Hi, my name is Rob Still. Welcome to my blog!
I am a worship leader, songwriter, author, producer and seminar instructor in Nashville, TN. I offer live workshops, consulting/coaching/mentoring and on-line courses for worship ministries. I also teach on the mission field, primarily eastern Europe.
I’ve produced several worship CD’s and am author of the devotional book Resurrection Power: 50 Days That Rocked The World.
I recently completed a successful tenure as Director of Worship & Music at the First Methodist Church in Hendersonville. Prior to that I was Pastor of Worship & Arts at Belmont Church on Music Row. I’ve been involved in worship ministry for over 20 years, investing much of that time coaching and mentoring youth. I’ve taught for over 17 consecutive years internationally, particularly in eastern Europe and Romania. I have a Masters Degree from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies.
My goal is to encourage wholehearted worship – in any context – through theological teaching, leadership training, and living a lifestyle of worship.
Growing up and throughout most of my life, I never imagined I would be in full time ministry. It’s been the “second chapter” in my vocational life.
My back story is that I spent over 25 years working in the music industry as a producer, studio owner and audio engineer. My production company created music for brands like Walmart, Pizza Hut, Nike, and many more. Back in the day I produced hundreds of recording sessions with talent including Steven Curtis Chapman, DC Talk, The Fairfield Four, Tricia Yearwood, Ashley Cleveland, Bruce Carroll, Delbert McClinton, and Tom T. Hall. Our music earned top industry awards for leading advertising agencies all over America.
Worship Changed My Life
I was living the dream, and “success” in the music business was cool, but my life really changed when I encountered the deep love of God through wholehearted, Spirit-filled worship – the kind that drew me into His presence and His presence into me.
These days my life is invested in full-time ministry, and I love it! I’ve served as a worship pastor and missionary, using the unique combination of skills and experiences I’ve gained to equip the church. I post a daily devotional on social media and write blog articles regularly on topics at the intersection of music, missions, and ministry. You’re invited to subscribe via email or RSS.
Disclaimer: I serve on full time staff of a wonderful church in the Nashville area; however, this is my personal website, the opinions expressed here are solely my own and do not necessarily the reflect the opinions of any employers past, present or future.
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How This Website Can Help You
My goal is to inspire and inform by sharing in these three core areas:
My most recent recording project is Joyful! Christmas Praise and Worship.
Some of my most requested songs are:
I do a lot of international missions work teaching about worship theology, leading and creativity. In these articles you get a glimpse of my missions trips and the people we serve in under-resourced areas of the world like the Balkans, Sri Lanka and Africa.
Some of My Posts From Missions Trips:
- Romania School of Worship: Week 1 in Pictures
- Africa Report Part 3
- Our Epic Summer Missions Adventure: Part 1 SOZO Festival
- Sri Lanka Missions Report: Serving The Least Of These
We have an on-going need for prayer warriors and financial supporters.
These posts include many “Practical Advice” articles on “worship leader shop talk” plus instructional articles, devotionals and reflections on spirituality, theology, music, leadership and songwriting.
My Most Popular Posts Include:
- What Is Worship? Three Organizing Scriptures
- Actions and Attitudes: 10 Hebrew Words For Praise & Worship
- How Do You Know If You’re Called To Lead Worship?
- 7 Strategic Guidelines For Picking New Songs
- 8 Compelling Reasons To Study Worship Theology
Like many folks, I got my start in music as a kid. I grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, a small city called Salisbury where I began playing in the school band. Eventually I traded in the flute and tuba for bass and acoustic guitar. My teens were spent with an eclectic group of gangly friends in various rock bands, influenced by the likes of Neil Young, The Eagles and Bruce Springsteen.
Some last minute decisions are forever.
None of our bands ended up hitting the big time (big surprise, I know) but I just knew my life would be forever intertwined with this magical gift called music. Upon graduating, I enrolled in our local college, Salisbury State. It was a last minute decision – I signed up just one day before classes began.
It turned out to be a “forever” decision because I met a very lovely and talented soprano in the music department, Miss Ivalene Johnson, who would eventually become my wife! Ivalene was a year ahead of me, played piano, and was a huge help in my music theory homework. Did I mention she was gifted, smart, and beautiful? Talk about divine intervention!
[photo of me & Ivy back in the day]
After we graduated, Ivalene and I performed as a music duo all along the Delmarva Peninsula (that piece of land that sticks out made up of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia). We played everywhere from yacht clubs, smokey bars, weddings, and wakes. Oh to be young, married, and playing music … isn’t that the life? Well, it was until it wasn’t! Eventually we decided we didn’t want our future to be as music performers in clubs.
Nashville or bust.
After doing our best to save some money, Ivalene and I moved to Nashville to work behind-the-scenes in music. I enrolled in Belmont College for a year to learn the ropes.
In 1987 I started Still Music Group, a company producing music for advertising. We became one of the leading “jingle” companies in town, exporting Nashville’s most famous resource: musical talent. We won a slew of awards producing for hundreds of national brands including Wal-Mart, Nike, Cracker Barrel, Pizza Hut, Nissan and many more.
Still Music Group expanded to a beautiful recording studio in Brentwood, and I produced sessions with many of Nashville’s top musicians and talents like Steven Curtis Chapman, Trisha Yearwood, Tom T. Hall, the Fairfield Four and DC Talk.
“You’ve got to worship!”
While I worked behind-the-scenes in the music industry, God was working behind-the-scenes in my life. Our move to Nashville brought us to Belmont Church on Music Row, the home church of Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and many others in the exploding Christian music scene.
But it wasn’t what you might think.
It was there that I experienced vibrant, heartfelt, Spirit-filled worship, led most of the time by just one person on guitar or piano. There were no worship teams. People would just sing (imagine that!) and songs would spontaneously arise from the people. Thousands came!
The real change came when I answered the challenge from Belmont’s pastor, Don Finto. “Papa” Don would exhort us, “You’ve got to worship! If you play just one chord on the guitar or one chord on the piano, you take that instrument and you get alone with God, open your Bible or hymnbook and just worship Him with all your heart! You’ve got to get filled up with the Spirit of God so that it overflows from deep inside you.”
A personal revival that opened doors to the nations.
I started worshiping God alone at home, often on the porch. I would sing spontaneous songs from the book of Psalms. I would open the hymnal and if I didn’t know the melody of a song or didn’t like it, I would make up something else.
I started experiencing personal revival. New music just started flowing out of me. I would write 2, 3, 4 songs a day. Some were good enough to be published by the largest worship publisher in the world. Some were featured by Worship Leader Magazine. Some are sung in churches around the globe to this day.
Missions ruined me for the ordinary
In the midst of this “revival” season in 1997 at age 37, I was invited to go on my first mission trip. We were headed to the Philippines, where I would play guitar and teach songwriting. I had never been out of the USA before. I felt the Lord say, “If you go, it will change your life”.
When you trust God and step out of your comfort zone, you tend to see things in a new light. I had experienced one facet of worship – on my porch, in my home, at my church – but to see people from every tribe and tongue worshipping God is truly amazing. There’s nothing like it. No words can describe how worthy He is, especially when you don’t know the languages others are speaking!
This first mission trip ruined me for the ordinary. I’ve been on short-term missions trips every year now since 2001. I’ve been in over 20 nations, primarily Eastern Europe and Latin America, but also Africa and Asia. [Find out more about our missions work here]
“Dude, you really ought to know what you’re talking about.”
My responsibilities continued to grow through the years. At first I was teaching about songwriting. Then I was leading a lot more worship, and teaching about worship leading. Somewhere along the way I realized, “Dude, you really ought to know what you’re talking about!”
I felt the call of God to really study to show myself “as one approved (2 Timothy 2:15).
That’s when I resolved to fill the gaps in my understanding. I enrolled at the Institute for Worship Studies. It was challenging and inspiring to study with Dr. Robert E. Webber and the other amazing professors there. My master’s thesis project was to develop a course for non-Christian, post-Communist cultures called “Practical Theology of Worship” which I’ve used in my training seminars.
IWS was a life changing experience. It powerfully shaped my understanding of worship and launched the trajectory of the rest of my life. Honestly, I became a total nerd for the theology of worship.
Today Ivalene and I continue to serve God, go to the nations, and love on those He has called us to walk with both in ministry and music. Opportunities have expanded for me to teach and train in conference or seminar settings here in the U.S., as well as minister itinerantly.
If you’re interested in having me serve your church or event through teaching, training, or leading worship, feel free to contact me directly by clicking this link or emailing me at rob [at] robstill [dot] com.
As an ARTISAN
Laugh: “It’s All About Me”
Cry: “No Easy Answers”
As a WORSHIP LEADER:
Arise Oh Lord / The Shema
Lift Up Your Heads/ King of Kings
As a TEACHER
Romania: Wholehearted Worship 1
Ocna Moresh: Wholehearted Worship 2
By the way I wrote all these songs. Want to know more? Subscribe to my blog and stay connected.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 615-392-0762
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