How about a book about reproducing worship leadership in others? I am simply inviting you to take a fresh look at my book, The Six Hats of the Worship Leader. If you haven’t read it yet or haven’t read it in a while, I’d love to hear from you and have you check out the book. I am always game to follow up with my readers and some have even become good friends! This book has helped many over the last few years. When a lot of training has been on simply skills or technology my book takes a different angle. People are who we need to lead since gear can only take you so far. What if there were very practical ways to take the role of worship leading and grow it? One of my favorite things about being a book author is in interacting with readers. I assume I am not smarter than you! What I aim to do is offer something helpful that you need to solve. Even if it is simply reframing what you already know to be true, the value of such is worth investment. Over the last four years, I have shared this material in person with pastors and worship leaders all over the country and am humbled by the positive response. I never set out to write a book. The bumps…
Today my friend and creative mentor Randy Elrod published his memoirs, A Renaissance Redneck in a Mega-Church Pulpit during one of my favorite annual events, the Re:Create Conference in Franklin, Tennessee. This book is a very compelling and honest look at a creative leader’s journey. You may not be able to agree with all of what is said in this book, but not reading it as a leader in the church would be a mistake!
I thought of writing a book review but ended up with a song inspired by a book. “Grace found me” is a phrase quoted from the book All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir which is the memoir of beloved author and speaker Brennan Manning. We think we can earn God’s love, God’s favor. We can’t. Even at our best, most religious selves we fall short. We all do. And, at our worst, God’s hand reaches out for us. All we have to do is reach for it. His hand will find our hand.
“Reflect: Fifty-two Stories for Worshipers” compiled by Stan Endicott was just released! This book is a compilation of stories from worshipers is designed for leaders and worshipers. The stories allow the reader to be reminded about finding points of worship from the perspective of many writers, some who are worship leaders and arts leaders such as Sally Morgenthathaler, Rick Founds and Joe Horness. I also am a contributor to the book, which of course I am humbled to have been asked by Stan Endicott. My worship team enjoyed my reading of one of Stan’s reflections last night at rehearsal entitled “Eye of the Beholder”. I can see the potential of this book as a ministry resource both for personal devotions and for leading a team of worshipers through it. What is unique to me is the use of personal stories by people anyone can relate to. I am grateful to Stan for allowing me to be a part of this project and hope you pick up a bunch of copies!
The mainstream media, which means CNN, newspapers and crafted press campaigns have saturated us with the news of the controversial Rob Bell and his new book “Love Wins – A book about heaven, hell and the fate of every person who ever lived” released March 15. Really, the controversy was more about the statements Bell himself pulled from the book in a video teaser as well as bits from bloggers. Red meat was thrown to those who feel obligated to guard us all from false teaching and heresy. A firestorm brewed and Bell became a NY Times bestselling author as a result. Fellow bloggers have flocked to either attack the teachings pulled from the book or defend Bell from these attacks. It seems few actually stood up for the teachings in the book, but were offended by the tenor of the conversation. Those attacking focused on “exegetical” issues like Bell’s use of the Greek language. Admittedly, even one supporter of Bell said the book is sometimes “disjointed” and “poorly written” while making a legitimate statement that some detractors did not even read the book. Good points! Heretic or Not a Heretic? I asked this question on a post here on RKWeblog. Now, I get to answer. One reader made it clear that “Jesus was a heretic. Martin Luther was a heretic.” That point is well…
I really would love to finish reading this book Love Wins, but some very thoughtful Christian leaders have already done so like this one and others. What makes a heretic? I am a creative and love to ask questions, so Rob Bell is a cool cat in how he operates. He is obviously one of the best communicators out there. But, is he selling something very wrong with his new book? The following interview on MSNBC exposes how Bell thinks. I love the interviewer, a Christian, in that he is asking legitimate questions any pastor should be able to answer. How does Rob Bell do in your opinion. Is he the “H” word–a heretic? Or, is he a historically orthodox Christian in his responses?
John Voelz is a pastor, speaker, worship leader and fellow Len Sweet admirer. Although, he takes the cake in that category given that his song “It’s Jesus” was chosen as the official song released June 1 with Len Sweet and Frank Viola’s book Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus Christ. I really dig the honesty and approachability of the song which is exactly who John is. Go download this song on iTunes!
Some guys and myself are reading A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. One thing notable about most Christian “classics” is that they seem as if they were written today–instead of over 50, 100 or 500 years ago. Of course, the language may give clues to the age of a one of these books, but the Christian journey of faith is something that we share closely with our brothers and sisters who have lived far ahead of us. Here is one thought I would love to discuss. God is a person. We have almost forgotten that God is a Person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can. It is inherent on personality to be able to know other personalities, but full knowledge of one personality by another cannot be achieved in one encounter. Tozer reminds us that God can be known. In my daily life, it seems easier to figure things out on my own rather than get to know the person of Jesus who can figure things out with me. Or, even better he can simply be with me. After all, he is a person. How does God being a person change how you live your normal life throughout the day?
It is that time when no matter the financial or family problems, no matter the turmoil that pervades the world, for a few brief moments, “all is right in the world.” As we collapse in sweaty euphoria, we together realize a time of transcendent wonder. There dawns a realization that we have indeed been granted the privilege to see the face of a holy God. — Randy Elrod Sex, Lies and Religion — A provocative, thoughtful, controversial book by author, blogger and creative Randy Elrod. I have known Randy for nearly a decade and can attest to his passion for seeing people live a life of liberty before God and their church communities. This book, even though it may not reflect all of my personal views, is surely a must-read and certainly a conversation that is lacking in today’s Christian circles.Yes, we talk about sex. But, do we apply theology, thought and a sense of experience in our conversation like Elrod? No, I fear not. This is not a let-me-push-every-button kind of book. Even though there is controversial views, everyone of them is presented with maturity and thoughtfulness. I applaud such a brave work and hope to learn from Elrod even more in the future. It is a good thing that what some of us appreciate being under his mentorship many now can experience.
The Myth of Proposition over Experience in Worship Why is it that in our evangelical church culture we seem to put the beauty of music, art and other expression of our faith and worship below reason? Where in scripture does this occur? In reading the Psalms and other poetry of the Bible we see imagery and drama as part of our expression of faith and yes, even theology. This does not mean we put beauty and story above reason and proposition, however. There must be a better way of explaining the longing in our hearts when pulled to the mystical side that experience offers without repressing this part of our humanity. In other words, perhaps it is not an indication of a fallen nature or a danger of being captivated by that nature to be moved by the beautiful. It is human. At the cre:ate 2009 conference, we had a lecture by Steven Guthrie, who delivered a lecture similar to his Worship Leader Magazine article earlier this year (Music and Lyrics, WL Magazine, pgs. 25-30). What Guthrie described was a man with two halves which he says is derived from Augustine. What we take from Augustine is a fear of the music drawing us to a “lower” nature. So, why not subjugate music to reason, which is a higher form of faith? We seem to…