view this email in your browser

You signed up for this newsletter to receive weekly worship news and updates.

Download freebies here. Unsubscribe info at the bottom.


NEW Recording and Hymn History: Tis So Sweet to Trusth in Jesus


from hymncharts arranger Don Chapman:


Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus is one of my oldest arrangements! I originally created it way back in 2003 (twenty years ago!!) and I've just recorded it for the first time.


When I record in Nashville, usually for Christmas/Easter music, I'll have a few of my old arrangements ready to go if we have extra studio time. I've been doing this for over ten years now and have quite a few vocals squirrled away. This one is at least ten years old and sounds as good as the day we recorded it (digital audio doesn't get stale!)


As with all my old arrangements, I've updated Tis So Sweet with better vocal and instrumental writing as well as transposed chord charts and multitracks.


Hymn Histories


According to my web stats, the hymn histories are a smash hit. I've received comments and emails from people and churches from all over the country. Some pastors are even reading them in their services! You might find them useful in providing a bit of context before you sing the hymn with your congregation (as I've suggested in this article.)


Many hymns were born out of tragic circumstances and Tis So Sweet is no different.


Hymns (and Hymn Writers) Come to Life


One of the main purposes behind hymncharts is to help contemporary churches integrate hymns into their worship. (By the way, the more "blended" style of hymncharts will be changing to a more modern style over the next few months as I've created a batch of arrangements that fit better with today's styles.)


But not only do I want the music to connect with people today, I'm trying something new and pretty cool to connect us with the people who wrote the hymns! With the rapid advancements in AI technology, I'm taking the old, grainy photos of hymn writers from the past and making them clear and crisp. This technology is BREATHTAKING!! It makes these people come to life! I'm posting these images with my hymn histories, and I've worked on photos for both Tis So Sweet and Great Is Thy Faitfulness.


Here's an example of Louisa M.R. Stead, the writer of Tis So Sweet, a before and after!

Here's Thomas Chisholm (around 1923 I believe) who wrote Great Is Thy Faithfulness.


Behind the Hymns: Connecting Congregations to Timeless Treasures


As worship leaders, we strive to create an atmosphere that encourages our congregations to connect with God and engage in meaningful worship. One powerful way to achieve this is by incorporating hymns into our contemporary worship sets. But how can we ensure that these timeless treasures resonate with modern churchgoers?


Continue reading.

Hymn History: A Mighty Fortress


A Mighty Fortress Is Our God is a cornerstone of modern Christian hymnody. Its origins are every bit as grand as its legacy, being written by one of the most famous and beloved Christians in history, and being used as a battle cry during times of persecution.



NEW Transposed Chord Charts


One of my goals for 2023 at hymncharts is to create transposed chord charts for my oldest arrangements! Way back in 2002 when I first started the website (correct, I am no spring chicken 🤣) I only had chord charts in the original key, then developed software in 2009 that automatically transposes a chart into every key.


My first revamped chord chart is for A Mighty Fortress.


Wow have styles changed!


As I've been working on the A Mighty Fortress transposed chord charts, I'm reminded again at how worship styles have evolved in the past 20 years, and why I need to create a whole new batch of "modern" arrangements for the top hymns (another goal for 2023!)


While I still love my older arrangements, you really have to know your music to pull off them off - they're much more intricate than today's worship music.


The debate continues to rage whether this is good or bad (I like ALL styles so I don't care!) but it is what it is. A modern worship band can typically have 6 or more songs each week to play, and the modern worship leader will often choose 3 new songs every week (don't get my guitarist friend going on this LOL!)


With longer praise sets, volunteers simply don't have the time or brain power to learn hard music - and I think that's one of the main reasons for what some would say is the "dumbing down" of worship music.


Times change and I enjoy changing along with it. You can hear this new, modern direction in some of my latest arrangements like Were You There, Our God Reigns and Great Is Thy Faithfulness. Get ready, I've got more up my sleeve!

Why Are Hymns Still Popular?


Why are so many old hymns still popular to this day? Are they merely being kept around by believers holding to tradition? As society and technology advances, shouldn’t the new dethrone the old?


Continue reading.

About: Don Chapman’s passion is for the Church, music and technology, and he blends all three into resource websites devoted to contemporary worship: hymncharts(.)com and worshipflow(.)com. He’s the editor of the weekly worshipideas(.)com newsletter that’s read by over 30,000 worship leaders across the world. A prolific arranger and songwriter, Don has had songs published by Word, Integrity Music, G3worship and Worship Today, and has orchestrated music for Christian artists Chris Sligh and Jeremy Camp. He’s been featured on the 700 Club, has been quoted in USAToday and is a guest lecturer at Liberty University.


The first worshipideas email newsletter went out to about 400 people on February 11, 2002 (in the heyday, right before the blog explosion, the newsletter amassed over 100,000 subscribers. These days it hovers around 30,000.) Worshipideas was born out of Don’s own desire to share what he was learning as a first-time worship leader at a church plant. Back in 2002 contemporary worship was still fairly new and the worshipideas newsletter and website helped worship leaders across the world figure out this new form of worship.


Privacy Policy: At WorshipIdeas, we are strongly committed to protecting your privacy and providing a safe & high-quality online experience for all of our visitors. We understand that you care about how the information you provide to us is used and shared. We have developed a Privacy Policy to inform you of our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of information we receive from users of our website. WorshipIdeas operates the Website.


Our Privacy Policy, along with our Term & Conditions, governs your use of this site. By using our site, or by accepting the Terms of Use (via opt-in, checkbox, pop-up, or clicking an email link confirming the same), you agree to be bound by our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.


If you have provided personal, billing, or other voluntarily provided information, you may access, review, and make changes to it via instructions found on the Website or by replying to this email. To manage your receipt of marketing and non-transactional communications, you may unsubscribe by clicking the “unsubscribe” link located on the bottom of any marketing email. Emails related to the purchase or delivery of orders are provided automatically – Customers are not able to opt out of transactional emails. We will try to accommodate any requests related to the management of Personal Information in a timely manner. However, it is not always possible to completely remove or modify information in our databases (for example, if we have a legal obligation to keep it for certain timeframes, for example). If you have any questions, simply reply to this email or visit our website to view our official policies.

Blended worship on a budget since March 6, 2002.