Watch as worship leader, songwriter, and producer Don Moen and MediaShout president Eric Eitel have an in-depth conversation about worship and media.
If you’ve been in worship ministry at all over the last thirty years, you know the name Don Moen. After traveling for many years with Terry Law, Don released his first album, Worship with Don Moen, in 1992. Since then, his songs have made a global impact for God’s kingdom. Early on, he worked with Integrity Music in several roles and produced 11 volumes for the world-renowned “Hosanna! Music” worship album series. In 2008, following his time at Integrity, he started the Don Moen Company. Don is a prolific songwriter whose name is associated with some of the most well-known songs in Christian music. Currently, he is President of Don Moen Productions and lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife Laura.
FROM BACKGROUND MUSICIAN TO GLOBALLY KNOWN WORSHIP LEADER
In the video, Don shares the story of how he began traveling and leading worship. It started when he attended Oral Roberts University and joined a group called Living Sound, led by evangelist, Terry Law. Don thought he was going on a 6-month tour, but ended up touring with Living Sound for 10 years. Don shares how that tour helped him grow in character through hard work and dedication. Day after day the team would set up, lead worship, and then tear down their gear. He recalls many nights of travel sleeping on couches in host homes. Don learned a lot through his years traveling with the community of worshippers that made up Living Sound. He said one of the problems today is “people can create beautiful music in a vacuum at home. Then if they get a chance to get up on a stage they have nothing to say.” Don says that part of the process worship leaders must go through is developing their gifts and communication skills. They must also learn to understand and get to know their congregation.
Over the years, as Don was touring, he realized he wanted his music to be about something more. So he wrote down these words: “I want my music to come in power, praise, healing, and deliverance.” At this point, Don still hadn’t led worship. He was just a member of the band and enjoyed that position because he didn’t want to be the frontman. He didn’t like speaking in front of people. But it was the founder of Living Sound, Terry Law, who launched him into the next phase of his journey. Terry saw the gift on Don’s life and helped him step into his destiny by pushing him out of his comfort zone and into the role of worship leader.
A few years later as Don was traveling with Terry, they went through Mobile, Alabama and Don met a man named Mike Coleman. Mike told Don about his idea to release the “Hosanna! Music” cassettes and they soon realized they could work together to make this dream a reality. Soon after, Don went to Mike’s church in Alabama to record “Give Thanks”. It wasn’t long until Don began receiving invitations to travel and sing at churches all over. Fast forward a couple of years and Don moved to Alabama to help Mike Coleman build Integrity Music.
Don took the role of Creative Director, which was a combination of A&R, marketing and sales, and music production. Don stayed with Integrity Music for 20 years until he once again stepped into a new season. He started the Don Moen Company which even briefly took its own venture into worship software and many other worship resources. To this day, he still is leading worship and pouring into worship teams, media teams, and church leaders all over the world.
Don says of his own journey, “I’m not sure how I ended up where I am today. I never could have predicted it. I attribute it to all the tiny decisions I made along the way that added up to where I am now.”
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
One thing you will quickly notice about Don is that he has a passion for training churches and their faithful teams of men and women who serve each Sunday. In the video interview with MediaShout president Eric Eitel, Eric asks Don to specifically share some thoughts for church media ministry teams.
To begin with, the most important thing is to have a servant’s heart. Don urges media teams to not lose focus on what they are there to do. In his words, “People don’t need more production. What they do need is the presence of the Lord.” He then adds, “Let’s use great technology, but never lose sight of what is going to change a person’s life. And what changes people’s lives is God’s presence. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you create an atmosphere that welcomes God’s presence. If we do that, then when people walk out after a service their lives will be changed forever.”
Don’t serve the technology…let the technology support the ministry.
This is one of the points that Don wants every media team to grab hold of. Audio-visual teams in churches are using the latest technology, but the challenge is to not make it all about the technology. Don says to use technology to enhance what the pastor is saying and what the worship team is doing, but keep an open hand and do not get insecure when people ask you to adjust the plans. He says that if you have an attitude of control you may even need to take a break for a while! The take-away is to always work to maintain a servant’s heart. The tech booth is a tough place to be because usually you aren’t noticed unless something goes wrong. You know you did a good job when no one says anything. But rest assured the Holy Spirit uses you in your act of service behind the booth. This is your act of worship.
HOW TO KEEP GROWING IN YOUR MEDIA MINISTRY
Simply put, Don says, “To grow in your media ministry you must keep an open heart and a teachable spirit.” He acknowledges that media teams are in a position that will receive a lot of criticism and his advice is that when new team members mess up, remember to show them grace and kindness as they grow. He also encourages teams to look back at the service and critique what they did and how they can do it better each week.
As Don also points out, being on the media team is a very creative position. Media teams are part of a larger team– worship, visual, pastoral, and they are all creatives. It’s important to be open and flexible to things changing from any side. And being open to talking through what worked and what didn’t work is going to make your team better. Whether talking about church presentation software or any other part of worship or media ministry, a seamless presentation takes a lot of work, and the only way it happens is by analyzing what you do each week.
LEARN FROM DON MOEN
Don loves helping media teams and worship teams strengthen their skills. You can find many of his teaching and training videos on YouTube. Find out more at www.DonMoen.tv
One resource Don has available is a series of eight teaching sessions called the Master Class Series. In the series, he and his team cover everything from rehearsing your band, planning for sound system purchase and installation, finding and purchasing high-quality worship software and equipment, choosing a livestream software for church, purchasing the best computer for church worship, and planning a worship gathering. You can find these teachings and more on his website DonMoen.com. Don also travels to churches to train and teach on everything from church media and audiovisual to musicianship. The main thing he loves to drive home to teams is using the tools they have to connect people with God’s presence.
Lastly, Don still loves traveling to lead worship and to share his heart with churches all across the world. If you would like to bring him to your church, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to his website for more information.