Christ Church Northern Beaches partners with Emu Music
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Christ Church Northern Beaches (CCNB) decided to merge their evening and morning services, and therefore merge their music teams. Now with around 12 members of the team, music coordinator Belinda King thought they could use some training and encouragement to help them best lead worship in the service, so CCNB signed up as an Emu Music church partner.
“20 to 30 percent of a church service is music, which is about the same as a sermon. The person doing the sermon spends a lot of time preparing that during the week to make sure that it’s of a high standard. Since we devote a lot of our service to music, I think similarly we need to be putting in a lot of that to make it a high standard as well,” Belinda says.
Belinda had personally attended Word In Song conferences and enjoyed Emu’s songs, so she was excited about the potential of partnering with Emu. She especially was keen for the tailored workshops, access to Hymnbook, and being able to offer the whole team passes to the Word in Song conference.
Practical training enabling practical improvement
Several members of the CCNB music team came along to the 2023 Word in Song conference, which Belinda says was excellent.
“When you work in music, week in and week out, to get together with a whole group of people who understand those challenges is reinvigorating. Even over morning tea the team was talking about music and you could hear other groups talking about music.”
Belinda attended the drums and bass workshop, because she’s been filling in on drums this year, even though it’s not her primary instrument. She also attended a workshop on song leading with Philip Percival, in which a number of key lessons stood out.
“When he introduces a new song they’ll play it week one, week two, skip it week three, and then do it again week four, just to help the congregation learn the song. So I’ve been following that model since hearing that,” Belinda shares.
The music team at CCNB have been using Hymnbook a lot this year. Belinda especially appreciates the hymn arrangements, and the ability to hear each part played individually so bands can see how all the parts fit together.
They’ve also had the Emu team in to run a custom workshop with their music team, which Belinda says was exceptional. She thought that Emu’s experience and their fresh eyes gave CCNB’s musicians a truly valuable day.
“There was such a re-energising of the team,” she says. “Everyone went away with something to work on, but it was presented really positively.”
The workshop also gave the team a common language to use when talking about music. Belinda explains, “When we’ve been in our rehearsals and we’ve said, oh, hey, we need to take a layer out, or we need to add a layer here, we all know what we’re talking about.”
Overall, Belinda says that partnering with Emu has been excellent for their church – and for her personally, as a ministry leader. “I’ve felt supported and encouraged, and it has given me that extra confidence in what I’m saying and what I’m doing when I’m leading a rehearsal, which has been really helpful.”