My guest post for Seedbed Worship Design Collective
Dear Worship Leader, Choir Director Friends,
I encountered something in God’s word the other day that stirred my heart and I want to share it with you.
I have a question.
Do you ever feel like a hired hand performing a gig?
The sheer technology and pressure of leading worship can be a heavy burden, skewing the focus of your heart and mind as you lead.
Shortly before Christmas we mysteriously received a book in the mail from Amazon. Never ordered it. Had no clue how we got it.* We were rather puzzled when we saw the rather large, gold-toned, boldly designed hardcover of 384 antiqued pages, commenting “what is this?”
The back cover copy was bold too.
“Enter a life-changing journey… to uncover the MYSTERIES OF GOD, the SECRETS OF THE AGES, and the HIDDEN KEYS to open the doors of a life of joy, blessing, and the fulfillment of YOUR DESTINY.”
Uh … OK.
The endorsements on the front flap effusively proclaimed “I was absolutely stunned” – Governor Mike Huckabee, “Possibly the most astonishing book I have ever read” – R.T.Kendall, and “Extraordinary” – Pat Robertson.
I decided I’d wait to check it out when I had more time.
Such was our introduction to “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Cahn. Later over the Christmas holidays I finally opened it up and started reading it.
And now I gotta say … wow, this is really a great book!
ABOUT “THE BOOK OF MYSTERIES”
This past week we shared with the HFUMC family I’ll be leaving staff. It’s been a wonderful experience. My last Sunday will be February 12, 2017. Here’s the letter we shared.
A few years back I started doing an exercise by Chris Brogan called “my three words”. The idea is to choose three words that will serve as a guiding theme for the coming year. You can read more about it in his blog post here.
This article is published by Seedbed Worship Design Collective, http://www.seedbed.com/book-recommendations-for-worship-leaders-2016-edition/
Recently I was asked about book recommendations for worship leaders. There’s a lot out there that are either directly or indirectly helpful to the worship leaders growth and development. Here’s some I’ve read recently worth checking out:
Premise: I’ve followed Zac Hicks blog and heard him speak at the 2016 National Worship Leader Convention. This is a new generation worship thought leader who “gets it.” His comprehensive guidebook is both scholarly and practical, exploring the many roles and responsibilities of worship leaders including: theologian, disciple, worshiper, evangelist, mentor, artist, counselor, musician, servant leader, and producer. Highly recommended.
I’m delighted to say I’ll be venturing on my first ever ministry project to the nation of Ukraine. I’ll fly out October 25 and fly back November 4, 2016. I’m planning to be back in church at HFUMC on November 6th.
I would be most appreciative of your prayers!
I’ll be a guest lecturer at the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, teaching in their Music Ministry and Theology Department. The courses I’m teaching will be Essential Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship during the day and Worship Music Composition and Songwriting Workshop in the evenings. Besides teaching, I’ll be there to coach, mentor, advise and encourage students and staff.
We recently held a working retreat for our worship ministry volunteers and it was a big win for all involved. So much so that Seedbed Worship Design Collective published my debreif on how you can do one too. Read the full article “How To Invigorate Your Worship Ministry With A Retreat” here.
Note: Hey friends, I’ve been busy this summer preparing an online course on worship and discipleship. Over the years I’ve been influenced and inspired by the work of A. W. Tozer, as have many in the worship space. The following are several quotes I pulled from chapter 1 of the book entitled “Tozer on Worship and Entertainment“. Use them to energize your ideas about worship.
(AW Tozer compiled by James L. Snyder, (c) 1997 Zur Ltd., Wing Spread Publishers, Camp Hill, PA) (The headings are my own.)
Our Hearts Long For Him
Worship seeks union with its beloved, and an active effort to close the gap between the heart and the God it adores is worship at its best. p.2
Don’t Worship for What You Receive
We [do] calm our spirits and there is a soothing effect in worship, but the primary object of church attendance is not to relax – it is to offer worship, which belongs to God. p.3
A Happy Ending
When all the full redeemed universe is back once more worshiping God in full voice, happily and willingly, then we will see the new creation – the new heaven and the new earth. p.4
Note: I’m delighted to be a guest contributor to the WorshipTeamTraining.com website. This article contains my recent guest post “Draw Me Nearer” along with bonus links to the recording of my song and lyrics.
Guest Post http://www.worshipteamtraining.com/draw-me-nearer/
In this article I want to talk about two things. First, some biblical principles for developing greater intimacy with God. Second, how the fruit of our intimacy with God can result in many good things, in this instance writing new songs.
Designed For Intimacy
We are designed for intimacy. First with God, then with others. The gospel promises that we can connect with God at the deepest, most authentic part of our souls.
Nobody likes to receive negative feedback or criticism. In this guest post for Seedbed Worship Design Collective, I offer five things to consider when someone criticizes your job as a worship leader.
If you use these five strategies they will help you grow as a leader, serve your congregation better and save your sanity. They are:
- Describe the problem.
- Discern what’s really going on spiritually.
- Get Practical.
- Make adjustments.
Read the whole article in depth here.
Dear Uncle Robbie,
I’m a tired worship leader ministering at a small church where my husband grew up. I give and give and give and pour out my heart to the Lord. Now, I’m facing opposition from the leadership and congregation at my church. I know it’s a spiritual attack. I know it’s not of the Lord, He values my heart. I know when I give and worship Him, He is glorified. My question is – What to do next? I need to know if what I’m doing is the best thing for the congregation. I need prayer on how to handle this. Is what I’m doing the most God honoring thing? I love worshipping and I love giving Him the praise.
A Struggling Saint
Dear Struggling Saint,
First, I want you to know you are not alone. The Lord will be with you. He does value your heart.
It can be quite a challenge to discern the will of God for your life, especially when you’re starting out or in transition.
In this article published by Worship Leader Magazine on-line, I share my experiences and seven ideas that answer the question: “How Do You Know When You’re Called To Lead Worship?”.
My thesis is that, if you are called to lead worship, you will have:
- A Vision
- Joy and Peace
I unpack these ideas with anecdotes from my personal story in rest of the article on the Worship Leader Magazine website here.
A youth pastor wrote me after reading the post and suggested this would be an excellent resource for anyone trying to decide a future direction in any area of life. If that’s you or someone you know, check it out.