707859840_ceb4dd2ccc_bI was in shock the moment I saw it.

There in the spotlight - a pack of cigarettes – protruding from the front pocket of our scheduled drummer.

I wasn’t leading worship, but I stood at the back and saw this happening right before my eyes.

This guy was new, for sure. He was a little rough around the edges with his personality. He had an older style. But we could deal with that because we were in need of drummers.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I pictured myself in the hot seat with my supervisor getting reprimanded for allowing this guy to play, let alone exposing his smoking habit for the whole church to see. Continue Reading…

Kurtis-Parks-pic-001-470-wplokIf you lead worship or plan services, you’re always looking for creative ideas.

It’s one thing to look for creative ideas. It’s another to create a culture where it happens on a regular basis – empowering the creative people in your church to create and serve the vision.

That’s what I discuss with Kurtis Parks – Worship Pastor at National Community Church.

Kurtis is doing a phenomenal job leading his team to create on a regular basis, write original songs, and serve their church with unity, excellence, creativity, and authenticity.

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bob-sorge-bw_mediumFew people have been speaking into the worship of the local church more consistently and more dynamically than Bob Sorge.

Ever since I read his landmark book Exploring Worship over a decade ago, I’ve been hooked on his writings. They’ve fed my spirit in my life’s darkest seasons.

If you’re not familiar with Bob’s story, Bob had a vocal injury during a surgery over 20 years ago that has left him in constant pain ever since. He can only speak for one hour a day before the pain takes over.

What happens to a pastor who can’t speak and a worship leader who can’t sing?

It’s incredible to see where God has brought Bob and the rich truth that comes forth in his teaching. I was able to ask him a few questions.

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no-other-name-another-album-card-hillsong-collectedIt was my honor to talk with a few guys from Hillsong Worship.

We discuss a lot – the new album, a behind the scenes look at their worship teams, and their all-out passion for the name of Jesus.

Those talented lads are:

  • Dean Ussher – Creative Pastor at Hillsong Melbourne, songwriter, worship leader
  • Ben Fielding – Songwriter, Worship Leader, Tours, Based at Hillsong Sydney
  • Eric Liljero – Creative Pastor at Hillsong Stockholm, songwriter, worship leader

The Hillsong movement is truly extraordinary. What the world sees (and hears) is their music. But excellence, heart, and passion come through in all they do.

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4762384399_f126047d2b_zThere’s no hiding that I’m a fan of worship leaders writing original worship songs.

I wouldn’t say it’s a distinguishing, necessary skill for all worship leaders. You can still be an incredible worship leader in your church without ever writing a song.

However, I encourage everyone to try. You never know if there may be a gift inside that you’ve never allowed to grow.

With that being said, leading your own songs can be a sticky situation. So many doubts rush through our minds: Continue Reading…

maxresdefaultMost people think becoming a great musician needs to take eons of years.

Sure, investing the time to develop a relationship with your instrument is important.

But practicing a lot isn’t enough. Taking lessons isn’t enough. Getting a degree isn’t enough.

It takes something else to become a better musician. That’s what we’re going to dive into today. Included in this episode is another interview with professional drummer, Steve Goold.

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Over the last 10-15 years there has been a beautiful resurgence of worship songs about pain and suffering.

Songs like You Never Let Go, Whom Shall I Fear, and The Desert Song have provided weary saints with declarations of faith in the midst of their pain. This is wonderful. Our worship expression needs to touch on all the areas of human experience – joy, celebration, lament, suffering, confusion, hope, and loss.

Worship isn’t a place to forget your circumstances. It’s a place to bring them. It’s a place where they find their God-ordained context.

But until your life has been touched by fire, you don’t know what it’s like to actually worship in the midst of it.

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6728580615_98c4f1c23b_zSummer is a bittersweet time for people in ministry.

It’s nice to have the college students back. It’s nice to get a slight breather from the crazy Fall & Spring seasons.

While it’s a nice time to rest, if you’re not careful the Fall will be upon you in full force and you’ll be unprepared.

That’s why it’s so important to prepare now for the impact you want to have then.

I’ve decided to do a two part podcast series on this idea. This first episode will revolve around my thinking regarding brand new plans for this fall.

The next episode (in a couple months) will be a follow up to how it all worked.

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worship_contemporary2Modern church goers have always used the phrase “contemporary worship” as a way to appeal to a new generation.

It has always been a value.

But I’m wondering if it has lost its meaning and is costing us what true, Biblical, corporate worship should be.

Since my days of being a young child, I’ve been raised in “contemporary” worship.

New songs, upbeat music, and exuberant participation from the congregation in the forms of singing, hand-raising, dancing, and shouting is all I’ve known.

Matter of fact, bringing your tambourines, flags, and banners to church was a weekly occurrence for some (not me, of course).

It’s what we’ve prided ourselves on. It’s what I lead every week. We have contemporary worship. It’s not dead religion or ritual.

But is our contemporary worship becoming a dead ritual?

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5020082786_c1aa6cc68c_zToday’s topic is something, I believe, doesn’t get talked about a lot – and that’s how to teach your congregation to worship.

We are in a day in age where the completely unchurched are coming to our churches.

We can’t assume they will understand worship, let alone know how to worship.

We must teach them.

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