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Posted on Oct 31, 2013 in Featured Slider, Worship Ministry | 4 comments

What Is Patriotism’s Place in Our Worship?

What Is Patriotism’s Place in Our Worship?

When was the last time you heard someone request prayer for an American soldier? Ok, now when was the last time you heard someone voice similar concern for our foreign brothers and sisters facing persecution for their faith? If you serve in a church that emphasizes Kingdom over country, count yourself blessed. Many American Christians have struggled to distinguish between country and Kingdom. Our struggle in that regard has greatly influenced the worship practices of our local churches. The following are observations, not arguments: Many of our church worship facilities boast American flags inside and out. I don’t believe that’s common Christian practice. Not in the early Church and not even in the international Church of today, by all accounts I’ve heard & read. Feel free to correct me if you know differently. Our churches celebrate Christian events that America recognizes as national holidays. But we also celebrate distinctly American holidays. Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day to name a few. The hymnals I grew up with...

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Posted on Oct 25, 2013 in Featured Slider, Leadership, Worship Ministry | 4 comments

Moving Your Worship Ministry Beyond Your Four Walls

Moving Your Worship Ministry Beyond Your Four Walls

Ever have one of those days when 5pm finds you feeling worn out, stressed, and beaten down?  It happened to me once on a Tuesday. That Tuesday also happened to be a day when I couldn’t just go home and recover because the small group I was leading was scheduled to serve at Convoy of Hope‘s warehouse here in Springfield, MO that night.  To make matters even “better” our group was struck by the most ridiculous & inconceivable confluence of legitimate circumstances: people were getting sick, straining backs, attending funerals, leaving town at the last minute… So my wife, Julie, and I were suddenly the only members of our group to be able to make it. So there I am, after a very loooong day, about to work 2 more hours for no pay. But you know what’s interesting? I hadn’t smiled so much in a long time! Isn’t that weird? Our “human logic” would tell us: after a long hard day, you’d be much better off reclining in your Lazy-Boy and...

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Posted on Oct 17, 2013 in Featured Slider, Leadership, Resources, Worship Ministry | 2 comments

My 4-Part Formula for Weekly Communication with Your Team

My 4-Part Formula for Weekly Communication with Your Team

Communication with your team is HUGE! When I began full-time ministry, I quickly realized a need for some kind of regular leader-to-team communication outside of rehearsals and Sunday mornings. If I relied solely on those occasions, some of my team members would only hear from me about once a month. And the odds that I’d remember to tell them all they needed to know in that single opportunity are slim-to-none.  Ok, just none. Thus was born “The Worship Weekly”…the email I send to my team of volunteers week after week after week.  And you know what? There are few things I’ve received more “at-a-boy’s” about than those emails.  It seems to me that even when a team member doesn’t get around to reading it, they like simply knowing they received it! Ha, well I’m happy to oblige. I’d like to offer you my formula since it’s gone over so well in my ministry. Of course, I’d recommend making it your own…something that fits your personality and context. My emails...

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Posted on Oct 11, 2013 in Tools | 2 comments

If You Send Emails to Your Church, You Need This Service!

If You Send Emails to Your Church, You Need This Service!

In a previous post, I shared a sample of the worship email I send out to our entire church on a regular basis.  Looked pretty boring didn’t it??? Especially when compared to the new look: (Click to view the whole email in your browser) See, I used to send these emails out using my personal Yahoo! Mail account, believe it or not. I actually had to break the mailing into sections of addresses so Yahoo! didn’t think I was a spammer. One day, two questions popped into my head that made me very nervous: What if someone hits Reply to All and says something embarrassing or even inappropriate? And isn’t it kind of a privacy issue to be sending out everyone’s email address in the “To:” field? I resolved the second issue immediately by pasting everyone’s address but mine into the “BCC:” field. But these two questions were enough to convince me we needed to look for something better. What I found is a service that has been nothing...

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Posted on Oct 4, 2013 in Featured Slider, Worship Ministry | 4 comments

Move Your Music from Good to Great, Starting Now

Move Your Music from Good to Great, Starting Now

You know what separates a great author from the rest of the pack??? It’s dynamics. I’ve read The Lord of the Rings several times through but now my wife Julie and I are reading it aloud to each other. That’s providing a whole new perspective! I can’t speed over “slow stuff” about plants and histories to get to “good stuff” about battles and dangers overcome.  And I’ve actually gained a deeper respect for Tolkien’s literary genius. He knew good stories need dynamics. Dynamics works for more than just stories. That’s what separates great music from the rest of the pack. Frankly, Tolkien and other such literary giants would be appalled at the way many of our worship bands approach the songs we play each week. And, while it might feel easy to blame any lack of musical excellence on the amateur musicians who volunteer in our ministries, that’s probably not what’s actually holding you back from taking the next step toward really great music. Great dynamics can overcome a sea of...

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