Q&A: Questionable Songs, Receiving Compliments, Asking for Mercy, and Rehearsals

In this episode, Bob, David, and Devon answer questions that have been sent in to the podcast. We revisit singing songs from questionable sources, how to respond when someone encourages you for your leading, the appropriateness of asking God for mercy, and how long rehearsals should be.

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David Zimmer: Welcome to Sound Plus Doctrine, the podcast of Sovereign Grace Music where we explore what the Bible has to say about music and worship in the church and encourage those who plan, lead, and participate in their Sunday gatherings each week

DZ: Hello and welcome to the Sound Plus Doctrine podcast. My name is David Zimmer.

Bob Kauflin: My name’s Bob Kauflin.

Devon Kauflin: And I’m Devon Kauflin. Here we are.

DZ: It has taken you seven seasons to jump in, Devon. Always, we have to just introduce you.

DK: I finally feel like I have the confidence to jump in. I was really struggling for a long time.

BK: You have never struggled with confidence.

DK: Do I have a place here? [laughter]

DZ: You’ve never struggled with confidence.

BK: As your father, you have never struggled with confidence.

DZ: That is…

BK: Never a problem.

DZ: Excellent.

BK: Okay. Today, we are going to be answering four questions. We love it when people ask us questions. You can send it into soundplusdoctrine@sovereigngrace.com. Spell out the plus. Sometimes we get questions that wouldn’t take a whole podcast to answer. So we’ve picked four of them and I’m just gonna dive in.

DZ: Awesome.

BK: And the first is about a podcast we did on songs from questionable sources. Some people thought we did a great job. Others didn’t think we did such a great job. And one of the questions had to deal with just the financial implications of singing songs from groups that we wouldn’t support.

DZ: Yeah. And wouldn’t you say that, when we talk to a lot of worship leaders, we get that question a lot.

BK: Yes.

DZ: Not just sent in to us. We hear that a lot. Can you, recap that episode for people that haven’t heard that?

BK: Well, I think we were saying from the beginning that the right question, and Devon said this isn’t, should we sing songs from questionable sources? It’s what songs should we sing?

DZ: Yeah.

BK: To aim more positively at, if you think about what songs God wants us to sing, you’re gonna sing a limited number. You’re gonna be seeking to have songs that enable the word of Christ to dwell in people richly, you’re not gonna be concerned about what everybody’s singing. And so you’re gonna be more careful about the songs you’re singing, which will keep you from asking, why can’t we sing this song? Or whatever.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: That was the general tone.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: But someone wrote in, as did others, “I wish you guys would’ve talked a bit more about the financial implications of playing songs out of a church by using licensing through CCLI. And how many churches that have potential questionable theology tend to get a lot of money in revenues from these licensing deals and agreements, which churches have report back on the usage of those songs so that royalties may be paid out. Is the picking or choosing of the song going to potentially further a questionable or downright heretical ministry?” We address that very briefly in that podcast, but I would say, and I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts, a couple things. First, the amount that an individual church ends up giving to a particular ministry or church or artist, whatever is very small. And CCLI, I think deals with about 350,000 churches. I should check that number. I’m not sure, it’s a large number of churches. But it’s very small and almost… Yeah, very small. Let me say that. Yeah.

DZ: It’s minuscule. Especially…

BK: Minuscule for one church.

DZ: For one church. Yeah.

BK: But the other thing is we give money to things that aren’t godly all the time. When I shop at different stores, I’m supporting people who are godless, in different ways. I don’t always know where they are, who they are. But that’s happening all the time, at least in this instance, where you have some ministries that, yeah, have questionable theology. If they’re preaching the gospel and if it’s a clear gospel, but they are imbalanced and I may not agree with their practices and I’m only doing one of their songs. To me, that’s a moot point. We would do one song from a ministry, and we’re not interested in naming names because we want to be discerning. We wanna be thoughtful, we wanna be intentional. And I think if we are those things, we won’t end up doing a lot of songs that just kind of…

DZ: Oh, yeah.

BK: That could be, “Well, that’s questionable.” The main goal is edification.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: It’s gotta edify people. They can’t be distracted by the song. They can’t be put off by the song. And, yeah. If there’s questionable theology in the song, sure. Don’t do that song.

DZ: Yes.

BK: But we were trying to bring nuance to that question.

DK: Yep.

DZ: Yeah.

DK: Yeah. I would add, I know for me, as soon as I have that question, so whether it be the source, I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with the source of the song or the content of the song…

BK: Yeah.

DK: Or the associations that people in my church might have with that song. As soon as that’s a question in my mind, it’s like, yeah, there’s probably… There’s a different song I could do.

BK: There’s probably a better song.

DZ: Yes.

DK: Yeah. I don’t need to do that song.

DZ: Yeah.

DK: And so I don’t do it. And that was what we were stressing previously. Is just, there are so many wonderful songs to be doing.

BK: Yes.

DK: And singing to help the word of Christ wellness richly, do those songs.

BK: Yes.

DZ: Yeah.

DK: And what other people are doing is pretty irrelevant to me as I think about what we’re singing as a church…

BK: In my local church.

DK: In my local church. Yeah.

BK: Yeah. And we’re trying to thread the needle between those who say, “Hey, it doesn’t matter. Just sing whatever songs, if it’s not heretical, go ahead and sing the song.” And those who say, “No, never, here’s why I will never sing these songs, something from this group in my church.”

DK: Yeah.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: Just say… It just requires more… We could have more wisdom than those two extremes.

DK: And there’s always this… In these conversations in many other areas, there’s always this push to be… To make this issue the thing that defines us.

BK: Yeah.

DZ: Yeah. Totally.

DK: And these things are not what defines us.

DZ: Totally.

DK: So even as a pastor of a Sovereign Grace church in our denomination, that’s not what defines us and defines what songs we’re singing.

DZ: Yes.

DK: And so we’re not defined by what we do sing or what we don’t sing. We’re defined by who we are in Jesus Christ and what we’re gathered together to do, and what God is doing as we gather, that’s what matters.

BK: And I would say maybe, accept as the words that we’re singing are biblically faithful…

DK: Yes, absolutely.

BK: Grounded in the Word. Let the word of Christ dwell as we should.

DK: Yes. Yeah. More, it’s the identity with a movement.

BK: Yes.

DK: Or, the identity being distinct from a movement.

BK: Yeah.

DZ: Yeah.

DK: We don’t define ourselves by who we are against, who we’re opposed to. We define ourselves by who we are in Christ.

BK: Yeah. Even in Sovereign Grace Churches, I’m not thinking as I’m picking songs, “Is this a Sovereign Grace song?”

DK: Or there’s a quota that you gotta hit every week.


BK: But not David, he leads.

DK: 75% of the songs have to be something that I wrote.

DZ: I only lead songs I wrote. Yeah. [laughter]

BK: Okay. Next question.

DK: Great question.

BK: I was wondering if you could share your thoughts on how to navigate, shepherd, kindly address when members of the congregation say, “worship was really good today.” I think I understand the heart behind the comments, the intention possibly to encourage me as the worship leader, but knowing that God is the one who receives the worship and is not at all about me or the band, I often struggle with how to respond properly.

DZ: Have you ever heard that, Dev?

DK: Never. No one has ever told me that worship was good. No.


BK: David, I was saying you probably get it all the time.

DZ: Well, just recently, someone said to me after I led, “I loved your worship.” And I inwardly went, “Oooh!”


DZ: But I understand.

BK: You now what I say when someone says that?

DZ: What?

BK: I loved your worship. [laughter]

DZ: You, too.

BK: Yeah. [laughter]

DZ: You, too. I understand the, sentiment I guess, but it’s…

DK: I think our impulse, with that question, or comment, not a good comment for someone to make, that’s not the comment that we want to hear people make. But I think we can go right away to their desire is to encourage me in this moment.

BK: That’s exactly.

DZ: Yeah. Totally.

DK: And so I wanna receive that with gratefulness.

BK: Yes.

DZ: Yes.

DK: And a recognition that this is one expression of God’s grace at work in our midst.

BK: Yes.

DK: And my… It depends on the context that comment comes up in, but it’s gonna start with, “oh, thank you.” And that’s fine.

BK: It’s always good to start with gratefulness.

DK: Even though I’m uncomfortable with what you just said.


BK: Yeah.

DK: Thank you.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: Yes.

DK: And then from there, though, I think depending on the context, maybe you do ask questions. “Oh, thank you for saying that. What do you mean by that?”

BK: Yeah. What was encouraging to you?

DK: Yeah. And what was encouraging to you?

BK: Yeah.

DK: And then also orienting people towards a better understanding of what we’re doing as we gather, and asking, what was encouraging to you? Or you’d ask, “Oh, what did you see God doing among us today?”

BK: Yes. Point that out.

DZ: Great question.

BK: Yeah.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: I think that’s great. One thing that I’ve… I don’t know when I started doing this, but it is, as I’ve thought through this over the years and thought, what should that produce in us? And I just say, we have a glorious Savior, don’t we?

DK: Yeah.

BK: Because we do. And it’s not… I’m not deflecting. ‘Cause I think what you said, Devon, is exactly right. Someone comes up to us, they take the time, they say… They wanna encourage us.

DK: Yeah.

BK: That’s what they’re trying to.

DK: Yeah. They don’t have to say anything.

BK: Thank you so much.

DK: Yeah.

BK: Well, I so appreciate it. And it may be they walk off and then you just, “Well Lord, thank you for whatever encouraged them. That’s great.” But if you do have a moment, say, “Oh, that’s so great. What helped you? What was encouraging?”

DK: Yeah. And in the context of the local church, I would encourage that leader, that individual, that leader or pastor, let’s say, just have a very long-term perspective. And I think our understanding of what takes place Sunday to Sunday is something that’s formed and shaped…

BK: Yes.

DK: Over weeks and months and years. And so, being patient with that. And so, when…

BK: That’s a great point.

DK: When I hear that comment from a member of my congregation, it’s like, okay, we need to keep reminding people why we’re doing this… [laughter]

DZ: I was gonna say that.

DK: And what we’re aiming at.

DZ: Yeah. Pastorally, you’re trying to continue to remind them of the greater corporate gathering…

DK: Yep.

DZ: As opposed to the individual, my worship or your worship.

DK: Yep.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: I love it when someone will say, they’ve been coming to the church for a year and they’ll say, “When we first got here, we just cried every week.” And I say, “What was… ”

DK: Was it that bad?

BK: Yeah.


DK: And you came back?


BK: I say, “What was going on?” They say, “Well, we just never realized you could think that God’s love was so great and that Jesus really did take all my sins on himself, take my punishment so that I could be forgiven. He really did live a perfect life that is now credited to me.” They just talk about things about the gospel.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: How real it is because of the songs we sing, and it’s contained in the songs, and we talk about hardship and suffering and sin and guilt and shame and all those things. And how, who Jesus is and what he’s done is the answer to those.

DZ: Yes yes yes.

BK: That’s what’s happening. No one’s coming in saying, “oh man, the band was just unbelievable. That’s what… I just cried. It was so great.” It’s the truth. It’s the reality of what God has done. Yeah. That happens over time. All right. Number three.

DZ: Great questions.

BK: I’ve had some folks question our need in a New Testament context to ask for God’s mercy or sing songs that do, they indicate that it feels works based instead of walking triumphantly in grace, so Lord have mercy, have you ever had these types of questions?” Yes. “And if so, how have you responded?” You’re gonna find out in a moment. “For congregations that aren’t used to singing songs of confession or asking for God’s mercy, how do you introduce this idea in a way that invites participation?” Can I begin?

DK: Yeah, please do.

DZ: Yes.

BK: I grew up Catholic. And so I had very much a sense of, I’m never quite there. There’s always something more. And he had the idea of purgatory, where if you don’t make it when you die, if you’re not ready when you die, purgatory will cleanse. Finish it off and then you’ll be ready. So just this idea of we’re never quite forgiven. That was deeply ingrained in me. After I became a Christian for many years… Many years later, after I became a Christian, I realized I don’t, in one sense need to ask for God’s mercy. I have received God’s mercy. I can’t think of it at the moment. But therefore, since we have been justified by faith, Romans 5:1, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

DZ: Yeah.

BK: “We have obtained mercy. Through him, we have attained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. It’s all this confidence, this boldness, since then, we have a great high priest who, his pastor through heavens Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast.” Our confession, it’s just confidence. And yet… So I would be troubled by songs or prayers that say, “Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.” ‘Cause they could leave you with the impression that we aren’t quite forgiven yet. And we wanna make it very clear if we sing songs that have that phrase, “Lord have mercy” or confession as “Lord have mercy,” we wanna make it very clear that for those who have trusted in Jesus Christ, God has had mercy on them in Jesus Christ.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: There’s not a waiting for that to happen. Now, recently, I had someone explain to me that just as, I think John 13, when Jesus wanted to wash Peter’s feet. And Peter said, “No. Wash everything.” [chuckle] And Jesus said, “No, you’re clean. But if you don’t… One who’s bathed does not need to wash except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” But he went on to wash his feet. And there is a relational distance that can be felt at times because of our sins. And we’re saying, Lord, have mercy, in terms of relational, absence or relational…

DK: Distance.

BK: Distance. Thank you.

DK: That we feel.

BK: That we feel.

DK: That’s not reality.

DZ: Yes.

BK: It’s not reality.

DZ: Yes. Good.

BK: But we’re confident, that He will.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: That has helped me.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: But I never want to sing songs that are, “Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.”

DK: Divorced from the reality of the mercy that we’ve seen.

BK: Yes.

DZ: Yeah. Good.

DK: Yeah. I think of, Mark 9, where the father comes to Jesus asking for him to heal his son.

BK: Yes.

DK: And verse 21, Jesus asked his Father, “how long has this been happening? He said, from childhood. And it’s often cast him into the fire and water destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us,” he’s asking for mercy. “And Jesus said to him, if you can, all things are possible for one who believes. Immediately the father child cried out and said, “I believe, help my unbelief.””

BK: Yeah.

DK: And in a sense that’s where were at week to week. We believe these things.

DZ: Yes.

DK: We know these things to be true. This is the reality that defines my life. But boy, am I prone to wander and prone to forget.

BK: Yes. Yes.

DK: Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief.

DZ: Yeah.

DK: And so that’s why we cry out. Lord have mercy.

BK: Yes.

DK: Because he has… We can cry out because he has shown us mercy.

DZ: Yeah. Well, and I think… It was interesting ’cause we had a songwriter’s retreat.

BK: Yeah.

DZ: And we were talking about this exact theme. And I think an example of a song that does this well is Lord Have Mercy that was written by Jordan and Mark Willerton. And in the first verse, it almost talks to unbelievers that might be present in your gathering, but also believers as we look back to what we’ve received, it’s the “Lord have mercy on us, sinners in need of grace. Forgive us our transgressions and lead us in your righteous ways.” And verse 2 makes this pivot, the blood you shed has paid our debts.

BK: Yes.

DZ: “Jesus, you’ve washed our sins away.”

BK: Yes. Yes.

DZ: “We trust your grace. Believe in faith, and you, we have all righteousness. Oh Lord, you’ve shown us mercy.”

BK: Yes. Yeah, yeah.

DZ: It’s that… It’s both…

DK: Yeah. And it functions as a cry to make me feel the goodness of this grace.

BK: Yes.

DK: Make me know and grasp all that you’ve done for me in Jesus. That’s what we’re asking for. We’re not asking that, God would show what he’s been withholding.

BK: Yes.

DK: We’re asking that he would make it clear to us, that this indeed is what he’s done.

BK: Yeah.

DK: And help me to walk and live in the good and the grace of that.

BK: Yeah. So, as to the question, how would you help people with that? I think it is making those points that in saying, Lord have mercy, we’re not expressing that as a desire for God for the first time to have mercy or for God for the last sins we did, to have mercy again.


BK: He has shown us mercy.

DZ: Yes.

BK: I think the Boswell, Papa song, Lord Have Mercy does that, and Aaron Keys and James Steely, yeah. It holds that tension “for what we have done and left undone, we fall on your countless mercies. Sins that are known and those unknown, we call on your name so holy.” That verse ends how deeply we need a savior. Second verse ends, “there on the tree, a King among thieves. You bled for a world’s betrayal. You love to the end our merciful friend, how pure and forever faithful.” And then the course is, “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on us.” But it’s with that confidence that we know because of Christ…

DK: Yeah.

BK: He does.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: It’s so…

DK: I know. It’s so good just to dwell upon the rich mercy, that we’ve received in Jesus.

BK: Yes.

DK: I’m grateful for this question, so we can have that time to talk about. [chuckle]

BK: Yeah. No, it’s true.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: It’s true. All right, last question here. “You have discussed a couple of times your rehearsals for Sunday music is around 20 to 25 minutes. At the church I serve in, we rehearse at least one and a half hour on Sunday mornings with one to one and a half hour on Saturday, Friday as well, when time permits. Is your rehearsal so short because most of your professional, very experienced musicians, or because you consider practice and rehearsal separate? What does your practice look like? I.e, do you practice as a group or each individual musicians practice on their own?” I can assure you that we’re not all professional musicians.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: Devon, your church is very different. You have small team.

DK: There would be one musician that we would have that helps lead support the singing that would be considered a professional and no one else would be considered…

BK: Yeah.

DK: Professional. But no… And so we would have… I would say we have about 45 minutes total from the time we show up and are setting up, to the time we’re done. That means we normally are playing 20, 25 minutes.

BK: Yeah.

DK: 30 minutes. And so when I lead, that’s the case. I’ve got two other guys that will frequently lead and that’s also the case for them.

BK: So we are to assume your music is just bad or?


DK: No, I wouldn’t have made that assumption.

DZ: No.

BK: No, we shouldn’t. But that’s what people can think.

DZ: Yeah.

DK: Yeah. No, but I think it’s because we’re very clear on what we’re aiming at.

BK: Yeah.

DK: And again, that simple category of we’re here to support singing. And so a lot of what I might… If I have a Saturday rehearsal and a Sunday rehearsal, I’m gonna fill up that space with something. And so I’m gonna fill it up with, well, let’s play that song all the way through again. Or let’s…

DZ: Yeah, true.

DK: Work out something creative or unique to do here. We’re gonna fill up the space with stuff. That isn’t bad, but it’s not stuff that we need to be doing to support the singing of the church. And so, I mean, in my context, so we, definitely err on the side of simplicity.

BK: Yes. You’d be the more minimalist for sure. For sure.

DK: On that spectrum. But that doesn’t mean it’s not led well or accompanied well, or that it’s really distracting because, “Oh, wow. They really didn’t practice.” And then there’s also the clarity on this is something you’ve helped me with a lot over the years or in my younger years it just like, focus on the right things as far as what in what you’re practicing.

BK: Yeah. Yeah.

DK: And generally, I mean, so we’d be at a place where, musicians aren’t messing up in the verse when all the chords are already written. It’s all right there. Like, that’s not where there’s gonna be a problem. Where there could be a problem is, oh, how… After the end of this course, what happens?

BK: Yes.

DZ: Yeah.

DK: And so it’s like, okay, so I wanna make sure I spend a little bit of time there. That’s what we need to practice…

DZ: Road mapping.

DK: But I don’t need to practice. This song has three verses. We don’t need to practice all three of them.

BK: Yeah, yeah.

DZ: Yeah.

DK: And then you’re also reminding people in the process just, giving them the big picture for what we’re doing. And so how about you sit out this verse. Don’t play this verse. And let’s think about the fact that this song is a hymn and we’ve got four or five verses, and so we don’t want everyone to sound the same. So let’s do this thing differently and this thing different, but we don’t have to play it because we know the direction, know where we’re going.

DZ: Yeah. Well, I was just gonna say, I think what’s interesting is it’s a philosophical issue, not a professional issue.

DK: Yeah, that’s good.

DZ: ‘Cause I think the irony is… So I’ve been a professional musician for, I don’t know, 17 years, and I practiced 45 minutes to an hour with other professionals in a church context. We could have all just shown up just… But the philosophy of that was, hey, let’s run it again. Let’s run it again.

DK: We’ve got the time.

DZ: Right. We have the time.

DK: And certainly, there is some difference, from a… I mean, I’m not using it in a negative way, but from a performance standpoint, in you practicing for an hour. And just showing up and playing. But I think it’s gonna be… It’s pretty marginal. I mean, from my experience and from all that I’ve seen, it’s pretty marginal. So for the person asking this question, if you just altogether dropped your Friday or Saturday… Your weekly rehearsal earlier in the week, maybe there will be a slight drop initially and as you adjust, but it’s gonna be so marginal that it’s not really gonna affect the practice of singing in your church with the week.

DZ: I wonder though, I wonder if you would feel it if you were doing… If you were never repeating songs or rarely repeating songs.

DK: That’s a good point. Yeah, that’s a good point.

DZ: Week to week. I think when we get asked this question, I think when they figure out how many songs we’re doing a year, I think that’s more of a shock.

BK: Yeah. Which is about 100, 100, 110.

DK: And I’m more in the 80…

BK: Yeah.

DZ: Yeah.

DK: Area.

DZ: So that would be much harder if those were continually new songs because you’re continually going, “I’ve never heard this. I don’t even know how it goes. And I didn’t listen to it in the week.”

BK: Which speaks to, does each individual musician practice on their own? We expect the musicians who come in on a Sunday morning to be familiar with the songs. Not, this is the first time you ever heard it. Although I just played a conference, led at the RELAY Conference, the Sovereign Grace Young Adults Conference, and somehow they didn’t get the song list in advance. So we had… [laughter]

DK: Yeah.

BK: People showing up, but we still got the rehearsals done in 45 minutes for a good chunk of songs, eight, nine songs. Because they’re just going, okay, this doesn’t… I’m not performing, I’m not… Give me the song, one vocalist had listened to the song a number of times and I had to convince them that, “you know this song,” but there was a sense of pressure that, “No, I don’t know it.” “Well, no, you do.”

DZ: You do. Yeah.

DK: But it’s so funny to me, even that side of it, like the way we would teach new song is we’d just sing it.

BK: Yeah, yeah.

DK: And I am expecting and wanting to choose songs that people can do this, that people are gonna be able to participate at that first time we sing it.

DZ: Yeah, for sure.

DK: And so even with the vocalists, sometimes I’ll have times where we’re teaching a new… We’re singing a song we haven’t sung before and the vocalist is telling me that, “oh, yeah, I was listening to it on the way over here.” Like in the car.

BK: Great.

DK: As far as like… And that’s the first time they’re listening to this song ever. But that’s fine. Because I know that’s the experience of everybody in the congregation.

BK: Yes. Yeah.

DZ: Yes.

DK: And so that’s fine.

DZ: And you’re okay.

BK: And what a joy to be able to learn it together.

DK: Together.

DZ: Yeah. Totally. And also…

DK: I mean, I should know the song.

BK: You should. Somebody should know the song.

DZ: Well also, but you’re not going to be a slave to the arrangement that everybody is…

DK: That’s also, yeah, a big difference.

DZ: Big difference. Because that also is pressure on an electric guitar player and it’s pressure on a drummer and it’s pressure on mostly those two because it’s like, okay, I have to play this part.

DK: Yeah. Well, and that’s a… I think just a helpful factor in evaluating what’s a great song, is this a song that we should do this Sunday if the effectiveness of that song depends on the execution of an arrangement.

BK: Yeah. Yeah.

DZ: Like oh, the song is just not gonna work if we cannot nail this, then it’s probably, perhaps it’s not a great congregational song. Like I would… The songs that we teach, I would want to be, we can sing them and we can sing them passionately in an engaged way, even if we got nobody accompanying it, ’cause the melody is compelling, the truth is compelling. It’s like we can just sing it.

BK: And let me just say it’s fine, ’cause we’re always trying to find that balance. It’s fine to do a song that’s very arranged.

DZ: Oh, yeah.

BK: But if your church is dependent on arrangements to sing, that’s a problem. Because then the arrangement becomes what you need to really sing wholeheartedly to the Lord.

DK: Well, and what you might find in that instance is if the church is dependent upon the arrangements that they’re probably not singing.

BK: Yeah. But they’re enjoying the music.

DK: But they’re enjoying the music.


DZ: Well, and also to your point, Bob, like on a Sunday morning, it also isn’t just about, “Okay, start, stop, next. Start, stop, next.” There are great times when we’re playing the whole song through on a Sunday morning in our practice where we go, “What if we change this?”

BK: Yes. Yes.

DZ: And that organically happens. And that’s exciting. It’s not to say…

DK: That’s just ’cause you’re a professional.


BK: Probably so.

DZ: Okay. Yeah, probably.

BK: And there are some details that we don’t know about the person asking the question.

DK: Yeah, absolutely.

BK: Like, do people read notes? What kind of….

DK: Well, if they’re reading notes, don’t even have practice. I mean, it’s all right there.

BK: That’s right. It’s all right there.


DK: No.

BK: Well, I was talking to someone recently who reads mostly charts and they’re saying, “Our people just feel more comfortable playing the whole song through.” And I was saying to them, “Sure. Yeah.” Well just tell them, just feel comfortable playing it the next time all the way through.

DK: Yeah. When we lead this, we will play it all the way through.

BK: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And feel comfortable then.

DK: Sometimes they’ll have somebody doing lyrics, they’ll ask, like, “are we gonna sing the second verse? I noticed you skipped it, but does that mean we’re just not gonna sing it?”

DZ: I’ve had people ask me that.

DK: It’s like, “No. Oh no, we’ll sing it. We just don’t need to sing it in practice.”

BK: No skipping all second verses this morning. So, yeah, we do have some skilled musicians, but most of the musicians in our church are…

DZ: Oh yeah.

BK: Just there. They’re good people. They’re good musicians.

DZ: And they’re not making mistakes.

BK: No.

DZ: They’re not distracting. But they’re not paid professionals…

BK: No.

DZ: That do this for a living.

BK: And we have musicians of different levels of skill. So if someone… Like, if a drummer can’t play all the riffs, or…

DZ: Well, to a metronome.

BK: To a metronome, well, we do train them to…

DZ: We do train them.

BK: To ask them to do, to click. Not we use a click all the time, but we use it a lot and it just helps us stay together. But that’s… We don’t make that as… We just find it helpful.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: But I was thinking a guitar player, we have a guitar player who doesn’t play licks, they play leads. That’s okay. We still use them. Don’t have to make it be a certain thing. So yeah. That really helps with rehearsals, what David was talking about earlier, about finding the points of juncture, like where things change. You don’t have to go through the whole thing.

DK: Yeah. A song is like a train going down the tracks. A song that we’re singing as a congregation, train going down the tracks. And it’s not gonna go off those tracks unless there’s some junction that’s not set up right. So I’m breaking the tracks.

BK: Yes. So we don’t rehearse less because we don’t care, but we’re aiming at something specific and we do what’s necessary to get to that point. And do what’s necessary to get to the point of serving the end of your congregation singing joyfully loudly in a way that exalts the Lord.

DK: Amen. Amen.

DZ: Yeah.

DK: Good question.

BK: These are great questions. All of them are great questions. And if you have a question that you want to send in, send it to soundplusdoctrine. Every word spelled out @sovereigngrace.com. And we’d love to hear from you.

DZ: Yeah. Thanks so much.