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?”


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”

Context Is Everything

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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”

I’m Not Good Enough And Neither Are You

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In a world that is constantly pushing us to be better people and self help books abound, I’m going to say something that’s just not that popular.

I’m not good enough and neither are you.

Not only that, but we never will be. No matter how many books we read or how hard we try, we’ll never measure up. Before we all get super depressed, let me unpack this a bit.

Continue reading “I’m Not Good Enough And Neither Are You”

Deconstructing The Worship Set

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You’ve probably heard the term “worship set”. Someone has probably come up to you and said something like, “The worship this morning was so powerful!” or “I was so moved during worship.” We even go so far as to call our church services “worship services.” Worship does indeed happen during all of these things, but the Bible tells us that worshiping the Lord includes so much more. Vaughan Roberts writes about this in his book True Worship. This is absolutely one of my favorite quotes: Continue reading “Deconstructing The Worship Set”

Don’t Be A Gospel Graduate

Processed with VSCOcam with m2 presetThis past year, our worship leader collective read through the book True Worship by Vaughan Roberts. If you haven’t gotten the opportunity to read it, it’s a book I highly recommend. Here is one quote that challenged me in life and ministry. I hope it does the same for you.

“Some Christians delight in the early years of their Christian lives to hear of Christ and his death for them on the cross. But then, as time passes, they feel it is time to graduate from that message on to something else. They feel they need something more sophisticated. It is a dangerous mentality. Of course we need to be stretched in our thinking and seek to learn the whole counsel of God from the Scriptures. But we can never leave the basics behind. The message of God’s mercy to us is not just for non-Christians and young believers. It is for all of us.”

Roberts, Vaughan (2013-12-01). True Worship (Kindle Locations 311-315). Authentic Media. Kindle Edition.

In ministry

If our church services include more obscure biblical truths than the Gospel, our people will be deprived of living in the freedom it provides. If we revolve around self-help instead of the extravagance of God’s grace, legalism may slowly take over. The Gospel and all that God has done for us must remain right at the center of our services. Continue reading “Don’t Be A Gospel Graduate”

Why We Shouldn’t Give Up Meeting Together


Just ask most church goers across America how many times they attend church in a given month and the answer may shock you. Then again, it may not, as I am sure that most of you have noticed a changing cultural trend. I have had many such conversations over the past few years with people who consider their church attendance “regular” and are only attending 1-2 times a month. They site reasons that range from children’s sporting events to work but the reality is that we live in a world that has devalued church attendance in exchange for increasing busyness and activity.  On top of this, with the advent of social media, people have tricked themselves into believing that they are connected in real relationships with others.

Is this all just a facade? Continue reading “Why We Shouldn’t Give Up Meeting Together”

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