Category Archives: Instructional
Remember Pastor talking about wearing a Jesus shirt and actin’ a fool? Here’s why he’s given you the warning…
As of October 25, I have received my ’License to Preach’ with the Assemblies of God. What does this do for me, you ask? Well, there are some privileges it comes with. Below, are a few of the more exciting benefits.
- Wanna get married of renew your vows?
- Want me to preach your funeral (please, no)?
- Want me to Pastor your church?
- Need a Worship Pastor/Children’s Pastor/Youth Pastor/Everything else Pastor?
All of these things, (and many, many, more) I am now Licensed to do as an Assembly of God Minister. It’s just another step in my journey to get to where God wants me to be. I do realize that if God has called and appointed you, that this is merely a nice looking piece of paper with your name on it. The Assemblies of God makes it clear that they do not call you, but they help to equip you. I must say that I have learned quite a bit about the legalities of the church while taking the courses to reach my ‘License to Preach’ level. I now know why some things are done the way they are done in our churches.
Please continue praying for me as I strive towards the highest level of achievement with the Assemblies of God, starting in January. This last tier of learning is called the ‘Ordination’ Level. Hopefully this time next year, I will have completed everything to obtain my Ordination with the Assemblies of God. However, there is a 2 year wait until I can actually complete the Ordination level. Here are some of the Benefits of Ordination as defined by the Assemblies of God. Learn more about the Berean Bible School here!
I know that God is preparing Amy and I for great things!
As many of you may or may not know, God has given Amy and I the gift to write our own songs. To date, Amy and I have have written somewhere around the neighborhood of twenty songs. The songs range from songs of praise to songs of lament. We both know that one day our songs will be used around the World. But for now, we have had the push to start a CD fund for our first official CD. Many contributors have already given (monetarily or prayerfully).
I said all that to show you this. Bob Kauflin’s blog: www.worshipmatters.com. The most recent post of Bob’s is one entitled “Top Ten ways to Write Bad Worship Songs“. If you are in the process of writing, or have written songs to be used for worship, you may want to take a looksie at his list. After reading his list, may I suggest the book “God Songs“, by Paul Baloche and Jimmy & Carol Owens. This book will help get your thoughts and processes started when you are aiming to write music for God.
Now get out your paper and start penning the words that God gives.
CCLI For the Worship Leader: CCLI has been a great asset to our church and a great addition to my worship toolbox. If you are tired of looking for new songs and lead sheets, SongSelect is the package deal for you. Using SongSelect, I can keep the songs that I want to learn bookmarked as “favorites” and access them when I’m ready. I can change keys, listen to a short audio track of the song, and even hear a MIDI file play the notes from the lead sheet. Excellent tool for today’s Worship Leader. SongSelect also keeps track of your song usage so you can report to them and they can distribute royalties accordingly.
CCLI for the Songwriter: As I sadly learned, it seems that CCLI is not created for the Songwriter as a means of getting your song accessible to other Worship Leaders. I recently called CCLI about putting some of my original songs on SongSelect and all that is available to me is posting the lyrics. I was wanting to do the whole she-bang. Post my lyrics, sheet music, audio samples…everything. Nope, they won’t do it. Apparently if you’re just getting started with CCLI you do not get the privilege of sharing your sheet music until your song has been in the top 5000 songs downloaded. Yes ladies and gentlemen that’s right; your song will only be able to be viewed in lyric form unless you are blessed enough to have your song in the top 5000 songs that are sang in churches across the planet. I was astonished by this. Bummer, no, double bummer. All in all CCLI provides a great service for a great price for the Church. If you want to stay legal and not take money from the authors of the songs that you sing, you should definitely check into CCLI as a means to stay compliant. So do the right thing and sign up for an account today (only if you’re not a songwriter). Your church will benefit greatly.
When you are a Worship leader, there are many tough and uncomfortable situations that you somehow get into. Most of the time people seem to think that they are “called to be a _________ on a Worship Team”; fill in the blank with whichever position fits…guitarist, soloist, pianist, drummer, etc. In fact, many of the smaller churches (mine included) think that because you can play an instrument or halfway hold a tune that you must be called to be on the Worship Team. This has to be the best kept secret of Worship Teams that I think is also the biggest lie in churches today. Being on a Worship Team requires so much more than being musically inclined. The first thing that I look at when selecting new members is their heart. Do they have a heart for worship? Are they Worshippers on and off the stage? Which are in turn followed by many more questions and then finally I ask “Are they musically inclined?”.
So without even practicing with the band, this person is set onto the stage, (usually at the last minute before a service) and the whole church quickly finds out that maybe this person was not meant to be on the Worship Team.
Steve Fee has a video that brilliantly portrays this picture. Steve Fee is a Worship Leader at North Pointe Community Church and is lead singer of the band Fee. Fee sings the songs “All Because of Jesus” and “We Shine” which on are most mainstream radio stations today. This video shows just one of the many struggles that Worship Leaders will probably face. So be ready for it because if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it probably will.
Most of You knew this post was coming…and now it’s here.
(If you don’t know who Paul Baloche is, check out his website, www.leadworship.com. This site has alot of information for the Worship Leader/Musician. Once you’re there, check out the store and buy some videos and books from him. He is one of the best guitar/music teachers that I have ever known (and I’ve known alot of them). His DVDs are top notch, cram packed with information. I have read his book, God Songs, and it will literally teach you how to write songs that are congregation-friendly. Also, keep in mind that when you buy the merchandise, he is the most humble person you will ever meet. Now go, buy some stuff, and let the gift that God has put in you explode!)
Recently, Amy and I visited Lindale, Texas to see Paul Baloche at his home church of Community Christian Fellowship. I can honestly say that I was immediately surprised. I was guessing that Paul’s home church was a mega-church type with lots of highway frontage and cool stuff like coffee shops and maybe a restaurant inside. When we arrived at CCF I remember telling Amy “This can’t be it, I must have taken a wrong turn”. Nope, we had found it.
CCF sits a few miles off of the main highway going through Lindale, a town with a population of 2,954 people in the year 2000. As we arrived, (we caught the early service) we heard the building pounding with music from the outside. The place was rockin’! As we approached the front doors, we were greeted by numerous people who ushered us in and told us to make ourselves at home. We sat close to the middle of the sanctuary and were almost the only ones in our row of chairs. As I entered into worship, I began to thank God for putting us there on that specific day and time and for letting me take part in an awesome service.
After the service was over I slowly made my way to the front of the sanctuary where Paul and Pastor David Hickey were still standing. I began to introduce Amy and myself and told them that we enjoyed the service. They asked where we were from and we told them Oklahoma. Pause. “Do you have family/friends here in Lindale?” ”Nope”. Pause. “What brings you here?” Pause. (Trying desperately to find the right words to say in front of my worship leader idol). “Just visiting you guys.” Doh. (What kind of a person would fly from Oklahoma to a small town in Texas just to visit?”
We would. Paul acted so surprised that we would come to see him and his church family for no reason at all but just to put a face to a name. He began apologizing for the construction of the sanctuary, for the un-practiced band (I couldn’t tell, they were fabulous!), and alot of other things. To tell you the truth, it just made me feel at home. We sat and chatted with him by the stage until the next service and stayed for it, too. He was polite enough to give us a person tour of his church. He even gave me a couple of books and CDs to remember the trip with…and then I got him to sign my journal. Sweet. How cool is he?
I’m glad that we went to his home church to meet him. If we had gone to a conference or seminar, there’s no way in the world that we could have talked with him for an hour. It also gave us a chance to see what it’s like when he’s at home. When the stage lights and professional audio engineers have left. The cameras turn off. And when professional musicians aren’t backing. Overall it was great…more than I had expected.
– Go ahead and step up to the mic and say something. Hello all and welcome to the blog. Hopefully you will find this a resouceful site for anything and everything pertaining to Worship in the church. Along with Worship things, I will share my thoughts, ideas, jokes, and even setlists from some of our Church Services. Please, check back often for new updates!