thoughts on worship, art, leadership, and life

Why Is Grace Such A Tough Pill To Swallow?

I have been a Christian my entire life and I still find myself doubting it from time to time. It seems too good to be true, that a perfect God would love and receive me as His own.

If we’re really honest with ourselves, we would like to play just a little part in our salvation. Sure, what Jesus did for us was enough but we’d like to contribute, even if it’s just a bit. The problem is that if our own merit plays even a small part in redemption then we eventually end up in despair and hopelessness because we all screw up, fail, and sin. For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.

I also believe that the evil one wants us trapped in and crippled by our shame. He loves to get saved people thinking they aren’t truly forgiven. He takes great pleasure when we wallow in our guilt, incapacitated by our unworthiness.

So what’s the answer? Continue reading “Why Is Grace Such A Tough Pill To Swallow?”


I’m A Recovering Hymn-Hater

I have a confession to make, I’m a recovering hymn-hater. I went through a season of life where I arrogantly threw aside all things of the past for their more modern counterparts. Slowly I began to develop a dissatisfaction that led me on a 6 year journey where God helped me to relearn why placing an emphasis on the words we sing is so important.

Continue reading “I’m A Recovering Hymn-Hater”

Leap Of Faith

Having to make a choice between staying at Shepherd’s Gate or going to serve at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Tempe, AZ has been one of the most trying and emotional journeys of our lives. Through weeks of prayer and seeking God, Hannah and I finally feel that God has led us to a decision and a peace surrounding it. We believe that God is challenging our family to take a leap of faith and move to Arizona.

In light of this, there are a couple of things I would like you to know. Continue reading “Leap Of Faith”

Asking For Your Prayers


I’m writing this to ask for your prayers. Last Wednesday, I received an offer to serve as the Director of Worship at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Tempe, Arizona. As Hannah and I have sought the Lord in this, we have felt led to evaluate whether or not this could be where He is calling us to serve.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with a process like this I want you to know a few things.

Continue reading “Asking For Your Prayers”

Why We Do What We Do: Call To Worship

Call To Worship

At Shepherd’s Gate Church we often begin our services with a Call to Worship. This practice of starting our gatherings with Scripture, is something that God’s people have been doing for ages and one that can have a profound impact on the gathered church today. In writing this, I hope to explain why we do this and to encourage you as you engage in this practice.

Why do a “Call to Worship”? Continue reading “Why We Do What We Do: Call To Worship”

Why Would I Go To Church And Let Some Guy Put Ashes On My Head?


As you travel around today, there will be many people out and about. As you continue to observe them, you may notice something is a bit off. They all have black smudges on their foreheads. This begs the question:

“Why in the world would these folks take time to go to a church and let some guy put ashes on their foreheads?”

Here’s why:

Continue reading “Why Would I Go To Church And Let Some Guy Put Ashes On My Head?”

Church Leadership Isn’t A Solo Act

Church leadership is not and never was a solo act. Church leaders: We are called to replicate ourselves. Our primary task should be the raising up and empowering of people. In doing so, we not only help the church fulfill it’s God given potential, but we also accomplish much more than we ever could on our own. Why then are there so many churches with only one “pastor” or “leader” doing all of the work? I would argue that this is unbiblical and unhealthy. Here are a couple of passages that will shine light on this concept. Continue reading “Church Leadership Isn’t A Solo Act”

Musician Church-Hopping Needs To Stop

MusicianChurch musicians need to commit to a local church. There I said it. I see too many musicians jumping from one playing opportunity to another, from one church to the next. I have no problem helping other churches out or filling in when there is a need, but the constant transient “church-hopping” needs to stop. It’s a detriment to the church and to the musician. At Shepherd’s Gate we ask that our musicians sign a covenant each year. One of the commitments reads as follows:

We expect all members of the band to be in church when in town regardless of whether they are serving. When we worship from the seats it sends a powerful message of authenticity and brings credibility to our platform leadership. In addition, before and after each service, team members are committed to wear their green name lanyards, talk with people after worship services, and build relationships with the people of our community. 

Continue reading “Musician Church-Hopping Needs To Stop”

Context Is Everything

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

This past weekend, while leading worship, I found myself in a bit of a quandary. I was leading the church in a song with some pretty amazing Gospel centered lyrics. They were singing it out with gusto. There was only one problem, while the words of the bridge left my mouth, I had a thought… “I bet a good amount of people in this room have no idea what we are singing about. ”

Continue reading “Context Is Everything”

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