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Posted on Jan 27, 2014 in Leadership, Worship Ministry | 11 comments

Why I Ask My Team to Be a Little Disingenuous

Why I Ask My Team to Be a Little Disingenuous

WHAT??? Disgusting. Didn’t Jesus rail against hypocrites…actors…the disingenuous religious leaders of His day? Yes He did and, yet, I’ve sat across from my team as they’ve looked at me uncertainly and said, “What you’re asking…I’d feel like I was being disingenuous.” But I keep on asking because I believe we’ve lost sight of what it means to do our job. For years, the worship community has fought against anything that reeks of performance. We’re not to perform, we’re to worship. We want team members who are the real article: who they are on the stage matches who they are off the stage. Nice sentiment! And I whole-heartedly agree when it comes to the heart of the individual. However, this has carried over to the way worship is expressed on-stage versus off-stage. And I don’t whole-heartedly agree with that. I imagine we all have worship team members who feel that expressing worship differently on-stage than they do off-stage would be fake, phony, even hypocritical. Maybe you feel that way, too,...

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Posted on Jan 20, 2014 in Worship Ministry | 2 comments

Using Worship to Reach People without Selling Your Soul, Part 2

Using Worship to Reach People without Selling Your Soul, Part 2

So, we’re trying to figure out how to reach people through our church worship gatherings without selling our souls in the process! To accomplish that, I’m attempting to redefine a couple of key words that have been muddling up the dialogue between different sides of this great debate. In the first part of this two-part blog post, we examined what Quality really means when it comes to our churches’ worship. Now for the next word… Word #2: Accessible Within our church circles, it seems an accessible worship gathering has come to mean one that is watered down. As though the only way church-outsiders could possibly be reached through a worship gathering is to dumb everything down to the most elementary of concepts. This tired definition of accessible seems insulting to their intelligence, doesn’t it? A truly accessible worship gathering makes people feel like they, too, could be a Christ-worshipper. Even without having to jump through hoops, learn secret handshakes, or get a seminary degree. The easiest way to accomplish this...

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Posted on Jan 13, 2014 in Worship Ministry | 3 comments

Using Worship to Reach People without Selling Your Soul, Part 1

Using Worship to Reach People without Selling Your Soul, Part 1

On which side of the aisle do you find yourself? Side A informs us that church gatherings are for seekers and church-outsiders; so, our content must be accessible to help them understand. Side B insists that church gatherings are for church people; thus, our content must be rich to help them grow.  Side A folks are looking across the aisle and thinking, “Those people don’t care at all about reaching people with the gospel.” While Side B-er’s are dead certain the A-er’s are selling their souls to an entertainment culture so they can build big (but surely shallow) churches. Lost in all the commotion is…God, who–as it turns out–seems to care deeply about both the souls of people enslaved by sin and the songs of those set free by His Son. So how, indeed, do we go about leveraging our worship gatherings to reach people without selling our souls? I realize one blog post (or, in this case 2…be sure to visit Part 2 of this discussion) could never put the period on...

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Posted on Jan 3, 2014 in Tools | 6 comments

Clover… And Why You Should Care about Your Church’s Website

Clover… And Why You Should Care about Your Church’s Website

UPDATE: I’ve recently built the website for my new church using CloverSites. You can visit Cypress Street Church of God’s page here to see yet another example. I never considered myself “artsy”.  My wife is the artsy one: crafting and drawing and sewing with a deftness that makes we mere mortals sick! It wasn’t until I became a worship pastor that I discovered my own ability to distinguish between what looks good and what does not. I suppose many worship leaders have this gift. It stands to reason that someone with an ear for what sounds good might also be wired with an eye for what looks good. And so I’ve been asked to work on random creative projects ranging from logos to ministry/church names to paint colors to decor to websites and more. These creative projects have proven enjoyable but also time-consuming. I suppose that’s why larger churches hire “creative” staff in addition to worship leaders.  But for many of us leading worship in the blue collar ministry context,...

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