Sunday, February 21, 2016

Why We Meet with our Ministry Partners Regularly

Something that has been stirring in my heart the last week or so...

One of things we talk about each year is our team covenant.  The covenant outlines what it looks like to honor God as we serve Him and His people in the worship team setting.  One of the key questions we can ask ourselves is, “how am I doing at loving Jesus?”  And how is my worship of Him extending beyond Sunday mornings?

The truth is, the higher profile the ministry the more we need to be attentive to our own spiritual walk with Jesus.  The brighter the spotlight the more we need to be grounded in healthy spiritual community and the practices of reading Scripture and prayer.  The potential exists for us to believe that merely “being up on a stage” means we are spiritually healthy and growing.

We – I – need to regularly refresh my relationship with God – to check ours heart and ask Him to search us and reveal anything that doesn’t please Him (Ps. 139:23-24).  As lead worshippers we represent Jesus and His Bride (the Church), and we want to walk in a manner worthy of this calling (Eph. 4:1).  We want to be “pouring” our hearts and talents out of a cup that is being regularly filled.  I love how the Message translation puts it: “Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing” (2 Tim. 2:21).  God desires to use those who are “set apart” so He can bless and encourage His people.

When we ask you to “sign a covenant” you are - in effect - giving us permission to hold you accountable to how you are loving and honoring God as a whole-life worshipper.  However, we are simultaneously extending our commitment to you to help you care for your souls. When we sit down with you over a meal and “check in" our heart is to help point you to Jesus.

Even though our primary interface is the music ministry we view you as way more than musicians – you (we) are the dearly beloved children of God (Eph. 5:1).  Our heart is to see your soul well-cared for so you can be a healthy servant and we can have a healthy ministry.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Drums and Worship

It's no secret that within the realm of contemporary music - and by extension, contemporary worship music - the drums very often drive the song.  The drummer can keep the whole band locked in a solid groove, but he/she can also take control of a song (and the sound) in a not so good way as well.  At Living Word we are blessed to have drummers who really strive to play according to the needs of the song and the worship leader, and are solid at keeping us locked into the click.  We've done things acoustically to help focus the drums into the microphones and make tweaks in our kit setup and equipment, and all of these things have resulted in a sonic experience that supports the vision of our worship gatherings - that people enjoy and experience God's presence.

Once in awhile I'll come across another blog that says something worth repeating to a different audience.  Church on the Move, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has a great blog that focuses on a number of topics.  One of their bloggers, Andrew Stone, a drummer who now serves as production manager at COTM, recently wrote about the importance of playing of drummers being able to "self-mix".  The best drummers understand how to play in such a way as to provide the best balance into the microphone pick-ups.  He discusses what he calls the "pyramid" approach to playing the kit:
Look at the drum kit overall as a pyramid: anything located near the bottom of the pyramid needs to be played harder than the things located at the top. So for most standard drum setups these days, the kick can be played the loudest, then the floor tom, then the snare, hat, and rack tom, with cymbals being played the lightest. This has been a good rule of thumb for me for many years and works well both onstage and in a studio setting. Pyramid schemes aren’t all bad.
Although I'm definitely not a drummer I've played with them long enough to see the wisdom in what Stone is saying.  Let's keep growing forward!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thoughts on Song Selection

From time to time I'll be asked what criteria we use to evaluate new songs for congregational worship. Although these thoughts don't encompass every aspect of my own thinking, they are recommended reading:

Monday, March 19, 2012

When God is God worship is joy

From blogger Tim Challies today:

Each time I sin, I declare my own independence, my own desire to be rid of God; I declare that I can do better than God, that I can be a better god than God...

...When I am god, worship of God interferes with my plans, with my slumber, with my loyalty to pleasure, to socializing, to sport, to amusement. I hate the thought of worshipping another, but long to worship myself or have others worship me.

When God is God, worship is joy, it is nourishment, it is life. There is no greater joy than to gather with God’s people to bring glory to the Creator, to give thanks to the Redeemer.