Boy, do I have a treat for you today. If you are a worship leader you are definitely going to want to stick around for today's podcast with Joel Weldon. Joel is a voice-over actor and communication coach who spent years as a worship leader working with the likes of Promise Keepers, Young Live, Harvest Crusades, and Billy Graham Crusades. Joel has a heart for worship that is very contagious. This podcast could actually be a master class on leading worship.
A prolific singer/songwriter/composer, Joel Weldon has written a diverse collection in his life’s work, now spanning more than 2 decades. Mainstream Christian rock; moving story ballads; passionate songs of worship; even composing music for 5 PBS documentaries and jingles for corporations such as Caterpillar. His music has been featured on CMT ( Country Music Television), Promise Keepers, Harvest Crusades with Greg Laurie, Franklin Graham Crusades, Young Life International, and churches have used his worship songs across the USA and around the world, including songs licensed to WORD Records, Maranatha Music, Vineyard Music, Willow Creek Association, and many others. “Exciting”,”life-changing”, ”moving”. These words commonly come up in describing Joel’s live performances. His appearances have taken him to hundreds of venues far and wide, here and abroad. From the smallest of churches to the largest of festivals, his energetic style and engaging personality have evangelized listeners and inspired believers. More than anything else, it’s his proven gift of encouragement and his love for people that leaves a lasting impression. When asked about his calling Joel says, “I love music, almost any kind of music, but anymore the most important things in this life are loving God and loving people, the two greatest commandments. Mostly I want to write about things that matter; things that leave a lasting mark on the landscape of souls”.
When asked about what makes a successful ‘lead worshipper’, Joel says it’s all about calling God’s people together, focusing their attention on the ‘One’, showing them by example how’s it’s done, and then turning invisible. “In a Justin Beiber, American Idol culture, the challenge in today’s modern churches is to reverse the paradigm of the stage. In America, it’s drilled into us as the centerpiece for ‘the show’ “, says Joel. “As a lead worshipper, the main thing the stage becomes useful for is to give us a focal point from which to point the way.” He has led audiences of all sizes, from the smallest of churches to 20,000 strong Festivals (UnityMusicFestival) and Luis Palau Crusades across the USA. From the ’90′s at Hume Lake Christian Camps to his current role as ‘Artist-in-Residence’ at Revival Christian Fellowship in So Cal, Joel has led worship in numerous roles. Two decades of also traveling as a guest worship leader and mentor/trainer have given him a depth of understanding few possess. His vibrant personality and easy-going style on the platform work to draw in even the most reluctant of audiences. The result is not a feel-good moment, but a lasting encouragement and challenge that has become a hallmark of his ministry.
As many ministries struggle in this area of how to accomplish and lead effective worship unto the Lord, Joel and his associates have worked with dozens of churches and their worship arts teams in the area of leadership, music, sound, and all things technical. His O2 Worship Weekends are powerful 2 day personal workshops for churches looking to take things to the next level. Customized analysis and touchpoint sessions with leadership give each church an expert evaluation and vision plan, specifically addressing their unique challenges and needs. Co-sponsored by World Vision.
“It’s a Paul and Timothy thing for worship leaders”, Joel responds to the question on mentoring. “If we aren’t passing the vision on, it will die with us. That’s biblical.” Joel’s heart for passing the torch has placed more than a dozen individuals into Worship Pastor and Worship Leader positions at churches up and down the west coast. He is actively helping pastors and friends find the right person for their local body. “They call and say ‘ got any names for me?’ and inevitably, I’ll have a few to pass on. It’s crazy!”
About Joel Weldon. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2012, from Joel Weldon Music website: http://www.joelweldonmusic.com/about/