Do I really need to go to church as a follower of Christ? When Jesus talked with the “Woman at the Well” about places of worship, his point wasn’t that place was unimportant. Worshiping in “Spirit and truth” can be done anywhere, so we know it is not about the exact address. We know our place of worship is where the Spirit is and where truth is. Widely, worship is looked at as a personal choice and activity. In fact, that is quite true! We all have to choose to worship Christ. We all have a personal free will. But, what is missed is that gathering for worship seems to not be valued. Our worship services are more than an additional stop in a lifestyle of worship. They are the base camps to living life, connecting us to story that’s bigger than us. Worship is sacred. Discipleship is daily. Liturgy is a great word to use for what worship which happens and Sundays when we gather together at a particular place and time. Liturgy means the people’s service or our public worship practice. So, when we talk about living a life as a worshiper, there are things we do together as believers that are special. Worship of God, as some say, can be any act. All things we do should be an act of worship.…
As a church communications director, I have learned over the years that people respond to stories better than information. As a speaker, I know this is true. In fact, the Bible is almost three-fourths narrative. Jesus used stories as his teaching, almost exclusively. Why is it then that we look at announcements as just announcements? My proposition is that announcements are invitations to join in the larger story of God’s work in our church and the world. Are we thinking too small of our announcements in worship?
Am I the only one? Sometimes a crowd will be moved magically by a phrase in a speech, a hook in a song, and the vibe in the room which all may work to enraptures the majority. I’m perhaps alone at times. I see other things that might not be quite as flattering.There are several reasons for this, perhaps. When you have been a speaker, a worship leader, and one who produces events on a regular basis, the magic of losing yourself in the crowd wanes. The behind-the-scenes life dodges hazards and dulls the senses. Or, does it? Some of us simply live as observants to a different layer of activity. Leaders see things others may not.
There are so many choices these days when addressing your keyboard needs for modern worship. Shell out say $3,000 for a synth by Nord, Yamaha, or Roland. Or, use your laptop and a controller like Axiom Pro or Studio Logic. I get a lot of questions about this topic, so I thought I would give you my thinking in hopes it aids in deciding for you the best option.
When an acoustic guitarist can spend $3,000 simply on a nice professional Taylor or Martin to lead worship with, the range in price is such that $500 might sound terrible while $5,000 terrific when you talk about wood, manufacturing, and the pickup electronics. I am here to say that you might feel less cool using a controller, but the geeky-ness of a laptop/iPad setup means for about $1,500 you can sound as good as a $3,300 workstation. If you already own a laptop, it might be less than that!
If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Galatians 5:15 (NIV)
“Feed me, Seymour,” is what the giant flesh eating plant declares in many scenes of the musical-to-movie Little Shop of Horrors. And, it is often what a worship leader or pastor hears sung from the pew. “Feed me, or I get up and take my measly tithes and offerings to the other church around the corner.” Today we must introduce zombie-style church shopping for the voracious appetite of loosely connected Christian consumers. Why, Christians can be zombies and the Bible makes this clear. So, If you want to be “fed” the word, soaked in worship, and sent out to rinse and repeat that each week, this guide is for you.
Forgive the not-so-subtle use of political buzz words in this article. This is NOT a political article, but simply a discussion on leadership in the church. Now, please read with caution. Many pastors and leaders pride themselves on their church’s culture. Prominently on most church websites these days is a “core values” list that seem to communicate that statements of faith and creed are weighted equally to church culture. Also, it is common to see the faces and vision of these leaders on the front page of the church site. It is clear leaders impact the values and language of a church. I do see a significant problem, however. Are we more proud of our church’s culture than we are of given away ministry? Are we more concerned with our personal legacy as spiritual leaders than making the next guy succeed? You see, pastor, you didn’t build that–the church, that is. Building campaigns, church logos, sermon series turned into books, and the lure of micro-celebrity “platform”, seduce those at the top into thinking they built the church. God brings sheep because they need to be fed, not because they represent a platform or legacy. Now, there is nothing wrong with buildings, groovy graphics, and writing down sermons and presenting them for future use. And, it is alright, in my opinion, to be wildly successful at…
I WILL NOT be assimilated. Huh?