Connecting Sunday Worship To Monday

Why am I doing this and what's the point?

Sunday_To_Monday_Blog

I have a 3 year old little boy who is incurably curious. When I spend my days off with him I am amazed and exhausted by the sheer amount of questions that he asks and that I try to answer. (My wife is a saint for answering far more questions when I am not home!) It is easy to become annoyed because some of the questions are seemingly simple and obvious like “why do I have to wash my hands after being in the bathroom?” Other questions are simple and yet profound and often overlooked like “what’s the name of that star?” while looking at a sky full of billions of stars. Even with all those stars he wants to know if there is a specific name for each one when I look at the big picture and dismiss them all.
 
What I am learning is that asking “why” is the most powerful and underutilized question in our leadership vocabulary. In addition it is also one of the main reasons people don’t connect Sunday worship to Monday.

Modern Hymn Arrangements

The Best of the Best

Modern_Hymns_List

Recently in a conversation with my brother, he mentioned that he had began leading worship for a church and had gotten a great response from a service he had put together because it had a couple of modern hymn arrangements.

It reminded me that hymnody has been a great way of bridging the generational gap that many churches face in a number of ways:

We Are Temples (Lifestyle Worship)

What comes to mind when I say Holy? White, clean, pure, perfect, weighty, unapproachable?
What about the phrase “holy place”?  Stained glass windows, marble columns, gold statues, candles and incense, mountains, trees, a rubber floor and removable seating, a gymnatorium?
In every time and every place and culture people have built buildings, temples, shrines and places of worship and had special people dedicated to the worship of their God or gods. Whether it’s Mecca for the Muslims, Jerusalem for Jews, the Vatican City for some Catholics, Sacred mountains for the Taoist or countless other holy places. For each of these religions they built places for the purpose of interacting with something bigger than themselves.
This morning if everyone will pull out their bible or digital device and turn to 1 Corinthians 6 we’ll be using this as our text but I’d like to start specifically with verses 19-20. I’m reading out of a translation called The Voice so it might sound a little different.
19 Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who comes from God and dwells inside of you? You do not own yourself.20 You have been purchased at a great price, so use your body to bring glory to God!

Worship & Death (Singing Through The Tears)

Worship_Death_Blog

When I decided to go into worship ministry there were a lot of reasons swirling around. However, leading worship at funerals was no where even on my radar. In this past year though I have had to face the reality of what it means to worship in the face of death. I personally have lost two grandparents, one of which was my spiritual hero. Additionally I have lead worship for two funerals of our church family.

Before I illustrate some of the truths I learned about how to both worship and lead others in worship in these difficult times I’d like to set the stage a little.

Christmas Worship Planning (4 Things NOT To Overlook)

Christmas_Eve_Blog

If you’re a worship leader, by now you have probably begun to recouperate from your Christmas Eve services and are able to objectively look back and glean some insights about what went well and what didn’t. (And if you’re reading this in 2014 you might be in the process of  Christmas worship planning for the next round of holiday services. In which case God bless and here we go again!)

I’ve been doing Christmas Eve services in my current ministry for the past 8 years and and it’s been a lot of fun as well as a huge challenge. Here’s some of the tips I’ve learned over the years.

My Favorite Things (Christmas Worship Songs)

Favorite_Things_Blog

Most of you already have your Christmas worship songs and resources put together but a friend of mine recently said, “Christmas music is like wrapping paper, you buy it the year before and then look back at it the next year to see what you’ve got”. So here’s my list of favorite finds for this Christmas season and if you haven’t finalized your plans hopefully you can grab a couple of these.

Can You Hear Them? (10 Tips to Help Your Church Sing)

Can_You_Hear_Them_Blog

 

This past I week I had the chance to be part of the congregation while one of our teams lead worship without me on stage. (It’s one of the great joys of leadership when you get to watch the team you have trained and cared for lead with as much excellence and power as if you were on stage with them.) I had been standing in the back row worshipping until it was time for me to come forward to do the communion meditation and prayer when I got to the front row it hit me. The church was singing out LOUDLY! There are few things on earth that I love more than to hear the church sing.

Backing up a bit, I was having a conversation with an elder at another church recently and he mentioned that he has noticed a growing trend of people standing and watching the band and vocalists during worship instead of singing along. He then asked me if I thought that was okay? I told him it was not only NOT okay, but that there were some simple ways to make it easier to help and encourage them to do so with joy.

Worship Loops on an iPad (Beatmaker2 and Softstep)

IPAD_LOOPS_Blog

We’ve been using Ableton from a desktop for running loops and tracks in worship for a while now and I’ve been looking for an easy portable alternative. I’m a big proponent of having a backup system so when things go wrong you’re not frantically trying to pull things together or troubleshoot. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to afford a macbook yet so I turned to my handy dandy iPad to look for solutions to running worship loops. There are a couple options out there but I wanted something that I could use immediately without having to upload or process anything and that wasn’t dependent on an internet connection. Additionally, I wanted to be able to control things with the Keith McMillan Softstep that I already owned.

I’m excited to say that after hours of trying out apps and digging through online forums I’ve found something that works like a dream.

Worship/Ministry’s Dirty Little Secret (Pride and Envy)

Dirty_Secret_Blog

I’m gonna tell you something that you probably already know but most people won’t actually say out loud: we say and do a lot of things under the disguise of ministry that are really motivated by PRIDE and ENVY.

Shocking I know! It’s hard to believe but if we peel back the self-righteousness, the pointing and accusing and even what seems to be an effort to just point out the truth is really either a reflection of our feeling of inadequacy or an inflated sense of self.

Have you heard these phrases?

Awesome Rehearsals That Rock! (Worship Rehearsal Tips)

Rehearsals_Rock_Blog

 

Up till this point you have gotten your team the materials they need to succeed, helped them personally practice and prepare for rehearsal as well as gotten the final pieces in place before they show up for rehearsal. All of this is leading up to turning an ordinary rehearsal into a great experience where friends gather and put their pieces of the puzzle together to create a powerful work of art that inspires and encourages worship. This has been a team effort up until now with each person doing their part and rehearsal will be no different.

The major consideration is that time is precious and it’s important for everyone to be considerate of each other. so with that in mind, here is an outline of some worship rehearsal tips I’ve found to be an incredibly effective.