#projectWOW

I launched #projectWOW (Women of Worship) this past week, and I have been overwhelmed with the positive response about the vision of the project. It is an album designed to empower the next generation of female worship leaders. And more than that… I want to provide a healthy environment for women in worship in whatever way possible. I have until July 25th to raise the funds needed to accomplish this project. And any way that you can help would be amazing! Here is the link to find out more: #projectWOW

When I first started revealing some of the struggles I was facing as a female worship leader, I was amazed at the messages received from other women in worship.

“…I am a female worship leader, this is my fourth year of leading worship and am only 19. I found your blog post about being a female worship leader really helpful and your music and voice beautiful. I was the only female worship leader at my church in Sydney until just a month ago and have experienced similar things to you that you put in your blog. Just wanted to say thanks for putting yourself out there and being vulnerable, its nice to know there are others out there facing the same things 🙂 and if you have any more wisdom please do share it on your blog or via email. Thanks! God Bless!”

“Oh wow. I am so glad to know that I am not the only one struggling with this– haha! For me, I still hear comments from guys telling me that they find it hard to sing with me during worship, while the rest of the girls would say that they love singing with me. Haha.”

“Can I message you? I’m leading worship temporarily, and I’m a full-time “fill-in” worship leader at my church. I’m just very discouraged and I’m dealing with a lot on my plate right now, worship leader-wise. Thank you for being a voice for us girls!”

The more I write about it… the more response I get. Which is why I feel as if I am right where God has called me to be. #projectWOW is more than just a new album. It is about empowering these women… the ones who feel alone and discouraged… the ones who just want to quit. I want them to know that they are valued beyond measure and that God can use them in such a beautiful way! Check out this video to learn more…

DONATE TO #projectWOW HERE

New Music from Bethel & Kari Jobe

Worship leaders… I have been listening to a couple of great albums the past couple weeks. These songs are a great resource of congregational worship songs for women. Love it! Here they are…

You Make Me Brave

You Make Me Brave, is a compilation of songs from Bethel’s female worship leaders… a night of worship “from women and for women”. This album is powerful and anointed, and includes many powerhouse vocalists including Kari Jobe and Amanda Cook. Favorite song… You Make Me Brave. I love the lyric found in the bridge of the song, and it also happens to be the title of the album.

majestic 2Kari Jobe’s new album, Majestic, is beautiful and congregational. The lyrics and melodies on this album are not only singable, but invite people into the presence of God. I am so glad that she has released a worship album. Even though it is quite different from what she has done in the past, it has created a beautiful resource for women in worship. Love every song on this album!

Being a Female Worship Leader is Hard

worship-leader-idolThis post is specifically for my female worship leader friends, or anyone who works with other female worship leaders. A little background…

I am the only female worship leader on staff at my church. On my church campus, I work with one other male worship leader, and all the other campuses have male worship leaders. Over the years, I have come to understand the difficulty of trying to lead the same set as my male worship leader counterpart. It has been a challenge! For one, I naturally don’t have the same type of “energy” as he does. Most of our congregation, when I first got hired, was not used to seeing a female take the reigns. It was a different type of leadership that they were not used to. Also, the guys didn’t know how to sing in a female key. Eek… what is harmony?! Females are so used to singing harmony to male worship leaders, but males have not grown up with that ear training. So, it was very difficult for them… and still is. Over time, I have learned to place my songs in keys that work best for male and female both, but that still doesn’t solve every problem. (If you are wondering, C-C works as the best range for everyone).

In addition, when we introduce songs, my male worship counterpart and I are supposed to find a song that works for both of us. Yeah right! This is so hard. We found a couple songs that worked, but it usually resulted in both of us struggling with the song. Compromise led to… not the best for our congregation. We recently worked out a rotation where we can introduce 2 different songs simultaneously to different services. I won’t go into the details, but this has been an amazing process because we have been able to introduce songs that fit our own style and heart, yet still minister to our congregation. Co-leading has also helped this.

Another struggle that I have run into lately has been the availability of female-led worship songs for the corporate church. There is not much out there, especially upbeat songs! In the top 30 worship songs right now, there are only 2 female led songs and they are more like ballads. Typical, right? So how do I survive as a female worship leader!? Below are some resources that I hope will help:

  • ORIGINAL MUSIC
    • My heart is to write songs, specifically for females to use in the corporate worship setting. These songs are meant to be singable, catchy, and in a female key.
    • To look through my catalogue, go to my website. Charts are also provided on my site for FREE!
  • YOUTUBE CHANNEL
    • I have recently been posting more live videos from my worship sets on the weekend. Most of the songs that I am posting are male-led songs that I have transposed and arranged specifically for me. Feel free to rip off the arrangements and use them for your own worship sets!
    • Check out the videos on my YOUTUBE channel.
  • LIST OF MALE SONGS TRANSPOSED
    • Here is a list of some of the top worship songs that are male-led, and the keys that I would do them in (Just a few to get you started!):
      • 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord), Matt Redman- Key of D
      • One Thing Remains, Bethel- Key of E (without the octave jump)
      • Christ Is Enough, Hillsong Live- Key of D
      • The Rock Won’t Move, Vertical Church Band- Key of D
      • This Is Amazing Grace, Phil Wickham- Key of C
      • God Is Able, Hillsong Live- Key of E
      • Stronger, Hillsong Live- Key of A
      • Our God, Chris Tomlin- Key of E
      • Everlasting God, Brenton Brown- Key of A
      • Not To Us, Chris Tomlin- Key of E
      • Glory To God Forever, Fee- Key of F#
      • We Are The Free, Matt Redman- Key of D

Hope this helps! Please message me if you have any questions. My heart is for other female worship leaders and I want to continue to be of resource to you. More posts and resources to come.

 

John Mayer and Worship

John-Mayer-1So last week, I went to the John Mayer concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Oh man, I love that guy. He is super talented and the show he puts on is phenomenal. Phillip Phillips opened up for him, and he was great, but John blew him out of the water. (John… like I know him on a first name basis or something… lol). The show was sold out, and everyone was excited to see John Mayer and his band play because he hadn’t been on tour for a while… due to his vocal surgery. But amazingly enough, his voice sounded better than I had ever heard it before (Yes, I have seen him 2 other times in concert). It had a sweet and smooth quality to it, and he seemed like he could sing for days without getting tired. I was very impressed. He even had vocal breakdowns in a couple of his songs, where he was able to showcase his voice alone. Good concert and great show.

But what does this have to do with worship?

As I looked around the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night, I saw people (and actually sat next to one) who were completely and whole-heartedly in awe of John Mayer. They were lifting their hands, singing at the top of their lungs, and shouting for a man who they WORSHIPPED and LOVED in every sense of the word. They were followers of John Mayer and because they loved him and his music so much, it was easy for them to get excited at the concert. It was a no-brainer. John Mayer appeared and they responded to who he was and what he was doing.

So why don’t we do this on Sundays? Why don’t we get that excited during worship or the message? Why do we come to church and stand there with blank stares on our faces, arms crossed, and minds wandering? We serve a God who created the entire universe and everything in it. He is the one who put the stars in place and the moon in rotation. He is the God who made roaring water-falls and majestic mountains. He created the intricate nature of our minds and the beating of our heart. He sent His only Son to live on this earth, die on the cross, and resurrect to life 3 days later, all so we could access Him blameless and clean. He is holy, mighty, sovereign, great, majestic, perfect, gracious, loving… I could go on and on and on. Isn’t our God worth the best of us and the best of our worship? Shouldn’t we come to church on Sunday ready to lift our hands in surrender, sing at the top of our lungs, and shout for joy to a God who deserves it all?

John Mayer can be great… and he is.
But shouldn’t our God be GREATER?

Valley Worship Blog

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For those of you who don’t know, I am a worship leader at Christ’s Church of the Valley in San Dimas, CA. To go more in depth, I am specifically a part of Valley Worship: the worship, creative, and performing arts ministry of Christ’s Church of the Valley. We serve the various technical, music, performing arts, and creative needs of CCV while implementing a vision, philosophy, and theology of worship all the way from the multi-generational services on the weekend, to youth, and children. In addition, we equip and empower others by developing and providing innovative and engaging resources and training that help to develop a deeper devotion of worship for individuals and churches nationwide.

Our Valley Worship website has just launched and I get the privilege of blogging for this site about every other week. I will still be blogging on this site, but I want to be able to share some (or all) of the blogs I write on the Valley Worship site as well. I will post links to the blogs when they are posted… just another way to hear what’s on my heart! 🙂 Enjoy…

Valley Worship Blog- OH TO BE LIKE AN OAK TREE

-Ashley

AshleyBeckfordMusic.com

Website Photo

Hey everyone… my new website just launched! Woo! I am so excited about it! It is found at www.AshleyBeckfordMusic.com. This site is not only being used to show people what I am up to, but also equip and empower worship leaders and musicians. I hope and pray that this site can be a great tool for you. Here is a rundown of what it includes:

Home Page/Connect Tab: This is a page where people can connect through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, iTunes, Sound Cloud, and YouTube. Whether you want to see my latest status update or check out my music/videos, this is the place to go! HOME PAGE

About Page: This is a page where you can get to know a bit more of my story. My bio shares about my journey of becoming a worship leader and my influences along the way. So if you are interested in my life story, this is the place to go! ABOUT PAGE

Blog Page: This page takes you directly to my blog. And if you are reading this, you probably are already following my blog. This is just another way to get to it!

Music Page: This page gives a description of each project/album I have worked on as well as links to iTunes where you can get the music if you don’t already have it. MUSIC PAGE

Chords Page: This is one of my favorite pages because I have such a heart for equipping and empowering worship leaders and musicians. On this page, you can find a free downloadable song book from my most recent album, “Heart After You”. It comes with the lead sheets and the chord charts to the songs. You can download it as a PDF document or add it to you iBooks shelf. I hope the songs bless you and the people around you! CHORDS PAGE

Contact Page: If you have any questions or are interested in booking, this is the page to go to. Feel free to send me any thoughts at all! CONTACT PAGE

Hope this website is of great help to you! Enjoy!

-Ashley

 

Emmanuel – God With Us

It was on that silent night, in a lowly manger, that Jesus entered our world. God became man. He left the wonder and the joy of heaven and came down to a world of hate and pain… a world where one day he would be tortured and put on a cross to die. But he came to be with us anyways. He was God with us: EMMANUEL.

Today, Jesus is not with us in human form, but His name rings true still. He is God with us: EMMANUEL. And no matter what we might be going through this Christmas… maybe a loss of a loved one, maybe trouble in marriage, maybe financial stress, maybe things are great… no matter what the hurt or joy, God is with us and will always be with us. He is right by our side though the good and the bad, even if we don’t recognize Him.

So, let us start now. Let us recognize him.

This season, we remember the wonder of his birth, the miracles on display in his lifetime, the pain in his death, and the victory in his resurrection. God WAS with us here on earth 2000 plus years ago… God IS with us today in our own joys and pains, and God WILL ALWAYS BE with us from now until forevermore. EMMANUEL.