Archive for the ‘worship’ Category

 

 

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As I attempt to creep back in to this blogging hobby, I want to start with something, a little whimsical, that has been on my mind the last several weeks. There are certain phrases every Worship Leader hears almost weekly, if not daily, that makes him or her cringe every time. Today I’ll throw out the list and then attempt to post about each one individually over the next couple weeks.

So I give you, Ten Things Every Worship Leader Hears Way Too Often:

1. “It’s Worship not a concert.”
2. “Why does it have to be so loud/quiet?”
3. “Some people just don’t like to sing/clap/raise hands/etc.”
4. “So what do you do for a living?”
5. “Have you ever considered becoming a real pastor?”
6. “I love watching you worship!”
7. “Can you sing Casting Crowns?”
8. “I just love your worship!”
9. “How hard can it be to lead four songs a week?”
10. “We should sing more Hymns/Contemporary/Modern/Praise/Choruses.”

Worship Leaders, which phrases would you add to this list?

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Musicians will play anything. It’s true. After leading worship for the past 15+ years I’ve discovered that most musicians love to play/sing and will jump at any opportunity to do so. I hear it all the time

“I love (Style)  but I am in a band that plays (Style). ”

or

“I really wish I could be playing (genre) but I’ve been with this (genre) band for the past several years”

You can see it in examples like this:
Katy Perry- Former Worship Leader
Sheryl Crow- Former back up singer for Michael Jackson
Run DMC and Aerosmith… need I say more?

It might sound strange to the non-musician but to those of us who love music its all too familiar. The true musician loves to play and most will give up almost anything to play on a consistent basis…  Including Sunday mornings. I find that one of the biggest struggles for Worship leaders and Musicians alike is the constant tension of their love for music and their love for Christ.

While we could spend hours writing and discussing why this is I think there are some simple ways to make sure this is not the case for you or your worship team.

1. Identify the truth.
Ask yourself: “If God were to take away my ability to sing, play, mix would I still be content in serving Him?” Your answer to this question will be the ultimate test of your heart for serving God and serving His church.  Christ teaches us in Matthew 6 that where our treasure is there are heart will be also. Is your heart on serving Christ or playing music?

2. Do something other than music
Worship in its purest form is described in Romans 12:1 as offering “your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God”. Did you notice there is not one word about music in that description? Sacrificing ourselves for the kingdom of God is our ultimate goal in worship and for the musician the best way to give up ourselves is to give up our music. Before I get tons of angry e-mails from angry Worship Leaders because their worship team has quit, I do not advocate you quit using your God given gift to do something like park cars or hand out bulletins. You’ve been given a gift of music and giving that gift back to God is important in your relationship with Him but it is Him we serve and a good dose of giving yourself to him in other ways is a great reminder of why we worship.

3. Personal Worship Time
The most powerful worship times you have in your life should be off the stage. Do you solely rely on your participation in the worship team to connect with God? This can be a big indicator in a musicians motives for playing on a worship team. The Bible tells us that Christ “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16) because of His desire for time with God. This is an easy change, get in the Word and on your knees. Your personal time with God will be the biggest influence on your ability to lead worship with your team. Don’t underestimate the impact God will have on your ability to focus on Him first and your gift of music second.

4. Do the Hard Work
I often tell my worship team that playing on Sunday mornings is the blessing and our worship is given in the rehearsals or extra time we put in to making sure we bring our best to God on Sunday. It can be very easy for us to rely on our talents and just show up to play on Sundays. God is not looking for another good musician, He wants the very best of you. The time and effort we give up in order to give God our best is a direct reflection of how important God is to us.

Ultimately when we lead worship, whether consciously or subconsciously, we are telling people from the stage this is how you worship. Your church wants you to lead them, not play for them or sing to them. If God is not more important to you than your music, He wont be to the people you lead.

My Glorious

Posted: November 4, 2008 in emotion, politics, worship

I (like everyone at this point) am ready for the campaign rhetoric to stop. I didn’t realize it until my wife told me that my 12 year old son was actually scared of Obama winning this election. I panicked! I did not realize until that moment, I got sucked in like everyone else. I was so consumed in election coverage of campagin rhetoric and electoral maps that I had somehow allowed my son to be convinced that a president could have such a dramatic impact on his life. That the fate of his future relied on the cumulaitve descision of the voters in our country. Honestly, I almost cried for my son.

The truth is that as Christians we should never be convinced either by others or by our own emotions that anyone can care for us the way God does. We should never find ourselves relying more on a president’s promise than on God’s faithfulness. God is ultimately in control (Romans 13) of our lives and by His word and power we are saved, not by a presidential candidate. No government program has ever saved our souls and no government program will bring us closer to the one who saved us. God is much bigger than any president or election (Colossians 1:6) regardless of the media hype or the promises of those running for office.

One of my all-time favorite worship tunes is My Glorious by Martin Smith.

God is bigger than the air I breathe
The world we’ll leave

God will save the day

And all will say

My Glorious

The Chorus really sums up exactly how I feel about this presidential election.

I remember, several weeks ago, sitting in our weekly Creative Planning meeting and going over our upcoming services about community. One of our team members mentioned how tough it was for some people to feel comfortable committing to a small group. He began to describe it like a personal tug-of-war, constantly pulling against the demands of life in order to grow spiritually as a christian. Suddenly an idea was born. The team came up with a drama about a guy pulling on a rope that continually refused help because of his own pride.

The idea was great but there was a big problem, we do not have a drama team at FCC. That may have seemed like a deal breaker for most but we have an axiom we use a lot in our planning meetings, “Don’t let logistics get in the way of a good idea.” The team began to jot down names of people who might be able to pull this off and began the process of convincing them that they were the right people to make this happen. Here is the result.

I know there are a lot of Worship Leaders and Creative Arts people that read this so I want to take this opportunity to tell you, no matter what the obstacles you face, “IT” matters.
The time you spend in creative and planning meetings matter.
The evenings you give up to rehearse with your band matters.
The mornings you drive into the office before the sun even comes up matters.
The countless hours you spend investing into the lives of your volunteers matter.
The tech meetings matter.
Your hard work matters.
The lives you touch matter.
“IT” Matters… to God
God is so incredible. He has a way of taking the little things we do and turning them into major life changing moments. Thanks Mike for your amazing testimony!

I always get questions and e-mails about my favorite worship songs so I thought I would put a list of favs together. Obviously these change from time to time but for now here are the songs that speak to me the most.

1. We Shine- Steve Fee. I didn’t really like this song when I first heard it but it quickly became my favorite.

Your turn! What are your favorite worship songs?

Healing Rain

Posted: September 29, 2008 in church, emotion, FCC Owasso, Jesus, sunday morning, worship

We got this idea from Hillside Christian Church in Amarillo, TX. This ended up being a powerful way of communicating how far God is willing to go to change lives.

I was moved to tears… made it very difficult to sing. God is incredible!

If you were a part of this group of people, what would you have written on your cardboard?

Friday
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM Willow Creek Leadership Summit
12:30 PM- Lunch with Staff Ministers
2:30 PM- Stage prep for Sunday
4:30 PM- guitar student
5:00 PM- guitar student
6:00 PM- Dinner
7:00 PM- Sermon Prep for Sunday (Dad’s Ordination Service)

Saturday
10:00 AM- ReWrite Sermon (Dad’s Ordination Services)
2:00 PM- Cousin Gina’s Wedding
3:30 PM- Reception
6:00 PM- Review Sunday Services
9:00 PM- Rewrite Sermon (Dad’s Ordination Service)

Sunday
5:30 AM- Wake Up
6:30 AM- Arrive at office for service review
7:00 AM- Tech Meeting
7:15 AM- Service Rehearsal
8:30 AM- First Service
9:45 AM- Leave for Inola OK
10:30 AM- Dad’s Ordination Service
11:00 AM- Second Service (I was not at this one… Jared led in my place)
12:30 PM- Lunch with the Tibbles Family
2:00 PM- Tibbles Family at my place (at one time there were 29 people in my house)
5:00 PM- Dinner with Rob and Rachel (A pleasant surprise as they stopped by on their way through town)
6:30 PM- Meet with Greg and Shawna about wedding music and other Wedding stuff
9:00 PM- Get kiddos in bed
9:30 PM- Post blog
10:00 PM- BED TIME!!!

In the words of Charlie Brown
“Good grief”

It’s Friday and which means… Mad Prop’s! This is the day I give my “Prop’s” to someone who has done something outstanding during the week. Feel free to leave your own “prop’s”, “atta boy’s”, or whatever it is you happen say to let someone know they are friggin awesome.

Mad Prop’s Friday Week #4

This week I have to go back to the crib to give my prop’s. Summer is such a busy time for me and my family. It usually involves church camps for the kiddos, VBS, summer sports, basketball camps and every once in a while we’ll throw in a family trip to some place where people don’t recognize us. Thrown in that I am usually gone for several weeks leaving my AP to manage the home front on her own. When I am home during the summer months it’s only for a few days at a time and it usually involves recovery and catch up work at the church leaving little time for extra things with the fam. Summer months in the Tibbles’ home require extra grace and prayer.

So this week I want to give Mad Prop’s to AP and the Kiddos

MAD PROP’S TO TEAM TIBBLES! THANKS FOR BEING SO AWESOME!!

Not only do you deserve Mad Prop’s for living with me as your husband and dad but you continually go above and beyond to support me in the crazy adventures God puts me in. I thank God for each of you everyday. You are all more than I could have ever hoped for.

Give it up ya’ll!

I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails on how we plan out our services. To be real honest we are still trying to figure it out. FCC has doubled in size since I started working here about eight years ago. It seems like every time we find something that works, we have to change it all over again to accommodate the new growth in our services.

So far this has been the tool that has worked best. I actually stole this from a friend who leads worship for a church in a nearby town. I think he stole it from a church in KY… Its a flannel graph!

We print a title page for each week. It includes who is preaching, the date, the sermon title (which becomes the theme of the week) and the scripture reference for the sermon. PC usually has those done a few months in advance.


We set up the song order and any “special elements” in the service underneath the title page on little tabs with Velcro backing. We also include any regular service pieces that would be in every service such as communion and the message.

We color code everything. This helps us make sure we are considering not only how much we are trying to cram into one hour but also who is in our services. Part of worshiping in a church that has been around for 100+ years means there is a diverse group of ages participating in the AM services each week.
The green tabs represent fast songs, yellow for medium paced songs, red (obviously) for slow songs and the blue for hymns. The orange tabs are parts of the service that happen every week and pink (I was running out of colored paper)are for special elements such as drama, video or special music. Everything is laminated so we can write on the tabs with dry erase markers. we even have some blank (white) tabs to we can write in new things.

There it is…

How do you plan?


FIGHT Night is over and we are on to the next event. At the end of each night we would sing this song titled, So Long. I have had the song stuck in the orchestra pit of my brain all day.

The “Farewell Tour” is finally coming to an end. We leave for Youth Quake on Friday. YQ is one of my favorite events of all time. We bust out the tents and camp in the mountains of Colorado for a week with 300 high school students. Each night is like a major worship event and every day we get to do something cool like climb a mountain and whitewater rafting. This year I get to go with a group to the Royal Gorge! I am also going to try and meet up with my long time friend and former vocal coach Chris Beatty. Check out his blog here

This will officially be the last major event I get to play with my youth worship band 3rd String Jesus. (Yes there is a story behind the name… that’s another post) Jacob, Andy and Nathan are like brothers to me. I have really enjoyed getting to know them, mentor them, and learn from each one of them. Each of them give up a lot to travel with me to all these camps and youth events to help inspire worship in students from all over the Midwest every summer and for that I will be forever grateful. Please pray for us on our last trip as we head out to CO for one last “hoorah”. As we sing at FIGHT Night…

We wont say good-bye but for now we’ll say
“So long, we’re gonna miss you when you’re gone
With His love you can’t go wrong
We’ll be here to help you along
So long, you can thank your dad and mom
Clap your hands and sing this song
But until next time we’ll say ‘So Long’! “