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”
Church 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.
If you serve at a church, volunteer or staff, I want you to hear something. Thank you. Thank you for extra rehearsals, creating rich Gospel centered music, and writing sermons. Thank you for standing in the cold to give guests a warm welcome. Thank you for spending time with our little ones and teaching them about our loving Savior. Thank you for working behind the scenes to make sure services are recorded, lighting and sound work properly, and the Gospel heard by many others. Thank you for giving up countless hours during this season to reach those who don’t know Jesus. Continue reading “I Thank God For You”
This past year marked a milestone for me. It was crazy… I went to sleep a 20 something and woke up the next day 30 years old. I don’t know if anyone else had a hard time leaving their 20’s behind, but I did. It was as if I was leaving an era and entering the unknown. Some how being 30 just didn’t have the same appeal. I couldn’t quite put it into words but I knew I wasn’t quite comfortable with it. I needed time to process what was different and why I was so uncomfortable. However, after thinking it through, I’ve realized that my 20’s were a great place to learn many of life’s lessons and the best is still yet to come. Here’s why:
I’m 30 years old and I’m done… Continue reading “I’m 30 years old and I’m done…”
When we gather as a church community for worship, we are participating in the most dynamic story ever told. It is a rich story that starts with a creating and sovereign God. This God is three persons, each distinct, yet mysteriously one. The narrative is riddled with the failure and brokeness of humanity, and it ends with God’s salvation and the restoration of His people. Lastly, the very words of this story have the power to turn death to life. Why would we ever want to deprive our people of participating in it?
I seriously doubt that any of us would say that our goal is to keep our people away from God’s gospel, but are we subtly doing just that by what we’re omitting? Continue reading “Are We Choosing The Right Songs?”
A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them. – Liberty Hyde Bailey
In my previous post I talked about developing a personal process to channel your creativity. The same principles apply to church creative processes. When working in a church creative team, whether that’s just you or a whole bunch of folks, it’s necessary to plan for creativity. Putting parameters and deadlines together is much like cultivating a garden. You have to set up boundaries, watering schedules, prune, fertilize, rinse and repeat. Eventually, with a little sunshine, you get some great produce! Over the past couple of years we have worked hard to refine our church creative process. Though it felt a little unnatural at first, we grew to embrace it as it has helped us create some amazing things.
Our church’s creative planning process is as follows: Continue reading “The Creative Process Pt. 2”
I still remember waiting outside in the hallway, the sound of a slightly out of tune piano playing and a girl singing her heart out on the other side of the wall. My mind was racing. What if I didn’t make it? What would that say about me? I’ve been singing my whole life and making this choir meant a lot to me. So much was on the line.
This was my experience auditioning for the choir at Concordia University River Forest. If this is the kind of experience that people go through when they audition for something, it begs the question, do auditions really have a place in the church? Continue reading “Are Auditions Necessary?”
Successful organizations care about what their guests experience. Simply walk into your nearest Starbucks and upon checking out you may be asked if you would be willing to fill out a survey. Why do they do this? Is it because they want to interrupt your day with a monotonous survey? No. By doing so, they hope to gather honest responses to gauge whether or not their attempts to serve you and connect with you were successful and if not how they can improve.
A little over a year ago we began to ask some of the same questions at our church. We realized that the first step in being able to evaluate whether or not we were succeeding was to clearly define our “win” for our Sunday morning worship services. Your “win” should and must be influenced by your theology. Continue reading “The Guest Experience”