Optimum Time for a Worship Service

poll

When is the best time for a worship service?  More specifically given today’s culture, what time of day would be optimal for attendance? Recent polls and studies have reaffirmed that Sunday’s are still the most likely day of the week for a non church-goer to attend a service.  But what time of day would be most attractive?  Early morning? Late morning? Early afternoon?  Most churches that have only one service have it on Sunday at 11:00am.  In my personal research I have been able to find very little other than “these times worked best for us.” Barna didn’t have a study.  I couldn’t find a gallup poll on what people deemed the best time of day. Continue reading…

If You Could Have Written Any One Hit Wonder…

I recently had a conversation with a friend who works as a maintenance man and janitor and joked that he was born on national janitors day, what choice did he have but to be a janitor. It reminded me of my birthday which at one time I discovered was national one hit wonder day.

So I ask you now, if you could have written any one hit wonder song which one would it be and why?

Also it is not even close to my birthday but since I was thinking about it I pose the question to you now.

Mine would have to be Dexys Midnight RunnersCome On Eileen because it’s just a great song that demands you sing along with it. Plus I look great in overalls.
Or The VerveBitter Sweet Symphony because it’s still one of my favorite songs of all times. It’s a beautifully written song that just always works for me.

What’s Currently on Your iPod

It’s a simple question. What’s currently on your iPod? Or what is currently in your rotation in your iTunes? Or (God forbid) your zune? What’s your most recent purchase you are listening through and what’s your most played album?

For me the most recent purchase I am listening too is Aftermath by Hillsong United and 21 by Adele.
Currently in rotation, Bringing down the Horse by the Wallflowers, Beautiful Things by Gungor, The Suburbs by Arcade Fire, The Stranger by Billy Joel, Grace by Jeff Buckley, Salvation in Lights by Mike Farris, Conditions by The Temper Trap, This is War by 30 Seconds to Mars and Carmina Burana by Carl Orff

This is just a random smattering of what’s all in my iTunes but at last sync these are the ones I decided to put in rotation to listen to – well these and a few more but that’s not the point.  So what’s in your rotation on your iPod or iTunes?

Comment below.

What’s Your Favorite Hymn (Ancient, Modern or Anything Between)

For a while hymns went completely out of style as the Baby Boomer generation swung like a pendulum away from what they were forced to sing for years.  Now a generation of worship leaders who were mostly raised with out a steady diet of hymns are finding a renewed spirit and interest in them.  Some hymns are making a comeback in traditional form with traditional language and others are being shown new life with modern arrangements and contemporary language.  John Wesley saw his hymns a sung theology.  Some were also converted “bar tunes” (that’s a debate to have another time). But it is important to note that using this logic people used melody to learn about God as well as to praise and worship the Creator.  So I am asking you – and please be honest if you have no favorite – “What is your favorite Hymn to sing, and why?” If it’s a modern arrangement, who does it?

Mine right now is either Praise to the Lord the Almighty from Passion Hymns. It’s a song of honest worship that has a great etherial arrangement. My other favorite that I have fallen in love with is Be Still My Soul.  I like the arrangement that Page CXVI did but I am also working on an arrangement myself.  I like it because it’s a different type of worship song – it’s basically a dirge or lamentation. We can’t forget this aspect of worship – we see great examples through the Psalms, Lamentations and other places in scripture and we can tend to ignore it because it’s not as “feel good” as other songs.

Contemplative Creativity: A Year in Review

It’s been a good year.  Basically I started blogging right at the beginning of 2010 and have been learning and trying to get better at it ever since.  Like any blogger, new or old there have been some good posts, and some not so good posts.  I look forward to the coming year and what all it may bring.  But for now here are some of my favorite posts from the past year.  I hope you enjoy/enjoyed them as well.  And please share them if you feel so led and leave your thoughts and comments.  I would love to hear them.

10 Things Every Worship Leader Wishes their Sound Person Knew, and Vice Versa

Creating Worship Space with Light

5 Reasons for a Choir in Modern Worship

5 Reasons Worship Bands Should Use Click Tracks

I Gave Your Tip to Jesus and Other Things Not to Tell Your Server

Confessions of a Worship Pastor

Lessons Learned from Conan O’Brian

Sunday Brunch: A Guide for Christians Going out to Eat

I’m not Religious, I’m not Spiritual, I’m a Christian

Environmental Projection: Take 1

Sunday Conversation: What Does Grace Mean to You?

John Wesley wrote that Grace is the unmerited favor bestowed upon us by God. It covers a whole range of things in our life from the simple to the complex. I’m not looking for a theological definition (but if that’s what it means to you that’s fine) rather an answer from the heart. For me Grace means a second (and third and fourth…) chance in my marriage, friendships, spiritual life and more.

Comment below and share what Grace means to you.

Sunday Conversation: What’s the Last Album/Song that Broke You Down?

Every once and a while I come across a song or album that just breaks me down (in a good way) and brings me to my knees. It happens very rarely so when it does I remember it pretty well. And with today’s song-at-a-time mentality I have to open it up to a song that does the same (however I really prefer an entire album that does so). The most recent song that does it for me is Hosanna by Brooke Fraser the like “Break my heart for what breaks yours” is just perfect. There are two albums in the past few years that just break me and draw me closer to God. The first was Turn Around by Jonny Lang – Oh My Goodness that album is sick and moving (go get it if you haven’t and not just a song or two but the whole album and listen to it from start to finish). The second album is Beautiful Things by Gungor (whom I am going to see a special Beautiful Things event tonight and can’t wait!).

So what album or song in recent history has done that for you? Comment below and let me know.

Sunday Conversation: I Believe Because?

It’s the crux of why we do what we do and why we dedicate so much of our lives to the church, helping those in need, and sharing the gospel of hope and peace. One of the hardest times in my life came after I asked myself this question. It’s not like I hadn’t asked before but for some reason this tine sent me down a dark road that was a struggle to walk. It was a tough time but a very important and life shaping one. My hope is that it is not a question that finds you a similar fate but one that encourages you and others as well. It’s hard to look past the “proper christianese” answer and just speak from your heart.

I Believe Because…?

Sunday Conversation | To Worship Means To ______?

What does it mean to worship?  I am sure there is some definitive theological answer (maybe) for the question.  I am sure there are lots of great saying and phrases we have been taught to regurgitate when asked that question.  But what does it really mean to you?  Is it more than just singing?  Is it more than surrender?  One of the ways I like to view our worship goes back to the Old Testament story of Cain and Able.  You see in that story Able gives God the first fruits of his years crop.  And I see worship as a similar act of giving back our first fruits, giving back our best to God and saying here use this, use me.  So how do you see worship?  What does it mean to you?

Comment below and share if you would like to.

Sunday Conversation – My Favorite Song I Sing In Church Is ______?

There are thousands upon thousands of songs we sing during church services.  It seems to be a commodity more available than oxygen these days.  So out of the maddening number of Worship songs you’ve heard or have used on Sunday mornings, which one is your current favorite?  My current favorite that we sing is Cielo by Phil Wickham.  It is an absolutely gorgeous and powerful song that I have fallen in love with.  What’s yours?  Comment below with the Title, Author, and why it’s your current favorite.  It could be anything from a traditional hymn to a secular song your church uses in worship (i.e. just about anything by U2 cause it’t the hip thing to do).

Join the Sunday Conversation, share and pass along.