Thursday, February 27, 2014

The three C's of worship...part 3


We always bring our best.  Excellence honors God, inspires people, and eliminates distractions. (Psalms 33:1-31 Corinthians 10:31Colossians 3:17)

Our Commitment eliminates distractions:

Being committed to your team, your church, your staff, and ultimately your Savior communicates how important they are to you.  It shows them that you value their time and their efforts.  It communicates honor, trust, and love.

Romans 12:1  challenges us to serve Christ as an act of worship.  The idea is that by giving sacrificially of ourselves we are engaging in worship.  We are showing God thanks for all he has done by giving back to him in serving his church and sharing his story.

Below we'll look at a few ways that worship leaders and all who are a part of the church can use Commitment to help them grow in the worship of Jesus.  Many of these points apply to both leaders and church attenders.  As they need separating, I will do so and explain a bit more.

1. Be available.  God has called us to do more than just attend and be consumers at his church.  We have been blessed greatly so we should bless others greatly.  There's no way that  you can be a part of any ministry unless you step forward.  It will help the church to continue and grow and it will greatly benefit you in your spiritual walk as well.  Believe me when I say, we want you to be a part of what God is doing through us!

2. Be on time.  I have a mentor that is NEVER late.  He always tells me that how you handle someone's time communicates how much you value them. (FOR WORSHIP TEAM MEMBERS...) If you constantly show up late for rehearsals when your team has been there waiting, it communicates that you really don't value them and their time.  (FOR REGULAR CHURCH ATTENDERS...) I really encourage you to be on time for service.  I know that if you have kids, that may mean a few minutes early to be sure that you can get everyone check in.  I have a kid too so I understand that.  However, when we show up late for service, it communicates to guests that the earlier parts of the service may not be that important.  We all want to be hospitable to our guests and show them the entire party is great, not just the part at the middle and end.

3. Be an encourager. By being invested in your team, (LIFEGroup, worship team, Kids Inc. Team, Bean Team, parking lot team, Greeters, or wherever you serve) you can know what is going on in their lives and have a greater ability to love them through the Gospel.  You can encourage them in their music and in the things that go on outside of the weekend.  Church is so much more than what we do in the few hours here on the weekend.

4. Attend a service with your family. We ask everyone at FOTP to attend a service and serve a service.  It's very important that we engage in worship corporately as a family with both our immediate family AND our church family!  Even when you are serving, be sure to attend a service.  It is crucial to our spiritual health that we be filled up spiritually, especially when we are pouring out that love and grace to others.

5. Join a LIFE Group.  The other thing we ask everyone at FOTP to do is join a LIFEGroup.  Community is built into the fabric of who we are as humans.  We need to fellowship and know other people.  More importantly, we need to be known.  LIFE Group is the best way to find friends, family, community, accountability and grow spiritually at FOTP.

6.  Give faithfully of your time and resources.  The Bible instructs us to "bring the tithe into the storehouse"; this means that we should give that tenth to the church.  This enables the church to continue the mission of reaching more people for the name of Jesus.  That is our cause.  That is the ultimate cause of the share Christ with the world.  When we give of our time and our resources we are giving sacrificially of ourselves and this is an act of worship just as we read in Romans 12 earlier.

7. Invite someone.  Last, but certainly not least, invite someone to be a part of what we are doing.  If you serve on a team, invite someone to come and join that team.  We always want to share the great experiences that we have when we serve.  We want others to have those same experiences and continue to grow in their faith just like we have.  Invite someone to come and see what God is doing here at FOTP.  If you believe in it, share it.  If it's changed you, share it.  God has changed us and moved us into a beautiful life...we should share it.

In conclusion, our Commitment speaks quite loudly to what we value most.  It shows the importance that we place on others as well.  Very thankful for each of you and the way that you give selflessly in serve to our church and our Savior King.  Love you and praying that you worship loudly.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The three C's of worship...part 2

First, sorry for the writing hiatus.  It's been crazy...things are still crazy, but maybe I'm managing better...anyway, I'm back.  Moving on...


We always bring our best.  Excellence honors God, inspires people, and eliminates distractions. (Psalms 33:1-31 Corinthians 10:31Colossians 3:17)

Our Craft inspires people:

All art tells a story.  Good art can tell a powerful story.  We play and create good music because our God is the Ultimate Creator and deserves our best effort and creativity.

Several years ago, I was at a conference and Matt Redman was doing a breakout session on songwriting and creativity.  He made a statement there that has hung with me, "For too long people have used the church as a crutch to make poor music and play poorly.  God deserves the best we've got and that's what we should give him."  His point was that the idea that it's good enough for church because "their heart is in it" is a poor place to stand.  Our God is incredibly creative!  Look around at creation.  Listen to the songs the birds sing and the melodies of the wind blowing through the trees and between buildings.  Look at the sky and the landscape and see the colors that we only attempt at recreating!

As artists in the church, we are charged with the honor of displaying the glory of Christ via art.  That art may be music, visual art, lighting, video, photography, drama, or any number of things.  We are called to do so with excellence.  We when pursue our gifts and hone them, we are being good stewards of the gifts that we've been given.  God has blessed artists with talents, much like the master with his servants in the parable Jesus told in Matthew 25:14-30.  He expects us to sharpen those talents and use them for his glory.  If we just sit on them or use them for our own pride, we aren't being good stewards of what God has given us.

Below are some ways that lead worshipers and those in the congregation can use the idea of "Craft" to help make the experience the best it can be for all involved.

Lead Worshipers (Worship leaders, musicians, etc.)
1. Show up to rehearsal prepared and on time.  When you show up for rehearsal prepared and practiced, that communicates to your team mates that you value their time and that you realize how important our message is.

2. Be creative.  Make the songs your own.  Create good music.  Even cover songs can sound similar to the original while having a bit of personal flair added.  The original work is nothing more than a canvas.  All artists have boundaries, but we are able to work powerfully inside of those boundaries.

3. Never stop learning. Be open to honest and encouraging feedback.  We get better by helping each other grow in our crafts.  We should constantly be striving to get better at what we do.  It helps us more accurately portray the awesomeness of our God.  When we learn something new, it gets us excited about our instrument/craft all over again.  It's always great to enjoy what you do!

4. Be thankful for your talent. Nothing is worse than someone being incredibly talented and them letting you know just how talented they are.  In other words, be humble.  In my opinion, humility is the key to being a worship leader.  We must realize that God has gifted us with these talents and allowed us to be a part of His story.  It's not about us!

1. Be open. We all have our preferences on what looks good, sounds good, feels good, etc.  In the church world, it's good for us to occasionally set our preferences aside to look at the big picture.  How can this art reach more people for Christ?  Is it biblical?  Is it effective?  If it's doing these things, we should rejoice in it, even we don't particularly care for the style.

2. Be willing to learn.  We should always be willing and eager to learn new songs and new ideas for reaching people for Christ.  We should always welcome fresh ways of singing the truth of Jesus.  It can be like a fresh drink of water to our soul.  We should also be willing to learn from a different medium.  Lyric videos, dramas put to music, and video messages are all avenues that we can worship and share the Gospel via art.

3. Be thankful.  Be thankful for artists that God has given your church.  He has blessed them with talents that help you grow closer to him.  Lift them up and encourage them; they'll appreciate it.

Our God is the Ultimate Creator!  He is our inspiration and he has given us the desire to paint, sing, write, and display the beauty of His Gospel via art.  Let's do this and do it well!  Our God deserves it!