The Church halls are decked with Christmas lights, ornaments and boughs of evergreen; the little bell ringers, drummer boys and pageant characters are ready to take their place on stage. It is the season for celebration, not to be confined to the four walls of the church; no, we have far more reason to celebrate than is allowed to be contained. It is the time to reach out to our community of family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and to perfect strangers. Christ is born and has come to solve our greatest problem! I have compiled a list (I checked it twice) of 7 practical ways for you to “get the word out” about your Christmas event: Continue reading “7 Ways to invite people to your ChristmasChurch service” »
What you’re about to read is a true story.
In one worship service, actual fire came down from heaven. The whole area was pulsating with God’s glory and effusing with smoke, making it impossible for anyone to enter the building. Instead, everyone was standing outside — hundreds of thousands of people! Every single person fell down when the heavenly bolt exploded into view, and they all shouted in worship: “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” The service lasted for a solid seven days. Continue reading “How to Engage Your Flock in Worship” »
Want to split your church this Sunday? Here’s a really easy way to do it: switch worship music styles! Bam! Just like that you’ll have a dugout-clearing, song-book tossing brawl on your hands. Church World War Three.
But please, don’t try that. It’s not necessary. Church splits can be avoided even if you intend to make a major shift in worship styles. This article is an attempt to explain how that happens. Worship styles can change in any number of directions — from traditional to contemporary or from contemporary to traditional. Most of the time, however, churches change style from traditional to contemporary. This article addresses such a change. Continue reading “How to Introduce New Worship Music Styles in Your Church” »
It’s hard not to take complaints about our Sunday services personally. Pastors wince when people gripe about how we preach or how our church looks or feels. What’s a pastor to do? One thing I have found helpful is categorizing the complaining. Below are three sorts of critiques, arranged in order of importance from highest to lowest.
Worship is more than singing songs of praise. It is the primary ingredient to prayer. Although it’s popular to make a distinction between a “prayer of worship” and a prayer of petition, a prayer of intercession, or a prayer of confession, I would venture to say to say that all categories of prayer are constrained to worship.
Prayer is humble communication to God, and to be in the presence of God is to be aware of His holiness, which leads to worship. There is no one like Him. He is completely “other”. Acknowledging God’s holiness through worship is essential to each category of prayer. Let’s discuss the relationship in each classification: Continue reading “Why Prayer Goes Hand-in-Hand With Worship” »
There are many creative ways to solve business problems. One quality tool that is commonly used is called the “5 Whys”. This is an exercise that involves asking the question “why?” five times to help you quickly drill down to the root cause of a problem. It is tempting to jump to the first conclusion that comes to mind when trying to solve a problem, so it is important to make sure that what is thought to be the root of the problem truly is. Ok, let’s look at this problem and ask the question why 5 times. Continue reading “Solving Church Issues? Don’t Always Trust Your Gut – Ask Why 5x” »
“When was the last time you did something that was a little bit risky? I don’t mean ‘use the bathrooms at the local fast-food taco place’ risky; I mean something truly risky.”
So begins Kyle Idleman’s forward to the book Risky Gospel. In the book, author Owen Strachan puts forth a challenge that makes advances on the taco joint bathroom stall seem as tame as walking across your living room to pick up the remote control. As Strachan pries back the selfish armor of our hearts, we find ourselves realizing that “we play it safe, keep things calm…and stay stuck.” And that’s not at all a good way to live. Continue reading “Building Something Awesome: Interview with Owen Strachan, author of Risky Gospel” »
Jon Thurlow is a worship leader at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. Recently, after the release of his album, Stand In Awe, we had a conversation with Jon to hear his story, and learn how God has worked in his life. Our conversation was both challenging and encouraging as we discovered the cure to a musician’s writer’s block, the source of energy that fuels a passion for worship, and the power that prayer can make. Whether you’re a worship leader, pastor, volunteer, or just vaguely connected with faith and worship, we know you’ll find this to be a compelling and God-focusing interview.
A while back I wrote an article about wireless vs. wired microphones, and more recently I wrote a piece on various handheld mics used for vocalists. Now it’s time to dive into mics designed for speakers. If you’re a pastor or someone who is speaking on the platform every week, this is one you don’t want to miss.
When it comes to mic’ing up a pastor or other speakers, you have three basic microphone options: handheld, lapel, or headset. I use all three and switch between them depending on the venue, event, or if the speaker has a personal preference. I’ll go through each of them individually and list their pros and cons. Continue reading “Pastor Mics – Lapel, Wireless, and Headset Microphones” »
One of the hard parts of pastoring is that it’s tough to tell how we’re doing in the work. The primary metrics of “success” in the pastorate are often fuzzy and sometimes completely indecipherable. On top of that, the work is never really finished until we’re in glory. So much of Christian development is three-steps forward and two-steps-back. Pastors sometimes wonder if they’re doing any good at all. What seems so clear in our Sunday sermon outline smudges and smears in the daily war with the world, the flesh, and the devil. So when the enemy whispers in our ears that we are missing the mark because our churches aren’t perfect, it’s hard for us to tell whether or not he’s got a point. Continue reading “Self Evaluation of a Pastor – How Am I Doing?” »