Many who are very creative deal with this thing called sensitivity. It means that there sometimes is a thought, experience or encounter that most people easily forget that stays fresh in the mind of a creative. The ability to relive an event in full color can bring forth an amazing song or powerful painting. But, both the pleasure and the pain can be a trap to the creative if not leveraged properly. Perhaps, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) inflicts more of us than others for the same reason.
I have identified five trends that have come to life this year that might be damaging to our expression of Christian worship. Some of these are connected to a tool’s application. The wonderful tools we have around us and the choices for leaders are greater than ever. Our ingenuity and cleverness has reached new heights. But, with all creativity there are two sides. Creativity as innovation solves a problem. Creativity as art tells a story. When we forget the story—basically who we are—in our desire to solve a presenting issue we lose ourselves.
At age 13, my daughter Emilie Kirkpatrick began leading worship with me. In the past eight years, she has released two projects of her own songs and is a in skillful worship leading as well as songwriting. These eight year have formed a collaboration. Recently, we formed "a beautiful liturgy" as a music group to write and lead worship! We have already recorded one of the five songs for our 5-song project! But, we need your help and support as independent musicians. On Kickstarter.com or on this video and link, you can see and hear our story! The site even has a sample of the song we already recorded. Please, give it a watch and let us know what you think!
For a third time, RKBLOG has been recognized by Worship Leader Magazine editors as a distinguished resource for leaders who are involved with worship ministry and leadership in the local church. The November/December "BEST OF 2015" issue recognizes a whole slate of resources including technology for churches, books on leadership, and school programs focused on worship.
It is also quite an honor to be part of the National Worship Leaders Conferences over the past years as an instructor. There are excellent people out there in the blogging world that are also recognized and many more who were not mentioned. What makes this important is the relationship with my friends and fellow creatives who read RKBLOG. Thank you for the years of contribution and meaningful conversation. We have much work still to do in inspiring people to CREATE - BELIEVE - LEAD!
A few years ago, a young adult very openly expressed his frustration with worship at church. “Rich, why is it that I feel closer to God at a Coldplay concert than I do at church?” This was a stunning admission, because it represented not just his experience but that of many and perhaps spoke to some doubts in my own mind. However, what came from this conversation changed how I viewed worship in church. Worship at church should either be made more like the secular music out there, if that is truly more spiritual. Or, there is something missing in the worship at church that needed to be changed. I tried the first, making relevancy a goal, but I think that hand has been overplayed. So, I am left with the second idea. What is missing?
If you are an avid worshiper of Christ and attend church on a regular basis, you probably already know what a fantastic worship experience is to you, right? Or, maybe you don’t attend church as often as you might because your past worship experiences never hit the mark. Having been to church more than many, I see the gamut and know that even when one person is soaring in their version of a worship service, another may be unaffected. There are many factors that contribute to why there is so much disparity, but I think I found ten reasons that will aid you in your experience of worship. I hope these help you!
With hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees flooding Europe, our response as a nation has at best been tepid. We have 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., but many would rather build walls than talk about how humanely to deal with the small children caught in the political crossfire. This week a 14-year-old geeky student brought a homemade clock to school and was arrested for making a “fake bomb”—four policeman surrounded and handcuffed the confused, slightly built young man. He happened to be Muslim and “looked” the part. Why is it that people not like us bring out our dark side? I believe that fear for our safety seems to trump human dignity. But, should it? Would we put Japanese-Americans in concentration camps if we had it to do all over again?
Back in September of 2005 I officially launched myself as a blogger. They were called "weblogs" in the early millennial days which is why my Twitter handle is still @rkweblog. Ten years of conversations and life later I am now RKblog.com with media recognition as one of the top 75 Religion Bloggers in the nation, listed amongst some very impressive individuals of faith.
My wife has taught me the value of birthdays and celebration and for that I am grateful to her! I may even bake a cake tonight, but what I would love is just a simple "hello" to let me know you've stopped by. After all, this blog is nothing without the thousands of readers over the years who have endured my progress as a writer and human being.
As I was assisting the unpacking this new church’s first sound system, the young pastor asked me something I thought strange in the moment. “Rich, by now shouldn't you have a couple books out by now?” The conversation centered around his view that my ministry career should be at a certain level of achievement given my supposed status. He mentioned his path was to start this new church, and as it grew he would write a book, and then there was the platform that was needed in all of that. At that moment, I was in a big church and yet taking time as a friend to help set up audio gear in his large suburban, three-bay garage. His church had not even held its first public service, but his personal platform and achievement was center of what he wanted to talk about.
Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are now not only personal expressions but company branding machines. With the proliferation of this new media, I have identified five sins that create weak impact—unless you are into rewarding stupidly bad behavior. And, they drive me crazy! The dark side of social media might hurt you more than help. Many companies see added stats to follower lists, but do they know that their supposed social media manager is cheating a system instead of engaging people?
There is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and many techniques to draw people to click to our blogs. But, how do you have a conversation that actually influences and reaches the right people? It is one thing to attract traffic to your blog or social media. You can get people’s attention once. However, that could do more harm than not if your desire is to actually influence thinking. Is your message worth a discussion or simply a click?
In our society, what works and produces profit is what we value. While we hunger for a post-modern identity and story, the structures, all around us scream utility, conformity and results. Money rules. This might even be true in our houses of worship as we may have unintentionally turned business metrics on our expression of worship. The question is this: do we value utility more than beauty in our worship? The answer is that our culture-infused church in modern America apparently does.