Dear Worship Leader, Stop Trying to Prove Yourself

Spirit and sacrament (1)

Dear Worship Leader,

There’s only one opinion in the universe that really matters.

But if you’re like me, you live and work as if it’s not enough. It’s not enough that God has chosen to love you, called you, equipped you, and has your back.

You would never say that God’s love isn’t enough but your actions prove it. You’re not satisfied with who you are, where you are, what you’re doing.

You just want somebody to notice you, to admire you, to give you the approval your heart seeks. But if I know anything about approval, I know that when it comes it doesn’t satisfy. It’s never enough.

[Read more…]

#100: Gungor On Beauty & Art, Overcoming Depression, Bizarre Music, & This One Wild Life [Podcast]

OWL+Cropped

Play

It’s always a treat to talk with a true artist – one who pours their heart and soul into what they do. They look at the world and tell you what they see with honesty, passion, and hard work. And for that, I’ve always appreciated the work of Michael and Lisa Gungor.

In this conversation they both are disarming in their honesty. They’ve walked through hell and back and are so generous in the lessons they’ve learned.

It’s rare to go from hilarious laughter to tears of pain to controversial issues to an education on creativity all in the same conversation. This one is a little longer, folks, but you won’t want to miss one minute. So worth it.

[Read more…]

Are We Becoming Too Professional?

Are we becoming

I don’t have a problem with professionalism. Really, I don’t.

When someone is professional, it’s not typically a negative connotation.

  • When I need to have surgery, I pray to God the surgeon is a professional.
  • When I get my hair cut, it’s typically a plus if they have been to beauty school and know how to cut hair.
  • When I go to college, I want to learn from professionals – those who have gone before and know the ropes.
  • When I worship with my church family, I want to be led by someone who is a professional – someone who knows music, flow, liturgy, and songs.

At the same time, it’s possible to become too professional. Professional in the sense that you stop learning, stop seeing the wonder, stop pulling the beauty out of life. You know how to clock in and do your job. You know the ropes. You know how to dial it in.

[Read more…]

#99: Prophetic Singing, 24/7 Prayer, and the Eternal Call to Worship [Podcast]

maxresdefault

Play

One of the ministries that had a profound impact on me as a worship leader was IHOP – the International House of Prayer. I remember visiting the 24/7 prayer room as a young kid and being so challenged to pursue Jesus with my whole heart.

That’s why this interview was so fun. Jaye Thomas is a worship leader/teacher at IHOP and we dive deep into the culture of IHOP, prophetic singing, stepping out in faith, and so much more.

Jaye is the real deal!

[Read more…]

Why Going Through the Motions Isn’t Such A Bad Thing

why

What if going through the motions wasn’t such a bad thing?

I know, we trash the idea. We preach against it. We listen to the song on K-Love. We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re all about relationship, not religion.

But what if…what if we could use a little bit more religion in our lives? When did that word become so negative?

Of course, we understand the negative side:

  • Going to church because you have to.
  • Singing worship songs with a disconnected heart.
  • Playing it safe.
  • Living a different life Sunday than you do Monday-Saturday.

But what if the motions are there to serve us?

Of course, not all religious practices and habits are helpful. I’m talking about the Biblical ones. The ones that remind us who we are as the people of God.

[Read more…]

#98: Tim Hughes on Church Planting, Stepping Out in Faith, & The Dangers Of Professional Worship [Podcast]

pocketful_of_faith_final_cover copy

Play

Tim Hughes is no stranger to the worship community. For years he has provided the worshiping church with great songs like Here I Am to Worship, Happy Day, At Your Name, Consuming Fire, and many more.

It was an honor to welcome Tim back to the podcast. In this conversation we go much deeper than just songwriting and the creative process. We talk about Tim’s recent leap of faith to plant a church, following the call of God, as well as his new album Pocketful of Faith.

Plus, we’re giving away a few copies of the album.

How to Win an Album

Integrity Music has graciously agreed to give away 5 copies of Tim’s new album.

All you must do is leave a comment on this post OR share the post via social media. Say anything you like, although the best comments typically do stand out.

Thanks for participating!

[Read more…]

The Blessing Of Being Unknown, Small, & Hidden [And How to Handle Fame]

The blessing of being small

Everybody wants to make it.

Everybody wants to be known. Everybody wants their life’s work to matter.

I’m sure you didn’t wake up today saying, “I hope nobody ever hears about the work I do. I pray that the projects I invest my life in make zero difference and I fade into oblivion. That’s the good life!”

Sure, we criticize those in fame’s spotlight, but if you were handed millions of adoring fans you wouldn’t complain. The problem with fame isn’t fame itself but what we choose focus on. It’s a much better servant than it is a master.

We need to stop focusing on fame and seek faithfulness instead. We should seek to be faithful to something greater than our own fame.

[Read more…]

#97: John Mark McMillan On Honest Art, Songwriting Routines, Pushing Your Sound, & Making A Living As An Artist [Podcast]

news_img_f_1388883569

Play

I love conversations with interesting people – people who have strong opinions, know who they are, believe in what they do, work hard, and live to help others. John Mark McMillan is one of those people. Maybe that’s why this conversation went a little long.

John Mark McMillan is a fantastic singer/songwriter, most known for his song “How He Loves” which is sung in churches all over the world. There is so much depth to this guy. He is making the music he wants to make, not what others think he should do.

It was just super fascinating to get his perspective on art, songwriting, worship music, influences, production, and so much more. Feel free to listen in spurts but make sure you get all the way to the end. This is not a conversation to be missed!

[Read more…]

6 Leadership Lessons Learned From Our Second Live Worship Recording

www.joeykennedyphotography.com
www.joeykennedyphotography.com

This past week was a special week. It was the the recording of Allison Park Worship’s second full-length worship album, All for Jesus, releasing this December.

Now that I’m on the other side of the live recording, I wanted to share some reflections. This isn’t to brag about what we accomplished. I simply want to share some leadership thoughts that will challenge and encourage you in your big projects.

That’s what my blog and podcast is for – to equip you to be a better leader in your local church.

Here we go…

[Read more…]