For many reasons, Paul Baloche
is a gift to worship leaders across the globe. Not only has he written some of the biggest songs you've heard on Sunday mornings for years, he has consistently provided resources for church musicians.
This time of year, though, he's a huge gift as he beautifully navigates the age-old dilemma worship leaders have of balancing the competing December demands of singing familiar Christmas carols and continuing to engage in vertical worship.
With two Christmas worship studio recordings under his belt, and now with the live record, For Unto Us: Live Christmas Worship from London
[buy it here
], Baloche continues to show worship leaders the world over how to keep the focus on Christ at Christmastime with personal, focused worship. [And don't miss the free chord chart he's giving away.
Since he seems to be so Christmas-minded as of late, I asked Baloche six quick-take questions about his holiday likes and habits--and then illustrated his answers with accompanying imagery.
1. What's your favorite Christmas carol?
"O Holy Night"... brilliantly inspired melody and lyrics.
2. What makes a good Christmas song?
Ideally, Christ-centered lyrics that creatively retell the Christmas narrative set to inspiring music.
3. What's your go-to Christmas album each year?
Our family loves James Taylor's Christmas album.
4. How did you decide which of your worship songs would pair nicely with classic carols?
As a worship pastor in my local church, I looked for choruses that thematically matched the corresponding carol to facilitate vertical worship... and then, "trial and error" over a ten-year period!
5. What's one Christmas tradition that you never miss every year?
Getting together with family, church, meals, gifts. I have three kids and two grandkids. It's all about family time!
6. What do you tell worship leaders who aren't sure how to balance familiar Christmas songs and leading worship during the holidays?
Experiment with a few options. See what feels natural and worshipful. Use examples like what I did on my Christmas Worship projects and look for other songs that you feel suit your church.