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Posted on Feb 27, 2014 in Leadership, Resources, Tools, Worship Ministry | 1 comment

End It.

End It.

Welcome to next week’s post because today is February 27th, 2014–also known as “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” for those who are in it to End It. Tonight, I’ll turn on my sound system in my cozy church building and make beautiful (hopefully!) music to God with my team. Meanwhile, there will be people who are experiencing their own living hell in that moment. To worship God comfortably but continuously avoid, ignore, and show apathy toward justice and mercy and faithfulness is worse than wrong. And it would certainly earn us a strong rebuke from Jesus. Not that you or I have to individually engage boldly in every fight out there. There’s a lot of injustice in this world, a lot of mercy needed. That being said, ignorance is NOT bliss. And with an issue this well documented, ignorance is irresponsible at best. The good news: It doesn’t take much time to get informed and pass it on. And that IS doing something! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7yFuLxoldU And it doesn’t take much...

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Posted on Feb 10, 2014 in Leadership, Worship Ministry | 2 comments

Know Enough about Everyone’s Job to Get Yourself in Trouble

Know Enough about Everyone’s Job to Get Yourself in Trouble

I recently read a good resource article by Wisdom Moon where he spoke to the importance of dynamics and, at one point, he said: “I don’t know how to play every instrument on stage, but I understand enough about each to give some verbal direction.”  I immediately thought, “Wow, that would make an article all by itself!” So here it is. Perhaps you’re familiar with the expression: “I know just enough about _______________ to get me in trouble.”  As a worship leader, you are probably a band leader. And as a band leader, you should know just enough about each instrument in your band to get you in trouble! (Really, I suppose these principles will apply across leadership contexts.) For instance, I can’t play drums.  While I’ve learned to keep two limbs in rhythm, four has proven more than I can ask of my uncoordinated self! But over the years, I’ve gleaned as much information about drummers and drum sets as I can because I believe they make or break...

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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 Dec 13, 2013 in Leadership, Worship Ministry | 0 comments

How to Lead with Both Love & Strength

How to Lead with Both Love & Strength

One of my goals–really the main one–in starting this blog was to challenge worship leaders in ordinary churches to lead strong! To not accept mediocrity as something that comes with the territory of blue collar, non-mega-church ministry. Early on, I wrote about topics that really pointed to this passion of mine; topics like prioritizing excellence over involvement and creating a process for incorporating new talent onto your team. But the natural question that arises from these challenges is “How?” In fact, the question came up quickly in a worship leader Facebook group where I shared those articles: How do we lead with both love and strength? It’s an apt question because ours is one of the most vulnerable of ministries. Individuals who volunteer or offer us their talents are putting themselves at the mercy of other people’s critiques in a way that few people outside the music world can know. So we must lead with love. Yet we must also lead with great strength so what we lead will actually...

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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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