Posts Tagged 'Worship'

I Love My Team

Schedule’s change – it’s unavoidable.

I love when the people on my worship team call or email to let me know if they will be late or if they can’t make it to practice.

Keeping your worship pastor in the loop creates an environment of trust.

What makes Worship Remarkable? 1 of 4

Thank you to everyone who left comments on this post! They were very helpful. I’ve started to move past the question

Should worship be remarkable?

and started to ask

What makes a worship service remarkable?

(Although you are still welcome to add your comments here.)

As I’ve thought, conversed and prayed over this I’ve realized that in the last year there have been 2 Sunday morning experiences that I tend to talk about all the time. I asked myself, “What was different about these experiences that caused me to tell the story over and over again?”

When the answer came to me I realized that both of these services were remarkable for 2 very different reasons. I’ll tell you why in my upcoming posts.

For now,

What do you think makes worship remarkable?

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?

March (Holy Week) Maddness

For most of us who work in the church Holy Week can be busy enough to drive you mad. Extra prep for Easter as well as additional services can shoot the stress levels through the roof. It can be maddening to keep up with everything, but by simplifying you can work smarter and not harder to pull off an awesome celebration of our awesome Lord’s resurrection.

Here’s how I’m keeping things simple to lower the stress and maintain the sane for Holy Week:

Ditch the Band: For our Thursday and Friday services this week I’m going acoustic. Thursday will be a solo show, and I’ll have some additional singers for Friday. It’s more work for me but it frees up the band to focus all their time and energy on perfecting the music for Easter rather than dividing their effort across multiple unique services.

Extra Rehearsals: Our team normally holds one rehearsal a week, but this week we are doing two. Again it’s a little more work for everyone involved but extra rehearsal time ensures that we can nail down difficult elements and go into the weekend services feeling confident and stress-free about our leading.

Leverage your team: I schedule the same singers for Good Friday and Easter. We have enough singers that I could’ve put separate vocalists on each service – but more teams equals more separate scheduled rehearsals. Rather than having two rehearsals for two teams we’re doing two rehearsals for one team. It’s fewer people to coordinate and communicate with throughout the week and the end result should be less confusion and a tighter sound.

Leverage your music: We’ll be singing “Were you there” on both Good Friday and Easter. Not only does it fit thematically with the mood and flow we are trying to accomplish for each service (It’ll close Good Friday and open Easter) but it means that time the singers spend practicing this piece gets to pay off double with two opportunities to lead the same song.

Do less music: A standard week around here includes 6 songs. Because I’ll be opening Easter acoustically with 2 songs this leaves 4 songs for the band to learn. 4 songs means more time focused on each song.

Any thoughts? How do you maintain your sanity during Holy Week?

Palm Sunday Recap

Set List for Chase Valley Church for Sunday, March 16

  • The Happy Song – Martin Smith
  • Hosanna – Paul Baloche
  • Everlasting God – Brenton Brown
  • We Humble Ourselves – Paul Baloche
  • Hosanna – Brooke Fraser
  • Holy is the Lord – Chris Tomlin

Highlights/Lowlights

Singing with the children – for the last 3 weeks I’ve skipped out on the sermon to hang with the kiddos and teach them Hosanna by Paul Baloche. All the kids from k – 5th grade came walked in with palms and then came up front to lead this song. We had them piled on each side of the stage and they did sign language for the chorus. It rocked.

Simple Band – We scaled down to one vocalist (besides me), and only one guitar, bass and drums. It worked AWESOME.  The music was tight and we reached a new level today musically.

My voice didn’t quite “wake up.” It was tough to sing the whole set. We did Holy is the Lord as a response song after the sermon. Then as people are leaving we sing the chorus again. My voice finally felt ready to start as we were singing that final chorus.

2 Hosannas – Yeah it’s Palm Sunday, of course we’re gonna sing multiple versions of “Hosanna in the Highest.” They both went great.

Electric – I played my electric on the Fraser Hosanna. (I played acoustic on everything else.) I wanted to get the delay and cool riffs into the song. The bass carried a lot with out the acoustic so it still sounded pretty good with only one guitar.

Worship: Rock the Choir

Today worship was awesome!

Set List for Chase Valley Church March 9th, 2008

  • No One Like You – David Crowder
  • King of Majesty – Marty Sampson
  • Made to Worship – Chris Tomlin
  • Wholly Yours – David Crowder
  • Hear I am to Worship – Tim Hughes
  • Psalm 103 – Billy and Sarah Chia
  • The Heart of Worship – Matt Redman

We had a lot of music today.

Highlights & Lowlights

  • The hour time difference threw lots of people off. Half the team showed up late. Really late.
  • The Choir sounded phenomenal! (More on that below)
  • The band was super tight. Everyone worked hard on the music this week and it really showed.
  • I put so much into it I was pretty drippy with sweat when I got off stage.
  • No One Like You rocked. This is a brand new song for the congregation. It’s also a tricky one to learn in typical Crowder fashion. We did it pretty close to the CD version so there was a lot of nuances the people had to pick up on. Everyone worked hard and we nailed it.
  • King of Majesty – Not my favorite song, although a lot of people around here like it so we may be doing it again. I’m not a fan of lyrics like “These words are from my heart, these words are not made up.” They’re just a little trite for me, but I know some of the songs I like lyrically are too convoluted for some people. Being a worship pastor is not all about picking only the songs you like.
  • Made to Worship – tough song to sing. I even brought it down to A and it was still hard. I liked being able to play a lead line on this one.
  • Wholly Yours – I totally messed this one up. This song has a progression. The lyrics take you through a story of being broken and then finally giving your all to God. Well I showed up today ready to worship. I didn’t want to wait through the whole song. When we should’ve gone into the bridge with says, “But the harder I try the more clearly can I feel the depth of our fall and the weight of it all.” I shouted out “So here I am” and tried to go into “here I am finally all of me everything!” Apparently I was too excited and didn’t want to have to wade through “depth of the fall” to get to “all of me wholly yours.” Fortunately the choir was rock steady and went the bridge when they were supposed to. I fumbled a few chords and got back on track thanks to the choir.
  • Here I am to Worship – went well the first time.
  • Psalm 103 – I didn’t plan on doing this song. We front loaded a lot of music today and then band sat down and we went into offering. Normally the congregation sings a full song during offering, I haven’t really done “special music.” I came back up and started finger picking to give some back ground music while the offering was being collected. When I looked at my pastor to give him the cue that offering was done and he could come back up, he simply had his head bowed in prayer just vibing a spirit of worship so I started singing. It felt well received.
  • Hear I am to Worship (take 2) – I finished Psalm 103 and Fred gave me the cue to do another song. So we sang another verse and a few choruses of Hear I am to Worship. (The theme for today’s sermon was “Worship.”) I stopped playing guitar, and while the crowd sang acapella I put down my guitar and left the stage then joined the crowd to sing. So we sang with no one on stage but God. I didn’t plan this but I was hoping to underscore the notion that worship is not about the music or the band but it’s all about God.
  • The Heart of Worship. Didn’t quite have the punch I thought it would. Fred told Redman’s story of how worship had gotten stale and routine and that his church stopped using a band for a season to focus on what worship was really supposed to be. During this season Redman wrote Heart of Worship. I thought after the message this would really hit home, but perhaps the fact that this song is so oversung it may have felt like the stale, routine worship that Redman was trying to avoid the first place. (I’m just speculating at this point, really the whole day was amazing and I heard tons of great comments about both the music and the message today. Really every other song went spectacular and this one was not bad, but simply average.)

How to Rock the Choir

We don’t do choir the same old way at Chase Valley. Instead of a feature act, the choir sings once a month as the “back up” singers. They learn all the worship songs that we do for the day and sing on each one. They sing mostly melody but throw in a good mix of harmony as well. It has several benefits:

  • Having 10 – 15 extra people on stage leading really helps to draw people into worship.
  • The sound is really full because we use condenser mics and run them through the mains
  • They stay on track when I don’t!
  • There are tons more that maybe I’ll do a post on in the future.

I love doing Choir this way. It has it’s challenges and perhaps in the future we’ll do some special music but today I was really excited to being doing choir this way.

So there’s a lot there to comment on. Let’s keep a conversation going on this post (or other past ones) next week while I lighten the blogging and celebrate the best 2 years of my life.

Worship Confessional 03.02.08

Set list for Chase Valley Church:

  • O Praise Him – David Crowder
  • Everyday – Joel Houston
  • Famous One – Chris Tomlin
  • Beautiful One – Tim Hughes
  • Be Unto Your Name – Lyn DeShazo and Gary Sadler
  • We Humble Ourselves – Paul Baloche

Worship Text-fessional | 02.24.08

Worship pretty much rocked today.

Worship set list for Chase Valley Church February 24th, 2008:

  • We Humble Ourselves – Paul Baloche
  • Awesome God (Majesty and Mystery) – Vicky Beeching
  • Adonai – Raymond Badham, Mia Fieldes
  • Wholly Yours – David Crowder
  • Mighty to Save – Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding
  • Open the Eyes of My Heart – Paul Baloche

Highlights/Lowlights

  • This was a great set – the songs worked well in the slot they were in
  • The band sounded great – we had keyboards/synth for the first time since I’ve been on staff and it made a huge difference.
  • Our sound/media tech was on point
  • We Humble Ourselves – This is a new song for the church and people picked up on it really well. The harmonies were stellar on this one.
  • Awesome God (Majesty and Mystery) – One of our female vocalist led this one and nailed it. This is a pretty rocked out tune and we did it pretty low key – without any lead guitar using simply acoustic, bass and synth. It gave a more tender feel to the song – which I felt was more appropriate given the lyrics: “Your arms are, the arms that surround me in a warm embrace.”
  • Adonai – this is a great song. This was our 2nd time doing this one and the congregation has really responded to it. I started jumping during one of the music interludes and my in-ear monitor receiver unclipped from my pocket and fell on the stage. I had to stop playing guitar to get my monitor going again. The same thing actually happened at the same point in the song during sound check. I must need some duct tape or something – this song’s got some great energy.
  • Mighty to Save – everyone started cheering spontaneously after singing “Jesus conquered the grave” in the first chorus. The Spirit was moving today.

Re: Pursuing Excellence

Travis posted some great questions in Pursuing Excellence: Where do you draw the line?

Here’s my response:

If the church grows shouldn’t the opportunities grow as well? There are more places to use artistic gifts than simply the Sunday morning large community experience.

If someone is really passionate about music are they playing in local clubs? We need Christians doing that. How can the local church help to facilitate it happening? Are we stopping short at saving orphans in Uganda, which totally rocks, or are we also impacting the culture of our cities positively at the grass roots level?

Are are these Christians artists recording their stuff and putting their music up on myspace?

If they are really passionate about worship are they willing to lead worship for a smaller venues. (Small Group Bible Studies, Men’s groups, Celebrate Recovery, etc…)

Those who are called and gifted to lead worship for large community gatherings are few. I’ve been in churches of 100 that had only 10 in the band and churches of 3000 that had only 30. I think that’s ok. Not everyone is called the Sunday Stage. Because of the temptation for pride involved in such a visual place of ministry it is the extremely few who can approach that ministry with a humble attitude. I would be skeptical about anyone who wanted to get up stage in front of 300 people but wasn’t willing to clean the kitchen or serve in children’s church.

With that said, local church leaders do have a responsibility to help people explore their gifting, discern their calling, and equip their ministry.

Worship Confessional 01.20.08

My first Worship Confessional for Chase Valley Church

Set list for CVC January 20, 2008

  • The Happy Song – Martin Smith
  • Everlasting God – Brenton Brown
  • Hear Us From Heaven – Jared Anderson
  • Brother’s Keeper – Rich Mullins
  • He Reigns – Peter Furler

Check out Cosima’s Blog.
Confessed.

Worship Confessional | 12.23.07

Worship Set List for Christian Fellowship Church – December 23rd 2007

  • The First Noel – Arrangement by Jeff Lippencott
  • Joy to the World -Issac Watts
  • Child of Bethlehem – Wayne Watson
  • It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – Arrangement by David S. Hampton
  • Glory in the Highest – Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves and Daniel Carson
  • 2000 Decembers Ago – Joy Williams (Written by Joel Lindsey and Regie Hamm)
  • In Christ Alone – Arrangement by Mark Cole
  • Jesus, Name Above All Names – From My Savior Lives DVD (Ross Parsley, New Life Church)

Ask Ahead of Time

Dwayne Moore muses in a post entitled How Much Music Is Enough In a Worship Service?

How many songs are “just right” in one worship gathering? Exactly how long should the music portion of the service go?

These are great questions. Rather than prescribing a set number of songs Moore lists a 10 question diagnostic that he personally goes through when deciding how long to play.

When looking at his list I admired that fact that seeking God first is so prevalent. I’m also huge on deferring to the leadership of your Senior Pastor.

Where I disagree is that he seems to be mostly asking, “How long should I go?” in the middle of his set. There’s an emphasis on current moment.

I tend to ask myself these questions during my planing time rather than waiting until I’m on stage to figure it out. For me the number of songs and the length and order of the set should be determined way ahead of time. This doesn’t mean your not open to last minute changes like dropping a song when another aspect of the service goes too long. And it doesn’t mean you close yourself to the leading of the Holy Spirit – it simply means you ask for the Holy Spirit’s leading when you plan the service.

My advice: Don’t wait until your already on stage to ask for the Holy Spirit’s help.

Ask Ahead of Time.

Worship Confessional | 12.09.07

Set List for Christian Fellowship Church December 9, 2007

  • You Shine – Brian Doerksen
  • Child of Bethlehem – Wayne Watson
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Traditional
  • Angles from the Realms of Glory – Henry T. Smart
  • Let My Words be Few – Matt and Beth Redman
  • Glory in the Highest – Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves and Daniel Carson

Chris Tomlin on Glory in the Highest:

Worship Philosophy: Relationship Evangelism

Evangelism through Relationships with Unbelievers

An effective creative arts/worship ministry goes beyond the Sunday morning band to engage all kinds of people in creative expression.

Rick Warren, says in this podcast, “Saddleback doesn’t have any kind of official evangelism program. We simply ask people, ‘What do you love to most? Go do that with unbelievers.’ ” One example he uses is “If you like to shoot guns get 5 guys who are lost who don’t know the Lord and take them down to the shooting range and shoot guns.” I would add,”If you love to play music go do it with unbelievers in your community.”

A great worship pastor is not only leading worship in church on Sunday morning he is also supporting the local music scene in the club on Friday night. He doesn’t only facilitate music for worship on Sunday morning, but is also encouraging Christian musicians and artists to be using their gifts and talents to add to the culture of their city. A great worship pastor has rapport not only with the other worship pastors in town but also with non-Christian artists, actors and musicians who perform in the community. Because he is a leader who multiplies himself he actively encourages everyone on the worship and tech team to have not only fellowship with other Christians, but also to be involved in the lives of unbelievers as well.

People come to Christ when we love them as Jesus does: without an agenda. We can’t get to know people simply “so that they’ll come to church,” but we have to truly love them for who they are. They will come to Jesus by getting to know us. Jesus is a pretty compelling guy.

The added bonus of doing evangelism this way is that when people make a decision for Christ they have a clear picture of what living life as a Christian looks like. Too often people make a “commitment” to Christ after simply hearing a sermon or a 5 minute tract-accompanied presentation without truly counting the cost.

Evangelism through Relationships with Unbelievers is part 4 of a 5 part Philosophy of Worship Ministry series entitled 5 Purposes That are Vital to a Thriving Worship Ministry.

Why I Love Church Work

Yesterday I was reminded of why I love Church work.

As part of everything that was happening on Sunday morning some conflict arose and some people I care about were hurt. I left church with a heavy heart. Often these types of situations can be frustrating and cause us to question the call to ministry.

For  me it was actually an affirmation that I belong working in the church.

Our choir did a song that calls, “Let the Church rise from the ashes.” The implication is that once we were on fire and now that fire has gone out. I love seeing the Church shine. I love when people get saved, grow in their faith and turn back around to serve in their communities. But it’s not always like this. Church work is full of a lot of heartache and criticism. After all the church is a broken place full of broken people just like everywhere else.

I had to ask myself the question, “Do I only want to work in the church when it is burning brightly or do I want to get down into the ashes and love people through their struggles, doubts and frustrations?”

The answer for me is that I want to get dirty in the messiness of the Gospel.

My Southern Fried Neighbors

When I was talking to Conner today, it hit me that I regularly connect with worship leaders all over the country and yet there were several worship leaders I didn’t know in my own neighborhood. I made it a point to go out today an meet some of the worship pastors in the churches surrounding my house. I’d previously met Jon, BJ and Kevin – but today I dropped in to say,”hi” to some other guys. It was pretty fun to meet the staff of churches I drive by all the time.

Jerry, the lead pastor at Christian Development Center was even cool enough to give me a CD of his band Jeryco. If you are into classic rock you will seriously love these guys. They do Apologetix style parodies of tunes like Prince’s Purple Rain and Free Byrd by Lynard Skynard. I was listening to it in my car and when the Ghost on the Water (a parody of Smoke on the Water) kicked in I was absolutely forced to start rockin’ the air guitar. Thank God I didn’t crash into someone. I’m telling you this CD is dangerous.

Do you know your neighbors?

Worship Philosophy: Encouraged Believers

Encouragement through Relationships with Believers

A great worship leader should not only be training up other leaders and teaching them, but he needs to be learning as well. It is vital for a leader to be effective that he have strong relationships with other Christians who can speak into his life, hold him accountable and encourage him.

Being a part of a creative arts/worship ministry shouldn’t only be work but it should also be fun too! We should enjoy spending time with the people whom we do ministry with and there should be a healthy fellowship that exists.

Jesus modeled this type of ministry. He had a core group of 12 guys that he lived, ate and traveled with. He practiced “life on life” ministry and poured into their lives. Jesus also took the time separately and held a deeper relationship with 3 of the 12.

If we follow this model we don’t go crazy trying to create relationships with everyone, spreading ourselves thin. Instead, we love all, but invest deeply in a few. We become encouraged because we have a few meaningful relationships in our lives as opposed to many shallow ones.

Encouragement through Relationships with Believers is part 3 of a 5 part Philosophy of Worship Ministry series entitled 5 Purposes That are Vital to a Thriving Worship Ministry.

Question Your Faith

I was inspired by these gut-level questions.

Deborah writes in a post entitled, “Your opinion matters…” that these 3 questions were recently asked of her:

  1. Why was little or no faith needed to believe in God during Old Testament times (God appeared to humans regularly) yet today Christians have to rely on 100% faith for their belief?
  2. What is the difference between a dream, or hallucination, and a vision from God?
  3. Why is your God the only valid God?

Often times I find myself asking questions like, “Should I be playing my electric or acoustic guitar in worship?” It’s a good question that seems to cause much controversy among church people, but are we also asking the questions that non-church people ask?

And do we have succinct answers for them?

Worship Confessional | 11.07.2007

Thoughts on leading worship for a special contemplative communion service:

Set List for Christian Fellowship Church High School Ministry Small Group Communion Service for November 7, 2007:

  • Here is Our King – David Crowder Band
  • Majesty – Martin Smith
  • Here I Am to Worship – Tim Hughes
  • Communion Song – Third Day
  • Nothing But the Blood of Jesus – Ro­bert Low­ry
  • Jesus Paid it All – Kristian Stanfill

Contemplate.

Worship Philosophy: Empower New Leaders

One of the primary tasks of the Worship Pastor should be to train up other worship leaders. All great leaders multiply themselves. This is done not only through teaching and instruction but also through “life on life” relationships. Many of the most valuable lessons are “caught not taught.” A great worship leader doesn’t only spend time with his worship team in rehearsal, but he pours into their lives.

Leaders are made when they are delegated authority and not simply responsibility. A great leader lets go of control and allows others to have true ownership of the ministry. When a worship leader does everything on his own the ministry is severely limited to what he alone can accomplish. But when he delegates authority to others the potential for growth is limitless.

Jesus practiced this type of ministry, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20)

Empower New Leaders is part 2 of a 5 part Philosophy of Worship Ministry series entitled 5 Purposes That are Vital to a Thriving Worship Ministry

Worship Confessional | 11.04.07

Find out just what happens when you memorize your worship songs…

Set List for Christian Fellowship Church for November 4, 2007:

  • Praise to the Lord, The Almighty – Arr. Nathan and Christy Nockels
  • My Redeemer Lives – Reuben Morgan
  • How Great is Our God – Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash
  • Everlasting God – Brenton Brown
  • Shine – Matt Redman

How was your Sunday?

Around the ‘sphere

Jeff did a cool worship leader interview with Chris. Next week is Brent, king of the mullet men.
Bobby‘s adorable giraffe and Los‘s um…princess are gonna give Conner a run for his cute-kid money.  Of course I’m pretty biased towards the cuteness of my girls.

Jeremy shot me an email about his worship song podcast. It’s inspired me to go on a songwriting rampage seriously cutting into my memorization time.  Thanx 🙂 (BTW – My baby girl loves Matt Redman’s Shine – she starts dancing every time it plays – like right now.)

Creating an Engaging Corporate Worship Environment

Love the Lord with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength.

The Schema

When Jesus speaks these words in the Gospels (Mt 22:37, Mk 12:30, LK 10:27) he is making a statement about worship. He is actually quoting the “Schema” a series of words written in Deuteronomy chapter 6:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

(In Hebrew the word “Schema” means “hear” as in “Hear, O Israel.” The first word is used to represent a larger statement in the same way some today might refer to the Lord’s prayer as the “Our Father.” )

The Jews of Jesus’ time took these words seriously. When they woke up in the morning they would repeat the Schema because it said to. When they went to bed at night they would repeat these words again because it said to. They would tie tefillin to their hands and foreheads and nail Mezuzot to their doorframes because it said to. This was part of the spiritual rhythm of each day. The Schema was also recited during services held in the synagogue and the temple. This passage of scripture was an important part of personal and corporate worship life in first century Palestine.

When Jesus quotes the Schema from Deuteronomy 6 the people who heard Jesus speak those words would have understood that he was making a statement about worship.

Worship is multifaceted. It involves heart, soul, mind and strength. Corporate worship that is engaging contains elements that emphasize each of these expressions.

Heart

To the Jews of Jesus’ time heart represented conviction. To worship with all your heart meant that you chose to worship with your volitional will. We see this concept in Psalm 119:30 when it says, ” I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.” To worship with our hearts means to choose to worship even when we don’t feel like.

Engaging corporate worship provides opportunities to worship willingly through choice and action. People who worship with their heart don’t put God in a box by waiting to worship until “the spirit moves” but rather enter with a worshipful heart expecting God’s presence and worshiping from the start.

Soul

To the Jews of Jesus’ time soul represented emotion. To worship with all your soul meant to give God your all of your emotions and to be emotionally open to the flow of worship. We see this concept in Psalm 31:7 “I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.” This includes both high and lows – worshiping God with your happiness and joy as well as your sadness and frustration.

Engaging corporate worship moves us to laughter and tears. It invokes anger toward injustice and inspires a feeling of triumph over what it right. People who worship with their soul offer their emotional response to God rather than stifling it.

Mind

To the Jews of Jesus’ time mind represented intellect. To worship with all your mind meant that you were intellectually engaged. We see this concept in Isiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” God doesn’t want you to leave your brain at the door, but rather he wants you to analytically think about the Christian faith.

Engaging corporate worship should challenge our false notions, teach us proper doctrine, and give us “something to chew on.” People who worship with their mind seek to deepen their understanding of God’s truth.

Strength

To the Jews of Jesus’ time strength represented the physical body. To worship with all your strength meant that you used your body to physically worship. We see this concept all over the Bible. In the New Testament a Greek word for worship is “proskuneo.” In the Old Testament a Hebrew word for worship is “barak.” Proskuneo and barak both literally mean “To bow down on the floor as before a king.” So even the word “worship” implies physical action.

Engaging corporate worship offers opportunities to respond physically to God’s grace and truth. People who worship God with their strength may use such physical actions as singing, raising hands, folding hands, clapping hands, shaking hands, kneeling, standing, sitting, dancing, shouting, playing instruments, or remaining still and quiet. Even the act of simply walking through the door can be an expression of worship that loves God with “strength.”

In Summary

The phrase “heart, soul, mind and strength” should be understood to mean, “everything that we are.” These four elements aren’t hard and fast rules, but rather they provide a framework to start a proper understanding of worship. Engaging corporate worship seeks to be multifaceted and employs a broad spectrum of response rather than a one-dimensional approach.

Notes

Experiential Worship by Bob Rognlien is an excellent book on the art of creating engaging corporate worship experiences. Many of the concepts here are paraphrases from this book. For some practical ways to implement this philosophy into your worship ministry visit Rognlien’s website: www.experientialworship.com

Creating an Engaging Corporate Worship Environment is part 1 of a 5 part Philosophy of Worship Ministry series entitled 5 Purposes That are Vital to a Thriving Worship Ministry

5 Purposes That are Vital to a Thriving Worship Ministry

(Links will become active as each post goes live.)

5 Purposes That are Vital to a Thriving Worship Ministry is part of my Philosophy for Worship Ministry.

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  3. How to Shower 
  4. Find New Popular Worship Songs 
  5. Hillsong United Lyrics: True or False? 
  6. The Best Evansville Dentist
  7. Hacking Your WordPress.com Stats
  8. Pre – Worship Confessional | 10.29.07
  9. Get Nooma “Name” on Myspace – 48 hours Only
  10. Newest Hilarious Chia Pet

Philosophy of Worship Ministry

Taking the time to flesh out a written statement of philosophy for your worship ministry can go a long way toward communicating expectations to your worship team and congregation. Certainly, worship pastors should be continually talking about vision and direction. At the same time having a written philosophy statement sends the message to your team and congregation that you serious about offering God the best.

Before joining the worship team at Christian Fellowship Church I was given several documents that outlined the values, expectations and philosophy of the CFC worship ministry. Immediately I knew what I was signing up for.

Over the coming days I’ll be posting a series of articles outlining my personal philosophy of worship ministry. While any philosophy of worship ministry should be adapted to emphasize the specific theology and culture of each local church, I’ll be posting some general thoughts here that will include:

Corporate and Personal Worship Defined

5 Purposes That are Vital to a Thriving Worship Ministry

(Links will become active as each post goes live.)

Pre – Worship Confessional | 10.29.07

Set List for Christian Fellowship Church this weekend:

  • Praise to the Lord, The Almighty – Arr. Nathan and Christy Nockels
  • My Redeemer Lives – Reuben Morgan
  • How Great is Our God – Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash
  • Everlasting God – Brenton Brown
  • Shine – Matt Redman

4 Quick Worship Resources

Recently Terry emailed me some great worship ministry resources.

Here are 4 of my favorite websites to help resource your worship ministry:

1. Better Than Blank Resource CenterAlex has complied a list of websites and open source software that he uses in his minstry. I personally use many of the same tools. His resource page is worth booking marking as he continually updates it.

2. Hot Worship – Every conceivable worship website linked in one location.

3. Worship Trench – Brent and Jordan keep a blog where they share a great deal of hard hitting practical worship resources and advice. Subscribe to their feed, but also take a trip through the “trench” archives as you will find some gems.

The Trenches:

4. Ragamuffin Soulcast – Will Los ever podcast again? The world may never know, but I’d recommend subscribing to the Soulcast in iTunes or getting the RSS Feed and then listening to all of the previous episodes. It’s funny, relevant worship banter from a leader in the worshiping community.

Hillsong United Lyrics: True or False?

I’ll only ever give my all.

I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around this lyric and it just doesn’t work. I’ve been listening to Hillsong United’s Take It All non-stop for the last week. Musically I love this song, but I’ve been having trouble trying to reconcile the lyrics with what I know to be true about God. Until today, I was reading some blogs and I think I’m a little closer.

Warning: Thinking out loud post ahead. I may be wrong and I reserve the right to change my mind.

Sarah, first pointed it out to me by asking,

Are we really never ashamed of Jesus?

The Hillsong United lyrics “We’ll never be ashamed of You” and “I’ll only ever give my all” don’t seem congruent with non-perfect people. If we were prefect it seems we could sing these lines, but I’ve yet to met a Christian who never made mistake and only ever gave Jesus his all. It seems like at some point even the most authentic Christians give Jesus less than their all.

Bob from In the Clearing writes in Whitmanesque Worship

The reason I need a savior is that I have not loved God with my whole heart. If I say that now I do love him with my whole heart, I needn’t any longer speak of Jesus or long for Him, because in fact I no longer need him.

(ht: Shannon Lewis)

Bob’s argument is that we can’t with a good conscience sing, “I love you Jesus with all my heart” (or possibly even “I’ll only ever give my all.”) because it is a lie.

I disagree with this argument. I think we can sing it truthfully. (Just like the 10 verses of scripture that use “all my heart.”)

God calls us to love him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. Essentially to love God will all that we are, not simply our minds, but also our emotions and our actions as well. Worship works the same way. It’s multidimensional. So I worship God not only with my mind, but at times I worship God emotionally, even if it doesn’t make sense to my brain.

For example:

I love my wife. I mean I really love my wife more that I ever imagined I could ever love any other person. She is 15,000 times cooler than I even ever imagined a woman could ever be and I’m desperately, passionately, head-over-heals, crazy in love with her. This emotion is so powerful I don’t have words to describe it but I would definitely tell Sarah,

I love you with all my heart.

Do I mean it? 110% If we’re speaking emotionally. Now, in my actions do I love her with all my heart? Not even, close. I’m a pretty second-rate husband sometimes and I am way fortunate that my wife is so gracious. The the statement is true or false based on your perspective. Emotionally, it’s more than true, in action it is not.

How much more do I love God?

So can I logically worship God with my mind and sing “I’ll only ever give my all” ?

No, I don’t think so. That would be a flat out lie.

But emotionally would that line be a decent attempt to describe the indescribable way I feel about God?

Yeah.

Would it start to express what I want to say to God from the inner depths of my soul?

Yeah.

I believe in a huge God that wants to be worshiped with all of me. He’s big enough to be worshiped by my mind and my emotions. He’s even big enough to accept that worship even if I’m not using my mind and my emotions at the same time. If you’re like me when it comes to matters of emotion you start to use hyperbole. You exaggerate more and more trying to express what you feel. It’s not a lie. You fully mean every word of it and God knows that.

I’ll only ever give my all.

Jesus we’re living for your name and we’ll never be ashamed of you.

In our praise. In all we are today.

Take it all.

I mean those words. At least as much as David meant Psalm 26.

Don’t you?

The Beginings of a Rockstar

IMG_4966I promised Eve-Marie, my 7-year-old, that I’d start to teach her guitar when she finished her level 1 piano books. The other day she finished one of her books and Sarah bought the next level of piano books for her. So as a reward for learning to ride a bike I busted out my SG and taught Evie how to play Holy is the Lord. It was a glorious moment for me. I’ve given guitar lessons to more kids than I can count and always dreamed of the day I’d teach my own children.

Well it turned out I goofed. Apparently Evie didn’t finish her level 1 piano books, the book she finished is a pre-level book. So the level 1 books are really called “primers” and the level 2 books are called “level 1.” Sound confusing? Alright, it’s not just me then.

Sarah and I both want Evie to stay serious about piano so yesterday I told her that I would give her a guitar lesson only after she’d practiced the piano that day. Most days piano practicing is met with groans and whining but today Evie volunteered to practice with out coaxing. She then reminded me, “As you know, I practiced my piano today and you said you’d give me a guitar lesson when I did.”

At my house getting to practice guitar is a reward for practicing the piano. How do ya like that?

Find New Popular Worship Songs

PW Archive’s Top Songs is a web 2.0 style worship resource that can help worship leaders find out which new songs are popular in other churches. Learning which songs are used in heavy rotation in other churches in the US and around the world has several benefits:

  • Quality: Often songs are popular because they are of high quality both musically and lyrically. This is not always the case and there’s room for personal taste. (I’m not always a fan of what’s most popluar.) However, odds are that if you listen to songs that have popularity you will find several that you believe are also high quality.
  • Community: Singing well-known songs breeds community and connectedness with other Christians around the world. How cool is it to go to a Promise Keepers convention or to visit a church overseas and sing the same songs you do on Sunday morning? You feel instantly connected with those other people becuase you sing the same songs. (Note: Community is not only a reason to sing the newest popular songs, but also to sing the oldest popular hymns. The older the better as you become connected with other Christians not simply across the world but across time as well. )
  • Less Risk: Often times introducing a new song the congregation can be a nerve-wracking experience. There’s doubt involved in whether they will like the new song or connect with it. Knowing that a song has been used effectively in other congregations helps lessen the risk involved in introducing new songs.

Many worship leaders are familiar with CCLI’s Top 25. This resource can be inaccurate towards the end of learning which worship songs are popular. It is based on which songs get reported the most to CCLI, not necessarily which songs are sung the most in churches. (For example Lord I Lift Your Name on High by Rick Founds is Ranked #10 for August 2007 in the United States.) The CCLI Top 25 is probably a better representation an “All Time Greatest Worship Hits.” These are songs that have stood the test of time, but you won’t find a lot of newly popular songs.

PW Archive (Praise/Worship Archive) likewise does not track which songs actually get sung the most. But it does track which chord charts are requested the most often. By design this system has a propensity to highlight songs that are both new and popular. People most likely already have the chord charts for older tunes, but search online to find the chords for new songs.

Top 5 songs for October 2007

  1. Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) – Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees – Copyright 2006
  2. From The Inside Out – Joel Houston – Copyright 2005
  3. Hosanna – Brooke Fraser – Copyright 2006
  4. Your Grace Is Enough – Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher – Copyright 2003
  5. Everlasting God – Brenton Brown, Ken Riley – Copyright 2005

As you can see from the copyright date, all of these songs were recently published.

Most of us use PW Archive as a place to get chords charts. It has some nice features, such as the ability to make an instant overhead or format your lead sheet in a variety of ways. However, I find that the chord charts are often wrong. (I personally use these charts more as a starting point to then figure songs our by ear.)

The real power of PW Archive is that it tracks how many times a chord chart get clicked on and then organizes that data. Each month you will find a list of the 50 most popular chord charts.

Take a look at the top 50 for this month. You may find a song on there you weren’t aware of which would be worth looking into. This is a great resource for finding newly popular worship songs.

Top Posts for September 2007

Most popular posts on Inept as Icing for September 2007

  1. Lo-Fi Tribe on Church Websites
  2. Aldersgate Worship Highlights
  3. Our Atrophied Jewish Holydays
  4. Changing Worship Lyrics
  5. Manly Cup of Coffee
  6. Review: Jesus Painter One Way DVD
  7. Worship Confessional | 09.02.2007
  8. Grandma’s Homebaked Ministry Tips
  9. More on Bad Worship Lyrics
  10. The Sweet Spot of God’s Will
  11. Worship Confessional | 09.30.2007
  12. Review: Shane and Shane in Concert

Worship Confessional | 09.30.2007

I received such a positive response to my last worship confessional I decided to break out my guitar again and do a little teaching on how to play slash chords:

September 30, 2007 Worship set list at Christian Fellowship Church:

  • Open the Eyes of My Heart – Paul Baloche
  • All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises – Paul Baloche
  • Filled with Your Glory – Tim and Jon Neufeld
  • He is Exalted – Twila Paris
  • Agnus Dei – Michael W. Smith
  • Just as I am – Charlotte Elliott and William Bardbury
  • Here is My Heart – Martin J. Nystrom

Updated version of older worship songs using slash chords:

Open the Eyes of My Heart by Paul Baloche
Arr. Sam Lynn

Chorus/Verse 2:
E5, E5/D#, A2/C#,A2, E5
Verse 1:
Bsus, C#m7, A2, Bsus, Bsus, C#m7, A2, Bsus

Billy Chia slash chord voicings:
E5: —– 079900
E5/D#: – 069900
A2/C#: – x42200
A2: —– x02200
Bsus: — x24400
C#m7: — x46650

He is Exalted by Twila Paris
Arr. Sam Lynn

Intro:
G, C/G, D/G
Chorus:
G, G/B, C, C/E, Dsus
G, G/B, C, D/C, C/D, Dsus, Esus, E
Verse:
Am, Em/G, D/F#, D, G, G/B, C, G/B
Am, Em/G, D/F#, D, G, G/B, C, G/B
Am, Am/G, F, C/D, G

Billy Chia slash chord voicings:

G: —— 3×0033
C/G: —- 332010
D/G: —- 3×0232

G/B: —- x20033
C: ——- x32033
C/E: —- xx2033
Dsus: — xx0233
D/C: —- x30233
C/D: —- xx0013
Esus: — 022200
E: —— 022100

Am: —- x02210
Em/G: – 322000
D/F#: — xx4232
Am/G: – 302210
F: —— 133211

Twila Paris did updated version on her 2005 release He is Exalted Live Worship. It actually kinda rocks and has some electric guitar with a little delay. You can listen to the new version on her website.

Did you do a confession for this Sunday?
Drop a link in the comments.

Funny Sarcastic Worship Leading Video

I saw this hilarious video over at Doug’s Blog:

10 Ways for Worship Leaders to Hinder the Church

(Direct YouTube video link.)

I love how Doug makes a classy move at the end and gives some encouragement.

I totally agree with the sarcasm of his statements on pushing the limits.

Taking strategic risks is one thing. You need to go out on a limb to get the fruit right? At the same time the guy who always lives on the edge eventually falls off. We need to be compassionate and loving as we encourage people forward in their spiritual walk.

Do you think Doug’s list helps or hinders the church?

Top 5 Reasons I Should be Your Worship Pastor

Are you part of a Church looking for a worship/creative arts staff member?

Here are the Top 5 Reasons I should be on your team:

1. I am a worshiper.

I often tell worship teams I lead, “The most compelling credential you have that allows you on stage is your relationship with the Father.” I hold the same standard for myself. Everything else is secondary to living worshipfully. Any “leading” I do in a corporate setting is really just a side effect of the fact that God is intricately involved in my life everyday.

2. God has called me to worship ministry.

No amount of skill, talent, money or resources is going to make me effective without God’s call. God has placed a powerful call to worship/creative arts ministry on my life.

3. My wife is loved.

I know how to love the Church because I know how to love my wife. I’ll let Sarah speak on this one. See some posts on her blog: Awake, Just One More, Love Song for Billy, HOT!

4. My daughter is obedient.

For 5 years Sarah did amazing job of raising Eve-Marie as a single mom. Over the last two years I’ve had the joy of parenting together with her. I love my girls like crazy and I manage my family well in accordance with 1 Timothy 3:4-5. You can take a look at what fatherhood means to me.

5. I am a learner.

Because “disciple”means learner, I equate following Jesus with life change. God is working on me in a radical way. Because of God’s love I’m not the same as I was yesterday. Apart from the Bible, prayer, fasting, fellowship, and personal and corporate worship, God tends to use books, blogs, magazines and experiences to change me.

If these are qualities you are seeking in a staff member please visit my resume page for more information.

Wedding as Worship Part 7

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 7th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 7 – The Kiss:

Exit Tune: Beautiful Day – U2

Eve-Marie was so cute. Her job was to drop rose pedals on the way in so she thought she’d pick them up on the way out.

Wedding as Worship Part 6

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 6th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 6 – Lighting the Unity Candle:

Flame – Nooma, Rob Bell

Sarah and I sifted through tons of music to get the best picks for our wedding. We couldn’t seem to find a song that fit with the lighting of our unity candle. We though this was more representative of what we wanted to convey.

You can purchase Flame at Nooma.com

Wedding as Worship Part 5

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 5th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 5 – The Bride’s Entrance – Vows:

Billy’s Vows:

SARAH!! I take you to be my wife, confident in my soul that you will be my lifesaving helpmate, true friend and loving companion

Today, in the presence of God, our family, and our friends, I give to you my sacred vow that as your husband and Eve-Marie’s Daddy,

I will always protect you, cherish you, and sacrifice myself to love you as Christ loved the Church

Not only in health but also in sickness,

Throughout our laughter and our tears,

Whether we are blessed with abundance or struggling with want.

I promise to

Love you completely

Giving you my heart, my body and my commitment

And to lead you in the adventure that God ordained for us

As long as we both live.

Sarah’s Vows:

Billy, I take you to be my husband and Eve-Marie’s Daddy, confident in my soul that you will be my faithful protector, true friend and loving companion.

Today, in the presence of God, our family, and our friends, I give to you my sacred vow that as your wife,

I will always help you, respect you, and submit to you as to the Lord–

Not only in health but also in sickness,

Throughout our laughter and our tears,

Whether we are blessed with abundance or struggling with want.

I promise to

Love you completely

Giving you my heart, my body and my commitment

And to join you in the adventure that God ordained for us

As long as we both live.

Wedding as Worship Part 4

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 4th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 4 – Processional:

Not to Us – Chris Tomlin

We had our bridesmaids/groomsmen/parents walk in during Not to Us. At around 1:30 on the video you see my brother, Al, walk in my mom-in-law and then see my best man, Kevin, raising his hands. Al’s not much of a church kid so not really knowing what Kevin was doing he gives Kev a high-five.

The band:

Wedding as Worship Part 3

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 3rd of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 3 – Worshiping God through Song 3:

Better is One Day – Matt Redman

One of my favorite moments from that day is at the end of this video when I let the people at my wedding lead me in worship.

The band:

Wedding as Worship Part 2

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 2nd of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 2 – Worshiping God through Song 2:

In Christ Alone – Stuart Townend

BJ laid down a nice little solo. Scope it:

The band:

Wedding as Worship Part 1

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

Over the next 7 days I’ll be posting 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 1 – Worshiping God through Song 1:

  • No One Like You – David Crowder
  • Indescribable – Chris Tomlin

The band:

vintage…yeah


vintage…yeah Posted by Picasa

Going to Promise Keepers 2005

I’m starting to look forwad to Promise Keepers this weekend. I wasn’t really all about going because I knew at some point in the weekend they’d talk about marriage, and that’d be a huge downer. Then a good friend of mine reminded me that I need to focus on the future and what life could be, instead of looking at the mistakes of my past. It’s easy to say, “Christ has wiped the slate clean.” It’s completely separate thing to really believe that and live your life that way. I think this weekend should be very cool. It will be some good times with my Dad and other Godly men and they always have a really good worship band.

Edit: The “friend” I talked about in this post is Sarah, my wife 🙂

A Broken and Contrite Heart

Tunes: Relient K, Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been

Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart…”

My heart is so shattered. In the wake of a failed marriage I sought to fill the void with every kind of community and ministry that I could get myself involved in. Now I do 10 million things and individually, they are all good, but collectively, serving the Church is killing my faith. I feel God calling me to “cut” ministries out of my life, but it’s so difficult.

I’ve dug roots into the deep recesses of a soil that doesn’t want to let me go.

I’m trying to keep everything in context. I’m been wrestling with my future path. When I moved to Saginaw I thought I’d only be here for a few months and that turned into a year, and now God may want me here longer. God has put so many roadblocks to me going to seminary I have to wonder if I am really called there.

For a long time I have felt a call to go to worship school to be a church musician. This was very evident to me in Texas where my church didn’t have a worship team, and as my guitar lay in the corner collecting dust I felt blackness with in my soul.

I was the wicked servant who buried his talent in the ground claiming that the master would reap where he had not sowed. When I started a guitar class and my high school students lead worship, a new light dawned. I felt this again when I got back from worshiping with Michael Gungor at Acquire the Fire. Then when I went to this worship conference last week my heart was pulverized by the Spirit and open to his leading. This last week I’ve been praying over what God wants me to do in the long run and I feel such a strong calling to be a full time Church musician.

This is a scary thing. The options have always been: pastor or youth pastor. I guess I’ve never doubted whether I would be a good pastor or youth worker. God has confirmed over and over again that I’m good at all the stuff that is required of these two vocations. But I’ve always doubted my musical ability.

When I lived in Texas my ex-wife’s camp held a Christian music festival called “Lutherstock” where people like Lost and Found and Agape would play but they would have local bands open. My wife was talking to me about who should play the next year and I said, “Billy Chia.” She laughed. She thought I was being sarcastic. In all fairness I make jokes and I’m sarcastic all the time and people always tell me, “Billy, I can never tell when you’re being serious.” Well this is the price I paid for not letting my “yes be yes” and my “no be no.” I was serious about playing Lutherstock but my ex-wife just didn’t think I had the talent.

Blah, I hate feeling this way. I hate the uncertainty. Submission is so hard. I wonder if I just want to do music because I’ve done the whole theology/Biblical languages thing in college and as much as I’m looking forward to the experience of Seminary, I’m not looking forward to the classes. I’ve been there/done that. And my time in Texas satiated my need be a youth minister. Is music just my new ephemeral passion that’s going to fade in the long run? I mean in a way that’s silly, I was doing music way before I was ever involved in the Church. It was the one gift I brought to the Church that I didn’t learn there. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13, around the same time I felt a call to be a pastor.

Deep down inside there’s a voice that says, “Ya know what Billy, God’s really gonna be happy regardless of what you do as long as you are serving him. It’s not really his ‘will’ for you to be a youth pastor, or ordained pastor, or worship leader, or graphic designer. In essence it’s your call, just do it to his glory and you’ll be good to go.” That’s even harder to deal with. I make so many crazy mistakes and do so many stoopid things I don’t want to be in charge of choosing what to do when I grow up. I mean for goodness sakes I’m 26 and a ½ and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. I need to grow up already. Jonny, I’ve stayed golden for too long and it’s time for Ponyboy to move on.

The Fun Part About Tomorrow

Tunes: 88 Miles Per Hour
Worship was pretty excellent this morning. I saw some many kewl people I wish I would’ve had more time to talk, the downside of leading worship. Although we played with a guest drummer today who goes to a presbyterian church in midland. He was very talented and when you’re playing bass with a good drummer it just opens up room for the Spirit to come. I swear more people were raising their hands today than normal. I know worship’s not all about people raising their hands but there is a difference between just worshiping God personally and corporate worship where there’s a communal sense that the Spirit is present.

So this band really rocks, you should check them out:
www.purevolume.com/88milesperhour

Seminars4Worship Confrence

Tunes: Ross Parsly

wow. I have been looking for a long time for what God wanted me to do next. I felt a tension in being too busy and knowing that I needed to stop doing some things and really step up on others and over the last two days God answered in a big way. I spent the last two days and a seminars4worship conference where I heard amazing, compelling, encouraging, convicting talks from the country’s leading worship leaders on everything from Postmodern culture to multi-generational worship. God melted my heart like an ice cream carton left out overnight. Right now the kitchen floor’s a sticky mess but I’m totally in a place for God to reshape me into something cool and I’m way excited.
I have a lot to pray about and consider over the next few weeks. God is moving. It’s awesome.

Rebirth

Tunes: 88 Miles Per Hour

Today was Jeni’s baptism. I was completely bummed about getting out late at my church and missing the actual baptism at hers but I loved the spiritual vibe of her congregation. Worship was so free there. God was totally present. Hanging out after worship was super fun.

Worked on the kung fu movie with Beth and Alaine. After being pretty ADD for a few hours we finally got to task and we have a pretty solid storyline down. It’s going to be rocked out if we can find a few extra people who are down with being in the movie.

Rich’s Grad Party

Yeah, today was so amazing I just have to lift up praise to God for all of his awesomeness and the blessings that he poured out on me.

First I got to lead some worship songs for my church’s men’s group. It was way early in the morning and I stayed up way too late last nite working on the Source website. I was so tired my mind felt like oatmeal. There was no way I was in a state to lead but God showed up so huge, he took over when I felt weak for our weakness his power is made perfect. Just to listen to these men singing out to God was amazing, from that point on I knew it was going to be a good day.

Then Alaine and I went to Rich’s birthday/graduation party. It was freaking sweet. I just laughed like crazy and we took a million pictures. It was so much fun. I don’t know when the last time was that I really just enjoyed spending time like that (and I pretty much spend everyday enjoying everything I do)

Today’s only downer: no frisbee.

After we got back to Saginaw I gave Alaine a guitar lesson. I really excited about having her as a guitar student. Alaine is the kinda kid who just seems to be good at anything she applies herself to. She’s draws amazing anime and she’s a very talented writer. She was picking up the musical concepts I was laying down really quick.

I super excited, Monday and Tuesday I’m going to a worship conference with some people from my team at church. I’m especially looking forward to going to a session on postmodern worship and seeing how what the broader Christian community has to say compares with what is going on with the Source.

Oh yes, God is kewl.

Well I’m certainly surprised

Yes, I did actually enjoy the Michael W. Smith concert last night. Who knew?


 

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