The Newsprint Connection and Remarkable Predecessors

Here is my Worship Text-fessional for March 30, 2008

Set list for Chase Valley Church

  • God of Wonders – Mark Byrd and Steve Hindalong
  • Beautiful One – Tim Hughes
  • Light the Fire Again – Brian Doerksen
  • Hungry -Kathryn Scott
  • Evermore – Joel Houston

Highlights/Lowlights

One of our singers brought in a Newspaper today dated 8 years ago. She had forgotten about this news clip and just found it today by happenstance. It was from the first day Chase Valley Church worshiped in this building when it was newly constructed. There was an article about CVC and large picture taken during the worship service. The lyrics on the screen in the photo were

Clothe me in white so I won’t be ashamed. Lord light the Fire again.

Also by random chance I chose Light the Fire Again as a song for today. It was awesome to do that song and feel that deep connection to the past.

Practice was amazing this week. I had high hopes for today. I was a bit disappointed. Our execution was decent but not exceptional.

I have a deep longing to worship God in a way that is remarkable. Read: I want things to be done in a way that they are worth remarking on. I want people talk about worshiping God to their friends. I’m not sure that right now people are so excited about our worship service that they are compelled to talk about it. I’m wrestling with the notion that God could be calling me to simply be faithful and not worry about being remarkable.

Evermore. Great song. I love my predecessor. She was in love with Hillsong and as a result the congregation knows TONS of Hillsong songs. I’ve never done Evermore before this week, but chose to learn it based on the church’s familiarity. I love this song. All week long I was singing these lyrics into my heart:

Even if my world falls I will say, ‘Above all I live for Your glory.’

For that matter I love both my predecessors. I’m Worship Pastor #3 for Chase. It’s a big honor to follow in their footsteps.

What do you think?

“Being remarkable” should or should not be a goal within the worship ministry?

16 Responses to “The Newsprint Connection and Remarkable Predecessors”


  1. 1 worship1 March 31, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Remarkable… That’s a worthy aspiration, Billy! Godin’s got great advice for the business world. Here’s my two cents, for what it’s worth …

    Obviously, leading a worship ministry is different from leading a business. Worship is not a human experience in and of itself. It’s spiritual, an exchange between man and creator. That’s what makes it so remarkable!

    Our part is to do our best as worship leaders to prepare acceptable offerings(Gen.4:3-7 and Lev. 10:1), without blemish(Eph.5:27), and to choose the better thing(Luke 10:41-42). The remarkable enters in when God meets his people in the process and they “see Him” and are touched, changed, moved by His very presence to respond and to fulfill their calling to worship Him and offer themselves a living sacrifice(Is.6:1-9; Romans 12:1).

    So, should we seek to be remarkable?.. yes and no. No: Because, if we if look to do things in a way that they are worth remarking on by seeking to be remarkable, then we are in danger of just being entertainers.

    Yes: Because, if we look to do things in a way that they are worth remarking on by seeking to please God in our offerings of worship then, “remarkable” is inevitable because God shows up. So in reality, our goal is not “the remarkable,” our goal is meeting with God.

    After all is said and done I would rather that people are compelled to talk about how God met with them during the course of a service than hear them talk about how exceptional the worship teams “execution” was that morning. He must increase while I must decrease(John 3:30).

    Thanks for giving us an opportunity to consider this topic and letting me share my perspective. You are a gem, Billy.

    God bless…
    Cosima

    PS: If I may offer a silly but poignant quote from the movie Galaxy Quest… “Never give up! Never surrender!”

  2. 2 Janet March 31, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Great question! So much of how worship goes is not even dependent on the band. Where are the people? Is there a lot of “baggage” in the room? Are we in unity as a body? As a worship team, to be “remarkable” at our calling is to “disappear” in a way, let God be in complete control. The highest praise we can get is one we got this past Sunday – “I didn’t really notice how the sound was today. I was too busy worshiping.”

    By the way, technically you are #8. 😉 The others were not full-time though, but they each built on the foundation laid by the previous one. Thank you for serving for “such a time as this.” I am truly excited about where God is taking us.

    Janet

  3. 3 Sarah Chia March 31, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Cosima,

    Billy and I were just talking at length about whether or not Godin’s principles applied to churches where the power of God is the determining factor as to whether or not something is successful. Were the Israelites, for example, to follow all of Godin’s stuff (wihtout factoring in God), they wouldn’t have the promised land. Gideon certainly wouldn’t have fought with 300 men. And there countless other examples in the Bible of needing God’s power to overcome impossibilities.

    So, I agree with you on your thoughts of remarkable. We want people to be talking about worship because they were truly worshiping (and an encounter with God is always remarkable, right?), not just cause the band was tight.

  4. 5 Billy Chia March 31, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Cosima,
    Good thoughts – yes, my desire is that people be excited about worshiping God, so much so in fact that they would be compelled to talk about it.

    Does Holy Spirit/teaching pastor/worship pastor/band/worship leader/tech director/media tech all factor into that? yeah I think so.

    Do I want “The Band” to be the one remarkable thing above all else? No, I’d consider that a terrible failure.

    Sarah,
    You misspelled “wihtout” just to make me feel better didn’t you? 🙂 It appears as though Gideon didn’t read Godin. The infinite power of God seems to make “the dip” irrelevant.

    Janet,
    Wow #8! Many people have remarked often to me about Chris and Nate. Apparently anyone else who pastored the worship arts ministry didn’t do it in a way that was remarkable. (Whether that be method or length of time they stuck around.) I’m thankful for everyone who’s gone before me. My goal would be to follow Nate/Chris’s example of being remarkable. Of course if you’ve read Seth Godin that means being original – you can’t copy what’s already been done.

    Wow Great comments. Anyone else?

  5. 6 Janet March 31, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Your post got me thinking today about those other 7 people and what they brought to the worship experience. John, just as one example, was ‘remarkable’. He didn’t just copy what had been done before and was ‘remarked’ on in his time, 10 years ago, and today by those that were there. Few people are around who would even remember him but they see the evidence of his legacy in worship every Sunday when they worship God passionately and freely. Which begs the age-old question, if a worship leader leads in a remarkable way but no one is left to tell about it, is he still ‘remarkable’? 🙂

    I do agree with Sarah and Cosima – in striving to be ‘remarkable’, there is a danger of actually taking people’s eyes off of God. I think He calls us to “simply be faithful” in our own unique way, and He will knock our spiritual socks off.

  6. 7 Peter Park March 31, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    That’s very cool about the newspaper clipping. God wanted you to sing that song for sure.

  7. 8 Pete April 1, 2008 at 2:01 am

    I din’t know that remarkable is a word I’d personally choose, and i haven’t read the book, but if the context is:

    We want to keep presenting material (not just music) that inspires people to connect with God, rather than regurgitating something they’ve heard so often they find it hard to stay awake.

    We want to present the material in a way that our mistakes or sloppy presentation doesn’t become a distraction from inspiring people to a greater relationship with God.

    We want to be the best we can be in honour of God.

    Then Yes, I for one want to be remarkable!

  8. 9 Pete April 1, 2008 at 2:03 am

    Oops! Feel free to point out my speling and grama is less than remarkable, but I’m sure you know what I mean!

  9. 10 Fred McKinnon April 1, 2008 at 7:37 am

    Billy,
    Hey man … thanks for the updates. Question – how tough is it to “learn” a song led frequently by the former leader? I have that issue often … especially because our former leader’s arrangements are usually quite different (in rhythm, melody, and chord choice) than the actual recording(s) that make the song popular … so, I find myself adapting to an arrangement that although is not a “bad arrangement”, is VERY DIFFERENT from what I’m used to hearing, singing, or leading.

    I’ve found it’s easier for me to teach a brand new song to the band than for me to try and adapt to foreign arrangements of those other familiar songs .. yet, wisdom says I need to adapt and bring forth taht “familiar” as well!

    Are any of your 2 formers still present in the church, in leadership, or in the congregation?

    Just curious –
    Fred
    PS: I don’t see a way to subscribe to comments via email, so please cc: your response to my email if possible. Thanks!

  10. 11 tam April 1, 2008 at 9:04 am

    worship1’s first comment….right on! AND a quote from one of the best movies of all time!

    there’s a fine line to being remarkable. we have the same discussion with our team on excellence. there’s a constant reminding of who we’re being excellent for. others, ourselves, or GOD. it’s an area where our flesh really likes to get involved.

  11. 12 Sarah Chia April 1, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Janet, just to clarify my comment…

    While I believe a person may be striving towards being remarkable in the wrong thing, I don’t believe that’s a reason to not strive toward leading a remarkable ministry.

    Just like anything else good can be done for wrong motives. A person can support mission work in order to feel important. That doesn’t make supporting mission work something that we shouldn’t do.

    So, I don’t think I’d draw a line between “striving towards being remarkable” and “simply being faithful.” I think they can be done together when they are being done in God’s will.

  12. 13 Billy Chia April 1, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Janet,
    Good distinction. My desire to to be a part of something that would cause people to remark today. If they still tell the story down the road that’s cool, but not necessarily what I’m shooting for. I plan on being a CVC for a good long time, but at some point there will be new leadership. If people are still talking about me 10 years and several leaders later, what does that say about the current leadership? My hope is that they would be creating their own stories in how they are living for Jesus.

    At the same time out of all 8 people that we have had you made it a point to talk about John. What do you think he did that made him such a good leader?

    Pete,
    If you follow the link to Seth’s site you can read the first chapter of Purple Cow for free online without any hassle. It explains a little more about why a purple cow is remarkable and gives some examples of purple cows in the business world.

    Fred,
    I completely understand where you are coming from. It has been extremely challenging for me to figure out where I “fit in” as a worship leader in regards to who the former leaders were.

    I keep telling myself, “Be Billy Chia, you can’t be anyone else.” Sometimes that means chucking a song, an arrangement, or even an entire system.

    I’ll shoot you an email with some details.

  13. 14 Janet April 1, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Billy,

    Good question! What made John such a remarkable leader was his incredible walk with Christ. He was passionate about his relationship with God and God’s word. We called him a walking bible – he could quote whole sections because he breathed it. I remember he would just break out into a sermon in practice, not because it was part of his plan for building a worship team but simply because it flowed out of him.

    He walked in obedience with Christ in such a way that being a remarkable worship leader was inevitable. I don’t think he was striving to be a remarkable worship leader so much as he was just striving to be a remarkable Christ follower and got both. In his quest to pursue God in excellence, he ended up walking into excellent worship leading. He taught us to do the same and to not just lead worship but lead in worshiping.

    If you think about it, God is the greatest marketing agent the world has ever seen and the closer we walk with Him the more ‘remarkable’ of tool we become.

    Sarah,

    I agree whole-heartedly. Sometimes I’m as clear as mud. 🙂

    I guess what I was trying to say is if we seek only the ‘remarkable’, we may miss God. But if we seek God first, then He will call us into the ‘remarkable’.

  14. 15 Billy Chia April 1, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Janet,
    I totally agree – when we are completely sold out for Jesus a component of that is doing our jobs the best we can – so yeah being a remarkable Christian translates into being a remarkable worship leader.

    If we seek to only be remarkable then we are defacto missing God. Yeah this fits as a “seek first the kingdom and all else will be added to you” scenario.

    At the same time I believe striving to “be remarkable” can be a helpful tool in seeking God’s kingdom. Another way to word this could be asking the question:

    “I am living my life for Jesus is such a way that it’s worth telling stories about?”

    You could further ask, “Am I and other people telling those stories?”

    If the answer is “no” we can ask “In what areas do I need to change or grow? What new thing do I need to start doing? What old thing do I need to stop doing?”

    God is very clear that he wants us hot or cold and the lukewarm with be spit out. God’s not into the mundane and half-hearted. He wants sold out, fully committed, on fire disciples.

  15. 16 Jason Leggett April 18, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Billy,

    I found this blog from a post in a forum at theworshipcommunity.com. I was very surprised and excited to have run into a a blog from a minister at a local church. I am the youth worship leader at Locust Grove Baptist Church, just down the road from you. I will definitely be back for more updates on what you all are up to. Maybe we can start a dialogue and exchange ideas?


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