Behind The Scenes - Crossroads Church

Ever wonder what worship ministries are like at other churches? In a new format of the podcast, I’m talking to churches that are doing things well to find out what goes on behind the scenes in their worship ministry. First up is Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Crossroads boasts over 35,000 people in attendance in their weekend services. Wow! Let’s find out what their worship ministry looks like and how they train up enough musicians to fill all the needed roles. Enjoy the episode, and if you’re helped, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts

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Alex Enfiedjian 00:00 Today’s episode is sponsored by Planning Center, the best way to plan schedule and resource your teams for your upcoming services. Here’s a little tip about Planning Center that you may not know, you can use Planning Center to schedule multiple types of services throughout your church. So for example, at our church, we just recently started scheduling our high school students are college age, our Spanish teams and our kids teams along with our main sanctuary teams, which we’ve always done. And this allows us to share musicians incredibly easily. And so because everyone is on Planning Center, if I tried to schedule a high school student in the main sanctuary, who’s already being used in the high school room, it will notify me that there’s a scheduling conflict, and I’ll have to find a different plan. And it’ll even offer suggestions of who I could use instead. And the same is true for them. If they see that I’m not using one of my electric guitar players, they can use Planning Center to schedule that person for the high school room. So it’s really allowed us to share our musicians throughout the church. It’s created a sense of unity and cohesion, and has really just bolstered the fact that we are one team of musicians who serve our church, regardless of what venue it’s in. So check that feature out, if you haven’t, there’s about a billion other things that Planning Center can do. And if you’re not using it, yet, you’re wasting hours and hours of your life on unnecessary administration. So check out Planning Center, it is free for 30 days. And you can check all of that out at planning dot Center planning dot center.

Alex Enfiedjian 01:30 Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the worship ministry training podcast. My name is Alex Enfiedjian, your host, thank you so much for being a listener to this podcast, however long you’ve been listening, I’m grateful that you would allow me to speak whatever little knowledge I have into your ear drums every month. And so thanks for being a part of this. And if you’re new listener, thanks for joining, I hope you’ll be helped by today’s episode. And I hope you’ll dig through the archive list and check out what we’ve talked about in the past over the last five years, because we’ve tried to cover a bunch of topics that are going to help you in your worship ministry walk. So today we’re going to try something different. I want to try a different format for the podcast from time to time where I don’t know about you, but I’m very helped when I get to just sit down and talk with other worship pastors or worship leaders and be like, how do you do it at your church? What about this? What about this topic? You know, what about these problems? How do you handle this, and I love just hearing their wisdom and their insight. And so from time to time, I’m going to go talk to churches who are further ahead of me, and maybe further ahead of you. And we can learn together from them on how they do their ministry, how they structure their ministry. And so first step in this kind of new format is Crossroads church in Ohio. This is a gigantic church, it’s bigger than a city of 35,000 people attend this church on a weekly basis. And so I sit down with Robbie and Justin to talk about their ministry and how they structure things and how they, you know, raise up enough musicians to cover that many campuses that they have. And then we also talk about their new single god of the breakthrough, which I will link in the show notes because it’s a really cool song that you guys can check out and potentially introduced to your church. So let’s get into this conversation with the guys from Crossroads church.

Alex Enfiedjian 03:12 Hey, everybody, I am here with Robbie and Justin from Crossroads church in Cincinnati. This is a gigantic Church of like 35,000, which should be really interesting to dig in. Robbie, and Justin, why don’t you take a second Introduce yourself. Tell us how long you’ve been at the church on staff and what your roles are there.

Robbie Reider 03:30 Yeah. Hey, my name is Robbie. And I oversee the worship and music Robbie writer at crossroads. And we’ve been here at crossroads for about 11 years, but friends with Crossroads for probably 16 years. Yeah, just lots of connections even before we were, we were a part of the community officially and on staff. Yeah. And my name is Justin mosteller. And I’m one of the new guys. So I’ve been on staff only about eight months. But my wife and I’ve been worshipping here part of the community for a little over two years now are right at two years. And so worship here in the community friends with a community for like, a decade as well. I’ve had friends that have worked there over time and loved what this church was doing in our city for a long time, then worshipping there for two years. And now I’m on the team in a staff capacity for eight months. Cool. And what exactly do you do? The worship pastor at our Oakley campus.

Alex Enfiedjian 04:26 So you guys are a multi site church, how many sites do you guys have?

Robbie Reider 04:29 So we have 12 physical sites. That means a live worship experience with a broadcast message coming into that space. The rooms range from 3500 seats to 150 seats. And then we also have a what we call Crossroads anywhere. And that’s our digital community. And so from a from a digital community standpoint, there is a slightly modified broadcast done that goes out to that community and so there are loads and loads of very small communities that have a completely from beginning to end digital experience. And do that in living rooms or unity houses or rec centers or movie theaters happening all around the country.

Alex Enfiedjian 05:15 Talk about your worship ministry in general, like how many people are involved total, like, let’s limit it to just musicians and singers at this point, we won’t talk about technical audio, like how many people are involved serving in your church in that area?

Robbie Reider 05:30 You know, Justin and I were chatting this just before we jumped on the call with you. And unless we got into Planning Center and went through and started, obviously, not obviously, but we use Planning Center. And we also use the Bible and planning centers. joking. But planning centers a big part of what we do. We didn’t go in and count but my guess is between all of our those 12 campuses and volunteers, it’s somewhere between 100 and 125 musicians that are spread out across a couple different states and a few 100 miles. Yeah.

Alex Enfiedjian 06:06 Yeah, so that averages to like, what, like 10 people per site? Really? I mean, if you’ve got 120 125, and you’ve got 12 sites, you know, I mean, obviously, that’s rough average, because some of them are gonna be more populated in one area. So does that mean your volunteers are serving every single week in some of the locations like it’s one band, and they’re on all week long.

Robbie Reider 06:25 So at some of our smaller campuses, they may do two services on a Sunday morning versus some of our larger campuses are doing four or five services over a weekend. And so the capacity of someone who serves all weekend at four or five services, that person might play two times a month, maybe once a month. So I would say that the number of volunteers is sort of proportional to the size of the community. Justin, anything to add there?

Unknown Speaker 06:55 Yeah, I mean, I think we all try to help our volunteers have healthy rhythms, like it’s different at each of our sites, we’ve got a site that’s there teams made up of a lot of young college age, or just out of college, men and women. And then a site like my team is older folks on the team that have kids in high school, some out of high school, we’ve got then a guys and girls who are having young families. And so it’s always trying to give them a healthy balance, and helping them because they have families, they have jobs outside of what we’re asking them to do. And at the end of the day, we’re about people, rather than what they can give to us. You know,

Alex Enfiedjian 07:32 yeah, I love that. I think that’s so important. You’re looking out for your people, you’re not burning them out. And I would encourage all the listeners to really consider that as well, with your scheduling. Now just being on it’s like 125, out of 35,000 in attendance. I know a lot of those people are watching online and stuff. But like, that seems like there’s not a huge number of people involved in music is that because your standards are really high? Or, honestly, we have about the same amount of people involved in ours as well, about 120 125 people that’s kind of including tech as well. So we don’t have a huge number of volunteers for the size of our church as well. What is it? Do you think that you know, has limited that number? Is that intentional? Or is that just kind of the way it’s fallen?

Robbie Reider 08:15 I would say a lot of it has to come with how fast we’ve grown. So when I showed up 11 years ago, we were probably around 7000 people on one campus. When we jumped into multi site, we had a plan for like one or two other campuses. And then it was really apparent that there were opportunities that were presented. And we just thought, wow, the Lord is giving us an opportunity to buy this old school, they offered it to us for a steal. You know what, gosh, that’s another campus we didn’t plan for or budget for. We didn’t have a leadership pipeline for. So like that one came online super fast. And then we launched two campuses in one in one year that we didn’t plan on, because the opportunities were there. So I would say one we’re playing catch up. To be totally honest, we’re playing catch up. And the other part is, I think we’ve had really outdated mechanisms for getting people involved. I would say we want things to be great. And when we do that, it communicates unintentionally, that there’s not a need. You know, so people just go Oh, well, there’s always a band up there. They look like they’re doing fine. And they don’t know that like, that’s the fourth drummer we called. Yeah. So that there’s an aspect of us making opportunities for people to get involved. And I would I will say this too. This is confession. Our best efforts up until maybe two years ago looked like this. We had a link on our website that said, Hey, if you want to get involved, we would love to have you submit an audition and they would send in a video or they’d throw it up on YouTube. And then we would then send them some tracks and we would say hey, here’s some of our original music. learn this stuff. And then you’re going to come into our studio. If you’re a drummer, Alex, let’s say you’re the drummer, I’d be Alex, great to have you, we pulled up the song called Psalm 31, we muted all the drums, here comes the click, here comes the prompts, and you play the song verbatim. And it’s me and a handful of other people sitting on the other side of the glass, while someone comes into the studio, which may be a completely new environment for them. And they run this gauntlet, right? In what an intimidating process for someone to come in. Once they did that, they would come in and jump in on a rehearsal with us, they would watch a rehearsal, and then they would come in and set out for our drummer. But it was not a good process, it meant we said, No, because it was such a high bar. We said no to 97% of the people, you know? And how am I to know that that’s the person’s skill, or nerves or heart or you know, any of those things. So, in the last two years, we’ve created a new process that does a couple things, it lowers the bar. And it also gives a much longer runway for people to acclimate for us to discern where they’re at. We call it worship training. And Justin’s a big part of that. I’m going to just when we talk about worship training,

Unknown Speaker 11:17 yeah, it was one of the things that when I came in, it had been about a year and a half old. And it happens at two of our sites, our Oakley campus, and then our Mason campus, which is another top three or four in attendance as far as size wise campuses. And it’s a very intentional development process for musicians. And so you still audition for that for worship training, you come in audition. But like Robbie said, The bar is a little lower than what it used to be, because we’re not going to throw you right on stage on a weekend, the next week, we’re going to say, Hey, where are you at? Where’s your starting level and establish that and then go, this development process is really built to get you say, from G to P, on the musician scale, rather than a to z, right. And so if we establish, oh, this is where you’re starting great, then we bring you into our program. And it happens about kind of like in four quarters each year, maybe eight to 12 weeks sessions. And basically, we have people in training and every role in a band, that’s a normal role for our, you know, normal weekend band. So you might have three drummers, three keys, players, three electric guitars, two bass players, four vocalists, something like that. And then we have a coach that’s from our weekend team. And the coach is basically, they’re a step ahead. They’re not necessarily experts, but they’re a step ahead in the process of those people. And they’re all in with our culture, with our team, our values, and they’re there to coach. And so those people who were in training, we give them two songs each week, and every Thursday night, they come in from 530 to 7pm. And it is just, Hey, get up as a band, play the song, and then we’re going to give you on the spot coaching, and training and feedback. And it’s going to be done in love. But it’s going to be done directly. So you don’t have to wonder did I play that? Right? No, there’s a guitar coach that’s going, Hey, what if you did this? I liked what you did there. But what if you tried it this way? What if you did this? It’s been great for us. And that’s a way that we’re trying to play this catch up game, to supply musicians to all of our sites.

Alex Enfiedjian 13:26 Yeah, so you have three of each, let’s just say three of each team member. And they’ll get up and they’ll play two songs, and then they’ll rotate out. And then the next people will play two songs and then rotate out and then you give coaching throughout that process.

Unknown Speaker 13:39 Yeah, so a little tweak to that it’d be like we have two songs each night. So we may do five or six reps with the first song, and you get up in in that band plays the song once and then there’s coaching right after that. And then hey, let’s do it. Again. Let’s take what we just gave you in coaching, apply it do another rep, that’s great. All right, let’s switch out with another band member. Give them a spot. Because there’s great one, you’re applying feedback immediately. But you’re also watching someone else do the thing that you were just doing and you’re learning from them. You’re also going Oh, what if they did it like this? Or Oh, I didn’t do it like that. That’s great. That’s really great. And that happens that everyone I mean, we have a worship leaders and training all of those things.

Alex Enfiedjian 14:22 Yeah, that’s really amazing. Like, that’s kind of my dream. I would love that to happen here at our church. So when you do that, and it’s like an eight to 12 week process. Do they go through it until they’re fully baked? Or do you? Do they have to go through it again and again and again until they’re ready? Or how does that how do you know someone’s ready? And then where do you plug them in?

Unknown Speaker 14:43 It’s definitely one of the pieces. We’re still tweaking. Right. So we’re taking right now we’re taking the summer off and I have a team, a leadership team with that we’re retooling and trying to figure out the best way what’s most effective. Right now. We have people that have been in it for two years and Part of our philosophy of that has been, we’re not only preparing you for a weekend service, we’re also preparing you for, hey, our prison ministry needs a live band next month, oh, this being could do really well, in that setting. For me as a worship leader development, I have, you know, hey, I’ve got a men’s group of 25 guys that needs a worship leader. Oh, that would be great training for you to go do that, that’s going to help you be a great weekend worship leader too, but it’s different settings and things. So you could be in it. As long as we we see progressive, you know, you’re progressing forward, we continue to want to coach and develop you, when it comes to a point where we go, Oh, you’re not you’re really hitting a wall. So like, for a vocalist, I find it there most often, if you’re really hitting a wall, what what you need now is a one on one vocal coach to really take you to the next level, because we can’t get you to to x, y, and z, we can get you to o or P on the scale. You know what I mean? Once we feel like somebody is ready, like, yeah, you’re showing the values, you’re showing the right heart of worship, and you’re showing the skill level we want, then we put them in a thing called weekend trials. And so that’s where we open them up to all of our sites. And we tell our other worship leaders, hey, this person’s open for trials. Now, here’s what they’re really strong it, here’s what they’re going to need development at, or coaching at when you have them in. And then our other sites, have them in for a weekend and put them on the team is exactly what it’s called a trial weekend. So that worship leader then communicates with us on the back end, hey, here’s what they did really well, oh, man, here’s what they missed. I was surprised that they missed this or whatever, you know, I believe we do three to five of those before you can graduate. So before you ever graduate, wish to trade, and you’ve been on a weekend, three to five times at different sites in different expressions of the community. And we’ve gotten direct feedback from those worship leaders that is really, really direct and super helpful. You know,

Alex Enfiedjian 17:03 this is amazing. Is this like a three month minimum to like, let’s say eight or nine month process, like from start to finish? I

Unknown Speaker 17:11 think so I think the average we would probably say would be in that nine to 12 months. thing. But no, earlier than three months, we’ve had some great especially lately, we’ve had like great drummers come through. And you can tell pretty quickly like, Oh, yeah, they get what we’re doing. But man, it’s still great for them, because they’re on our weakened stage in their training in the training program on Thursday nights. For a lot of them, it’s the first time they’ve ever used in years. For a lot of them. It’s the first time they’re triggering Ableton things like that. So you can never have enough reps with that. And we want to give them the reps they need in worship training before we ever send them into a weekend so that they’re set up to win. And they feel super confident when they go in for the weekend trials, and are really encouraged in that, you know, yeah, you’re setting them up to succeed. Yeah, go ahead.

Robbie Reider 18:01 Yeah. So I would say that worship training isn’t music lessons, right? It’s music coaching, right. And in it, we’re focused on both the competency like to do the things, and then the character. So part of like, the process of being in training for a few months is this opportunity to see how we learn. We want to be learners all the way through, we want to be paid, the Lord is always going to be pointing at stuff in our lives, He’s never done with us. And so how someone does on stage is probably equal to how they are to hang in the greenroom. You know, like, we have real conversations about what’s going on in our lives, like, what are we struggling with? What are we? What’s the Lord doing, and we want our green rooms to be a place that are flourishing with authenticity and vulnerability. And so there are a lot of tears in worship training, you know, so there’s a lot of shepherding. Because, you know, oftentimes what we do with our music is sort of rooted in what’s going on in our identity and what’s going on in our hearts. And so when you’re dealing with someone’s skills, oftentimes those are really closely connected to their heart. And so I’m just really excited for how it’s growing. Worship training is growing in our community. like Justin said, it’s only at two sites right now. And we’d like to see it roll out to more of our larger sites in the next three to six months.

Alex Enfiedjian 19:24 That’s really rad. So how many people would you say are in your, let’s just call it a worship Academy, but worship training?

Unknown Speaker 19:31 I think right now we’re between 30 and 40. between both of our sites, you know, you find out it’s like anything with your team. If you have six drummers, no one’s going to be able to grow in that, you know, we’ve got a roster that’s there. For when we graduate someone great than here’s the next person that will move up into training and things like that. And that list is considerably longer, you know?

Alex Enfiedjian 19:56 Yeah. Now might that’s kind of one more question about this. Sorry. I really want to dig in Because I think it’s so helpful to, you know, give people some real meat to hang on and be like, Okay, I get this, like, I could do this at my church, it might look different, but I could do this. How do you get people interested in worship training? How do you put the announcement out? Where does the information come from? Where do they hear about this thing.

Robbie Reider 20:16 So I would say from from a couple different places, one, like the people in your band are going to attract people like them in your band. So one thing that is beautiful, is that all of our band members are excited about more people getting involved, and there is very little territorialism, or, you know, most of our coaches are giving up an opportunity to play so that they can train other people to take their slots at some point, you know, there’s a, an excitement to reproduce themselves. That’s right. So all of our people are really quick to go, Oh, you know, somebody goes, Hey, I really dug that song. Oh, cool. Are you a musician? That’s a very natural question. What do you do, I, you know, I kind of do this thing where I used to play in a band, blah, blah. Like, it’s proactive in one sense, like our band members, and our worship team, folks. They’re the greatest advocates for new folks coming in. So we point people to the front door, if you want to see what our front door looks like, you can go to our website, it’s crossroads, dotnet, slash worship training. And so the whole thing starts there. And so we everybody points everybody to that. Occasionally, we’ll make an announcement at some of our smaller campuses, we’ll make an announcement on the weekend. Hey, you know, you see everybody up here that we know there’s more of you out there, and you probably think I’m not good enough. Or, you know, blah, blah, blah, hey, check this out. We’re gonna do we’re gonna do an info session, just meet us out there after church, we’re gonna be hanging out, just ask questions. And again, it points people back to worship training. It really does allow for people to hear truth, you know, because I think sometimes in the music, side of things, we’re super concerned with people’s hearts and hurting people. And I think that there’s a truthfulness that has been missing in church culture around people’s creativity that needs to be brought back. And so in worship training in the orientation, I’ll often talk about, you’re like, Hey, I’m really good with kids. I served in a kid’s ministry, my old church for like, 12 years. And I, I was just like, the one they gave the babies to, and I was just great at and I just love them. And you’re like, Wow, well, it really sounds like you have a heart for working with kids. Great. So if you show up that weekend, and I hand you a baby, and the baby isn’t immediately soothed by your and you get all stiff and wonky. And worse yet, if you drop the baby, chances are, I’m going to go, Hey, have you tell me about your you work with kids, but you you drop the baby? Does anybody ever talk to you about that? You know, and the Oh, no, no, it’s fine. I never do that. I’m really good with kids. You know, you see how this falls apart? And we would never give a kid to someone who drops babies, you know, but yet there are people in music ministry all the all over the place that are like, I just have a heart for worship. I’m just, I just want to do it. And they, they get up there and they just they dropped the baby. And you’re like, bro, you, it turns out, you can’t sing. Like it’s not it’s not your jam, you got to let’s figure out what that is. and worship training is a great environment where those conversations happen. Like, doesn’t mean you you can’t sing but you, you just sing below average, you know? And that’s, we have a threshold. No one’s ever told you that but right. Yeah, right. And so now I get to be the jerk, the loving jerk that goes, but there is something you were designed to reflect the beauty of God and glorify Him. So let’s find out where that is. Gosh, I love this.

Alex Enfiedjian 23:51 I’m so excited that you’re doing that. And one thing I want to highlight is you guys had a process, and you weren’t afraid to say this process is not working, and you scrapped it. And you started over and I did a similar thing to you guys. Like when I first came here, I built this like, elaborate online process, because I was like, oh, all big churches have an online audition thing. So I built one for our church. And then, like, I got no results like almost zero. And I was like, This is not working. So now, if it’s helpful for the listeners, what I do now is I just literally I get on stage, like this last Sunday, I did this, and I kind of did what you guys did, or what you said, where you’re like, Hey, guys, can we just thank the band for their faithful service every week? You know, they’re always, you know, working so hard to do this for us. And they all clapped and and I said, Hey, if you’re a musician in the church, or if you’re a singer, or if you are an audio engineer, or if you’re interested in videography, like I would love to meet you right after service. I’ll just hop down offstage and I’ll see you there, we’ll connect and so, you know, I did that after each service and I had like eight people the first time six and then four, you know, and I got their information and I told them, hey, we’re having our next worship collective. We do like quarterly training events. And we’re having our next worship collective at you know, this coming Saturday. I’d love to See you there. And so for us, it looks like that. So it doesn’t have to look the same in each church. But the concept is like, you want to invite everybody who’s interested in, you want to speak the truth in love if they’re not really ready, but you also want to have like a development pathway to help them grow. And then when they’re ready, plug them into an appropriate level of service. Right. So I want to chat with something you said, Robbie, you had talked about the heart. And, you know, in the green rooms, you know, you’re talking about spiritual things and crying and you know, praying. And, you know, one of the things that I know people struggle with and like, I did a episode with Jeremy riddle about this, how do we foster a more spiritual environment for our teams? Like, you know, discipleship? Is the core of any ministry, you know, like, it’s not, we’re not called to make music. We’re called to make disciples. Right? And so, how do you guys with your 120 volunteers like, and everyone’s so busy? I don’t know. How does it Cincinnati, but in LA, it’s busy, busy, busy. I’m pretty sure it’s everywhere, busy, busy, busy. But how do you disciple your team and foster just the spiritual side and the spiritual growth because for me, I focused so much the first two years that I’ve been here on the music because it needed to grow a lot. And now like, they’ve almost defaulted to caring more about that, than having, you know, spiritual conversations or talking about how, you know how we worship instead of how we played, you know, so how do you guys go about doing that?

Robbie Reider 26:28 It was something communicated to me early on, when I came to Crossroads that I’ve been really deliberate about cultivating across the board, is that when I was brought on to staff, the guy that hired me, said, Robbie, we want you on staff, we don’t need you on staff. And I, my own personal brand of brokenness actually got my feelings hurt with that, because I wanted to come in and be a hero. And not knowingly, I didn’t know I was being that way. But a mentor of mine said, Robbie, you have a problem, you’ve just been given a gift, they just want you they don’t need you. You have a messiah complex or something. And I was like, oh, that hurts. But it really did speak to this. The core, which was this identity piece of I wanted to come in and show that I was valuable, and what my friend Josh was saying, we find you valuable, we want you around here, the Lord says you’re valuable. And that’s good. And you don’t need to work for it. And so the foundational way when somebody comes on and and as Justin talked about earlier, we want to be careful with people’s time, and make sure they have healthy balance, is this idea of like, Hey, we want you here. But we don’t want to need you in a way that we like that we the church staff have a way of like gripping people tightly, and holding on say, please don’t leave, please, we need you here. What are we going to do without you? What are we going to and, and for us, we work really hard to say we want you we want this to be a blessing. We also want this to be a place where you you get to give of what God has given you to give back. So it looks like being very open handed with folks. I think at a very fundamental level. When someone says yes to six invitations, 600, you know, six in a row, we’re like, hey, what, let’s talk about that, you know, you you work a regular job, and you’ve been here every weekend for four weeks, you know, five weeks, but how are we doing at home? Are you getting this right? The other piece is that we have a pretty clear expectation that the goal is not for people to be perfect. That to be a part of what we’re doing. All you have to do is be fumbling towards Jesus. If there ever comes a point when serving gets in the way of you following Jesus, then let’s just let’s just be real clear and take a pause. Or somebody will come like I there was a guy who played in a band. This was a couple years ago. He’s like, you know, Robbie, and this is in the greenroom with everybody. He said, Robbie, you know, it’s really been struggling with smoking weed, and I haven’t smoked weed in a long time. And I was like, man, thanks for sharing, talking about that. He’s like, haven’t smoked for a long time, but I just had it in my nightstand. And I felt really convicted that I just had it there just in case in case I, I felt anxiety and in case and the Lord really convicted me. And so, you know, in that he was saying, I’m choosing Jesus over weed, you know, and I look at that, and I’m like, that’s the best case scenario for him to go. I found something that was playing God in my life, but it wasn’t God, and it needed to go. Now if he had said, Robbie, I’m totally fine with it. This is not a big deal for me. I’ve got it under control. That would have been a different conversation. But we want to foster people walking and trending towards the likeness, the character and the competence of Jesus. That was a really long Answer. I

Alex Enfiedjian 30:00 just feel like a ramble. No, it’s good. And so what sounds like a lot of those discipleship conversations are happening at church in the green room or during rehearsal or before rehearsal. Is that the case? Or are you guys like doing outside types of things? Or coffees or whatever to have those conversations as well?

Unknown Speaker 30:19 Yeah, I think one of the reasons I thought, Man, I think I could be on the team here was because my first weekend on as a contractor slash volunteer was like, I walked in our green room, or was in our green room the whole weekend, and I was just leaving a song or two or something. And I only knew Robbie, I think on the team that weekend, I didn’t know anybody else. And it was so refreshing. Like it was so immediately refreshing with just normal people, there was just it was a great hangout is great conversation, it was carrying conversation, it wasn’t just people on their phones in the greenroom, going to do a thing together. And then, you know, being isolated in the corners, it was super attractive to me in that. And so I think that culture has been established a long time. So if somebody comes into our team, and is doesn’t gel with that is really closed off, or is has a performance complex of like, I’m the most important thing in this room, I want the spotlight, it’s really evident. It’s really, really evident. And part of that is because our team does a lot I you know, I’ve been here eight months now leading our team. And I continue to hear about things pop up, where it’s like, Oh, sweet, all you guys were hanging out last night, like all of our vocalist or whatever, or all the females on the team went and celebrated a birthday down at their local karaoke bar, you know, or whatever. And I’m like, that’s awesome. That’s so good. You know, there’s things and so we just continue to try to foster that I think our teams are really great at that. They’re, they’re full of relational people, because of the foundations that Robbie was talking about. I think now what we’re finding is you have multiple campuses, and we don’t have 1000 musicians to to support all those campuses, you start trading, you know, like, hey, I need a keys player. And so a keys player from one campus goes and plays at the other one that weekend, and, and you share musicians, you know, which is great. And that’s how we support each other. I think what can happen, the danger of that is that person loses a connection to their community. On some level, as a worship pastor, we lose connection with them, and eyes on them to say, oh, man, I haven’t seen them in six weeks. So I haven’t checked up on them. I forgot about that. Because they’ve been at Eastside or, or at uptown or whatever, another site. Now, we’re trying to get better about going, Hey, you are a part of this campuses community, you still may go play and support another place. I’m your pastor, I want to help you, I want to know your family, I want to know you well. And so some things outside of the weekend can happen there, whether it’s one on ones, or just team nights, we just did a team hangout night, maybe two months ago. And it was just great. It was like spouses, and everybody just come we’re gonna grill out and we’re gonna have a great time and not talk about a weekend. And so those things are starting to happen as well more and more and trying to foster that. But we want I want our team to know, I’m cared for by these 15 people. I’m known by them. I’m not just walking on a stage and seen by other people. I’m known here in this in this site, this community.

Alex Enfiedjian 33:36 That’s really good. And Robbie, what were some of the things that you did to foster that healthy environment that you know, Justin walks into and goes, Wow, this is so like, healthy, and people are like having authentic real dialogue with each other? How did you get it there?

Robbie Reider 33:51 I think I would love to say because I’m just I’m just great at this. But But the reality is that I’m I came into an ecosystem, that is to a fault, brutally honest, we say we have seven hills that we die on, because there’s seven hills of Cincinnati. And the first one is authenticity. I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not, you know, so anybody who’s on stage will just be the same person when they’re off the stage. And it’s amazing by lifting that yoke off of people that you’re expected to be something bigger, better, more perfect than you are. What that does, like that instantly, is freedom. And I’ll tell you this, there was a book that just ripped through our staff, and then ripped through our community, probably seven years ago. It’s a book called spiritual slavery to spiritual sonship. It addresses what the author calls the orphan heart. And so this idea, especially as worship leaders, or musicians or performers, there’s a sense of like an orphan wanting to get adopted and an orphan going, what can I do to get noticed? So someone will take me home and make me part of their family. You know, what we know from Scripture is that the Lord says, it’s, it’s me, I adopt you, you don’t need to perform anymore. And so I stepped into a culture that said, we don’t need you to do anything, we just want you to be a part of our thing. I want you to be a part of our community. So I just, I feel like I, the Lord taught me a lot. And I would encourage everybody to go get that book. It’s really, I think it’s still on Amazon. And if you don’t cry, or the Lord doesn’t use it, then you might be a robot. I’m not sure.

Unknown Speaker 35:45 And the author’s name is jack frost. So how can you go wrong with that?

Alex Enfiedjian 35:49 Nice. That’s awesome. Hey, you know, one of the things I did want to ask you guys, because you’re talking a lot of leadership principles, and a lot of just like, I’m sure a lot of these things you’ve learned through trial and error, and over many years, you know, which is like the best teacher. But what other things do you do to learn some of these principles? Do you read books, you listen to podcasts? Do you take courses? How are you guys growing to stay ahead of your team so that you can actually lead them?

Unknown Speaker 36:20 I think, for me, the thing right now that I’m thankful I can do, I guess, but is I’m just observing other leaders in our church. And so their team dynamics may be vastly different than mine, you know, they may lead a team of 50, when I lead a team, a team of 15, or they may lead a team of three. I’m trying to get sort of one on ones with them, and just watching them, how are you developing that? You know, for our music team, it’s like, man, we want diversity to be seen from our stage, because we want our stage to look like the kingdom of God. You know, we want as many people as possible to walk in on a weekend and see themselves on stage to go, Oh, that’s me. I belong here. I’m seeing now. Well, I’m, I can look at other teams in our church and the leaders there and go pick their brain and observe their behaviors and their coaching techniques, and how they’re opening their lives to their team and things like that. And just being eyes wide open when I’m around them and learning from them. You know?

Alex Enfiedjian 37:24 That’s good. I want to ask one more question about your teams. And then I’d like to talk about your service logistics, like what are all the things that go into making a service happen? So the last question about teams would be, you know, you have multiple campuses, right, and you have 150 person room and a 3500 person room? Like, how much does the music vary between the different campuses, both in style and quality?

Robbie Reider 37:49 Great question. This is another one of these things where we have, we’ve done something that we’ve changed. If you had checked in with us five years ago, we had, I would say a model, that was high control, low accountability, meaning at the time central services makes the setlist central services makes the session and we ship it out to you, you modify keys, but all of that is central controlled, what happened at the site, and you were just responsible at the site level to execute it? Well, now, you’re taking the pendulum has swung the other way to lower control and high accountability. So when I say low control, I mean low control over what it is that you do. But high accountability, meaning if we were clear on the intent, how were you at executing that intent? Right? So what that’s looked like for the last couple years is a quarterly songbook. And so that we just have a spreadsheet that has tabs on the bottom and it says 2019, q1, 2019, q2, there’s a list of about, I don’t know, 22 songs, for that quarter. They’re listed by name, tempo, the version that we’re pulling from, you know, like, here’s the one that we’re referencing. And then they’re all color coded, like, hey, here are songs that have been in rotation for a long time. Here are songs that are brand new. And then there’s also another section that like, these are the songs you need to introduce this quarter. And here’s a list. Here’s a couple more songs that like are probably coming next quarter. And these are songs that are going away, so we’re not going to play those songs anymore. Now. So what it does is it sort of narrows the bandwidth a little bit and allows us to do a couple things like I want to make sure that we’re always singing songs that tell the whole story of the gospel. Right, like God loves man. Man sins man needs a savior Jesus comes and restore relationship, we need those because we sing our theology, right. And if we’re saying it not just a better life that Jesus offers, he offers the way, then man that better be represented in our songs, we want to make sure that we’re singing songs that are about God. More songs about God less songs about us. Like these are just worship songs, not doesn’t matter how we feel about it, we’re just singing to you. Because you’re worthy, because you are on top, and I am serving you, I lower myself. And then songs a petition. There’s tons of types of songs, but we want a balance of those things. So that we’re constantly one, acknowledging our theology, acknowledging our mission, and then acknowledging our voice, like hear things that Crossroads says. And that’s kind of gets us into, that’s why we write stuff. That’s why we write because there are things about our mission that we feel called to do as Crossroads church, that doesn’t get expressed in other songs that we hear around. So let’s make our own anthem for us. Great, we’ll make those things.

Alex Enfiedjian 41:02 Yeah. And we’ll talk about that a new song you guys wrote recently at the end? So you pick the songs, then Robbie? Like, are you the one who says I’m the gatekeeper? I’m selecting these 2522 songs that we’re going to do this quarter?

Robbie Reider 41:16 Yes. Okay. And then to be really honest, we use slack. I don’t know if you got if you’re familiar with Slack, but we use slack and all the all the worship leaders are and our have a Slack channel. One is called new songs. And I say, Hey, guys, throw songs in there that you’re willing to bleed for. Meaning, this says something that our community needs to say, and you’ll fight me for it. Because there’s, there’s so much music out there, I don’t have the capacity to filter through it all. And so our worship leaders will throw songs in there, and we’ll listen to them and I’ll make the I’ll make the call. I should

Alex Enfiedjian 41:49 join your new song, Slack channel and just steal good songs that your worship leaders find you Welcome to I’ll add you after this. Oh, my gosh, we use an app called band. We tried Slack, but band had a lot more like community features. We’re really enjoying band. And so if our listeners want to look into either of those apps, that’d be cool. Yeah, cuz like band allows you to do polls, it allows you to do, like rsvps events. And I mean, I know slack can like integrate all that stuff. But then there’s comments. It’s totally different format. It’s almost like a Facebook group. And I just have, I’ve created like, 12 different groups, like one for the guitars, one for the drummers one for the whatever, you know, and then the the main sanctuary team and the kids team and the high school team. And so we’re, we’re figuring that out, you know, and then we have like, one group, that’s a catch all for like, everybody, it’s called all worship. And like, even the people that I got their information yesterday, I was like, here, join the all worship group, even though you’re not serving anywhere, be involved in our community, and, you know, start to learn from us, you know, so that’s awesome. We’ve we’ve enjoyed band a lot for in terms of like community building and communication. So good. All right. So you select the songs for the worship leaders? What does it look like for you guys leading up to service? Actually, I have a question before that. Are the worship leaders of your campuses? Are they volunteers? Are they paid staff? Or are they like contracted? How does that work?

Robbie Reider 43:10 The majority of them are staff. And then we have at some of our smaller campuses, we have contract worship leaders. So they’re folks who are, you know, bought in it? Honestly, it’s like their stuff, folks. Yeah, in heart. We don’t have the budget to hire them full time. In every case of a contractor, I would say that if we had the budget, it would be great to have them like it, we would benefit from having them full time. Yeah.

Alex Enfiedjian 43:39 And is it one worship leader per campus? Or at a copier is one? Yeah. Okay, cool. So leading up to that, they have this list of songs, they get to pick whatever songs from that list they want in whatever order they want. Obviously, you’re giving, training and teaching on how to build a good set and all that stuff. But leading up to service, what does it look like? Do you guys have a midweek rehearsal? Is it show up and play? Are you having meetings with the tech team to kind of make sure the tech is on, you know, point like how does that all look?

Robbie Reider 44:10 I’ll take this in the Justin, you might be able to speak specifically at the site level. I’m sure we work a number of weeks out on a series, we work in three to six weeks series. And so we just finished one called people skills. And that was a six week series. The next series we’re in is called the end, it’s talking about end times. And that series is already planned for the next three weeks. And we’re almost all the way done with the next series called spark which will get us through the summer. So there is a we called studio time, it ideate and then it filters down those ideas into deliverables. And so for every deliverable that’s going to make it into a weekend. Every deliverable gets a creative brief, and a strategy brief meaning. Here’s what this piece is intended to do. It’s a story about life chain. The strategy brief is we want to show someone who is our target demographic we call Wayne. And we want to show him and his life change because he was in community with people up to his baptism, the creative brief will say, we want to show him and it’s like the look and feel. And that gets sent out to the video team or to a contract video team to go create that asset. And that’s being made, sometimes two weeks out, sometimes four weeks out. In worst case scenario, it’s happening right now for this coming weekend, right? All those pieces are coming together on a Friday. So like this Friday, we will talk about two weekends from now, a team of department heads. So technical music, our service producer, will all get together. And we’ll talk about all the elements to make sure like, hey, do we have the deliverables? Where are they are they in the right place, and we put them into Planning Center into a generic non site specific outline, and we call the WAMP the weapon of mass production. And the WAMP is where any site can go like a couple weeks down the road and go what’s happening this weekend. Or next weekend, two or three weeks down, they can see sort of an a skeleton. And we’ll put links, we use a software called frame IO. And that allows video assets to be seen by anybody with a link, kind of like a private YouTube thing. But it exports right out of Final Cut. So video assets and demos of music are all in there. And we just that’s where we firm up our outline for the following week. We go through the weekend, on Tuesday, everybody jumps on a conference call. So we use a service called zoom. And we have these little owl cameras that are like I don’t know, they’re foot tall, the cameras 360. So every producer, every worship leader, whoever else wants to jump on, gets on that call. And it’s not a decision making. It’s just an information sharing. We’re talking through the whole production meeting, our Planning Center outline shows like the element, it shows who’s doing at the time, but we also created another column in there called intent. What is the intent of this song? What is the intent of this piece, this creative element, so that if they get to the room of 150, and they can’t execute it exactly right? They go, oh, but the intent was to make people laugh. Okay, how do we tweak this and change it, but maintain the intent. And every weekend, we have what we call soft points and hard points. Soft point would be the worship set, right? You do what you want to do with the worship set, and the intent is transcendent experience with God. There may be a hard point where, hey, we’re talking about this. And the message, the hard point going out to every campus is to play this song before the teaching. And so that’s non negotiable. You have to do the hard point. Now let’s say there’s a hard point every other week, have something that has to happen. So from there, that information gets disseminated on Tuesday, and they’ve got Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday night rehearsal. And then after Thursday rehearsal, we record that it goes up to Planning Center lights get queued on Friday TDs, our technical directors, you know, populate lyrics in their presentation software, for the arrangements of the songs that they’re doing at that site. And then every site does a full run through just what you’re talking about the run through.

Unknown Speaker 48:31 Yeah, so Saturday, we come in at my site, we have first services at 430. So we come in as a band, we do a production meeting at 1230. And we walk through every element of the service with kind of all the sound lighting video with our producer and myself. And just to see all the assets that are coming for the weekend. If I’m setting up a video or coming out of a video, we just talked through those transitions, we can see them together. That happens at 1230. At 130, our band comes in and that’s the start of basically a soundcheck. We play every song through we do ear checks and make sure our monitors are good. And then at 2pm, everybody who’s involved at that site in the service, so all of our camera operators, lyrics, volunteers, anybody that’s on the team that we can, is there at 2pm we do a full production meeting, talk through the service. And then you know, 220, we do a full run through top to bottom of the service. And that was new for me when I came in. So it’s everything we want to do at that 2:30pm to 3:30pm or whatever we want to do top to bottom the service as if the room is filled with people. And so that we can help each other so that we can make sure that worked really well that’s gonna be great or how that didn’t work. Well, how can we tweak that? And we’ve sort of ironed out as many kinks as possible that way when the room fills with people We’ve got a space that I think maximized for them to have a great encounter with each other encounter with God. We have a team of people, maybe three to five, that’s from like a content standpoint, and me as a worship leader, they’re going to help me with, hey, I want to teach this song, I want to share the Scripture and sheer some meaning in this song. They’re gonna help me craft that. So they’re listening to me during that run through. And then they’re given me feedback on the spot. Hey, what if you set it like this this weekend? You know, we had a powerful moment at all of our sites, that was a hard point. Well, that run through was super important, because we wanted to really get that hard point nailed down, because we were asking people to define a moment to identify a moment in their life. Where do you need God to show up right here right now? Well, me as the person who’s communicating that I want to be sure that that’s as clear as possible. And then I say what I need to say, and then get out of the way and allow them to talk to God, in that moment, allow there to be clarity, in a powerful experience. Well, that team was there to help. So we we run through everything, our announcements, you know, whatever it may be, everything’s run through top to bottom on Saturday, before we ever start a service. Then we do another debrief right after that, with everybody on the team saying what worked, what didn’t work, what do we need to tweak? Our teachers go through that there’s one to two people there, every time during the run through that, here’s the entire message as it’s supposed to be delivered, and then gives feedback in the debrief meeting. And we do a debrief meeting three times on Saturday for us at our campus. So, after the full run through, we do a debrief, then we do service at 430. In between services, we do another debrief. And after our last service, at the end of the night, we do another debrief going into Sunday, so that we’re all on the same page, and we’re making sure man that that’s capturing the intent that we felt God was leading us to in the first place.

Alex Enfiedjian 51:58 Yeah, I love that. Because I think some people will be like, gosh, there’s like no room for the spirit to move. Like you guys are like scripting him out. But I would say, No, you guys are being intentional. You’re being good stewards of the moment of time that God has allotted to you to communicate what you believe he’s calling you to communicate to the people, and you’re trying to do that the best that you can. And so I think yes, yeah. And so just for anyone who’s kind of like scoffing at the amount of attention to detail, you know, the spirit doesn’t have room to move? Well, yes, he does. Because they’re taking this moment, and they’re crafting it to the best of their abilities, and they want to seek to continue to get better, you know, and so I think that’s

Unknown Speaker 52:39 not I mentioned, it felt foreign to me, when I first came in, I had been through run throughs, and things like that. But the thing for me, the huge value to me is I get to get feedback from two to three other Spirit led deep followers of Jesus, who just heard what I said, or felt the song that we just did, and felt that moment. And they’re, they’ve got the Holy Spirit inside of them. So now I get three or four people who are in the spirit going, Hey, what about this, and we have incredible talents on the team. So I don’t need to be the only person crafting that man I want to learn. This weekend with that moment, when I first started in the run through that moment was like four minutes. And it felt like, yeah, I feel like I’m losing some of the punch on that that need to have for that moment. And one of our communicators was like, hey, what if you did this boom, and 90 seconds came off of that not to save time, we didn’t need 90 seconds back in our service, that to capture the spirit, and then get off of it, say it directly so that it’s powerful in that moment. That was super helpful for me. I know I’m doing it with a worshipful heart. They’re doing it out of love. It’s not, it never feels inappropriate. You know what I mean? Like when we’re in the run through gimmicky? Yeah, I’m seeing our teachers hands raised in an empty room worshiping, I’m seeing our producers hands raised worshiping during the run through, it’s not manufactured. It’s very, very genuine, very intentional. And we all do it. So I can peek into the message. And the person given the message speaks into a song and person doing lighting speaks into music, and I say, hey, that lighting filled out. Weird, man, that’s super open handed. It’s really healthy behavior for what we’re doing.

Alex Enfiedjian 54:25 Yeah, man, cuz I think people can get really cynical towards like very large churches and be like, Oh, it’s all just a program. It’s all scripted. And it’s like, you know, our church. We’re a Calvary Chapel. And it’s way less like structured than you guys are less polished and produced. But, you know, we’re very large church. And I can tell you, there’s nothing to be cynical about, like in what you’re saying is like these people love the Lord. It’s real, it’s authentic. It’s from their heart. They’re just trying to keep doing better and, and making things better not for their own glory, but so that they can, you know, glorify God and impact people more effectively. So I love hearing that. So How many services are you guys running? Let’s just pick your like largest campus or two, like how many services do you do a weekend

Robbie Reider 55:07 at our Oakley campus, which is also our broadcast campus. So what everything’s Justin’s talking about in that run through everything that doubles that goes for what you see online. So we’re, we’re purchasing two events in one in one moment. So the in room experience and the online experience, they end up becoming different. Our Oakley campus does two services on Saturday and just switch to two services on Sunday. We used to do three services on Sunday. And so there’s there’s a run through plus two on Saturday. And now there’s two on Sunday, and I believe our Mason campus, which is about 25 minutes north does one service on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Alex Enfiedjian 55:54 And you said you guys do a Thursday night rehearsal as well.

Robbie Reider 55:57 Yeah, we do a Thursday night rehearsal. And so the expectation is that Thursday night, it’s a rehearsal. It’s not a practice, right? So you’ve already know the the difference being you know, a practice is like you’re learning a song. And a rehearsal is like, No, no, we’re just putting it together. And so people come knowing their stuff. So our rehearsals typically lasts an hour and a half, you might play a song four times, once to get your ears and parts a second to adjust parts. The third time for the front of house guy now for everybody’s good, and then a fourth time to track it. And we track every rehearsal and upload it as a item into that specific outline. So once everybody gets in their cars, you know, they’re encouraged to listen to it. And

Alex Enfiedjian 56:41 yeah, so that’s a Thursday or so. And then Saturday, you run through the songs soundcheck, you call it, but you play all the songs and then you do a full service run through so you play through the song again. So before you even hit service, they’ve played through the songs like at least four times each. And yeah, it’s probably sounding really great by then. You think so? Yeah. Do you guys use do you guys use backing tracks?

Robbie Reider 57:07 We use Ableton to support what we do. And so we don’t have separate MDS at our sites. So we don’t have separate music directors off in almost every situation. The worship leader is also the music director. And so the Ableton rig is in the back. And, you know, we I think we use multi tracks and loop community for stuff when we need it. If it’s not stuff that we made. It’s a cool thing for smaller sites, you know, to be able to go, Oh, sweet, I have this resource to listen to, and then to augment what we’re doing. The goal is, I don’t ever want us to become slaves to Ableton, you know, Ableton is a tool for us, Ableton shouldn’t be the leader. And so always encourage folks to like, ditch it, if you want to, like shut it down. Just take over if you need to leave that moment.

Alex Enfiedjian 57:58 Yeah, I’m kind of like, not morally opposed to tracks, but like, I want my team to be able to execute. And like, I know, there are certain like little teeny nuance things like impacts and like uplifters, and all that, that you can add as ear candy, but I’m honestly we like, I’m trying to get my team to be able to do it without any tracks. Like, we use an SPD sx, like drum triggers, you know, thing and like, we have a percussionist playing and doing the uplifters, and the impacts and the sub drops, and I would love what’s, what’s an uplifter in a sense, like, are those things uplifters like, you know, or, or an impact is like that, like big reverb, you know, boom, you know that you hit it, the big moments, and, you know, a down lift is like, that launches you into the car. So I’m trying, you know, to bring this professional studio quality, with just volunteers. And sometimes, like, depending on the volunteer, some of them are better, and some of them are worse at doing it. But like, some of my team members are like, we should try tracks and I’m like, No, because if we do, then you’ll never learn to be able to like, pull it off yourself. You know, so anyway, I’ve just, it’s just I like to hear what other people do and then maybe one day, because you know what we’ve been doing. I music direct. I’m the worship leader most of the time, at least Sunday mornings, and I music direct, but then I have a guy with a microphone who he he music directs when I’m leading so he just he repeats what I said, you know, like you know, sub drop on for like, you know, break or bring it down or you know, any weird tricky counts or anything like that. And so, I don’t know if you guys have a MD Mike, that you guys use when like Justin, when you’re leading worship, you’re the MD but you know you need someone but maybe your team just they remember everything so or maybe Ableton cues everybody. And so how does that work, I guess.

Unknown Speaker 59:48 But we reach I think it’s normal at all, all of our sites for our worship leader to have what we call a panic button and it’s just a foot pedal which can turn my more mic, you know that I’m leading from into that to be able to speak into the only to our musicians on stage and our ears. It also lets me speak into our graphics person and things like that. So if we were ever to abandon tracks and go, Hey, we’re going to repeat a course will our lyrics person hears those cues as well. A super, super help. helpful. And again, that was a that was a new tool for me. I was used to having another MD in the band having that. And sometimes like at our, at our campus, right now we use, we have two of those mics. So our drummer has one and I have one. Therefore, there are moments where I’m singing and there needs to be a change or something like that. There’s another person that can speak into that. But it obviously has to be a person who gets what we’re doing a trained person, a person who’s not just going to make jokes on the mic. You know what you’re talking about? Shut up. Yeah. Yes.

Alex Enfiedjian 1:01:00 You speak like you have experience with that. Yeah. One last question. And then I want to talk a little bit about your songwriting. This is just a question that I like to ask and learn from, but in your ministry, what are some of the problems like the biggest issues that you’re facing right now? And what are you doing to kind of address those issues and overcome them?

Robbie Reider 1:01:22 That’s a great question, Alex. I honestly, I think there’s, from my standpoint, is the leadership pipeline. There’s no shortage of talented people. But the moment when a talented person needs to fall under authority, that’s when you see like, what someone’s character is. And so the idea of people leading our community, for the purposes of getting God as much glory as they possibly can, that takes deep character. And so I’ll This is total confession. I lead worship for a lot of years. And I was skimming glory for myself. I was doing it because I, it was feeding something unhealthy and me have dealt with the Lord, I continue to deal with the Lord on that I’m constantly aware of that in me. And so as as we look for folks to lead our community, the constant thing, I’m looking on the horizon, I’m looking within in our ranks, who are the people who have both the character and the competence to be the stewards of this moment? You know, that’s a big deal.

Alex Enfiedjian 1:02:40 That’s really good. I love every ministry, like every leader who cares about their ministry like is just always, righteously unsatisfied with something, you know, we all have, like, there’s something in my ministry, that I want to be different and better and so for the listeners listening, just like be encouraged. I remember Aaron Ivey said on one of the episodes we did, he said that discouragement is the undercurrent of leadership, and it’s just always a part of your life, and because you want it to be better, and that has brought me so much comfort. It’s like, Ah, you know, we’re not where we need to be yet. And, but this is normal to feel like this. So um, I’m so okay, I want to talk about because you guys sound super busy. So my first question is with the madness of your church and running so fast, when do you find time to song right, because now we want to talk about this new song you just wrote? Like, what is writing look like for you guys? Who’s writing? When do you write? How do you write all that?

Robbie Reider 1:03:37 Well, so super nitty gritty. So we’ll just go to nitty gritty, I go ahead, we changed people’s job descriptions. So worship leaders, job descriptions don’t include writing songs. So if someone wants to write songs, they’re doing that and they’re opting in to do it on their own time, we tend to not count hours and just look at the workload and go, are things getting done? Well, great. If they are fantastic. There are times when we run really hard and other times when we play super hard. So we’re recognize there’s this bandwidth, but we took it out of people’s job descriptions, specifically so that it made more clear the issue of intellectual property, right. So when someone writes a song, if they write a song, it’s, it’s their song. And if our church’s publishing company wants to engage in that, then we can do that. And it’s not a who owns what sort of thing. So we had to do that. And we wanted to do that. To make it clear, like you don’t have to write songs and not all worship leaders are songwriters, and not all songwriters or worship leaders, you know. So we try to do a full writing day and the invitation is open to all of the people on staff and all our contractors and even some of our key volunteers coming right every other month and Usually a full day of getting together breaking up into groups and writing songs together and coming back and playing them for each other and given feedback and retooling them. Then we also do a couple other things where we’re more intentional with the people who, I don’t know who said this, but they said, Are you a songwriter? And somebody said, Yeah, like, well, is it in your calendar? Nope. Well, then you’re not a songwriter, you know. And I think one of our songwriters, Austin was told that by another legit songwriter, and that so Austin has it in his calendar, like he writes, and like it’s his job, but it’s technically not as job. So we have other sessions, where we, where we pull together people who are just prolific, and we say, Great, let’s let you run, and we’ll invest in you running. There are a lot of great songs. And we do we need more songs in the world. I think some people would say like, no, there’s plenty of songs. We don’t need any more songs. But if somebody said, You can’t pray any new prayer, I would be like, Oh, no, but what about tomorrow? Please, can I pray another prayer tomorrow? And so the idea of us writing songs in our community do a couple of things. They speak to what we believe about God speaks to what God has called Crossroads to and how we talk. We say we’re church to folks who have given up on church but not necessarily on God. And so maybe that means we say things a little bit differently. And sometimes we do. And so that’s what making new songs for us does. This one in particular, it came out of a really rough season for us. There have been a few staff members who have been battling cancer. One of them Her name is Kathy Beecham, she passed away. She led all of our past all of our community pastors, she was like, she oversaw all of them. And she was an amazing leader and amazing woman. And she died fast and sudden, and we were heartbroken. And then we had a songwriting day on a Monday, everybody’s day off for the most part, and we got together and got an email saying, hey, executive pastor, his name’s Darren, Darren was just admitted into the hospital. He had a massive heart attack. 99% blockage, pray, pray. This is urgent. So we are getting together to write and Justin Austin living good and myself, we’re all sitting in my, my family room. And Austin was like, we need to pray for a breakthrough, like God, we need you in our mess. Come help us. And he had his line says, God have the breakthrough. Your promises stand true. You haven’t failed us yet. And that was like, you’ve got a nail up to the wall, and you’re trying to nail it and you’re looking for the tool like you want to hammer. And that song was the hammer for us. Right? Then we’re like, Ah, that’s the prayer. I need to pray today. That’s my hammer. Let’s hit it hard, you know, and that. That’s what spawned that for us.

Alex Enfiedjian 1:08:00 That’s good. Yeah, I actually, you know, in preparing for this interview, I wanted to research the church a little bit. So I watched service on Saturday, I went to your website, it was like, watch live. So I clicked watch live. And Justin was leading. And I saw the moment that he’s talking about where he’s like, take out your phone. And let’s sing this song of breakthrough. You know, how is the church been responding to the song? Yeah, great.

Unknown Speaker 1:08:21 We do a thing called daily worship. five days a week, Monday through Friday in the mornings on Facebook and do it live at 8:30am, just 15 to 20 minutes to worship. We’ve played the song there are a couple of us have at different times. And you can see, we just would immediately see people’s comments of being drawn to that sort of the desperation of that those lyrics and that prayer. I think it resonates in a deep place. Honestly, with humanity. I mean, that’s that is what the psalmist cried, doubt and that searching for God. And so this past weekend, we It was a hard point, like Robbie mentioned those It was a hard point at all of our sites. And I know for me in our inner space, multiple people immediately drawn you know, you this was the first time for 9598 99% of our community to hear those words. And by that we taught the course two times before we jumped into the song, but a second chorus of that they’re singing Well, that’s a sign of oh not not only do I agree with the lyric, but the melodies approachable. I got all those things. And that’s when I think the song can get out of the way. And there’s a deep prayer that’s happened in the deep conversation, you know? That’s right.

Alex Enfiedjian 1:09:38 Good job, you guys. This has been super helpful for me and I’m sure the listeners too. Is there anything else you want to say? Or tell us where we can keep up with either of you guys online and also linked to the song like on iTunes and Spotify and all that? I guess Apple Music now. Yeah.

Robbie Reider 1:10:00 Yeah, you can follow us crds music on Instagram crds Justin doesn’t do any social media so you’ll never find him anywhere he’s got a couple yay Good job dude.

Unknown Speaker 1:10:16 Sarcasm never no no he really doesn’t do it. He doesn’t do a darn thing just fantastic That’s amazing.

Robbie Reider 1:10:28 Yeah, you guys can join us if you if you jump on our church Facebook page at 830 in the morning if you want to worship with us be great to have you join us. We do that one of us leads every every weekday and man I tell you what, just our job as the church is to get God as much glory as we can by whatever means necessary so if that means a guitar becomes a limiter for me and you and everybody getting God more glory than I will take it we need to be willing to take it off. What is the thing that’s going to get God more glory because that’s that’s our that’s our job when we got saved we join the family business and the family business is glorifying God. I don’t want to train people to be a better Crossroads member. I don’t want to train people to be a better American Christian. We need to be training and I’m not saying we’re not doing this but this is just a reminder to me that like we’re training people to be light bulbs forgot you know that we should anywhere we go writing the biggest grace checks the biggest truth checks because we’re connected to the source of grace the source of truth. Thanks for having us on and letting us ramble it’s been rad it’s

Alex Enfiedjian 1:11:46 been awesome thank you guys alright, well that’s it for today please let me know if you liked that format shoot me an email Alex at worship ministry training com let me know if you’d like to hear other churches and yeah hope you were helped and I will be back next month on the first of the month with another practical episode

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