Archives For klampert

worth_it_allThe Year was 2009. I was at a conference in Nashville called Re:create. One of the nights we were going to a Night of song and story and Meredith was one of the artists that was being featured. It was that night that I was introduced to small petite woman with a huge voice. I was blown away by her writing and the nuance in her voice.

I was really excited when Word Records asked me to give my “opinion” on her new CD because this would be Meredith’s first full worship album.

“I never felt like I could write corporate worship songs, but that‟s what I always wanted to do because I am a worship leader,” Andrews states. “So I just started asking the Lord for songs and I was like, „God I don‟t just want songs to fill a record. I want to hear from heaven. I want to write your heart‟ and I was just overwhelmed with the way the Lord answered and the songs that are on this record. This album, I feel, is the most authentic to who I am. I can‟t believe the songs that we have and the way that God met us at every turn and the moments that we captured on this record.”

Honestly that quote says it all. There is nothing better than a selection of songs born out of worship and not out of an agenda of making a great hit.

It opens with the fist pumping song “Open the Heavens”. It is a great song that I will most likely trying to introduce in my own Worship Leading.

I am not personally nor historically a fan of doing song by song reviews because I know nobody reads them. So because of this let me lay it on the line for anybody that trusts my opinion… and you should.

This CD is heartfelt, inspired and holy spirit driven. It has many great songs on it and I am pretty sure many churches will be using them on Sunday mornings soon. The Production is top notch and not over-produced.

My favorite track after 4 listens is “Burn Away”. It is a great song about asking God to burn away the things that separate us from Him.

So if you haven’t figured it out yet I think this CD is a must listen if you like modern worship with a pop twist to it. I also have a test with every worship CD I listen to which is “Can these songs be done if the power goes out”. What I mean by that is can a worship leader grab the charts and just lead with a guitar or a piano and not have all the additional additives. In short I believe this album has many songs on it that would translate very well to a stripped down or small worship team.

If you have heard of meredith you will love it. If you haven’t then take a chance on it because I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this album free from Word Records to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I remember it like yesterday. It actually wasn’t yesterday, but about a year ago when the IPAD 2 came out and I brought it home. One of the main reasons I bought it, besides being an extension to my design business, is that I had found the app ONSONG. If you have been living under the “worship leader rock” let me break it down for you in simple terms. For years worship leaders have had many 3″ binders filled to the brim with loads of sheet music. On top of that we have been killing trees to print copies of charts transposed in 35 keys and variations for our vocalists, musicians, and techs. I am not a tree hugger but lets be honest, it has been a huge waste of money and time.

When I found ONSONG everything changed. I was now able to have hundreds of transposable songs in my ipad and access to sites where I can download new stuff. These sites include CCLI, Rockin with the cross, misc internet sites, and then the best part is it connects to dropbox. I sing with a few other people who also have ipads and the features that ONSONG provides allow people to be able to link to other users is amazing.

One amazing thing that I found after finding onsong and being a self-proclaimed fanatic of the product is I have literally convinced 4 people so far to buy an ipad just for this amazing app.

I lead worship at a multichurch, flow by the spirit prayer meeting. The addition of ONSONG into that mix has given me the ability to have hundreds of songs in any key on want at the tap of a finger. Gone are the days of my 700lb. binder and expensive plastic page protectors. I now show up to lead worship with an ipad and, as of last week, a new bluetooth pedal called Pageflip Cicada.

I have wanted a foot pedal to use with ONSONG so I could turn pages without using my finger. The are a few options out there and most are really pricey, but the Cicada is only $79.99. I lead worship most of the time as the only musician so it is very difficult to turn pages at same time as trying to keep the music flowing. After winning the Cicada on my buddy Chris Burke’s site my feet do all the work for me. I had my first test last week with the pedal and give it a 9.8/10 rating. The only reason it is not a perfect 10 is because it is so light weight and noiseless that I can’t even tell if I am pushing it. There is no resistance and it is flat so it is hard to tell it is even there. In the end though this pedal is AMAZING! It is a must have and is now being added to my pedal board set up.

Let me sum up here with a few points for worship leaders:

  1. You need an ipad (cus I said so)
  2. You MUST download the onsong app (it’s only $4.99)
  3. You don’t “need” a pageflip Cicada, but I think you should get it
  4. Combination of ipad, cicada, and onsong is like the trinity of AWESOMENESS! I am convinced all three are “God inspired”

Pageflip Cicada

Got any questions? ASK ME!!

I am a huge fan of Pete Wilson as a pastor, blogger, parent and aquiantence. Pretty much anything he says I want to hear. I read his first book “plan B” three times and am currently discussing it in my churches small group. Because of this when I received an advance copy of “empty promises” I was very excited. Sadly it took me a little longer to get to than I’d hoped. This morning as I fed my kids breakfast I cracked it open and in about an hour I had digested the whole thing. (I am a fast reader)

This book was fantastic. I have been in ministry for a long time now and feel the mid-ministry crisis coming on strong recently. Frustration, creative longing, and a feeling of plowing through cement.  Pete’s first book really gave me clarity into my multiple plan b’s and c’s, but this one gave me new insight into fears and failures. It covered idols and worship of something other than God. I find myself needing to do a self analysis after reading this because I realized I was dealing with many of the issues in the first 3 chapters.

I love the title of the book but for my sake I think I will change it to: “the contentment pill”. In the peaks and valleys of a life filled with broken dreams and empty promises the real issue comes down to ; will you find your contentment in Christ. There is no pill you can take, no idol you can replace Him with, no that or relationship that will give you that.

We are all so good a preaching what is written in this book, but we all need to daily trust God and be still and “know” that He alone is all we need.

Go buy this book and if you haven’t read plan b buy it too!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The year was 1995. I was off to VA to train and then work with YWAM. We had so many sessions on prayer and worship and the passing on of the “mantle” to other leaders. It was an amazing time. Eventually I was off with a small team to Kiev, Ukraine, but before I went I had a good 3 months in VA. One day we had invited a guest speaker and prophet to come to the missions school to pray over us. Prophets are scary people because you never know what they will say and they don’t seem to have a filter. This man didn’t trudge up a deep rooted sin or an unrepentant bitterness, but instead cast a vision that I will never forget.

He said “Joel…God is raising you up to become a green beret in His army. So will be doing things that have never been done before and may seem odd to others all while rescuing drowning people and pulling them into the boat.”

Wow…at the time I did not know what to do with that. That was a huge vision and one I would pray about for years. in the last 16 years of ministering in many different kinds of churches and atmospheres I have attempted to do what God has called me to do. To create things that have not been created. In essence to tap into the creativity that God has birthed in me to lead others to the hope of Christ.

Lets fast forward to 2010 where God gave me friendships with a few guys named Adam, Jack and Doug. We all had interesting visions as to what God was doing in our lives and God made some crazy things happened that created The Forge Conference. The first one was amazing and I was starting to get a glimpse what God saw as my main ministry. Then the second Forgecon God started moving people around and shifting visions and agendas and what was left was what God wanted to do and not 5 peoples separate visions mashed together. Of course that year went even better. Most recently another friend of mine, Mike Mahoney, and I hosted a Forgecon alumni get together that we called a 1day. Much like the other events it was uncharted territory for the likes of the small church.

What happened at the last event though seemed to tie 16 years of ministry up into a nice bow. While we were discussing our needs and prayer requests something came out of my mouth that I did not expect.

“God has called me to build arks”

I believe God said that through me because I had never thought of that before. Think about Noah for a second though. God asked him to build a GIANT boat because it was going to rain and flood the earth. In context though we know they most likely had not ever seen rain or even a boat. So basically God called him to create something that had never been seen before for his glory. He would guide him and help him all the while Noah built something that he didn’t understand the need for until it came time to use it.

Right then my mind flashed to the prophecy over my life in 1995 and it all clicked. God called me to create the seemingly absurd and impossible so He could do the impossible and get all the glory.

Right after that Mike Mahoney chimed in “God has called me to gather the wood and the animals”

I was floored and synapses started firing in my brain. I started to think about how many times leaders latch onto a vision and try to work in roles they were not created to do.

Noah was given the vision of building the ark. He was handed the blueprints.

Then his family jumped in with hammers, gathered wood, and slapped on the pitch. Sometimes one of his sons wold help him decipher the blueprints which may have taken more heads than one.

Some of us were meant to build arks and to create the seemingly impossible. Others were meant to gather the wood. Others were meant to administrate the team.

  • In your ministry do you know what your role is?
  • Are you letting your ceiling be somebody else’s floor?
  • Are you bringing skilled people to fill in your weaknesses?
  • Are you willing to support the vision even if you don’t get the spotlight?
  • Is God getting all the glory?
  • Does impossible vision and the mystery of God paralyze you from doing what He has asked of you?


I have the privilege of listening to tons of new music and I wanted to showcase 4 CD’s/EP’s I am in love with right now.

1. Matthew Reed – Come and drink
Matthew sent this to me and asked that I check it out for him. I am a sucker for a well produced indie sound and when you mix that with worship I am instantly drawn in. I don’t know how best to describe this album other than it sounds very modern and yet I hear lots of things in it that I loved from the 90’s sonically. It has a Vigilantes of Love vibe to it (without the country folk rock). Wow honestly I really am having a hard time wrapping my head around the diversity and goodness of his sound and Don’t want to do him an injustice by comparing him wrong. The song “crash this place” is fantastic lyrically. “Holy spirit would you move in power and crash this place with love”. I love that image like we are inviting him to sleep on our couch or something. He as our companion and we are asking him to move in. “Emmanuel” is another stand out for me. Somewhere in my twisted brain this is what Norah Jones would sound like if she was a dude. I love this song and Really hope to be able to use it maybe even this Christmas. All in all this is a great 6 track CD that is creative, full of great stuff and does not get stuck in the rut of the “modern worship” sound with tons of delay pedals.

2. August York – This is How we Met
This is the First CD from my friends Mckendree and Rachel Tucker. Mckendree of course has had many great solo albums and played with Sonicflood as well, but after he got married this band evolved. I am a huge fan of what Mckendree does with his production, loops, and crazy digital fantastical surprises. He has a very cool raw voice. Rachel on the other hand is a stark contrast very similar to Zooey in She & Him. Somehow the two of them, much like their relationship, were meant to sing together. This CD takes you on a journey. I love what they do with all the different instruments and styles. It really has something for everybody and yet at the same time every song is “them”. It is great to hear them strip it down much like the Civil Wars, but also jazz it up like on the song “What I need”. One of my favorite songs is “no turning back”. It is just Rachel with nothing else and it is so haunting. You swear it is 1930 and you are listening to a Glass record. My one and only negative of the CD is I think Rachel could use more reverb in the production on some of the tracks. Her voice is just really cool and i would love to hear it even more echoed. I can picture these guys in a swanky throwback night club in the village in NY.

3. Nate Fancher – Surrender
I met nate in Sept at the Forge Conference in NJ. He, in passing, handed me his CD for me to listen to and I told him I would review it. I had 0 expectations because I knew very little about him, his ministry, or his “sound”. What I got was something very original and yet strangely familier at the same time. It is an amazing worship album and is starting to become easily one of my top favorites from anything I have listened this year. I love to compare artists to other artists so you can get a feel for it. So I would say it is like Owl City meets Gin Blossoms mixed with the spiritual integrity and lyrical content of Matt Redman. He is such a different and cool sounding vocalist with a Tener voice that reminds me of Ian Mcintosh. Great production, amazing instrumentation and a breath of fresh air. I can see myself doing a few tracks off this CD especially “holy Lovely”

3. Harvest Bashta – Make us Ready
I HATE EP’s because 90% of the time when I get an EP and sound like the church lady after listening to it “well isn’t that special!”. Sadly I find myself more times than not completely forgetting about the artist and not too excited for a full album. When I first heard of harvest of course I noticed her last name is the same as Daniel Bashta (my pick for best CD of the year). Turns out Harvest is his Sister. This EP broke the mold if you will. It is amazing and anointed. It moved me into a spirit of worship, warfare and revival right from the beginning. It is not overly complicated lyrically or musically. What it is though is a cry for God and for Him to show up, wreck us and revive the church. I love all 3 songs. I can’t wait to use them. Her sound is like what if Vicky Beeching and Misty Edwards had a baby. And since that is impossible it must tell you how cool this album is. I am praying somebody signs her ASAP because I want more of her music. Right now this EP is free on noisetrade.

Well there are 4 CD’s you may not have heard or even heard of that I think you need to go out and buy right away. I know what I am talking about so… DO IT!!