Tuesday, December 7, 2010

how did i become a yuppie?

I've always been anti yuppie, but sadly I think I need to change my stance on yuppie hood.

You see, today, I have realized I am a yuppie. How this happened I have no idea. But it has.

Tight V-neck T-shirt - Check
Extremely tight skinny jeans - Check
Cell phone in pocket- Check
Cell Phone in pocket on contract - Check
Thinks a smartphone would be useful - Check
iMac at work - Check
MacBook at home - Check
Start getting nervous when I haven't checked my email/facebook/txt's for more than 7 minutes - Check

So there you have it.

Ben, the yuppie.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

december roster

just posting this online for the team:

on my mind - Old VS New, Young VS. Old-er.

Everyone has heard the classic complaint:

'I just couldn't worship, it was like a concert! What has happen to the old way where everyone sings together? Now the music is too loud. The lights are too flashy. I don't like the worship leader's skinny jeans. It's not even worship anymore . . . ' ect, ect, repeat, repeat, repeat.

I reckon we are stuck at an interesting point in the timeline of worship music and style.

It seems to me like this - once, we worshiped from a set of hymns. 

We came together, sang the words of old favorites out of hymnals, while Mrs Jones, the local music teacher played the piano. Sometimes, when old Mrs Jones' knee was playing up, Mrs Davis would play instead, on her ancient Yamaha Electone electric organ.

No one minded. They took what they could get. It wasn't creative, but it was comfortable, and it worked.

At the youth camps, one hip young leader would bring his guitar, and they'd all sit around the campfire singing choruses and having a grand old time larking about dipping cubes of bread into the cheese fondue, before heading off for a nice cup of cocoa and bed.
Rock music was dangerous, and in church, was downright sinful.
This was how my parents grew up. Not that long ago, really. Only 40 years or so.
(According to Ancestry.com, a generation is around 30 years)

Then, change was in the air.

With the advent of MTV, tapes and the Sony Walkman taking over from record players, more and more bands putting out more and more music, home stereos and VCR's getting cheaper, and more radio shows playing new music, the atmosphere changed.

People were spoiled for choice. There was so much good stuff out there rather than just taking what they could get, people got picky. They could now carefully sort through and choose exactly what they like. There became a higher demand for quality, for creativity and most of all, for personal expression.

So into church came the guitars. After much conversation (actually, probably violent argument and impassioned debate) with church eldership and leaders, in came the drums. Modern music with guitars and drums needs a more sophisticated sound system, so after much penny pinching, that came in too.

Now, it was wonderful. Each church choose it's own songs. They were creatively expressing themselves through music! Because now there was worship bands, not just Mrs Jones and Mrs Davis, whole piles of musicians and singers got a chance to express themselves in worship.

But it didn't end there. Enter, the digital revolution! 

The CD. The Mp3. The iPod. Fast internet downloads.
Hundreds of new bands exploding into our computers and out through our speakers into our thirsty eardrums. No longer were we listeners of music - we became true consumers.
Eating through huge piles of music, and spitting it out at the other end, never really appreciating the art and effort that had gone into it.
With Protools, Sonar, and Logic, we could turn our home computer into a recording studio.
With MySpace, we could put our music online and have it available to the entire universe in just seconds.

So if went even further. Music had become such a vital and important part of people's lives, that they chose churches by what music they played. They couldn't even go for a jog with out taking 30 gigs of their favourite tunes with them. It became so ungainly running worship bands and building huge worship teams that every church had to hire a music pastor, just to keep it all running.

The sound systems got even bigger and fancier, to handle more complexity. The bands got better. Songs were written by the millions. Worship leaders became millionare rockstar types, as they sold thousands and thousands of records, toured whole countries and gathered fans like mad.
Concert style lighting became the norm, as people demanded better production standards, and a more engaging experience. Churches began to stream live on the internet, so that Alaskan Eskimos can choose to attend Texas' Lakewood church and hear Israel Houghton lead worship this sunday, if they so desire.

All that, in my parents lifetime alone. Crazy. Utterly mental.

So, back to the beginning. The complaint. 'Is it even worship anymore?'

Yes. I think it is.

Yes, it's true, hundreds, maybe thousands, maybe millions of people miss the point, and that's a great pity.

But all of the worship teams I know are led by a genuine heart to WORSHIP GOD. Sure, we have a lot to focus on, weekly arranging and writing songs, defining our churches' style, managing budgets, managing and inspiring huge teams, trying to remain current and professional in our production standard, but at the heart of it is a hunger to get CLOSER TO GOD.

If we lose that hunger, and if we start slipping into the nightmare of the production and the music being the most important thing, then we are done for. Sadly, this happens all too often.

But we need to keep pressing forward on this journey of exploration, in the western world at least.
We have to meet people WHERE THEY ARE. An 18 year old kid is going to laugh at Mrs Jones, and the old church singing hymns. He's going to laugh at our 90's worship songs and bad hair.
But if he walks into a church, and is hit with a wall of passionate sound, a great atmosphere, well written, well played, interesting music, and a room full of friendly people passionate about God in 2010, he might stick around to ask a few questions. He might accept the invite to a life group that week.

And so if I was to summerize (probably not how you are meant to spell that), I would say this:
The Christian church worships the same God, now, yesterday, tomorrow, in 1963, 1930, 1980 and so on. The style doesn't matter. The heart does.

If you are a one who doesn't like the 'new' style, talk to your pastor and worship leaders. Let them know you concerns. But don't criticize them just because you don't like that style. After all, there are dozen of churches to choose from. Why attend one you don't like? But take the time to understand the heart of the leaders. Take the time to hear from them what they are all about. You may hate the music, but love the leader's heart. You can support them, even if you have to wear earplugs to church.
We do this stuff to try and reach our city with Gods' message of hope, love and grace.

and that is a thinking type thought that i have been thinking of with my thinking brain thing.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In-Ear Monitors

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, IEM's (In Ear Monitors) are a whole new approach for live sound monitoring.

So the old school way works like this: 

I'm standing, on stage, next to a drumkit, blasting away at full volume.

I'm playing electric guitar, and of course, the electric guitar makes no sound at all without an amplifier.
So I put my amp on a stand to get it up close to my ears, then I crank it up to an equal volume level as the drum kit, so I can hear it.

To complicate things more, I'm singing.
Obviously, next to a drum kit blasting away, and my guitar amp being a noisy noisy loud thing, I cannot hear myself sing, at all. So I need yet another sound source, a monitor speaker on the stage in front of me, with my voice fed to it, cranked up to an equal level as the drums.

It gets worse. For one song, I'm singing, but not playing guitar at all. For that song, I am singing solo with just backing from a keyboard.

I need to hear the keyboard, so I can sing (A) in tune and (B) in time, so that is fed into my monitor, and cranked up to an equal volume as my vocals. That all adds up to a lot of sound coming at me.

I've just painted a fairly bleak picture, but it gets even worse. On any standard Sunday, we have 8+ singers and musicians on stage, all with the same problems, all with blaring loud amps and stage monitors.

So what we have is a bunch of noise on stage. Everything has to be turned up LOUD, just so I can hear the bare minimum things that I need to hear to get my job as a worship leader done.

This is a thing we techos call (not very cleverly) 'Stage Volume' or 'Stage Wash'.

Now, stage volume doesn't sound good. The congregation hears it, but not directly, as the monitor speakers are pointing away from them.
By the time it gets to their ears, it's bounced off the roof and walls.
It sounds bassy, muddy, flat and just plain nasty. But still LOUD.

Now we introduce another element, our friend the FOH mixer or sound man/lady.
They have to create a mix for the congregation to hear clearly, but GLORY BE! the room is already filled with muddy, nasty stage sound bouncing around.

So they do the only thing they can do - turn the house sound up LOUDER. That way, the nice clear direct house sound covers up or masks the muddy stage sound. It sounds OK out front - but it is louder than it needs to be. This creates complaints from some people. And if you bring the volume down, it just sounds terrible. The vocals become soo muddy, you can't even tell what the words are half the time.
Just what we want in church, right?

WOW, you say. 'Ben, that is depressing. Is that really what you have to deal with as a sound tech?'

Yes. At. Every. Single. Gig. I've. Ever. Done.

But, thankfully, technology moves on. Enter, our savior, the IEM system!

The IEM system has three parts.

1) Transmitter. This bad boy takes a feed from the sound desk and converts it into radio waves
2) Receiver. This is a pack-of-cards sized, battery powered bodypack that you wear on your belt. It receives the radio signal from the transmitter
3) Ear Buds. These are tiny speakers that plug into your bodypack to play the music.
You can use cheap iPod headphones, good quality ones, or even have custom earpieces made up.

So that's how it works. Imagine everyone on stage has their own system. Now there are no monitor speakers or amplifiers on stage at all. If guitarists still want to use an amp, it can be side stage in a sound proofed box. All the musicians and singers can hear themselves in total clarity.

Because their is no speakers on stage, the stage noise is reduced to drums, vocals and acoustic guitar. Electric guitar, bass and keyboards, are all silent - except for in the muso's IEM.

Now the FOH soundie can breathe a sigh of relief - he/she no longer has to worry about all the mud and sloppy stage noise. They can build a nice simple, clean audio mix, at a MUCH LOWER volume, and everyone is happy. Heck, the congregation can even hear themselves sing over the ruckus now!

But there are other benefits as well.

So, returning back to my first illustration - let's take a look at those sound levels, shall we?

Standing next to a drumkit?  Approx 76 dB

+ loud guitar amp = Approx 82 dB

+ loud vocal microphone = Approx  88 dB

+ loud keyboard = Approx 94 dB

According to http://www.dangerousdecibels.org, 94dB can cause permanent hearing damage in an astonishing 60 minutes.
These audio levels are very normal on stages playing amplified church music. And we do hours on end!
Rock concerts can easily break 110 dB. So can a really loud ipod.
Yes, we are murdering our hearing week after week, hour after hour.

With IEM, the earbuds give you physical hearing protection against all the ambient noise, and you can have just what you need at a lower volume, right in your ears. You can easily get the noise down to 80ish dB - or even less.

I've noticed my hearing getting worse recently - I have to get people to repeat themselves occasionally. 
I'm hearing a constant high pitched ring in bed or very quiet places. 
After a full Sunday, playing 3 services + 2 rehearsals = total of 6ish hours of amplified music, my ears are sore, and the ringing is noticeable.

I've been playing amplified rock-style church music now for 10 years. 
I've been careful with my hearing, often wearing good quality earplugs, but clearly not careful enough. 
I'm 24 years old, an musician and sound engineer, and I'm already suffering hearing loss!

So I shelled out for a IEM system, on my own buck. Man, it has made a difference! 
After a full day of worship services on IEM, my ears don't feel trashed. They aren't ringing anywhere near as badly as they were before. And I've never heard my voice so loud and clear before. 
I'm singing more in tune, and I'm feeling more connected with the music while playing as well.
(The unit I brought is a Sennheiser IEM300 G2, if your interested) 

So, my mission is to share my knowledge. If you are gigging, please use hearing protection. 
If you can possibly afford IEM for yourself, do it. You won't regret it. 

And worship team family, you'll be glad to know, I'm working on a proposal for us here at EIC that will get the band on IEM, ASAP.




Monday, November 15, 2010

Chris Tomlin - boring?NO/Why we need to stop begging God for stuff, and praise Him more.

Sorry. I'm very far behind on blogs. Been busy!

This Sunday at EIC, we're going to introduce a new-ish Chris Tomlin song, 'Our God'.

I find Chris T an interesting phenomenon. The thing is, he's a little bit boring. (IMO only!)
The Hillsong and Planetshakers and Jesus Cultures and Israel H's of this world seem to be creating cooler, more energetic, more passionate music.

But every time we do a Tomlin song in our AM services, BANG, it just connects with people. The young ones, the middle aged ones, and even the young-in-heart-not-body ones.

I think it comes down to two factors.

1. Lyrics.
This guy's lyrics are pretty cliche. They aren't usually very clever. But they are always, always right. He constantly hits the same theme, song after song. His theme is GOD'S GREATNESS.

In todays world, half the worship songs seem to be inwards focused and almost a little bit selfish. (i.e. Holy Spirit Fill ME, touch ME give stuff to ME)
There is nothing wrong with that; Jabez asked for God's blessing, and he got it.  (1 Chronicles 4.10)
But I believe that our asking God for stuff has to be well balanced with our relationship with him.

X-rated I know, but if I suggest an intimate moment with my wife on a friday night, but haven't spent time time with her all week, haven't told her daily that I love her, haven't helped around the house, haven't listened to her problems, haven't prayed with her about tough situations in life ect, she will say a resounding NO WAY. And right she is.

Intimacy is a reaction and a reward for successful relationship.

So if we want intimacy with God (and who doesn't!) We need to work on our relationship with him first. Chris Tomlin clearly understands this.
And his lyrics totally reflect his remarkable attitude and focus on GOD.

His lyrics are love songs to God. Here are some snippets:

Indescribable, Uncontainable,
You set the stars in the sky and you know them by name,
You are amazing, God
Incomparable, Unchangeable,
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same
You are amazing, God

Name above all Names
You are worthy of my praise
My heart will sing
How Great is Our God

Water you turned into wine
Opened the eyes of the blind
There's no one like You, God
There's none like You

You are the everlasting God
the everlasting God
You will not faint,
You won't grow weary

Song after song, it's straight up love songs to the Savior.
And these are the songs that build relationship with God.
We tell Him we love him. He starts working in our lives. Intimacy is achieved.
Our lives are changed from the inside out.

2. Music

E's a clever lad, Tomlin.

His music is a little boring. To me.
To Stan and June, honorary elders at our church, from a very different generation from me, his music seems very forward, and out there.
To our African and Samoan congregation members, his songs feel very lacking in groove.
To some of us white folks, we find they have a nice touch of groove.

So his music sits nicely in the middle. It won't offend anyone. It won't alienate anyone. Everyone can sing along, in unity. It might not be your favorite style, but I have yet to hear complaints about it.

So to sum up -

Chris Tomlin is writing really great worship music. We shouldn't write him off, just because he may not totally cutting edge.

And, most importantly, nothing to do with Chris Tomlin, we need to build relationship with God, before we can expect intimacy with Him.
We should also be careful to provide a sound that doesn't offend the majority of church goers.

Songs we choose on Sunday should reflect that.

Thanks to the Coach for his help pushing me and sharing his years of experience with me.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

tuning PA - again

Our rig at church consists of 2x JBL VRX 932 and 1x JBL SRX 718S per side.
If you know much about sound gear, you've probably already noticed a problem.

1. VRX boxes have a 15 degree vertical coverage. 2 boxes = 30 degrees coverage.
30 degrees = not anywhere near enough. So essentially, we have all our speakers blasting away into a small, 30 degree wide patch of the congregation. There is a massive, and I mean massive SPL increase in the hotspot.

To make matters worse, the sound booth is against the back wall - where coverage is the worst.
So all the treble you hear there is reflections off walls & floor.
Behind the sound desk is a large glass wall. So most of those reflections sound almost like they are coming from BEHIND you. Which they are.

I've been trying things to fix this situation for ages, and indeed spent some time rewiring stuff to try yet another wacky idea.

First, I aimed the 'array' further back. This means the front two rows are going to lose fidelity, but moves some coverage back toward the sound booth.

Next, I set the VRX boxes to 'Passive' mode. This activates JBL's array shading feature. What this means is that the top box, pointing towards the back of the room, can be run louder than the bottom box, pointing at the centre/front of the room. Before, the speakers were bi-amped, and both running at the same volume.

Has this helped? I think so. I've only listened to it in an empty room, but it seems to me that the hotspot is much less, well, hot. The coverage is no better, sadly.
Surprisingly, I haven't noticed a lack of audio quality, there's a tiny bit of comb filtering that wasn't there earlier, but that's only in a very small area.

I also set the 31 band graphic master EQ flat, and did all the room tuning on the DSP parametric filters. For some reason, the DSP filters have never been used, weird, because that is the correct tool for tuning a system. We'll keep the graphic around for fast tweaks.
It did need some pretty full on para EQ, (filters at 41, 61, 2.7K, 6K, 10K) but, seems to be sounding ok now. I've also delayed the subs to try to get better fidelity.

Might still be too bright, but it's hard to tell from a mastered CD. We'll try it out this weekend


if you understand what I'm talking about, good work. If you don't, fair enough. We can't all be nerds :p)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

amazing team

just have to skite about our amazing team for a second. we just had our weekly meeting, and after chillaxing for a bit (and singing happy birthday to the lovely rachel cheah), we split up into groups and rewrote a song for half an hour. Some of the stuff people came up with was killer!

Then those of who are rostered on to play on Sunday AM had the easiest rehearsal ever, everyone totally nailed every part of every song.
We literally ran through each song once and went home. Awesome.

it's a ball hanging wit you guys


Sunday, October 17, 2010

guitarists - my top five influences

I am many things, but deep inside I am a true, bona-fide guitar nerd.

It's interesting how things shift though. 5 years ago I was totally gear crazy, spent countless hours researching, dreaming and scheming, all in search of the perfect tone.
Now I care much less about the gear. I have barely changed my guitar rig at all in the last year or so, or even really tweaked my settings. My focus has shifted to how I play.
I realized that the last few worship sets I've played, I've only used two pedals, an OD and delay. But I haven't just used one tone, I've been flicking between pickups, rolling off tone and volume knobs, playing with my fingers and generally enjoying really playing the guitar.

These are the guys who inspire me, the guys who I steal riffs and vibes from.

(1) The incredible delay master himself, Mr. The Edge

Most people peg him down to being a one trick guitarist who covers up his playing with tons of delay.
Well, that's probably true. He doesn't have a huge pile of great guitar technique. His lead playing is certainly limited.
But this guy's timing and feel are absolutely OFF-THE-CHAIN. He brings to the band a strong supportive layer that the singer can build off. And he is always, always tasteful in the way he does it.

The truth is that he's a genuine sideman. He don't care what he's doing, and he can do it all.
Piano? sweet. Guitar, no worries, Drum, Bass? yep. Produce a record? sure. Write a song that sells millions of copies? all in a days work. Run a hotel? Get married in a beanie? Manage a band? Make being bald cool? Sing better than Bono?

So what really inspires me about the Edge is not his guitar playing. It's the scope of his skills. He's a man who has never stopped working and learning. He's THE MAN.

(2) Keith Scott

This is not really a guitar hero list as you may have figured out by now!
Keith Scott has been playing guitar for Bryan Adams since the 70's. Like The Edge, he isn't the band's star. He's there to support Bryan. Like The Edge, he's a great singer and producer too.

If there's one guitarist I try to emulate more than any other, it's this guy. He's technically a better player than the Edge, but he still doesn't have to be the star - he's there for the songs.

(3) Mark Knopfler

I'm a rhythm player at heart. Marky isn't. But he has a totally unique style of lead guitar playing. It's more like singing than anything else. Every time he plays a note,  I feel like it's as integral to the song as every lyric, unlike the guitar 'heroes' I.E. the hugely overrated Slash, Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Jimmy Page types. He's an amazing songwriter, and not a terrible singer, all though his vocal style take some effort to appreciate! His last record was incredible too.

I'm totally guilty of trying to steal his right hand finger technique.

(4) Derek Trucks

I love the slide guitar. I remember my friend Nick Watson learning fretless bass years ago. I asked him what the appeal was, and I still remember him saying 'There's a lot of beauty in the in-between notes'. And I agree 100%.
So although I'm not great at it, I try to have a slide at the ready for a different sound and vibe.
I reckon this guy is the best slide player I've ever seen. Like Mark Knopfler, he doesn't use a pick.

(5) Nigel Hendroff

Nigel Hendroff pulls together a whole pile of influences into amazing guitar parts that carry the emotion and spirit of the songs. Like every other player in my list, he's there to serve the song, and in his case, to serve the vision of the worship leader and the serve the church.

This is a great example of some solid guitar playing. He's doing the Edge thing with dotted 8th note echo, but he's taking his note choices way further than The Edge ever has. He's nailing every single note, perfect timing, perfect feel. He's providing a big wall of sound, but still threading melody through it all, never playing too much but always there.

So those are my favorites, and why, in no real order.


Thursday, October 14, 2010


as it happens, i am no lighting expert. however, i understand and love the effect lighting does have.

Our auditorium has, for as long as I can remember, and probably since adam met eve, been lit by 6x metal halide lights. These things are painfully bright, and have the snazzy effect of making our church look exactly like a supermarket. When I walk in, usually my first thought is something to do with the price of meat and GST rises attempting to bankrupt me at every turn.

Our foyer looks great with halogen downlights, our stage looks great with a full wall RGB cyc and a bunch of pars and fresnels, and our auditorium has supermarket lights.

Well, it does have dimmable halogen downlights around the edges. But as they don't throw far, they have never been used very well.

Well, after seeing Elim Howick's lighting rig, and their clever use of halogen worklights as house lighting, I thought I'd have a wee hunt through the church under stages and in cupboards ect to see what I could see.

I found an amazing array of stuff, including a spare 5-channel dimmer pack and controller, and hit the jackpot - 7 matching halogen worklights, in a range of conditions.

First I tried mounting a working one on the lighting truss and bouncing the light off the roof. I learned two things.
a) our church does not have a pretty roof b) acoustic tile doesn't reflect light very well.

However, pointing the light directly down caused a pretty nice spread without too many shadows, and not too bright either. So most of the rest of my day was spent fixing halogens and mounting them on either our front or back truss. After a few calculations to make sure I wouldn't blow fuses constantly, I got them all hooked up to a dimmer channel, and DMX'ed to the lighting desk.
I ended up with 6 covering the centre of the room. They meet up nicely with the side downlights, and the room is pretty evenly covered in a nice warm glow.
It can be faded as one pleases, and it creates a much nicer atmosphere for the room.

Not bad for half a days work and a pile of dusty broken equipment.


(sadly, my work was noticed by josh, our kids church leader. my next project will be the kid's auditorium. stupid infernal lighting.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

equippers worship conference: 'One Heart'

Well, as promised, here's a post-conference update.

Wow. Just flipping, wow. I have no idea where to start.

You have to start somewhere so I'll start here: that was a totally life-changing event. Not like oh, wow my ipod/phone/mac/pad/thing is life changing, but actually, I don't think I will ever be the same.

The Ben Brunskill that exists now has a new outlook, a new vision, a new heart and a bunch of new friends compared to the Ben Brunskill that set off casually to go to a conference on friday night.

So what was it like? Much like every other conference I've ever been to. There was worship (via music) and there was teaching. But what worship, and what teaching it was.

So the worship:
I think the reason that often worship fails to take off in many services is a lack of people actually responding to God. Constantly, people seem to be just waiting for the sermon or lunch or sport on TV after church.
They don't really seem to latch on to the opportunity to chase after God in prayer, thanksgiving and sacrifice. They begin to get there after a few songs.
Often, the first 2/3 songs are just throwaways, just getting people in the mood.

What made the worship at this conference really incredible, is that there was no warm up song.
No effort made, or even needed, to get people engaging with God.

I'm not sure how many people were there, but I would say 250+, and every single one of them came expecting God to turn up in a powerful way. All of those people are from local church worship teams, and they know how to get into God's presence. So everyone just went there. We had a rushed soundcheck, no time for rehearsal.
We started worshipping, the congregation started worshipping and God's presence just flooded the place in seconds. We just worshipped, some of us onstage with a sound system, lights and instruments, some with voices and hands raised, standing, kneeling and dancing in the congregation. all the same body, all equals, with ONE HEART. one purpose, one vision. To worship our wonderful God.

Unity commands a blessing. (Psalm 133.3) God says where two or three gather in His name, his presence will be there (Matthew 18:20) and it was and in a powerful, incredible way.

And that was just the first worship set. It only got better and better.

The teaching:
God was stirring something up. He really was. We were totally challenged and guided.
Jordan Smith, a pastor, not a musician or singer, spoke on the importance of worship, and how worship needs to be central to our lives and our churches.
 Libby Huirua blew the roof off with a message on being remarkable for God, growing your gifting and heart and achieving greatness not for money, pride or popularity, but as a signpost to show what God can do with ordinary lives dedicated to Him.

Henry Seeley spoke on how it's our heart that controls how we worship, and the importance of our worship, our lives, our relationships and everything flowing from a heart that is passionate and dedicated to God. He also spoke about letting your heart go first, not your skills. If your heart is right, and your priorities are right, God will upgrade your skills and enable you to achieve more for God's glory. I can testify that he is completely right and we all need to constant check out hearts and attitude.

Wayne Hui preached the entire old testament. And no one fell asleep ;-)
He was focused on the topic of God taking Israel to victory, even though it took a long time, God's plan came to pass and it will in our lives too. He talked about the importance of worship as a prophetic act, and an act of spiritual warfare.

Everyone threw out dozens of incredible keys, scriptures, tips and it will take me a few more days to just decipher a fraction of this stuff.

So that was Equippers 'One Heart' conference. I'm  so, so glad that I went, and I'm even gladderer that I brought some of the team with me.

I honestly feel like I've gone to a whole new level in my personal relationship with God and also in my capacity as a musician, worshipper, leader and teacher.

watch this space - the spiritual atmosphere in new zealand has changed. we are taking back our land.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

october roster

A few changes have been made, here's the latest version for y'all:
Any queries? You know where to find me, benb@wn.elim.org.nz


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

That crazy time of year: Conferences

So we've pretty much just gotten back from the annual Elim national church conference.
All the church staff went (except for our poor long suffering finance Jedi, Beth) and a energetic contingency of youth and youth leaders also made the trek.
It was well worth it.

The conference theme for this year was 'Kingdom', and it was all about breaking our ridiculous, religious churchy mindsets and really understanding the fact that we are citizens of God's Kingdom here on earth - and we represent Him wherever we go and whatever we do, not just in church!

One of the speakers was Dr. Myles Munroe, and I got a lot of great notes from his messages.
The stuff that I appreciated most from him was the real practical leadership keys he was giving out.

He had a great theory which pretty much said that everyone should be a leader, leading with their own unique gift to the utmost of their ability. Very cool stuff, and reminds me I need to study my notes. I'll add that to my very long do to list. : )

And this weekend, a bunch of our worship people are going to the the 'One Heart' worship conference put on by Equippers church.

This is totally going to be great, and I'm honored to be playing in the band as well.
It feels a wee bit sacrilegious to say it, but I get to be onstage helping to lead worship alongside of some of my personal heroes and influences.

Most of all, I'm looking forward to being backstage franticly taking notes on how Wayne and Libby Huirua and Henry Seeley lead, not just with the practical stuff but also spiritually.

And right now I'm going to go keep working on the songs, because I know that if I don't nail them, Wayne Hui will not be happy.
And fair enough. His job is to help and encourage musicians give God their absolute best.
That's a pretty cool job!

I'll let you know how it goes.


I have created a blog-y sort of thing

Hi, my name is Ben Brunskill.

Together with my wife Jo, we lead the worship team at Elim International Church, in beautiful (sometimes) sunny Wellington, New Zealand.

I figured a blog might be a good way to keep in touch with the team and generally share some of the thoughts I have about things and stuff. And so here I go with my blog-y-thing.