This last weekend, we took a trip to Seattle to check out a possible new opportunity to join a new church community called Bethany Community Church and lead the music ministry. We came away with a ton of thoughts and ideas. Here’s a conclusion to our weekend visit to the Emerald City without all the crazy details…think 30,000 foot flyover.IMG_0129

Seattle – That city is the straight up jam. Really. I could spend a whole other week just walking around downtown. I’ve yet, in my life, to come across a city with more culture, grittiness, fantastic design, and color. You have the city lights. You have water. And you have natural beauty all around wherever you look. We loved it! Jess thinks she would love the gray skies and drizzle all the time…not sure how it would fit me. But the catch-22 here is that, without the climate and weather that Seattle goes through, the city wouldn’t have the particular beauty that it does.

Seattle: 2 thumbs up

Chelsea Station Inn - This is the bed and breakfast that we stayed at over the weekend, and it was probably one of the coolest places we’ve stayed at in a long time. It was sort of a small apartment inside a renovated old building right across the street from the zoo & a huge park called Woodland Park. Every morning we crept downstairs where the innkeepers would make a ridiculously good breakfast from scratch! Some of the nicest people ever there as well. Check out the Chelsea here.

Chelsea Station Inn: 2 thumbs up

Flying/traveling with a 15 month old rambunctious boy - Don’t get me wrong, I love my son Cruz like crazy…I just didn’t like him that much over the weekend. He was like a different kid, I swear. I’m sure there was at least 8 people on our flights that would’ve duct taped his mouth shut if they could have. Including me. Southwest Airlines made our flying time as comfortable as they possibly could, but even they couldn’t fix Cruz “uncomfortability” every single time I had to change his diaper in a 3×3 airplane bathroom. Picture evidence A:

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Cruz & flying: 2 thumbs down…and in to my ears because Cruz is screaming.

Bethany Community Church – What an incredible community. These guys are excited about where God has led them until now and are rampant in seeing God awaken hearts in their local community. Pastor Richard Dahlstrom is a tremendous teacher and such a down to earth dude, that you get to experience his real heart in the first 10 minutes of hanging with him. They have a slew of worshipers who are stoked to be part of serving Gods people in music with their various talents. And trust me, these peeps have talent.

Bethany: 2 big thumbs up

You’ll have to wait a bit to hear where we are thinking of landing in our search for a new church community to be a part of or whether we’ll be in Scottsdale or Seattle. We are still processing a bit with various people and praying about the situation, but you friends will know sooner than later.

Thanks for your prayers and support over the weekend, we have been SO blessed to have people like you behind us!

Stay tuned…

We’re still trucking along on our “101 in 1001″ list of goals and I’m happy to report that my family and I have accomplished 12 of the 101 since October 9th! That may not sound like much but that means we’ve eclipsed the first 10% with a little over two years to go!101 in 1001 button

If you’re not understanding what I’m referring to, check out this post: 101 in 1001

My wife Jessica and I put together a list of goals, 101 to be exact, that we hope to reach or fulfill within the span of a 1001 days. On a road trip back from California in October we had a ton of fun in the car laughing and reminiscing as we created our list. It’s been a super fun project for us together and given us a set of achievable markers to look for in our lives. Some of them are silly, some are practical, a few are deep and heartfelt. But they are all us.

Maybe you should start a 101 in 1001 list for yourself or your family?

I have been given two fantastic and very unique different opportunities since my family and I began our search for a new church community and/or job.

downtownphx02seattle-skyline-with-space-needleOne of the opportunities is a leadership role that we know very well. We know the community. We know most of the leadership. We love the ministry that is and has been happening there for a long time. It’s here in the Phoenix area so it would keep us near family and little Cruz near his grandmas and aunts who adore him. It would allow for great freedom to be able to network and involve myself with helping other leaders and ministries create great worship experiences. And that is a very important value to me.

On the other hand, we have this other opportunity that is full of the unknown. It is uncertain, yet possibly full of adventure as well. It has the potential to open me up to new levels of leadership and influence that I’ve yet to navigate. Full of great biblical teaching and possible mentorship, the opportunity would be a definite growth experience. The role is at a community that has been around for over 100 years so there is maturity and wisdom. It is away from family, 1485 miles to be exact (give or take a couple feet or so), in the heart of Seattle. Full of green and water and texture and beauty.

They both, in the heart of our hearts, sound truly fantastic and Jess and I are extremely blessed to have the choice. But, there is a choice.

And we are praying. And considering. And processing. I am confident that God will be honored with either decision, but the husband and father in me wishes and hopes to make the “right” decision.

Would you please pray alongside us in this moment of decision for us? We are charging headlong into the crossroads and it would be nice to know there are people walking with us.

Much love.

I thought of little Kate this morning.

Sometimes I go far too long without praying or thinking of her and her story. But then, something causes me to remember how her 5 year old life has been completely flipped upside down. How she hasn’t had time to be a little kid yet before disease crept in to her world.

But Kate’s a straight up fighter. And she needs our prayers and the McRae’s need our support still. Let’s not forget.

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Would you say a quick prayer for the continued healing of little Kate McRae?

Two simple questions. In lieu of it being Christmas, and since it will help all us worship leaders planning sets for all 482 of our Christmas events:

1) What is your all-time favorite Christmas song and your favorite arrangement of that song? (either Christian or not)

2) What are some new holiday songs or fresh arrangements of old songs that you are really diggin on lately?

Ready. Set. GO.

Remember that little jingle back in the early 90’s? Gatorade had kids and adults alike singing that simple tune in every conversation and basketball dreamers attempting dunks from the free throw line whenever they could. The ad campaign was a phenomenal success.michael20jordan20dunk1

And it was all centered around “being” someone else.

As harmless as the advertising was, nearly 20 years later I find myself sometimes pondering what it would be like to “be” someone else. No, not completely, I love my life. Just to have certain skills or attributes that others have. There’s times where I wish I could be some bomb-diggity graphic designer. Or a better guitarist or photographer. Or that I could just sit down and hammer out 5 new songs every time I attempted to write.

The fact is sometimes, my mind just feels like it’s ten steps ahead of my actual abilities. I can see, hear, and feel how I want something to be…a lot of the times I just can’t “do it”. (Wow. Two different Michael ad campaigns in one post?)

The tension that I’m leading up to here is that in those times, when I feel inadequate in my skills, I have to remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Created in the image of the Creator. With nothing lacking. And I’m in the camp that believes that He does not make mistakes. So I just try and be bold and purposeful with the amazing skills that He has given me…and simply try in small steps to grow and learn from others in the ones that I’m not that good at.

If I get there, great. If not, I just gotta pay some people to do it instead. :)

What are some areas/skills/attributes that you find yourself at times wishing you had or were better at? Are you pressing towards them or are you realizing that it’s simply not YOU?

Tell us on the jump…

My wife Jessica showed me this guy on the Ellen show yesterday and I just had to share. If you haven’t seen the likes of Dave Nivison yet, check out his claim to fame…



The Monday Mojo is a weekly posting of great resources for worship leaders. You’ll find anything from album highlights and releases, introspective articles on worship and the church, helpful media, tips on instrumentation and sound, sites and applications to boost the organization & structure of your respective teams, even simple words of encouragement. Click the Monday Mojo category above or come back every Monday to stay in tune with the mojo… -Jaydubbs

One of the facets of worship leading that I am being challenged with lately is pushing myself to think outside the proverbial box when it comes to creating set lists and the songs that I am using to help form a creative and strong environment for worship. As worship leaders who are somewhat immersed in the modern worship movement, we are all well versed in the ways of Tomlin, Crowder, & Hillsong.

But have you ever thought of Foreman, Maher or Seay?

These names may be new to you. For some of you they may be familiar, you’re just not thinking of them when it comes to planning your sets.

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot has a tremendously brilliant solo project where he has compiled four different EP’s with songs that are all very folk-based and circled around the seasons of the year (hence the 4 EP’s; Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter).

Matt Maher is an absolutely astounding songwriter and his songs have been stirring an amazing revival within the Catholic church. He’s also great people and part of the network of worship leaders here in the Phoenix valley. Although he’s rarely here because of the success he’s having with his latest projects! Matt is the writer of the ever popular song “Your Grace Is Enough” (Chris Tomlin made this song huge, but Matt wrote it), and you can find some more of his craftings here. The best two albums are Overflow and his newest Alive Again, with some of my favorite tunes being “Canticle of Zechariah” (what a name right?), “For Your Glory”, “Behold the Lamb of God”, “As It Is In Heaven”, “Remembrance”, & “Alive Again”.

Robbie Seay of the Robbie Seay Band is one of my all time favorite songwriters. The way he molds the truths of who God is into the dirtiness and reality of creation and who we are is magical. Truth is I cheat off of him a lot in my writing. He’s a genius. His most recent release Give Yourself Away, which came out a couple years ago now, is chocked full of creative and fresh ways for your community to engage in worship. The song “Song of Hope” has just now begun to really make a move forward in the modern church, but there are amazing songs of his to yet be discovered by the church. Check out “Rise”, “Shine Your Light On Us”, “Eternal One”, “Hallelujah God Is Near”, “Rescued Ones”, “Jesus Garden of My Rest”, and “Faith of Our Fathers” (a song I’ve with a subject I’ve yet to hear anyone else attempt to write about).

Some other names to have on your radar when it comes to creating worship sets, whether they’ve been around for a while or are up and coming, are Tim Hughes, Jesus Culture, Desperation Band, Parachute Band, Delirious, & The Embers. I love finding new artists who are incorporating great new songs into the fold of modern worship. If you have any that you love, please comment below and share with everyone!

To leave you with some music (since we’re talking about music) here’s a song by Jon Foreman off his Spring EP called “Your Love Is Strong”. You know those great songs that are full of truth and simply beautiful? Well this one is directly based out of the Lords Prayer…and…well…listen for yourself…



Blame it on November.

That’s at least how I’m justifying my lack of presence lately here. Truth of the matter is that, really, I just needed to take some time off and focus on a few other things. Ministry transition (which is nice French for “I got laid off from my church staff position and now I’m looking for a new job”). Cruz’s first birthday planning. Thanksgiving. Insurance madness. Broken car. Our wonderful small group. A TON of photography and post-processing. And a bunch of other stuff that I’m sure I’m forgetting.

It’s been a fantastic 30 days, but it’s been seriously probably one of the busiest months of my life. I’m looking forward to the last month of 2009 and to a couple new disciplines and commitments that Jess and I are staking in the ground.

One of those being Jaydubbs.com. So here’s to ringing in the holidays with you fine friends! Thanks for all your support and prayers in what has been a wild season for our family.

See you on the flip.

(A wise man once told me that every good blog post needs a picture, so here’s Cruz melting hearts to leave you with….)

IMG_0765-resize

The Monday Mojo is a weekly posting of great resources for worship leaders. You’ll find anything from album highlights and releases, introspective articles on worship and the church, helpful media, tips on instrumentation and sound, sites and applications to boost the organization & structure of your respective teams, even simple words of encouragement. Click the Monday Mojo category above or come back every Monday to stay in tune with the mojo… -Jaydubbs

Last night Jess and I were leading worship up in Scottsdale at Scottsdale Bible Church’s SomaNorth service. It was the first time I had led there so I didn’t really have any expectations as to how the community would respond in worship, sing, follow, etc.

I was blown away.

These peeps don’t take their worship lightly. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a group sing that loud. The great thing is it had absolutely nothing to do with me. Or the band. Or the music.

It was just worship.

During rehearsal earlier in the day when we were going over the song “Everlasting God”, we had planned that when we got to the first chorus we would just do half of it and save the second half of the chorus for when the song picked up. Well during worship, in an amazing moment for my heart, after we had sung that first half the people of Soma just kept on singing the second half.

It’s a bit hard to explain in words, maybe you just need to have been there, haha. But in that moment, I thought about the idea of what true worship is all about. It’s not about a good worship leader or a killer band or singing beautifully. It’s about the people of God coming together in obeisance to the Father. Just as Jesus did. God calls us to worship and that’s just what we did last night.

And simultaneously I remembered something that my good friend CJ once said. Sometimes, as a worship leader, the people that you are leading need to lead you. We as worship leaders need to be led in worship as well. Does that make sense? It means a lot to me after last night.

Just remember we are all going up in worship together and there are moments when you need to step back from leading and let your people lead you. Whether it’s a verse or chorus, whatever. Let your people take the lead.

worship


Are you letting your people lead too?

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About Me

I'm Jason Williams, nicknamed "Jaydubbs" by friends, and I've been leading worship and helping create unique, relevant worship experiences for the past 11 years. I'm an artist at heart, using music and photography as my everyday canvas. I'm also a lover of the local church and am committed to growing and maturing in my life following Jesus.

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