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to the 20th Family Worship Newsletter, 31 August 2000
Previous newsletters are available on the website archives at
FW Site stats
Recent site additions
How to teach children to worship
Songwriters' encouragement - top 20 writing tips
With relentless "Humour spots" in-between every item...
FW Site Stats
Newsletter subscribers are now around 1,600 - a special welcome to new
Visitors to the website continued at an average of over 600 people a day
through August, with a peak day of nearly 1,000 visitors.
Recent site additions
The MIDI files added to the site recently for the top 3 songs have
proved popular. As with all of our resources, the files are completely
free for use in worship. We have also had a number of requests to use
the files as background music on web pages or in presentations, for
which we are also always happy to grant free permission.
A man was driving down a country road, when he spotted a farmer standing
in the middle of a field of grass. He stopped the car watched the farmer
just standing there, doing nothing, for several minutes.
Puzzled, the man got out of the car, walked over the farmer and asked
him, "Excuse me, but what are you doing?"
The farmer replied "I'm trying to win a Nobel Prize."
"How?" asks the man, puzzled.
"Well I heard they give the Nobel Prize to people who are out standing
in their field"
The enhanced Song-by-email facility, which was launched a few months
ago, has been used to deliver several thousand songs.
Recently, we've received feedback from Hotmail users that the zip file
attachments cannot be downloaded from a Hotmail email account. We've now
discovered the reason for this, and it is as follows:
Microsoft have added a new security feature (which some industry experts
have kindly described as "extreme overkill"!) to Hotmail, in response to
the recent global virus attacks, which means that various file types
cannot be downloaded at all, including .exe, .vbs and .zip files. Since
the song-by-email files come as zip files (to save space and download
time), Hotmail rejects them.
Going forward, we will be adding all the individual files in their
original, unzipped format directly to the website to allow Hotmail users
to download them directly. In the meanwhile, Hotmail users can use the
original song-by-email facility, which takes a few days to process, but
does deliver the files in an unzipped format.
Please be assured that all files on the FW site are scanned thoroughly
for viruses, and re-scanned regularly using two different scanning
software programmes, with the latest updates available, and all are
certified clean, free from viruses, and low in cholesterol too.
FW4 - "RISING GENERATION" (provisional title)
Recording will start in November for the next Family Worship album - see
"Songwriters' Encouragement" below if you would like to submit an
original song for consideration to include on the album.
Some useful church language definitions:
AMEN: The only part of any prayer that everyone knows
AND IN CONCLUSION: A required statement, made halfway through the
BAPTISTRY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY
BULLETIN: Church information, read only during the sermon
HYMN: A song of praise, usually sung in a key three tones higher than
that of the congregation's range
PEW: A medieval torture device still found in many modern churches
PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of the service,
consisting of the pastors, the choir, and latecomers looking for seats
RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song on a Sunday morning, often sung a little
more quietly, since most of the people have already left
USHERS: The only people in the church who don't know the seating
capacity of a pew
How to teach children to worship
This is a question that comes up regularly in churches across the world,
and there is an urgency to the question. If the church is to grow and
increase, then the younger generations will need to be trained and
inspired to be more passionate, more wholehearted and more committed
worshippers than the generation that has gone before.
Even in parts of the world where the church has been growing at an
amazing rate in recent years, history teaches us that past Revivals have
only ever decreased from one generation to the next: the greatest
challenge for the church is to see an increase.
It's been said that worship is best "caught not taught". Children learn
best by observation and repetition. In other words, we can talk to them
about worship, give them instruction and direction, teach them songs,
and so on, but the way that they will learn best is by observing what we
do and then imitating it. Paul said: "Imitate me, even as I imitate
What kind of worshipper are you? Would you be happy for a child to
imitate your lifestyle and worship??
As a "worship leader", I can stand in front of a congregation and lead a
time of worship, which may have some impact on the children there in
terms of helping them become worshippers. Far more telling, however, is
the way that I behave at home, and what my children observe of my day to
day reactions, the words that I speak, and choices of how I spend my
Maybe you are not a parent, but how you behave at work or in school,
with friends, with colleagues, will have an impact on others. Every
Christian is called to be a worship leader! Maybe not as a musician, or
singer, or up-front person, but in the way that we lead a lifestyle of
worship, so others will also be drawn to worship Jesus.
There is no neutrality in worship. Or, put another way, everybody
worships! Whether deliberately or not, the people and things that are
given real value or worth in our lives are worshipped. Money,
possessions, relationships, pop stars, sporting heroes - all can become
idols. Children, whether from a Christian background or not, are taught
to worship by virtue of what they are taught is of value and worth.
The calling to the church is to teach that Jesus is the ultimate
treasure - "a pearl of great price" - and he is the only one worth
giving worship to. Scripture is full of God presenting choices: "choose
this day whom you will worship", and the choices that we make will
determine not only our own life and destiny, but will also have an
impact on others, and especially children.
The good news is that the Spirit of God is always ready to reveal Jesus
to us, and Jesus is the way to the Father's heart. Let's pray for a
greater revelation in our own hearts and lives of Jesus, so that our
response of worship will help not only ourselves to lead a more Godly
life, but will also encourage others to do the same.
(For practical tips on leading all-age services and worship, visit
A man told his doctor he wasn't able to do all the things around the
house that he used to do. When the examination was complete, he said,
"Now, Doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what's wrong with
"Well, in plain English," the doctor replied, "You're just a plain old
"Thank You." said the man. "Now give me the medical term, so I can tell
We are in the planning stages for the next Family Worship album - FW4.
Provisionally titled "Rising Generation", as with all the previous
albums, there will a wide range of songs and genres: some songs are more
overtly child-oriented, some youth-oriented, and some adult, but all are
ideal for use in Sunday-morning worship or other times when all ages are
Family Worship has always been a grass-roots initiative, and every album
has included debut songs from new writers (some of whom have gone on to
sparkling musical careers; most of whom, however, have yet to give up
the day job!). We are keen to hear songs from anyone who would like to
submit them for consideration; the only criteria is that they must be
original songs that are suitable for worship, and ideally have been
"road-tested" in your local church.
If you are interested, please send the songs to the address shown on the
FW contact page: http://www.familyworship.org.uk/contact.htm
Below are 20 tips for effective songwriting, which was posted on the
Christian Songwriters email discussion forum. (If you are interested in
joining, then visit http://ChristianSongwriting.org - you can join a
list which is open to anyone looking for the opportunity to discuss
writing, and have their songs critiqued)
20 QUESTIONS FOR SONGWRITERS
1) Do I know enough about the topic to write about it or should I grow
in my knowledge through reading and study?
2) Have I spent enough time brainstorming, i.e. writing down ideas
without being critical
3) Can I state the theme of the song in one sentence?
4) Why do I want to write this song? (Something about the music style,
melody or lyrical focus should bring a freshness to the topic)
5) Does the song have sound doctrinal content?
6) Will the song encourage passion for God in people's hearts?
7) Is the focus clear and consistent (to God, about God, to the
Father/Son/Holy Spirit, etc.)
8) Is there an aspect of grace and the Gospel that should be included?
9) Do the verses illustrate and/or expand on the chorus? They should
be in some way connected.
10) Is the title interesting and appealing?
11) Does the verse head into the chorus musically and lyrically?
12) Are any of the lyrics vague or questionable?
13) Do all the lyrics relate to the main theme?
14) Is the chorus the high point?
15) Can you repeat the chorus easily?
16) Is the range accessible? (usually low A to high C)
17) Is the melody or harmony too simple or complex?
18) Is there anything different, fresh, or creative in the song that
makes people want to sing it?
19) Are there any parts that bother me, that I'm accepting as "good
20) Is this just like all my other songs? (It's a good idea to add new
music to your "creative reservoir" by intentionally listening to new
Acknowledgement: This list is from the "Songwriters' Workshop, PDI
Worship Conference - A passion for the Glory of God 2000" (PDI
Ministries can be reached at: 7881 Beechcraft Ave, Suite B,
Gaithersburg, MD 20879, USA)
Walking up to a department store's fabric counter, a pretty girl asked,
"I want to buy this material for a new dress. How much does it cost?"
"Only a kiss a yard," replied the cheeky male assistant
"That's fine," replied the girl. "I'll take ten yards"
With anticipation written all over his face, the clerk hurriedly
measured out and wrapped the cloth, then held it out eagerly.
The girl took the package and pointed to the elderly man standing beside
her. "Grandpa will pay the bill," she smiled.
The new UK Christian portal site that we've been mentioning for the past
couple of months, Solidrock, is now live. Family Worship is delighted to
be associated with the site (providing content and newsletters for the
Kids Zone) as well as music links, so do check it out. The site features
excellent search capabilities.
Family Worship is pleased to have been listed in the following sites
A new site with imaginative gifts with a Christian theme or design, as
well as an intriguing "Triple Dog Dare" can be found at:
Check out http://www.acrossthewayforyou.com for some original music,
including praise and worship
For the fascinating Ukika Indian Church story, visit
If you have a website that you would like us to cover in future
newsletters, please email
River of Life Discount Christian Bookstore, US distributors for the
Family Worship resources are online with a great site featuring an
ever-increasing range of worship recordings, songbooks, etc. Check it
Don't forget that Family Worship, as well as loads of other "grass roots
level" ministries are featured in the christian sections of mp3.com
This newsletter is written by Mike Burn and is published by Family
Worship Resources, part of Ichthus Christian Fellowship, London, UK
Copyright 2000, Mike Burn.
Inclusion of links and quotations does not imply full endorsement of the
contents. The newsletter may be forwarded or reproduced in full or in
part providing that the source is acknowledged.
Thanks for reading, and if you've made it this far, or even if you just
skipped to the end before hitting delete, blessings to you in Jesus'
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