Well the blog world is buzzing these few days after a rep from Worship Leader mag stumbled on a few of our comments about the magazine. She invited us to discuss the mag and give her input.
“It seems that “Worship Leader” magazine and their product, “SongDISCovery” is buzzing in blog world. It all started back in January when Alastair posted a question about it, and received a response from the Editor, Julie Reid. Today, it seems to be revitalized, with posts over the last few days from Joel, Mandy, and Chris. ht: Fred Mckinnon”
There is now a good discussion and poll over at the worship community about it. The response has been huge. It seems that many people were just waiting for the opportunity to express their opinions. Go over there and do the same if you have time.
First off I want to thank Julie for going to our blogs and asking our thoughts on the magazine. I think this is a great step in trying to understand the worship leaders who are on the net.
I did want to make my thoughts known as well. I hope all of this is taken as constructive and in now way is meant to be undermining.
I was a subscriber the first few years and loved it. It was relevant and the CD’s were fantastic. I kinda stopped for a while and 3 years ago started up again with it. I recently let my subscription expire with no intent on resubscribing. The magazine within the last few years has been a nice read. I say nice and not awesome because there has been very little practical info I can use in my day to day ministry in the the church. It has been very focused on individuals and larger churches. Now I do love reading about where a song came from or about the mind of lincoln brewster, but that info doesn’t translate as a resource. I found the magazine slowly heading towards entertainment and less resourceful.
Julie said that there are someting like 45,000 subscribers. Because of this I bet it is really hard to cater to everybody and to fill every need and gap. I do however think it is filling a need in the churches who are not “plugged in”. There are many churches and worship leaders who don’t have blogs or network or even use the internet frequently. I think this is the audience right now for the magazine.
For us in this blog/twitter world we have everything at our fingertips. We know about new technology, books and techniques before anybody else. There are a bunch of us who receive advanced copies of worship CD’s, review and blog about them before WLM does it’s review. I am reading 145 blogs currently and the info that I have access to is way more current and applicable because I am networking with other worship leaders. I really don’t know if there is anything that worship leader magazine could do to fix this other than do a mag. online and hire a few of us to run it. Not everybody has their hand on the pulse, but for those of us who do it is very hard to justify a magazine that has info we found out about 1 month ago.
What would I like to see? More articles on smaller congregations. Gear setups from musicians, Tech person ideas, lighting and stage design, profiles and testimonies of small worship pastors, Advanced vocal techniques, referencing groups like the worship community, info on the treasure trove of blog/internet resources, emerging worship prayers and alternative worship, band scheduling and practice, etc etc etc.
On to the Song DISCovery disks. Again in the beginning they were great. There was no internet and I could not afford to buy 300 CD’s. Now there is Itunes and social networking where I get all of my music resources. In the last year there has been maybe 1 useful song congregational wise that I didn’t already know of. Many times when I get the CD I DISCover that a bunch of the songs I already have heard or own. There have been many lyrically, and musically poor submissions that are just of no use in the church. Now remember some of the music is great and sounds great but just doesnt transfer to congregational worship. I would hope that there is a working worship leader working on the committee for the CD so that things could filter better for the church. It could be a great resource, but at this point I have access to so much more useful music that I don’t really need these CD’s. The sheet music is ok, but I have found more use out of CCLI.
This is not meant to be harsh. In the end I am not a subscriber because it does not meet my needs. I do think it meets many other peoples needs. I hope that from all this and the other peoples comments that WLM will be more aware of the needs of the worhsip community that is more plugged in and maybe give us something we can use. Thanks Julie for your time and I hope we can help you guys out a little.