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Posted on Mar 31, 2014 in Worship Ministry | 0 comments

Are You Rushing Your Church’s Response?

Are You Rushing Your Church’s Response?

The preacher closes his notes, says a prayer and walks off the stage. Then what? God’s Word has been read and your church has just been challenged–hopefully!–with how it applies to their life. So what happens then? I can tell you what used to happen at our church and what happens in many churches like ours: We sang a song and went home! No time to waste. Everything pointed to the sermon and when that was over, everything was over. And then I read the ol’ book written by Jim Cymbala titled “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire“.  Quotes like this one started some wheels turning in my head: “…the writer to the Hebrews nails down the most central activity of all for Christians: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb. 4:16).  It doesn’t say, “Let us come to the sermon.” We in America have made the sermon the centerpiece of the church, something God never...

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Posted on Mar 24, 2014 in Tools | 0 comments

Product Review: New Pick Holder Solution

Product Review: New Pick Holder Solution

It’s the bane of every guitar player’s existence: the infamous pick drop. Option A: Attack with a whirlwind of fingernails. Option B: Awkwardly bend down to get it. Option C: Buy one of those spare pick solutions that attach to a boom stand. And how about this dilemma: the need to fingerpick and strum on the same song. Option A: Turn that quarter rest into a whole rest to allow for picking up and setting down. Option B: Stash it between two fingers and survive with only 4 useable picking appendages. Option C: Return to the aforementioned whirlwind of fingernails when strumming. What if there was a better way??? An innovative company called Hogjim thinks there is. When they told me about their product and asked if I’d do a review, I was eager to oblige! I’ve led worship with it on board my Martin twice now and here are my pros and cons… PROS Not noticeable. At least, the clear one they sent me blends in really well....

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Posted on Mar 17, 2014 in Resources, Worship Ministry | 2 comments

A New Template for Planning Worship Services

A New Template for Planning Worship Services

Is there any rhyme or reason to your planning? Or is every song set a new adventure with no real way of assuring consistent balance and depth?  I fear it is all too easy for worship planners to fall into a pattern of either oversimplifying (by simply picking a few songs with little thought to why) or overcomplicating (by becoming obsessed with theming). As I’ve mentioned before, I became disillusioned with planning my services exclusively around sermon topics. But I’ve long desired to write a follow-up post to offer a balanced alternative. In reading through Worship by the Book by Hughes, Keller, Ashton, and Carson, I had several brainstorms that led to this new worship planning model I’ve tried out over the past 6 months or so. It’s really more like a template and perhaps you can take ideas from it to use in your own planning process: PRAISE A song or reading that expresses praise to God for who He is and what He has done in our lives....

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Posted on Mar 10, 2014 in Featured Slider, Worship Ministry | 5 comments

The Surmountable Challenge Facing Churches Using Hymnals

The Surmountable Challenge Facing Churches Using Hymnals

Let’s face it. Our society has changed drastically in a few ways over recent decades. I suppose technology is the most obvious and dramatic change. I mean, who would’ve dreamed in the 90’s that cell phones would become what they now are? Another change that may only seem obvious and dramatic to those of us living in the blue collar worship ministry world is the shift in musical know-how. The art & science of music was once widely taught in our culture: in schools, in homes, and in churches. From an early age, a person could be expected to understand at least the rudimentary concepts of notes and singing. Today, the only folks who know anything about sight-reading are those who volunteered to take electives in middle & high school like choir, orchestra, or band. Everyone else learns to sing in their car or with their big, shiny headphones on. In other words, listening for a melody and singing it out is the most we can hope for from the younger...

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