The 5 Guitar Players You Meet at Church

I have played on a number of worship teams and led a few different ones as well.  In my experience you tend to run into similar characters everywhere you go.  For some reason you run into the same type of people wanting to play guitar at every church you go to.  So here is a quick list (over-generalized and over-stereotyped for more comedic effect) of what to look for next time you are auditioning a new guitar player for your worship team.

The Modern Hippie – You’ll find this guitar player standing bare foot (no matter the temperature) on stage with an acoustic guitar slung around the neck.  Rough jeans with holes in the knees and back pockets help detract attention away from the bed-head hairdo with or without dreads.  Don’t be mistaken, this is a very talented individual who can probably play chords that involve dislocating 3 out of 5 fingers.  Their proficiency however can be masked by their inability to play well with others at times (they live and exist in their own world).  Also notice the absent minded approach to life as they will often show up to rehearsal or service missing guitar cables, a strap, or a tuner – that is if they remember when they need to be there in the first place.  It’s nearly impossible to gauge their commitment level but if you can deal with the eccentricities, they are a great guitar player to work with.

Continue reading…

Does Sunday Start Your Week or End It?

I am not looking to get into any sort of theological debate as to which day is the Sabbath or which the calendar is correct and why. This is more of a theoretical question. Does Sunday start your week or end your week? Simply this do you come into a Sunday worship experience looking to recharge your so called batteries after a week that has just drained them or do you come into a Sunday worship experience celebrating the great works God has done in your week? Many times I fall victim to the first. I come in hoping to re-charge to face another week. I use church as a way to cope through the week rather than a celebration of the week. I think we can cheat ourselves by coming into worship looking for anything other than letting all distractions go and just celebrating our Savior. What difference would it make if we all approached Sunday as an overflow of gratefulness for the week prior? What is we came to a worship service with and overflow of thankfulness rather than with an empty bucket looking for something to put in it?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Apathetic Worship

I am not a creature of habit. I normally fight routine and ruts as much as I can. While in college I had to keep a post-it note on my apartment door that listed the things that most people never forget because they are part of their daily routine. The note read; Wallet, Keys, Phone, Glasses. Yeah I can’t count the number of days I left one of those very important items behind. Nonetheless it is very easy to get stuck in a rut. There have been times and still are when as much as I fight it I get stuck in routines. Marriages struggle when things just become a routine, work, relationships, and so much more. And that goes for Church and Worship. I just go because I am supposed to. I sing the songs and just go through the motions (which is real strange when singing “The Motions” by Matthew West – it’s just so darn literal). Full disclosure – there are Sundays, even as a worship leader, that I feel more like I am going through the motions than anything else. It has to show, there is no way I can lead with an apathetic attitude and it not show. I never want to offer vain worship but I must admit there are days when that is what I am doing.

So how can we prevent our Sunday worship experience from being just another part of our routine? How can we prevent apathetic worship? My theory stems from Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” You see the people of Israel had rejected the covenant God had made with them, they had forgotten how God had brought them out of slavery. You see our public worship is only a small part of our total commitment to Christ and if Monday-Saturday we are not remembering what God has done for us and not worshipping days other than Sunday they how do we suppose we can just offer something on Sunday’s and it really be sincere? We must walk humbly with our God everyday to be in a correct attitude when it comes to Sunday worship.

John 4:23 reminds us that “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” One must come to God in complete sincerity and with a spirit that is directed by the life and activity of the Holy Spirit. Our life must be directed by the Holy Spirit, not just our Sundays. You see these things require intentional thought that can help us prevent the worship routine.

What do you think? How can we prevent worship from becoming just part of the weekly routine and something more intentional that we approach with a humble heart? Have you ever found yourself just going through the motions on Sundays (or any other days really)?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Friday Funny 6.11.10

It seems i have not had a lot of time on my hands this week as my normal blogging has taken a back seat to everything else going on lately. But somehow in the midst of a crazy schedule I have managed to collect a ton of hilarity. One could argue (quite well) that the little free time I do have could be better spent. But regardless I hope you enjoy the fun. Let’s start with a video apropos to the current world situation.

I knew it! Wonder how long the it took to develop the grunt remover?

All dog’s go to heaven? Well just to be safe.

Ahhh yes; like a record Jesus, right round, round, round.

The tag line at the end cracks me up!

I'm sure it was created with the best of intentions but really? The Catholic Priest model has been discontinued.

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…?

Coming in for a Landing

Oh man it has been a long 6 months at Grace Church.  I remember roughly 6 months ago, sitting on my couch at home and receiving a phone call from a good friend (who was also my Senior Pastor).  He was on his way home from the Nashville airport after a quick trip to Denver Colorado.  Turns out when he mentioned to us that he was heading to the mountains for the weekend he was really heading to a job interview.  We all assumed, living in middle TN, that he was heading towards Gatlinburg for a vacation.  Nope.  It was like a little punch to the gut to find out the guy who gave you your first job in a church was leaving.  But alas God had called him to Denver and there he now resides.

So in the mean time we have had 6 months without a Senior Pastor, a Connecting Pastor who like me is younger and working at his first job in a church, a Youth Pastor who had practically just started, a Children’s Pastor who has been through this before, and me.  So a younger energitic staff but with less experience than desireable to keep a larger church opperating.  And to top it all off the way the Nazarene denomination works is that we all have to officially resign with the Senior Pastor and the Church Board decided whether or not to keep us (really just a beurocratic formality) to which they can only guarentee 90 days of employment after the new pastor is offically hired (it is their perrogative to bring staff with them, keep the current staff, or use the 90 days to determine how things will work).  While I was told I had little to worry about and that it is rarely ever the case for a staff overhaul, it sticks in the back of your mind as a possibility.  Plus we had just bought a house and planted roots.

So we have been opperating in what I called maintenance mode for the interim time.  We have basically been doing everything we can to keep the plane circling until we can bring it in for a landing (a nice safe non-crashed landing).  In times of Senior Leadership change it can become very stressful.  People seize the opportunity to voice oppinions that they would previously have kept to themselves.  People jockey for position and attempt to “right the ship” they way they had always hoped their church could be.  It can get heavy, people leave, rose colored glasses shattered and apparently pestilance, gnashing of teeth and the such.  Or so I am told from other’s who have been through the change before.

I have to say that even though it wasn’t my favorite time of my ministry life, it wasn’t the horror show it could have been.  The people of Grace really rallied together and despite the potential for a hard transition made the time one of spiritual growth rather than stagnation.  And now we sit on the precipice of a new season at Grace Church as well as for each of our lives both personally and professionally.  We have a new Senior Pastor starting this week and a new phase will begin.  I can’t tell you it will continue to be smooth sailing, I can’t know what tomorrow brings, and I can’t predict what is next for Grace Church but I can tell you that it is time to begin again.  We can come in for a landing and remove the scales of the maintenance mode and hit the ground running (wow a whole sentence of cliches and idioms!).  Regardless of the reckless use of bad overused phrases, it’s like my battery is so close to being completely drained and I am ready to get recharged.

So have you ever been through this type of transition before? What was your experience? Please share.

Friday Funny

It may be a day late, but it is certainly not a dollar short. I hope you enjoy these little gems that brought me so much joy this past week.  To start it off let’s explore the depth of T-Pain’s talent.  Auto tuned wolves!

Now pay attention to the man so moved by the spirit he chucks projectiles at the pastor and then baptizes himself.

That's Flipping Sweet!

It's all about marketing yourself correctly

Hmmm at least it comes with dental and a pension.

He's a pretty charismatic guy, what can I say.

I Go/Don’t Go To Church Because _____

I am part of a generation that has seen an exodus from the church.  Or at least the church according to the former paradigm.  So a simple blog post today that I hope you can interact with.  Simply, Why do you go to church? Or the opposite, Why don’t you go to church?  Just comment below, you can stay quasi-anonymous if you would like, and share why you choose to go to church, or why you choose not too.  No answer is more correct or incorrect, this is just a time to share and add to the greater conversations happening around the church today.  Share, Retweet, get more people in on the conversation, It is a great one to have.

discuss and enjoy