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.

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



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!

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6 Leadership Lessons Learned From Our Second Live Worship Recording

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…

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#96: How To Build And Lead An Effective Worship Set With Vertical Church Band [Podcast]



It’s refreshing to connect with people who love God’s church – those who are more concerned with giving voice to His people in worship over being the newest, hottest thing.

That’s why I love Vertical Church Band. They are no strangers to the podcast. They were a guest for episode 19 and we’ve also welcomed Meredith Andrews and Mia Fieldes who are both very connected to this ministry.

I was able to connect with Eddie Hoagland and Kyle Fredricks in Pittsburgh on their Church Songs tour. We talk worship shop – how to build a set, leading songs for everyday people, and tips for staying fresh in what you do.

Click to Listen


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What Every Creative Needs But Often Resists

What every Creative

As worship leaders and musicians, we are familiar with routine.

We learn songs, we rehearse, we show up on Sunday, we organize worship services. When Monday comes, we’re making plans to do it again. The routines never stop. Our service programming abides by a  routine. Our liturgy abides by a certain routine. The church calendar follows a routine.

Do you ever get tired of the same old? Is your routine killing your creativity? Do you feel like you’re being held back?

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#95: Mia Fieldes On The Heart, Art, & Science Of Songwriting And Overcoming Insecurity [Podcast]



I love songwriting. I love the power of what a song can do. Songs can literally change people’s lives.

I also love hearing from the best about how they write songs and craft lyric and melody to effect people’s hearts. I’ve wanted to have Mia Fieldes on the podcast for a while now and that day has finally come.

Mia is an incredible songwriter who’s collaborated with the likes of Michael W Smith, Matt Maher, Kari Jobe, Hillsong, and more. Have you heard “Proof of Your Love” by For King & Country or “He Knows My Name” by Francesca Battistelli? Mia wrote those songs.

Not only do we talk songwriting but we also dive into some vulnerable territory about overcoming insecurity. Mia gets real towards the end of the interview and it’s super powerful stuff.

Don’t miss it!

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The Most Powerful Worship Song You Will Ever Sing


Sometimes there’s a lyric that just smacks you in the face and roots your life back in reality.

One of those phrases is from the song Unbroken Praise by Matt Redman. It goes like this:

“Let my deeds outrun my words. Let my life outweigh my song.”

Ouch. I feel so often I can stress and strive for my art to get recognized – for people to love my worship leading. For the church to love my songs. For people to appreciate what I make. But in reality, I would rather be known for my life than for the art I create.

So much of this has been said before. Especially from a writer like Redman.

Coming back to the heart of worship…

Now to live the life…

A life of worship isn’t new information. It’s on the t-shirts.

If our lives don’t back up our songs, it’s empty.

Worship leaders, if our personal worship doesn’t outshine the stages we stand on, we’re missing the point.

But what is the answer? To stop singing altogether?

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#94: Spirit And Sacrament: Integrating Modern Worship With Traditional Liturgy [Podcast]

Spirit and sacrament (2)


It’s a good day when you’re in the same room with guys like Glenn Packiam & Aaron Niequist. I was honored to catch up with them at the Spirit & Sacrament conference here in Pittsburgh.

Both of these guys have backgrounds in modern worship but are also integrating traditional liturgical practices in their ministries. Just so you’re warned, this interview is short but loaded with more nuggets of wisdom than you can probably handle in one listen. Might need to return to this one a few times.

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An Honest Confrontation With Fear, Insecurity, & Doubt


Ever wonder why you do what you do?

I have that problem often.

There’s people who are so much better than me. There are better singers. There are better musicians. There are better songwriters. There are more organized, administrative people better suited to lead a ministry. There are better leaders, better looking people, people with more experience.

I know, this is starting to sound ridiculous. I could keep going and before you know it, disqualify myself from doing anything in life. Why? Because I’m insecure. Because I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to be seen as a fake. I don’t want to be looked down upon.

If I’m honest, sometimes I just want to hide and play it safe. I don’t want to put myself out there on this blog. I don’t want to step up on stage and lead worship. I don’t want to share that song I wrote. I don’t want to cast a vision and lead my team towards the attainment of goals.

That’s a risk. It might fail. I might be responsible. I might get my heart broken.

But what’s the alternative? Doing nothing. Hiding. Playing it safe. In my opinion, that is the greatest risk of all.

If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone.

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