Talks preceding the taking of communion

Hi everyone,

I would be grateful if everybody who does communion talks could take the time, when you have it available, to either watch the video or listen to the audio of my thoughts about the basics of what it takes to present a meaningful communion talk.

I have not covered everything, but simply the basics. If you find it difficult to watch the video, or access the audio, let me know and I will send you the link or audio file directly.

Many thanks, God bless, Malcolm

Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 123: “Three ‘S’s for a super communion”

1. Presentation: Short; 1 Scripture; 1 point; Story (emotionally engaging, not emotionally overwhelming); Avoid jargon

2. Focus – 1 Cor 11, Lk 22: Jesus; Proclaim his death; Relevant scripture; Why taking bread and wine – what is the connection?

The three “S”s….


The audio version is on my podcast:…/6994649-tuesday-teaching-tips-three…

Worship Music Survey!! What are we listening to?

Please use below link to download the file

Worship Music Survey – tvcoc

Our style of worship has developed over the years. Most of our congregations have moved from an a cappella hymn-based Church of Christ style to a mix of hymns, choruses, worship songs and other genres. Such diversity of worship music reflects the diverse backgrounds and preferences in our congregations today. That’s were we’ve been, and where we are. But where are we going? Worship music is more varied than at any previous time. From plainsong to Hillsong we have an extensive menu available. Access to worship music is more open than ever. Radio, the web, smart phones and the like mean we’re never more than a click away from music. The worship team want to make the most of new ideas while not neglecting what is good in our current approach. Answering the questions below will give us some guidance. Your comments will help us to keep what is helpful, while exploring the new.

1. Do you listen to music on Christian radio stations / online? If so, which ones? What is it about the music on that station you like?

2. List three of your favourite worship artists / albums / groups and what you like about them. • • •
3. Which songs or types of songs that you listen to would you like to see us add to our times of corporate worship?

Do you have any other thoughts you think would be useful for the worship team?

Thank you and God bless,



Starting Songs Together as a Worship Team: “Oneness”

musicnotes-001Why does this matter?  Three reasons.

  1. Our job as a team is to lead a group of people in corporate worship. We need to model this corporate worship. Starting together makes a difference. If we are a team it is important to function in that way. Demonstrates “oneness” (Jn 17.20-21; see also Jn 13.15). We will feel more like a team of brothers and sisters. When one starts and the others are not ready it creates insecurity in the team which is never good for unity.
  2. One person starting a song when the rest are not ready is distracting for the congregation who are then thinking about why we are not unified rather than focussed on God. Needless to say, this is likely to be even more distracting for visitors (it might be a stretch to apply 1 Cor 14.33, but you know what I mean).
  3. When we start songs together it means we are ready to not only sing, and not only to lead worship, but we are best placed to actually worship God ourselves!  This matters to God and makes a difference to our own spiritual well-being (a healthy attitude matters, Heb 12.28).

How do we get there?  Three steps.

  1. Look down. Check the first note/chord – make sure you’ve got it. Get the first few words of the song in your head.
  2. Look sideways. Check the rest of the team are ready.
  3. Look out. Smile at the congregation, and start with a noticeable movement (of the arm or instrument).


It is the leaders’ job to create conditions helpful to starting songs together. It is the job of the rest of the team to make the leader’s job easy by being alert (echoes of Heb 13.17). Starting together is not about volume or energy, but focus. It is about teamwork!

These are not ‘rules’ and breaking them is not ‘sin’, but let’s reflect and see if starting together might help our services. I believe that the congregation will respond well and move more quickly from, “Oh, the song has started”, to actually participating in corporate worship.  We, they and our friends will be spiritually enriched, and God will be honoured. Everyone ‘wins’.

Your brother,