Worship Leader Magazine: PART 1 (the question)

A few months ago Alastair over at Live To Worship asked the blog world a few questions –

How do you guys rate Worship Leader Magazine?  Do you think it is worth subscribing to?  What are the enhanced song CDs like?  How many songs are on each CD?

A few of us answered and the responses were.. well.. less than stellar. Hop over to the site and check the comments. You’ll see that the folks at Worship Leader Magazine found Alastair’s post and our comments and decided to respond –

Hey Guys,
Great feedback. Thanks! I will share this with our Song Discovery Editor who listens to about 1000 songs every listening cycle to get down to the final 30 or so that go to the Board. To dispel any concern regarding getting on the CD, no one vote (including my own) can sway a panel, nobody can vote on any song which comes out of their own church or they have any bias, and the board switches every month – including often moving from regions throughout the US. We work hard to make sure the magazine are both must reads and must listens, but welcome any and all of your input to make it better for our readers and for those who are ready to give us a shot (or another shot). I would love to hear from any of you directly on specific feedback just so we can improve – our primary goal is to equip the churches we serve (approximately 45,000) so we want to be in touch!!!!
Thank you all.
Julie Reid
Executive Editor
Worship Leader Magazine

So I’ll ask the questions as well. How do you rate the magazine? Do you read it? Find it helpful? I have my thoughts and I will save them for part 2 of this, but Post your comments and let’s see if we can put some thoughts together for the folks at WLM.

ht: mandy, chris


7 responses to “Worship Leader Magazine: PART 1 (the question)”

  1. James Avatar

    Okay, I’ll bite…

    I just let my subscription expire. Why? Because I found the ‘resource’ not very ‘resourceful’. Over the course of the last year, there were maybe 3 articles that were either insightful, thought provoking, or challenging. There was more challenge to growth found in talking with other local worship leaders than reading an article from Brian Doerkson or Tim Hughes or Chris Tomlin. I just couldn’t find a good reason to renew my subscription.

    With regards to the Song Discover CD, I always found the song choices a bit lame and, frankly, culturally irrelevant. Out of 6 CDs that I received, I found one useable song. Compare that to 4 CDs that I purchased last year that I took 7 useable songs from. There’s too much ‘churchiness’ (for want of a better word) and Christianese going on in most of the songs selected for the CD. And it’s a great shame, because there are literally thousands of worship leaders out there who are writing some very relevant and very response-provoking worship songs that the Song Discovery would do well to pay attention to. Unfortunately, it’s not a viable avenue for those singer-songwriters to pursue, as is evident in the fact that the same artists appear regularly on the CDs.

    Thumbsdown from me, I’m afraid. But I’m looking for a replacement, if there are any suggestions.

  2. mandythompson Avatar

    good to hear from “immersion worship” – it sounds like we’re all saying the same thing. interesting.

  3. Fred McKinnon Avatar

    Hey – pardon the copy/paste comments … since this is going on multiple blogs, I thought it would be easiest:

    Hi Mandy,
    Great stuff … ya know, I”ve been a subscriber to Worship Leader Magazine for as long as I can remember. I’ve been a SongDISCovery subscriber since it was launched. I’ve been privileged to have one song I published “picked” for a SD issue, and I “bought” a spot on another issue – a $2500 mistake. (I guess that song, “You Are Faithful”, by Jason Wallis, didn’t connect, at least, based on CCLI usage).

    I know Julie and the team are reaching out. They have great hearts of worship. Phil does a great job, and my participation in one of their recent “SongDISCovery” panels as a writer was educational, and well .. humbling at the same time.

    I think it’s awesome they are reaching out .. I’ve not blogged about it, but maybe I’ll throw my voice in there, too … since so many of our readers are the same.

    I launched TheWorshipCommunity.Com about 1 month prior to WL launching SongDISCovery community. The two sites don’t have the same objective, and I think are complimentary, but I’ve had no success in really trying to connect the two. It’s a struggle, because you feel that the “dialog and community” between worship leaders that is happening our our blogs and TheWorshipCommunity.Com would be an AWESOME asset to those worship leaders, yet you don’t want to come across as competing or trying to “steal” members or traffic at the same time .. but then again, that doesn’t make sense, as the SD community is more of a “myspace” type community where you post bulletins, upload songs, etc.

    Even then, you’ve got mega names like Paul Baloche and Mark Roach, etc., who will always dominate those charts, etc.

    Bottom line … I think it’s awesome they are reaching out. I don’t find a whole lot of content these days in the mag that hits home for me, or songs on SD .. but my favorites in the mag are the articles about how songs were written – the story behind the songs, etc.

    They used to do this “local edition” thing, I was the South East USA worship leader for a year, but I only got “interviewed” once the whole year (I guess I should say we ALL only got one interview) … it was interesting, ’cause I liked hearing from every day worship leaders, what they were doing, etc., .. .kinda like our “video worship confessionals”, etc.

    That’s my $.02 …

    BTW – I am attending their National Worship Leader Conference in Austin, TX … couldn’t make it last year, but wonder if anyone else is going?

    For the Kingdom,

  4. […] the Editor, Julie Reid. Today, it seems to be revitalized, with posts over the last few days from Joel, Mandy, and […]

  5. Bridget Avatar

    As posted on http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1687


    I subscribed to SongDiscovery since Vol 13…

    Originally LOVED The music HATED the magazine.

    Then about 2 years ago the magazine got really good…. I LOVE the Mark D Roberts, Matt Redman, and Brenton Brown articles as well as the song stories. I looked forward to reading them each time. Too bad it is not a blog.

    In California with taxes, gas prices, etc going up (I’m just a regular 40-hour-work-week person who is the WL at my church) and the fact that I’ve used only 1 song (HE IS HERE: AWESOME!) from SongDiscovery over the last 1.5 + years, I have to decide NOT to renew my subscription. $60 a year for maybe one song is hard to justify.

    I think Song DISCovery has lost their way. The songs are nice, but they’ve forgotten that we need CONGREGATIONAL (non arrangement-dependent) songs that can be used in church and possibly with only one instrument (the bulk of worship leaders being very very small bands to only themselves).

    I’m torn up about it, but $60 a year has become hard for me to keep paying when the songs aren’t that great.


  6. Chris Avatar

    Hey Joel – Seems like this stuff was just bubbling under the surface and people were ready to burst with their opinions! 🙂

  7. Unknown Avatar

    There is a great Summit taking place outside Philadelphia, PA in June, called the East Coast Worship Summit. They will be focusing on using current worship, using loops and tracks, and building a strong relevant worship team. The site is http://www.eastcoastworship.com

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