On Sunday December 7th at 6pm, we are doing a carols service with a difference we are launching our first ever album a Christmas album called Songs of Christmas! This whole idea really got legs when our lead minister Stu Cameron was floating ideas with me for Christmas 2014 at the end of last year. He said Im thinking of doing a sermon series for advent next year called The Songs of Christmas and focussing it on key prophetic songs in scripture which anticipate the birth of the Messiah. So start thinking about some creative ideas that we could use to support it
Cool. We love Christmas at Newlife. We always make a big deal of our Christmas services and are always looking at how we can make Christmas a great opportunity for our church family to have their family and friends encounter the Gospel of Jesus in creative and relevant ways.
We also know that most church musos baulk at the idea of Christmas Carols because they usually have 30 chords in them and you only play them a couple of times a year too much effort for some and too daunting for others.
We also know we are looking at writing new music in the future, and these things couple with a little bit of craziness were all factors that helped us decide to move forward with the project. Ill post a couple more entires about how we chose, workshopped and recorded the project over the coming weeks, but heres the answers Ive been giving to my most frequently asked question:
But seriously why do a Christmas Album?
1. It’s a Resource for our Church Our church makes a big deal of Christmas. We’re always looking for arrangements of songs that would work in our context. With a lot of Christmas Albums its hard to find arrangements that we would sing in our church. These are arrangements we would sing in our church either as congregational anthems or as items.
2. It’s a Resource for Other Churches We wanted to create arrangements that could be sung and played at their simplest on acoustic guitar and piano sometimes these are the only instruments congregations have, so we wanted to equip other churches to be able to use these arrangements in their own church context. Youll be able to download charts and simple acoustic versions of all our arrangements. Hopefully theyll be arrangements you can sing in your church.
3. It’s a Christmas Album About Jesus Lots of Christmas albums have songs that aren’t about Jesus. We have picked songs that reinforce the incarnation of Jesus as the central theme of Christmas.
4. It’s a team-building exercise We wanted to create a project that our team could buy into and start to dream about what was possible in the future for our church, and what we could pull off as a creative team. At its core, its a great team-building exercise for those who have committed themselves to the process.
5. It’s a Stretch This is new ground for us as a church, and for many of our team the first time we’ve ever recorded or been part of an album project. From our musicians to our artists to our designers, producers and administrators, it’s a project that is calling us into new opportunities and experiences and new skills. For me, I’ve learned to play the mandolin! #Winning