All posts tagged: worship
All to Us at Rancho Community

Sunday, January 9, 2011
Today we introduced Chris Tomlin’s “All to Us”, and by “we” I mean Robert & the team. They did a great job.

Here’s the lyrics to this powerful song:

Precious cornerstone, sure foundation
You are faithful to the end
We are waiting, on You, Jesus
We believe You’re all to us

Let the glory of Your name be the passion of the Church
Let the righteousness of God be a holy flame that burns
Let the saving love of Christ be the measure of our lives
We believe You’re all to us

Only Son of God sent from Heaven
Hope and mercy at the cross
You are everything, You’re the Promise
Jesus, You are all to us

You’re all to us
You’re all to us
You’re all to us
Yes, You are

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I recently began a new role at Rancho Community Church as Executive Pastor of Worship Arts & Communication. As usual, I like to jump right in and see what’s working and what’s not when it comes to the weekend worship service. One thing that we’re working through right now is answering the question, “What are we doing?”. What are we aiming at, or what do we define as a “win”? From there, we can move into roles & responsibilities, and then figure out how we’re going to reach our goals. If this all sounds really smart, you can blame Rich Kirkpatrick, who gave me a lot of advice in this area.
So last week we opened up this discussion and put a few ideas on the white board, such as:

  • A good balance of elements (timing, transitions, speaking, music, lighting, backgrounds, stage design)
  • Less focus on the elements / more focus on Christ
  • Good communication from the stage / invitations to engage & participate
  • Correct lyrics
  • Good transitions
  • Least amount of distractions as possible (audio, visual, facilities)
  • Church engagement / participation (singing? visual signs of participation?)
  • Band playing the correct music / tempo / charts
  • Tech / band cohesiveness
  • Who actually defines the win? Lead pastor? Me? Feedback cards? Our team?

I’m not sure those bullet points actually answer the question or define the win, but we’re circling closer and closer to the answer. Also, we’re acknowledging that a large part of the “win” is God’s Spirit moving through his church – these are the more practical things – things we can attempt to measure.

So the question is: How have you defined what a “win” looks like at your church worship service?

2010 Chevrolet Camaro RS computer generated image

It’s been a whirlwind of a couple years in my life and the life of my family. Over the past couple years we’ve:

  • Moved three times
  • Changed jobs
  • Changed churches
  • Become a “Party of 5”
  • Celebrated 10 years of marriage

This post is just an update on a couple things – I’ll try and keep it short.

  1. Closing betterthanblank.org – I did this a while back but never “officially” announced it. I’m giving “betterthanblank” a rest and transferred everything over to “alexmclean”. It’s still a work in progress, but I won’t be updating betterthanblank.org and my twitter account is now @alexmclean. If you were a subscriber over at betterthanblank.org, you can update by clicking here.
  2. New Job Title: “Pastor of Worship Arts & Communication”. Yes it’s a mouthful, but so was “Director of Admissions and Family Relations”. So long story short – this is the job I was originally hired to do at Rancho Community Church. I’ll be leading the music/tech/communications teams in order to help create weekend worship experiences (that encourage participation and glorify Christ). For those who’ve known me for a few years, it’s full circle. I am very excited and humbled to serve in this capacity. I’ll still be working with the school in the communications area which includes the look & feel (experience), and in the music/tech as we look to become more and more a church/school organization where we utilize our gifts to benefit both church and school.
  3. Leadingyourchurch.com – this is a site that is currently in development. I am working on it with a good friend and mentor Don Hallworth. We’ve been talking about starting a church leadership blog for some time now and we’re just going to do it. So look for updates about that, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook – you know the drill. For my blogging friends, I’ll be contacting you to be guest writers very soon.

That’s all for now.

1fq40-b8026a10ea08a26c537e168e3c12baa54993bb6dToday I headed up to Riverside to Grove Community Church for the SouthWest Church Planter Forum. Normally we’ve been meeting at Oscar’s in Temecula – today was the first time we met in Riverside, a little inconvenient, but worth the drive.  I love these gatherings for a number of reasons:

  • I believe in church planting (done right – although it’s messy)
  • There’s always a good group of people to network with
  • 2 words: Free Food
  • We always get a free book
  • It’s a good excuse to get out of the office

This is where I'll be for the next few hours... on TwitPicToday was especially cool for me for two reasons, well three actually. (1) My wife came (love that). (2) My new boss, Pastor Scott from RCC was there. (3) I got to play drums in a quasi ‘all-star’ worship band. It was Eric on acousting & leading, Travis on electric, Vince on Bass, Emily (Travis’ wife & my sister) on vox, and a girl named Stephanie on keys & vox. We did four songs:

  1. Gravity (John Mayer) yup…
  2. From the Inside Out
  3. Some new song…
  4. Mighty to Save

It was cool to play with these people, and so much fun to be back on the skins! Plus, I was able to make the sound guy happy, which is always a good thing!

Our speaker is a dead giveaway for Tommy Lee Jones on TwitPicDennis Keating (who is a dead look a like for Tommy Lee Jones) from Emannuel Faith in Escondido was our guest speaker today and he shared on 7 Leaks that will Drain Your Soul – here’s my notes:

1. Words without Practice.  Just saying something doesn’t actualize it. Be a TREE not a PIPE.

2. Business without a Purpose.  Just because ministry calls, doesn’t mean that ministry is calling. Why am I doing this? What am I good at?

3. Calendars without a Sabbath. It’s not the things you do in Ministry that kill you; it’s the things you don’t get done. A calendar that doesn’t have the time to fill you up will suck you dry. Rest, Reflection, & Exercise are no longer options.

4. Relationships without Mutual Nourishment. It’s easy in Ministry to be acquainted with too many People, but to be Known by too few. Take the risk of sharing in a reciprocal relationship honestly. Everyone needs a Titus.

5. Personality without Healthy Self-Examination. Ministry is easily Built on Unhealthy needs. I cannot play father to the world.

6. Discipline without Variety. We need to shock & awe ourselves every once in a while. Do something different; read a book, write a song, take a trip, meditate, anything different to break the routine.

7. Natural Giftedness without Spiritual Character. Pastors can go a Long way on “chutzpah“. Stay LOW before the Lord.

God’s power shows up best in dented people…

That was some pretty powerful stuff – I hope I can take it and get it deep in my soul. I want to plan on the long haul, ministry for a lifetime. One thing Dennis said was “Anyone can suck it up and do anything for a couple years”, he went on to say that you MUST view ministry as long term – something many people in ministry do not do.

What about you?