Posts Tagged ‘praise

09
Feb
10

How to be a Worship Leader – Part 2

In part one of this study I defined being a worship leader in these terms:

To be respected, and therefore to influence others for the advancement of the Kingdom via your daily display of heart-felt humble adoration and reverence of God in all you do.

Or to put it more simply: acting out your total love, praise, and thankfulness to God the Father, in every action you take and through this example, inspiring others to do the same.

You may think this sounds intimidating and therefore might wonder, “Do I have a responsibility to others?”

Jesus was once asked the greatest commandment of all and in responding he gave us two. In that second commandment he commits us all to acts of service to others. In Matthew 22:39 Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The logical result of this order of things that God has put before us is simple; you are not the priority, God is #1 and the service of others follows. God didn’t tell us to love ourselves first, then treat others in a similar way. No, he directs that the capacity we have to exalt ourselves needs to be spent in exalting others. Put plainly, it is to be God first and others second.

So how do we do this? A systematic Bible study reveals a 4-part doctrine, or foundation of worship:
Biblical worship must be done in love. No love – no worship (1 Corinthians 13)
Biblical worship is always accompanied by humility and reverent fear (Isaiah 66:2)
Biblical worship is commanded by God (Luke 10:27/Matthew 22)
Biblical worship involves surrendering your entire life as an offering to God (Romans 12:1)

Love, humility and reverence, obedience, surrender…

This begs the question, so how in fact do we lead others with our worship of God? The four foundations of worship is a lot to handle, and I will admit that I do not always feel capable of being a worship leader. Most of us feel handicapped in our ability to influence others, especially when it comes to relationships. In her job my wife works with disabled children every day. To put the concept of being handicapped in perspective for all of us, here is a revelation that she discovered:

My life is forever changed because of what I have learned about the power that He {God} really did create us all equally! I remember when I asked God what makes handicapped people different from me or the all the other people, Why did He create them so different? And He spoke to me very clearly and said, “The difference between them and you is that their handicaps are on the outside in plan view for everyone to see and yours are on the inside and can be camouflaged so there is really no difference”…So I learned we are equal!

We all have the similar levels of deficiency; some people just have the ability to mask theirs a little better than others. So I say, get over it, don’t be intimidated by people’s camouflage and begin to see yourself as a leader from the position that God has planted you in. Yes that’s right, no matter where you sit in the sanctuary for a worship service, no matter what chair you find yourself at during the work week, no matter what group of people you find yourself in relationship with inside or outside the church, all of us are to be leaders from whatever position we hold. God gave us a beautiful picture of how the Body of Christ works together in Paul’s epistle 1 Corinthians chapter 12. In part he says, “in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”

Since we have been given a responsibility to lead, and God placed us where we are at, it seems we all must step up and claim our position of authority in Christ and how we interact with the world and others. And yet you still may not think of yourself as a leader. The next time we will cover the idea of being a lead worshipper vs. being a worship leader.

02
Feb
10

How to be a Worship Leader

When you hear the term “worship leader” what comes to mind? Likely it is this: a man or woman who is a musician, typically one who plays the guitar or piano, standing in front of a group of people singing songs that you are invited to follow along with, and in following this person’s lead, you will hopefully connect with God.

That is not an inaccurate picture since the official definition of “worship leader” is: a musician or singer who leads a congregation in musical expression of worship. Most people do not consider themselves worship leaders and additionally, they believe they never will be. This is based in the notion that to be a worship leader you must be a vocalist or instrumentalist. I challenge that today, and suggest that being a worship leader is not predicated on whether or not you can lead people in song with your voice or with an instrument. Stick with me and I think you will find that not only can you be a worship leader in your own right, but that you actually have a responsibility to be a worship leader.

Let’s start with a breakdown of what the term worship leader actually means. This may seem obvious, but to be a worship leader, you must first be a leader.

A “leader” is defined as a person who “leads or exhibits leadership.” Leadership can have a formal aspect, as in most political or business leadership, or an informal one, as in most friendships. Speaking of “leadership” usually implies that the persons doing the leading have some leadership skills or competencies. Several types of people may provide or exhibit leadership, including:

– A person in the position of authority
– A person in a position associated with expertise, skill, or experience
– A group of respected people

You can see that leadership implies a relationship of power — the power to guide others. Better put, it is the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members. All of us have been the benfactors of leaders and leadership in one form or another.

Second, and hopefully just as obvious, to be a worship leader you must also be a worshipper.

The English definition of worship is: honor and adoration, admiration and respect, directed to God. Now while the English Bible uses one word for Worship, the Hebrew and Greek texts use 10 different words to define it. In the New Testament, two of them particularly are noteworthy:

Proskuneo (e.g. Matthew 2:2, John 4:24): it means “to kiss the hand,” or “to bow down,” it is the word used to signify humble adoration and reverence. And second, Latreuo (e.g. Philippians 3:3): used 21 times in the NT, it means “to serve” or “to minister” it suggests rendering honor, or paying homage.

The act of worshiping is fundamental to who we are as people. Christian theologians have defined humanity as “homo adorans,” which means, the “worshipping man,” and thus the worship of God is at the very core of what it means to be human. Rick Warren puts it this way, “Worship is any expression of our love to God – for who he is, for what he said, and what he’s doing.”

Rick suggests that “any” expression is valid as an act of worship. I agree with him. You see, as Christians, we are instructed that everything we do on a daily basis needs to be offered up to the Lord as worship: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Thus, we can conclude that worship involves offering ALL we have to God: “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship” Romans 12:1

Therefore, I define being a worship leader in these terms:

To be respected, and therefore to influence others for the advancement of the Kingdom via your daily display of heart-felt humble adoration and reverence of God in all you do.

Or to put it more simply: acting out your total love, praise, and thankfulness to God, in every action you take and through this example, inspiring others to do the same.

You may think this sounds intimidating. Next time, I will provide some insight into understanding our responsibility to lead.

10
Dec
08

Easter 2008 Video

I have added a new video and it’s of our Easter service earlier this year.  As far as Easter services over the years go, I will say this is likely my favorite program we ever did (and we did it 5 times that weekend).  It was the first time we played songs (originals) we wrote in-house on a Resurrection Weekend.  The service you see here (6:30PM Saturday) is actually where “With all the Heavens” and “Salvation’s Story” from the worship:three CD came from.  Everyone involved on all fronts was just fantastic and I really  believe Jesus was properly honored and 75+ people made first time decisions for Christ!  It’s a little hard to watch if you know what I mean…I sure loved MSC and the assignment we had…

(Might take a long time to load based on your internet connection speed.  Sermon edited out for file size/load time.)

I’d like to hear your comments to so please post some replies…

17
Oct
08

Concert of Worship

Tonight we held our Concert of Worship.  I just want to say this night was one of the most amazing and enjoyable times I have ever had playing and singing.  Right out of the gate, in the first minute of the event you could sense the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit.  It was amazing.  We had set up a bunch of things to set a really worshipful atmosphere, and when I get some pictures in I will post them for you to see.  From a special entrance to our sanctuary with multimedia stations to set people’s hearts for the evening, to a big cross set in the middle of the sanctuary, to candles, etc. it was a great evening.  The best thing about it was that people’s lives were transformed.  We had a part of the evening dedicated to allowing people to write down their burdens on pieces of paper and lay them at the foot of the cross in the center of the sanctuary (we removed almost all the chairs).  It was beautiful.  I feel priviledged to be a part of this church, to serve this body, and to have am amazing team of friends to worship with!

07
Oct
08

You’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore

Okay check this guy out.  You think you’re hardcore?  Forget about it.  I am lame compared to this dude.  This pic was snapped by Anna Holt on the streets of Israel and she gave it to me.  I play guitar every week.  So what?  I have both my hands!  This guy is missing an arm and he plays his instrument with his feet.  He won’t take no for an answer.  That’s hardcore.  What’s your excuse?  

04
Jun
08

Worship Through the Storm

Worship as it relates to suffering is a subject of discussion that doesn’t seem to be widely talked about. The book “Blessed Be Your Name: worshipping God on the road marked with suffering” by Matt and Beth Redman addresses some of the biblical approaches to suffering and making the choice to worship God no matter what. Here are several thoughts to ponder directly from the book.

Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned…”

“Worship is a choice the choice to praise God despite the pain a person may find themselves in. It’s at these times of suffering when we can do nothing but trust God. Do we have faith to believe God is God of the storms of our lives? Faith will always fan the flames of worship. We need to be reminded that God’s love, and loyalty will never run out, and are new every morning.”  

Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Psalm 13:5-6 says, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.”

“When we can’t seem to perceive God amidst our path and the clouds of anxiety and fear closes in on us, the way forward is to remind ourselves of what we know to be true and dependable. The unchanging grace of God.”

Psalm 42:5-6 says, “…Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him. My Savior and my God…”

“To worship God is to tell Him that we believe Him for who He says He is. I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in God, even when He is silent.”

“Yes, every act of worship is a choice, a decision to believe and respond to God for who He says He is; no matter how pressing our circumstances. And the greater the pain we’re experiencing the greater a choice it may be.”

“Sometimes we will walk blindly, unable to understand a certain situation.  Our only comfort being the knowledge that God Himself is not walking blindly, but instead, kindly, and firmly in control. So often God will often take our broken moments and weave them into a powerful tapestry to the glory of his name.”

“To praise God through all of the storms is to fully praise and worship him. To know that he is Lord over all and has a perfect plan.”

12
May
08

The Complainer

So I was thinking about the general nature of the complainer this week.  We had a guest speaker at church since our Sr. Pastor is in Israel (“lucky!”) and he asked the congregation in each of our 3 services “be honest, how many of you have not prayed for your pastors, any of them, even one time in the last 2 weeks?”  Most people raised their hands.  I’ll give them this, they are an honest congregation (I absolutely love this church).  He said, “so you never pray for your pastors, but when something gets said from the pulpit you don’t like or the music is not quite right you are so quick to send off an email to them and complain.”  Wow.  Being a pastor I was one part edified and another part squirming a bit.  If you are in public ministry you’ve heard it.  The complaints: too loud, I couldn’t worship, where are the hymns?, it’s obvious this is about you and not about God.  Yes I’ve heard a lot of it.  In fact, I myself am a complainer.  I complain about all sorts of things that make my life difficult, or anything that pulls me out of my comfort zone.  Just this morning my wife said, “you ought to squeeze in a bike ride, the weather is nice.”  I got up put on bike shorts and jersey, socks and shoes, and then asked “what’s the temperature?”  It was a little cold for the clothes I was wearing.  I complained because I had to change my clothes.  I did end up on a bike ride and am very happy I went.  She was right, the weather was beautiful this morning.  And I did find myself praising God for His creation which I often do when I go biking.  But I just HAD to complain at some point didn’t I?  But it seems that when people uncork on a pastor in the church, it’s quite vile.  Why do these complainers feel the need to spread so much venom (yes, venom) when they complain (actually said to me in church: “how dare you assume to know what I need to worship God”)?  Congregational church is about giving back to God (see 1 Peter 2:9); declaring His praises.  That’s the primary purpose of the church.  But some people arrive with a consumer mentality and are just flat out furious when it doesn’t conform to whatever standard they have imposed on “church.”  With the American church body rife with complainers are we really acting as His disciples and “lov[ing] one another” as Christ commanded (John 13:34)?  What do you think?   




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