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    Entries in worship (3)

    Friday
    Jun072013

    rough places

     

    silence takes over the barrenness of life

    it whispers for something greater than the bluster of conversation 

    the selfish stammering of our flesh

    we are lost in our own words

    when God longs for us to still the waves of discontent and fear.

    Our soul finds rest and our heart is well fed

    on the portion of his grace 

    The understanding that everything is in Hands

    hope blooms in rough places.

     

    Wednesday
    Feb202013

    Worship Vision

    To all my Worship Leader Friends, I wanted to share with you a very rough blueprint I'm working on for our worship experiences at BBC. 

    Every aspect of worship will be fueled by the realization of God's grace.  We encourage authentic and powerful wholehearted worship and God-focused adoration while we seek to avoid human-focused sentimentality. Our music follows this same focus, and we sing more about God and his work and less about ourselves and our efforts.

    1.   Worship at BBC will uphold the vision of BBC to lead people on a journey to become fully devoted followers of Christ.

    2.    We will utilize the gifts of our leaders to create and facilitate worship that is done with excellence.  This requires intensive, weekly rehearsal before Sunday morning.

    3.   We will avoid like the plague all routines and templates that are tired and overused.

    4.   We will make it our goal to avoid distractions and create smooth seamless transitions.

    5.   We will utilize silence intentionally and not accidentally.  No awkward, “what’s next?” looks from the platform.

    6.   We will place high premium on song and hymn texts that are Biblical and relevant.  Songs that are sung shouldn’t be sentimental and trite.  They should be honest songs that reflect the reality of the journey.

    7.   Everyone should have an opportunity to make a change in his or her life because that is what happens when we encounter God. If you want to see something that doesn’t move, grow or change- go to the funeral at look at a corpse.

    8.  We will challenge the worshipers to do something and we will make it clear what that “something” is. We will make every effort to avoid creating “yada-yada-yada” experiences.

    9.  The choir will rehearse weekly to prepare for upcoming services. Not every worship service will require a choir.  When the choir is used, we will strive to communicate the importance of becoming a mirror of what worship looks like.  

    10.  Worship shouldn’t be a performance for the congregation to watch. It should invite full participation.

    11.   Our worship will be bathed in prayer.  We will schedule prayer warriors to be praying.  They will have an idea of the content of the message so they can ask specifically for the message to stick.

    12. The message will be Bible-based with practical stories and illustrations. This was the primary teaching tool Jesus employed. This is one tradition we should keep.

    13.  The message will be challenging and relevant to Christians and unbelievers. We believe that the message of Christ works and because it works, it is exciting, wise and curious.

    14.  Baptism will be the climax of everything we do because it is the greatest visual of Christ’s purpose. It will be celebrated with great irreverence. In other words we should invite people to cheer, clap and shout because that's what we do when God changes a life!

    15. We will place a high priority on visual design as well as the use of objects. We will be quick to remove objects that rival the cross in their affection for them.

    16.  Worship begins in the parking lot.  We will connect with people as they enter our site. We will be welcoming but not creepy.

    17.  We will challenge everyone to give and point to generosity as a primary act of glorifying and magnifying God.

    18.  We recognize that worship should make people welcome but not comfortable. Comfort was never the goal of Jesus and so it shouldn’t be our goal.

    19. Worship is about families.  Correction:  Other people’s families. Every member of Bluegrass should be on mission to welcome and invite our community in worship.

    20.  We all realize that if we are to thrive as a church, it’s going to take a miracle.  Pastors don’t do miracles.  Worship leaders don’t do miracles. Talented musicians don’t do miracles.  But if we are all in, focused on the Great Commission, and passionately united, Jesus won’t hold back.  Life-change will happen.  Worship will happen. And yes, Miracles will happen.  

    Tuesday
    Jun192012

    Can we go back to the way worship used to be?

    Can we go back to the way worship used to be? Face down before God?

     It is interesting to note that there are very few major heroes in the Bible who have not been seen face down before God.  In the human realm, being face-down is the ultimate act of vulnerability and danger.  When you are face-down, you cannot fight or even defend yourself. When you are face-down on the ground there is no escaping. But being face-down before God is quite another matter. Being face down before God is the most secure place you'll ever be.  It's impossible to trip or fall when you are face down before God.  

     Have you been face down before Him?  In your worship have you learned the power of this posture.  There are many new types of worship.  We have achieved the heights of technology. I've been amazed by new songs and ways to communicate the Bible, but before there were electric guitars, before there were pipe organs and hand bells, there was a much more powerful type of worship that is as rare as it is radical. 

    In today's worship, being face down is so rare that if someone actually went face-down on the floor they'd probably be accused of yoga or handed a saltine for low blood sugar. But we'd better start practicing it because we'll be doing a lot of it through eternity. 

    In a culture that genuflects to every sports hero and TV reality star, we are a very hesitant to worship God in humility. 

     There are two impostors for genuine worship. They are dignity and hysteria.  They are both stumbling blocks.  We're either too dignified to really worship or we are so emotionally driven that there is no substance. Truth is often thought about as intelligence. Intelligence that is puffed up becomes dignified.  Emotions can produce hollow worship that is fueled by feelings. These polar opposites produce lifeless, mediocre, and purposeless worship focused more on tastes than transformation.  

    My prayer this week is this:

    God, let us worship you with our minds, our passions, our bodies, and our voices. Teach us how to fall face down in worship before you.  Help us not look to our right or our left. Remind us not to judge our worship leaders. We are expecting to see you do amazing things!  Tear us apart with your love. Clear out lifeless, judgmental, impersonal, preoccupied thinking so that You will take your church by storm!