Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

Song Leader, Lead Worshipper, Music Minister, Worship Arts Director, Worship Leader, Worship Pastor…  These are just a few of the titles given to the person that leads songs on a Sunday morning in local churches.  The title is usually given based on the denomination of the church or the culture of that church.  Each of these titles are good but I have a feeling that each one says something a little different about how the position is viewed or rather what is required of the individual in that position.

I am doing a little research and I would love to hear from you!  Worship Leaders/Pastors, I would love to hear from you.  What is your job description?  What do you feel like your main responsibility is?  How do you see yourself changing as you serve in the local church?  Senior Pastors, I would love to hear from you as well.  What are you looking for in the person that leads the songs in your church?  What do you feel like the greatest challenge for them is?  I would also like to hear from local church people.  What do you want from your worship leader?  Is leading songs enough?

I am not looking for a right answer or a wrong answer.  I am looking for YOUR answer.  I want to hear thoughts and opinions and I want my own view to be broader.  Thank you so much for your participation.

As the end of 2010 is drawing near it is time to look toward the new year and think about what we resolve to do differently in the coming year.  One part of my life that I always like to re-evaluate is my time in the Word.  For several years now I have done reading plans that take me through the entire Bible in one years time.  I have always found this to be a very practical way to keep my accountable to being in the Word.

Over the years I have struggled with this.  Sometimes I would miss a day and feel like I had failed, like I wasn’t holding up my end of the bargain.  I often wondered what God thought about that, if He was disappointed in me.  It took me a lot longer than I would like to admit to realize that that condemnation was not from the Lord but from a religiousness that I had created myself.  God doesn’t need me to be in the Word because of some religious obligation.  However, He does want me to be in the Word because I want to deepen my walk with Him, because I love Him.

Often it seems that when we get a hold of this truth, the pendulum swings to far to the other side.  We don’t read our Bibles on a regular basis with the excuse that we are not bound to religion.  This helps us to feel justified in our stagnate walk with the Lord.

I want to submit to you that it is not religious, but a healthy habit to be reading the Bible on a consistent basis.  The key is to not let the enemy condemn you when you miss, but know that condemnation does not come from the Lord.  Get back up and try again the next day.  It is so important to be hiding the Word of God in our hearts, but we can not do that unless we are getting in and reading it.  If you are feeling dry in your walk with the Lord, my first question would be when was the last time you spent some quality time with the Lord and in His Word.  There is no greater cure for a boring walk with the Lord than reading the Words that have already been spoken by Him.

There is a great tool at www.youversion.com to help you find a reading plan that works for you.  They have everything from year long plans to 30 day plans.  It also helps you keep track of your progress and is a way to help you stay accountable.  I want to encourage you to try something new this year in your time with the Lord.  Lets all work to be consistent together this year.  Not out of religion, but out of a passion for knowing Jesus more.

What do you plan on doing different this year?

It is hard to believe that we are only a little more than a week away from the close of 2010.  I feel like I am just getting used to saying 2010 and now I am going to have to change to 2011.  The year has just flown by!

On Dec 26 at Metro we are taking the service to reflect together on all of the incredible things the Lord has done this year.  It is a time to remember the Lord’s blessings and give Him the glory and praise. It is going to be so much fun.  As we were preparing today for that service it was a little overwhelming to see just how much the Lord has done.  He is SO good!

I want to encourage you to not let the year end without acknowledging what the Lord has done in YOUR life this year. He has been so good to YOU too!

What are some of your highlights from 2010?

I have not participated in WorshipCommunity.com’s Sunday Setlists in quite some time.  I keep getting the reminder emails each Sunday but for whatever reason I keep putting it off and then I don’t get to it at all.  As I have blogged about before, I really love Christmas Music and I love the challenge of keeping it fresh each year.  With that in mind, I thought it would participate in Sunday Setlists and share what we have been doing at Metro this season.

Our theme this year is “My Soul Magnifies the Lord”.  This morning Pastor Jim spoke about the Magi and how they magnified the Lord together.  It has been really fun to continue to remind people that this is a time to really worship Jesus for all that He has done.    Here is our setlist from this morning:

My Soul Magnifies the Lord – Chris Tomlin, Glory in The Highest
Magnify The Lord – Bobby Taylor, Ian Wolstenholme
Joy to the World(Unspeakable Joy) – Chris Tomlin, Glory in The Highest
Greatness of Our God – Ingram, Morgan, We do the One Sonic Society arrangement
O Come All Ye Faithful – Chris Tomlin, Glory in The Highest

As you can see, we did quite a few off of the Chris Tomlin Christmas album.  I really enjoy that record and feel like it really gives a fresh perspective on classic Christmas songs.  I also really enjoyed playing an original song this morning.  I thought it came off pretty well.  I went ahead and posted an mp3 of the board recording for you to listen to.  I would love to hear your feedback about it.  I am so proud of our team.  These guys put this music together every week in about an hour on Sunday mornings.  We do not have access to our building for midweek rehearsals so everything we do is before the service.  I am so amazed by what they do!  Hope you enjoy the song.  Blessings!

Click Here to listen to “Magnify the Lord”

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about Christmas Eve Candlelight Services.  When I was growing up our church always did a candlelight service at 11:00pm.  When I was very young my sister and I would go in our pajamas and usually be asleep before we got home (even though we only lived a block away).  As I grew older this became one of my favorite Christmas traditions.  We would sing some carols, have some special music, have some elements of a live nativity, and have a short message.  We would end the night by receiving communion as families and then ringing our Church Bell at midnight, declaring that is was Christmas Morning.  I have very fond memories of handing out Christmas Cards and receiving them, and ringing in Christmas morning with family and friends.

What are some of your Christmas Eve traditions?  Do you attend a Church Service?  Is it a candlelight service?  I would love to hear your feedback and ideas.

 

I have been playing on worship teams since 1993.  That equals a lot of Christmas seasons and lots of Christmas Carols done in many, many ways.  Over the years I have had conversations with several worship leaders about playing Christmas songs in contemporary worship settings and most of those conversations have not been positive.  It seems  that a lot of worship leaders have a hard time translating some of these old, traditional songs into contemporary versions that fit with full band worship music.  I am not saying that all carols should be turned into rock songs.  There is a lot of power in doing the songs in the way that they were written.  What I am saying is that you can only play “Joy To The World” as a bad blues song so many times before you never ever want to hear it again.  That is the moment that Christmas Music becomes no fun for Worship Leaders.

I LOVE Christmas and I LOVE Christmas music.  As a worship leader, it is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love the challenge of keeping Christmas Carols fresh.  I love the challenge of helping people to engage in true worship with these songs and not just singing them to sing them.  The lyrics are so powerful and well written.  These are incredible WORSHIP songs, not just feel good seasonal favorites.

So, what is the point?  My point is to encourage leaders to accept the challenge that comes with the season.  This is actually a great opportunity for us.  Usually we can only introduce about one new song a month. This time of year all the rules change.  You don’t have to do all of the normal songs that you do, you can play songs that you haven’t played in a year.  You can do a brand new version of “Angels we have heard on high” and treat it as a brand new song, yet everyone already knows the lyrics and the melody.  This is like a Christmas present for worship leaders… Oh, wait, IT IS CHRISTMAS.

There are lots of new resources available to us.  Chris Tomlin’s “Glory in the Highest” is a fantastic new record with lots of classics and some wonderful new congregational worship songs.  Bebo Norman also has a great Christmas record.  He has redone “Angels from the realms of Glory” and titled it “Come and Worship”.  This has got to be my favorite Christmas song and favorite to lead.  Let’s remember that this is a season to truly worship God and what he has done.  Let’s keep that spirit of worship fresh in our Christmas music.

What are your thoughts?
(The picture is just because I thought it was funny.)

BOBBY

I have recently finished reading Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.  Several wonderful points were made in this book and it is a great read for any church leader looking for biblically sound thoughts on the church.  One thing that has really stuck out to me is his definition of Church.  “The local church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord.  In obedience to Scripture the organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship,observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and Communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world for God’s glory and their joy.”

I love that in his definition of Church he includes scattering to fulfill the Great Commission.  So often we think of church as getting together on Sunday mornings only, while it is that AND so much more.  Sunday morning is a time when we get fed, encouraged, built-up so that we can go into the world and speak out the message of Jesus.  If we are not actively participating in fulfilling the Great Commission we are not truly being the Church the Christ has called us to be.

What do you guys think?  I would love to hear your thoughts.