Category: Music Ministry Training

In my mind, what makes a great church band is one that both understands the idiosyncrasies of playing in a band with fluid membership, and short and frequently-under-cooked rehearsals, yet also recognises the need to share the common vision of serving the congregation as they join together in one voice to praise their great God in the assembly of his people.

For this reason, I want to TWIST the arm of the congregational leaders in our churches. I want to TWIST the arm of the rectors, assistant ministers, wardens, and anyone who has a key role in our churches.

I want to TWIST your arm to encourage your church musicians to be a part of one of the TWIST (‘The Word in Song Together’) music events this year run by Emu Music and Youthworks.

To read the full article, click here.

For more details about TWIST, click here!

At this year’s TWIST Away Conference on Friday 19th August to Sunday 21st August 2011 at Port Hacking, we’re focusing on getting the bare essentials right.

As we put together the various hands-on training seminars, I’ve been trying to reflect on what the various issues are that our everyday, garden-variety church bands need to grow in.

Have a read of my article to see my list, and feel free to add any suggestions in the comments, or email me directly.

Here’s the link:

Plus, if you’re keen to find out more about the conference, then visit for the details. It will be a great weekend of encouragement plus practical training in music ministry.

It is remarkable to reflect on the way in which God chose to create his universe. Everywhere we turn there is evidence of his lavish love and creativity; the boldness of a sunset… the beauty of a tulip… the brightness of the sun.

One particular area in which we see his creativity is in music. Music has the power to move people in a way that words fail to achieve. It can lift us to new heights, and take us on a journey to places unexpected.

At the 2004 TWIST Music Conference, Mike Raiter spoke of the power of the song. In referring to the wonderful Colin Buchanan concert the night before, he said that because of his gift of music, Colin could have taken our crowd anywhere. “But”, he observed, “aren’t we thankful that he took us to God!”

We know the power of music. We use it every week to proclaim God’s praises. Yet, we want to make sure we use this powerful tool to achieve the best possible outcomes.

That’s why it’s important our musicians are well trained. That’s why the TWIST Music Conference is such an important event for our musicians.

Registrations close Monday night, and the conference begins the Saturday after. Don’t miss out on stimulating teaching from Mike Raiter, terrific congregational music from some of Australia’s most gifted musos, and invaluable hands-on training in many great workshops.

Full details at Don’t miss out!

Singing at the TWIST Live Recording

It was a great thrill to be a part of the TWIST Music Conference last weekend. This important event provides training and encouragement for people involved with music ministry in their local church.

During the weekend, I MC’d the main sessions (including the special live recording on the Saturday night for the upcoming EMU Music Live CD). I also conducted training sessions on the topics “Youth Ministry and Music” and “Rethinking Church”.

To read more about the conference, check out the recent article in titled “TWIST – but don’t shout.” You can also visit the official TWIST website at

A conference that started life as a little idea between friends is fast growing into a musical Mecca for evangelical churches.

Organisers say TWIST (The Word In Song Together) has taken everyone by surprise.

Philip Percival, director of EMU Music, remembers his original planning discussion with Cat Reimer, then coordinator of Youthworks Holiday Camps.

“Cat suggested we run a simple music camp — and three years later it’s grown to become the most important event on the Australian evangelical music calendar,” he says.

Cat and Philip joined forces with Jodie McNeill (Youthworks youth ministry trainer) and Edwina Soh to create the TWIST Conference, a joint venture of Anglican Youthworks and EMU Music.

The growth of the conference has caused exciting problems.

“In our first year”, Edwina reflects, “we filled Blue Gum Lodge at Springwood with 150 people.

“Last year we grew to nearly 400, filling the whole Youthworks Port Hacking conference site.”

Continued growth means moving this year’s conference to a new location.

“To solve the problem, we’ve moved to Trinity Grammar School,” Cat explains.

“We will miss the residential nature, but we simply need more seats!” she says.

This year’s keynote speaker is Bryson Smith, minister at Dubbo Presbyterian, and lyricist of well-loved songs such as Consider Christ and Nothing Can I boast In.

Mr McNeil says one of conference’s greatest strengths is the ministry training focus.

“It is great to join together to think theologically about the place of music in the gathering of God’s people,” he says.

“Not only can people attend practical workshops to improve their song leading or their playing, but they can also be trained in how to use music in youth or children’s ministry, and how to correctly understand the Bible’s teaching on church and worship.”

A highlight of the conference will be the Saturday night live recording of the new EMU Music album.

Full details can be found at the TWIST website or by phoning 02 9692 9944 or 1800 688 874.

This article originally appeared in