All posts tagged: worship

dear-young-worship-leader

In this series I’m sharing thoughts on what I believe I’d say to young worship leaders – what kinds of things I would pour into them. It stems from me thinking about how I’m going to mentor up and coming worship leaders in our church – so I’m kind of testing the waters with my thoughts.

I think to begin, it’s important to look for, and recognize young talent, passion & heart, when it comes to continuing to grow as a church in worship. I also think it’s important that young people know that there’s opportunity for them to use and develop those skills & passions. So before we create a list of things to tell young worship leaders, we need to have great opportunities for them to participate in worship leading. For many churches these opportunities are youth groups, small groups, worship events (concerts, etc.), and in some cases main worship services.

I think the question for church leaders (myself included) is “are you clearly communicating your desire to develop young worship leaders?”

Assuming we’ve got some good opportunities for young people to lead, and we’re building life-giving relationships with them (meaning you’re not simply taking from them, but you’re building into them), then we’re ready to talk about what kinds of advice, challenges, and encouragements we should be giving them – that’s what this series will cover, from my point of view.

Next, Part 1: “Love the Ministry, not the Music”

Mother’s Day weekend @ranchocommunity & @ranchomurrieta was great. I was able to be in Temecula on Saturday night and then in Murrieta on Sunday morning, for Welcome/Updates. I got a video from @worshiphouse for us this weekend & although it didn’t fire on Saturday night, it did the rest of the weekend. Here it is for those who missed it on Saturday:

In Temecula we got to introduce Tim Manigault as one of our new worship leaders. I’ve built a relationship with Tim over the past few months and am very excited about bringing him and his family onto the @ranchoworship team. Tim did an amazing job leading “Give me Faith“, which is quickly becoming a favorite at the Temecula Campus:

Give me faith to trust what you say
That you’re good and your love is great
I’m broken inside, I give you my life

Another favorite song from this weekend was Julianna Morlet leading “You are for Me” – some more powerful truths:

I know that You are for me, I know that You are for me
I know that You will never forsake me in my weakness
And I know that You have come now even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

In Murrieta a couple stand out songs were “The One Who Saves” (which is such a great song), and “Stronger“. In fact Stronger really struck a chord in me this weekend:

There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me

You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me
It is written, Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all

As we were singing this song, I was just reflecting on how all weekend long we were singing of what God has done, or is doing and how we respond to what He does.

He gives us faith, we give Him our lives.

He is for us, we rest in that.

He has saved us, we now live for Him.

And the thought that I tried to communicate as I welcomed people to our Murrieta Campus is the power of the living Christ and our hope in Him. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:17:

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

But He DID rise from the dead. He DID defeat death and sin. He IS stronger. Sin IS broken and we ARE saved. This is our hope and faith. And this is how and why we worship, by declaring these truths together.

Bob KauflinI’m trying something new. It may or may not catch on, but seeing as I lead worship leaders, I want to always have fresh resources for them to help them grow, learn, and add practical skills to their toolboxes. So I’m going to start creating a library of stuff I find around the web – stuff that I think is important for leading and developing a worship culture.

Bob Kauflin wrote this post titled “What I Learned from Aristotle about Leading Congregational Worship”:

Specifically, I haven’t learned anything from Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) about leading congregational worship that I didn’t learn first in Scripture.

But in his day, Aristotle sought to help speakers be more persuasive by identifying three crucial areas to keep in mind. He called them logos, ethos, and pathos.

Bob goes on to talk about how important these three elements are to leading a congregation in worship. There’s some really good advice and conversation starters in the article.

Read the rest of the article here and follow Bob Kauflin on Twitter here.

This week and weekend at Rancho Community were insane. Flat out insane.

  • Our school is growing in the middle of a recession.
  • Our first inaugural High School football team is 3-0.
  • I get to help brand this school and it’s teams – we’re having so much fun!
  • Our church has two very healthy campuses and a church plant and I get to help dream of more!
  • I get to oversee the worship teams at Rancho and I’ve watched them grow and develop so much over the past year, and watched our church engage like never before.
  • I get to help develop designs (series art, stage design, spirit wear, etc.), communication tools (facebook, twitter, websites, working with local press, etc.), and growth & organization tools to help Rancho grow.

I also get the opportunity to work with some crazy talented, and humble people, people like (in no particular order):

  • Scott Treadway, our lead pastor. Well, of course I’m going to put him first – he might read this! And anything I say will sound like I’m placating, but this guy’s the real deal – great communicator, great leader. (and sometimes he tweets).
  • Mike Johnson, our school’s superintendent – sounds all important, but he’s really a down-to-earth guy and a great friend.
  • Julianna Morlet, one of our worship leaders – who also happens to be a pretty dang talented blogger too.
  • Jeff Johnson, another one of our worship leaders – the guy who puts it all together.
  • Brian Howley, our Tech Arts Director – the guy who, with his team makes it all happen.
  • Ryan Beaver, one of my best friends who just so happens to be leading things over at our Murrieta Campus. (oh yeah, he doesn’t really tweet, or have a blog… yet.)
  • Chris Stout, another great friend & our Tech support in Murrieta – one of the nicest, hard-working guys I’ve ever met.
  • Marcy Rossi. Her ‘official’ title is ‘Executive Assistant’, but she builds, designs, imagines, and actually follows through. Let’s just say she built the 4D stage. by. her. self.
  • Don Hallworth, our Executive Pastor of Ministries – this guy’s got more wisdom in his pinky than most people do in their entire body.
  • Chad Fergerstrom, another one of our worship leaders – this guy brings order to chaos and makes Murrieta smooth every week.
  • Robert Powell, another worship leader – I’ve made it no secret, my favorite worship leader, of all time. Don’t be afraid of the beard! Seriously, a gifted guy.
  • Casey Riley, IT Director – this guy could probably do anything, and he’s here making things happen all over the place – crazy talented.
  • And some of our amazing worship team members: Travis, Emily, Tyson, Justin, Jules, Brian, Jason, Ashley, Eric, Mikey, Joe, Crystal-Lee, Madison, Andrew.
  • And of of course our tech team (many of whom I’ve yet to get to know!): Darrin, Randy, Michael, Dylan, John L, John J, Steven, Hanyu, Paul, Gary, Lance, Jeff, Adam & Matt.
  • Oh yeah and this weekend we had the illustrious Rich Kirkpatrick on keys in Murrieta!

There’s a lot more people who make our organization go-round, including tons of volunteers who serve faithfully every weekend. This weekend was just a good reminder of what a privilege it is to be a part of something like Rancho.

How was your weekend?

creative1

I’ve been thinking a lot about “creativity” lately. It’s in my blood. It’s who I am. I mean, I’m not way out there (I don’t think), but I do love new ideas, solving problems, dreaming of how things should and could be better.

The Church has a little bit of a sordid history with creativity. At some points in history, the Church has embraced creatives, artists, thinkers, and dreamers. At other times it has burned, tortured, hung, and crushed the same people.

Here’s what I think, for what it’s worth:

Creativity is what keeps a church moving forward. Without creativity, things are done the same way for years on end. Churches become museums and the only “art” on display tells stories of years-gone-by rather than dreams of the future. The world is constantly changing, cultures are changing, new problems arise, new paradigms are born and we need to have answers and solutions in real-time.

What kills creativity at churches?

  • Fear of the unknown: Creative endeavors often have unknown outcomes. What will that song sound like? What will that art look like? There must be a great deal of trust built between the creative and the leader or leadership.
  • Fear of failure: Will people like it? Will the artist pull it off? Will we offend people? Will it even work? But we’ve all heard the quote, “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying anything new”.
  • Fear of change: Ah yes, change. For most people in my demographic change is just how life is experienced. Things change all the time and change faster as time goes on. Just consider the last 100 years: cars, computers, phones, travel. Successful organizations have figured out how to embrace change and use it to their advantage. The church, well some do, some don’t. Those who don’t end up dying slow and painful deaths.
  • Fear of emotion: This one’s tough. Men don’t cry. Passion is overused. Emotional decisions never last. It’s easy to stir people up. Blah, blah, blah. We are just as much emotional as we are physical as we are spiritual. Ignoring emotion, quenching passion will result in a culture that is heady, out of touch with reality, and unfeeling. Passion is what sells the dream.

I loved this quote from a comment on Vicky Beeching’s blog:

There was a time when the Church was known for artistic innovation. At a time when the music industry is imploding, a great opportunity exists for the Church to reclaim her historical place in supporting the arts…

Now for those who know me, I’m not lobbying for more drama’s on our church stages, or body painting during worship, or worship flags. That’s not the point. The point is, creativity is what solves problems in ways that move things forward. Creative thinking, dreaming, collaboration – these are like connectors between what is and what should and could be. And it’s not the Bible’s fault, or even the idea of the Church (the Gospel). The Gospel is transcendent, applicable to all cultures and all generations. But it’s our charge to live it out and present it in a powerful and convincing way to each generation, whether thru words, deeds, tweets, songs, art, etc.

I know, I’m not saying anything new. Or maybe I am. Either way, dream more…

(commenting doesn’t seem too popular anymore, but if you did comment, I’d love to hear how your church does or doesn’t embrace creative endeavors?)