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Stories of CCLI and the Church

From Hymns-Only to Modern Worship Songs

The Sunday sermon had been written for a few days but Pastor Pete still had some work to do to shore up the flow of the service.

The message would benefit from a few additional PowerPoint slides, he thought—an easy request of Jeremy, his music director, who by Tuesday had already prepared his musicians with five worship songs that would share Sunday’s theme beautifully.

Jeremy was always a couple of steps ahead. He had already prepared the PowerPoint slides that would project all of the lyrics.

Four years ago, Pastor Pete and the small coastal church didn’t think about PowerPoint or even much about the contemporary role of worship music to address the many issues facing families in this small town. The congregation was smaller then, before the rise in tourism. The church had only sung hymns, using the classic hymnals. Then Pastor Pete asked Jeremy to oversee all of the music and the inevitable happened. The service evolved. The technology changed.

Prior to that, Pete hadn’t really considered the legal obligations of things like projecting lyrics. Or how the band needed chord and lead sheets to rehearse. Or how much time it would take to get permission to legally copy a song.

On a tip from a larger inland church, Pastor Pete and Jeremy turned to CCLI. There were as many questions as answers. How does it work? Why is it even necessary? Can we afford it? All their questions were answered in a 15-minute phone call with CCLI.

How does it work? Why is it even necessary? Can we afford it? All their questions were answered in a 15-minute phone call with CCLI.

With an overview of what was required for the church to be legally covered, Pastor Pete signed up for CCLI’s copyright license. It was tailored to meet the needs of the church and promised to save the hours of administrative time each week for Jeremy attempting to contact the publishers for permission to copy and project lyrics, make custom arrangements for the worship team and record the music portion of the service for the church recording ministry. For Pete, it provided relief and also made decisions a bit more flexible. A lot more flexible, actually. Freeing, even. The congregation was much more engaged in singing the new worship songs. And the church was now legally covered.

Jeremy quickly came to love SongSelect. The lyric downloads made creating the lyric PowerPoint projections a breeze. The chord sheets and lead sheets from literally thousands of worship songs saved hours of rehearsal preparation. The transposition tool in SongSelect meant that Jeremy could make last-second adjustments on the fly.

There has been a lot of change in a short time, thought Pastor Pete.

Perhaps that would be the message next week.

 


 

Pastor Neil’s Church Planting Dream

Every chance he gets, Pastor Neil reviews and re-reviews his checklist—now easily into the triple digits.

That checklist basically serves as the blueprint of the vision that Neil knows God burned into his heart a couple years ago: to plant a vibrant church in the middle of the growing Highland neighborhood, in the bustling southeast section of the city.

Neil couldn’t ask for a better church planting team. His wife, Sandy, is an incredibly talented singer, pianist and worship leader. With a natural gifting for mentoring and leading teams plus her outgoing, vivacious personality, Neil is certain that Sandy will quickly form a stellar and tightly-bonded worship team.

The rest of Neil’s team covers the other vital components of a new church: children’s ministry, student ministry and tech/media, to name a few. Everything looks great. On paper.

Of course Sandy has carved out her own special section of Neil’s checklist, and that covers her needs for the worship ministry. Along with instruments, staging, lighting, etc., Sandy has specified the CCLI Copyright License with all the options, along with the SongSelect Premium subscription service.

Sandy learned about CCLI as part of her Worship Arts degree from her college days. The Copyright License covers all the necessary legal permissions required for copying activities to assist congregational singing. Storing and projecting lyrics via computer, making custom arrangements for the musicians and singers, and recording the live worship set. CCLI even covers lyric translations, which is perfect, because Pastor Neil ultimately envisions a thriving Hispanic ministry as part of Highland Church.

CCLI even covers lyric translations, which is perfect, because Pastor Neil ultimately envisions a thriving Hispanic ministry as part of Highland Church.

Sandy also plans to include the optional coverage that allows her to share the mp3’s of the latest worship songs with her team via the online worship planning application as part of weekly rehearsals. The team can listen to the original recordings as they learn new songs, plus Sandy can even legally create custom recordings of specific vocal and instrumental parts.

And since Highland Park Church plans to stream and podcast its entire service, including the live worship music, Sandy also plans to get the optional streaming coverage that’s part of the CCLI License.

Since she used SongSelect as part of the college worship ministry, Sandy couldn’t imagine starting a church without it. The convenience of having publisher-authorized lyrics, chord sheets and lead sheets for her musicians and vocalists for virtually any worship song she can think of, well, it’s a worship leader’s dream-come-true.

Just like Neil’s church planting dream. Now coming true.

 

Ensure your church is properly covered.

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