This is not even working a little.
  • “Can you just play pads there?” = Can you not play piano there?
  • “I’ve been getting over a little cold for a while now, so…” = I’m insecure about my voice.
  • “Can a couple of you just sing melody?” = The 7-part harmony is killing me.
  • “I need everyone there at 7:30 sharp!” = Show up around 8:15.
  • “U2 is so cliche.” = I wish I was Bono.
  • “Chris Tomlin is so over.” = My songs would’ve won a Dove Award…it’s just all about who you know.
  • “Hey, you can use my amp.” = Your POD sounds terrible.
  • “What if you tried this.” = Play this now.
  • “Hey, did you happen to listen to the mp3′s?” = You didn’t listen to the mp3′s, did you.
  • “As the pastor mentioned…” = The pastor did a pretty good job, but here comes the real sermon.
  • “As the lights come down…” = The lights should have come down five minutes ago.
  • “As the band stops playing…” = Why in the world is the band still playing?
  • “As we gather this morning in this place…” = I was thinking about the chord changes so much that I can’t think of any words to pray.
  • “You sing!” = I forgot the lyrics.
  • “Let’s just take this moment to reflect…” = My capo is on the wrong fret.
  • “Everyone turn around and greet someone you don’t know.” = I have to change guitars.
  • “I heard there was a secret chord, that David played…” = I wish I was on American Idol. And/or Shrek.
  • “Let’s just start this morning off with a moment of silent prayer…” = Where is my drummer?!
  • “This is a new song.” = I wrote this song.
  • “I wrote this song.” = Check out the bookstore for my new record.
  • “Put your hands together!” = I know that sounds awkward, but so does ‘Clap!’
  • “Phil Keaggy once told me…” = Phil Keaggy said ‘Hey man, thanks’ after I adjusted his monitor when he played a concert at my church, and I can and do interpret those words so many different ways.
  • “I just don’t know if that song reaches the congregation anymore.” = I can’t tweet a setlist to all my worship leader friends that has ‘How Great is our God’ in it and maintain any semblance of relevant post-emergent-ness.
  • “I’m really more of a worship architect.” = Random nonsense words. (Dude. You’re a worship leader.)

As always, not trying to step on any toes here, and as mentioned earlier, this is moreso making fun of me, as I’ve done just about every one of these. Well, ok…it’s making fun of us collectively. ;) Just seems like life goes a whole lot smoother when we can take ourselves just slightly less seriously than we tend to do. And we could all probably stand to do each of these just a little bit less, and treat people better than the production, as I can forget at times. Big God, small us.


P.S. And for the record, this is the quintessential ‘Hallelujah’ version. All the way back in the ’90′s. I know I’ve posted this a few times before, but every time I do, there’s folks that say thanks because they didn’t know he made it famous and have never heard his version. And this is the first time I’ve ever posted the ‘Live at Sine’ cut, which is in my opinion, the best one. Oh, and ‘quintessential’ = “I don’t know what I’m saying, but it sounds cool.” ;)

And if you’re really into it, here’s the also amazing recorded album version. Still a one take, and you can hear the producer at the end go, ‘Wow.’