It’s a guided journal exercise to “slow down”, fully experience life, and hear the voice of God. Like all things, you can get as much out of it as you’re willing to put into it.
In this article I’ll share my first journal entry. His first inciting quote from page 1 is this:
“If we can change the way that the church understands music and worship, we will change the way the world encounters God.” – Ray Hughes
This is a big idea, and quite profound if you’re serious about exploring and applying the answers. This is important because, in many areas, the “world” is rejecting God as represented today by the church. Many, many churches are struggling and in decline.
If you need support, advice, and encouragement in worship ministry, maybe I can help.
I’ve been leading, teaching and mentoring in worship ministry for over 20 years. I’ve served as a volunteer and later as full time church staff. I’ve lead the worship ministries of large, medium and small churches. I’ve served as an advisor to pastoral leaders in dozens of ministries around the world. I also have over 30 years experience in business leadership, management and music production.
It was totally, prophetically, inspiringly awesome. If you can attend live, do it. If not, watch the video series here.
I’ve known Ray for a long time, his teachings have profoundly influenced my understanding of worship.
Here’s one takeaway from the night I was there. Regarding Martin Luther and the lives of the psalmists and hymn writers…
You know revolutionaries, and those who carry awakenings, typically walk through seasons of controversy and conflict, until conviction and conversion comes. But until that comes, your life ends up being redefined on many levels.
They were pioneering and birthing something in the spirit realm that was hanging on the balance of how they stood with integrity and character.
The power of the might of the Lord, the One who touched them, and the One they had their encounter with, would hold them up until their conflict and controversy would become songs. And then it would begin to carry a life of it’s own from generation to generation.
When you become a songwriter you are creating something that holds a promise for a future generation.
Ray Hughes, Journey of Worship, Session 7 February 22, 2017
Many of the great hymns of history, written by “revolutionaries who carry awakenings” were birthed through seasons of controversy and conflict. This was the legacy of pioneers like Martin Luther and Isaac Watts. They paid a heavy price. Today their message still inspires and carries the purposes of God through song.
Can you relate to this? I know I can. Don’t give up singing your new song. God is on the move. Let faith rise up.
“It’s time for a generation to begin to fully trust Him with the sound that they have been given. You see, faith and trust is part of this thing called worship. Faith is the ability to respond to God’s definition of your future.” – Ray Hughes, Journey of Worship, Session 1
Faith is the ability to respond to God’s definition of your future!
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.
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.
My Guest Post for Seedbed Worship Design Collective
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.
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.