Viewing entries in
Culture

Comment

Have We Missed the Mark on the Worship Leaders Calling?

steve-johnson-619125-unsplash.jpg

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8


Anyone else think that Micah could have made this call so much easier by wording it a little differently?

I mean, why not “love justice, walk kindly, and do humility.” That I can do.

I mean I love justice, I want to see it everywhere, but do justice? My hands? My feet? Doing justice? Wow, that actually requires some movement. That kind of starts making things a little uncomfortable.

I can force myself to walk in kindness, bite my tongue, let the other person go first. But loving kindness? That means my heart actually has to change.

I can't just simply conform my actions, I need to transform my heart. The commission of Micah here is radical.

This last month our creative tribe here at Shoreline was smacked with the reality that God actually rejects worship when its not bent out in compassion. Passages like Amos 5 and Isaiah 58 aggressively convey to us that He actually despises our endless songs and skillful playing if the outpour is not justice rolling down like waters and ever-flowing rivers.

Here in Micah 6 we are commissioned to go even further. Justice is something that requires movement. It requires action.

Justice is not third person.
It's not something that freedom fighters and executive politicians exercise. It’s my job. It's your job.

Kindness isn’t simply something you do. It’s not something you bring out in a line at the grocery store. We need to train our hearts to love kindness. To actually default to kindness. To be kind people in the core of who we are.

Humility is intentional. As intentional as walking to get to your destination, we walk intentionally alongside our God, every step a gift we don’t deserve. 

Worship without compassion is self-medication.

When we worship on Sunday and walk out unchanged the rest of the week we degrade worship to moralistic therapeutic deism. Its a problem when Worship does more for our own therapy than bringing heaven to earth and when worship becomes about dulling the pain of our own hearts instead of realigning our hearts with the one we came to worship.

True worship, spirit and truth worship, actually calibrates our hearts to where God’s is and necessitates change. We start to do justice, love kindness, and walk in humility.

I believe the world is ready for justice to flow. And I think it’s going to start with the artists in the church. And if our demographics are correct, that's probably you.

I think with color, paint, melody, and song, justice is ready to flow. Freedom is ready to break forth.

So here's how we, at Shoreline Creative, are doing this:

All Worthy of Love is an organization that declares to the most seemingly worthless class of people in our society that they are of significant worth to their Father.

We literally take to the streets to feed, pray, and care for women caught in human trafficking and prostitution on the streets of Austin; just 7 minutes away from where we gather to worship.

With a lunch and hygiene kit we are creating opportunities for freedom and rescue. We are doing justice. We loving kindness. We are walking in humility serving the least of these. We are watching worship being forged into compassion, and watching freedom roll on to the streets of Austin.

And we need help.

We need people who are passionate about making the most beautiful sandwiches the world has seen; “Jesus loves you sandwiches.”

We need sponsors to help with gas and chips and drinks. We need people who are ready to answer Micah’s call and do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly.

Are you ready? Let's go! 


Ty.jpg

Article Written by Tyson Morlet | Worship Pastor at Shoreline Church, Austin, TX. Father of two girls and husband of 9 years, Tyson's mission is to see the Church (global and local) worship God in spirit and truth.

Comment

Comment

Why Community Isn't Optional for Your Worship Team

ShorelineMSC-9053.jpg

Community isn't optional for the believer. 

It's highly critical. Without it, we're just lone wolves unable to experience nearly everything the Bible tells us to.

It's true that our salvation can be complete and secure in Jesus without interacting with another living person. But the fully, unleashed, fearless and abundant life of a Christian can never happen without our brothers and sisters. 

  • Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

  • I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. (1 Corinthians 1:10)

  • And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

We need each other to rub shoulders with.
We need each other to speak life and love and grace over our circumstances.
We need each other to experience apologies and forgiveness.
We need each other to experience grace and mercy. 
We need each other to accomplish anything worth something in the Kingdom of God. 

 

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations." - Chuck Smith

 

So how can we foster a culture of community right where we are? 

Could it be taking someone out to coffee? Babysitting for a leader? Writing a note to that person in the band you've had on your heart for a week? Do it this week. Whatever you know the "it" is, do it and watch your culture begin to shift. 

 

Comment

Comment

Creatives Fight War with Art

We’ve all heard that we are made in the image of God and he was creative, so we are creative. But have you heard this? God is so concerned with his people being a creative people and His worship being a creative worship, that in the Old Testament, only the artist and craftsmen were filled with the Spirit to build the house for God. Out of every other office in the Old Testament, it was the artists who were first filled with the Spirit. (Exodus 35:30-35) 

 Artists are God-ordained warriors. 

Now, there are no rules in creativity, however, as a Christian, there are things that Creativity IS and IS NOT. Let's talk about three of those.  

1. Creativity isn't just doing what God does.

It isn’t something we walk in like a child walking in his father’s big open size eleven shoes. It is something that our Father has placed in us, is shaping us for and ultimately has filled us with His Spirit to do. With His Spirit, I can take my time, treasure in my heart and turn it to Him in worship. We grow up to be mature in whatever area of creativity we are aspiring to, but it's God that sparks that process.  

2. Creativity isn’t for us.

It is by us but for the greater good of mankind and the reflection of the ultimate Creator. Creativity is for the encouragement of the Church and for worship.  "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. And be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 10:24 & Ephesians 5:19-21) 

3. Creativity is about doing something new and doing that something well.

I think that the goal of every artist should be to, like God, look upon our creation and call it “good.” Chris Martin (Singer of Coldplay) said it this way, “the goal of our band is to write the perfect song.” We sing to Him, we draw for Him and paint for him until its as perfect as I can get it and then I wake up the next day and do it again, because He’s my God and He is worthy. I love Psalms 33:3, “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.”  

All of these are lessons we can begin to implement in our creating, but will take a lifetime to master. And once we, as a collective, become okay with that reality, we can really start stepping into who God calls us to be as artists.  

Here’s where this is all going. Isaiah 65 says: 

“For behold, I (God) create a new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people a gladness.”   

God created us and everything we see through Jesus.  

For in him (Jesus) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16 

I love what Jesus ascribed to Himself in Luke 4:18:  

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”  

These new heavens and earth, He also creates through Jesus, but this time that creating process has included His Church!   

The new earth. 

I’m not saying that God will not literally create a new earth someday, however, I am saying that this mission Christ has taken upon Himself, is the transformation of everything we know in this one. And the work is not yet finished 

We are part of the solution. You are part of the solution. Your creativity is of great value because God gave it to you for a powerful purpose.  

God has made us a creative people to fight war with paint, heal pain with dancing, end tyranny with poetic speech, and free slaves with song.

He has poured out His Spirit upon you artists to join with His Son in again making something new.  


 

Article Written by Tyson Morlet | Worship Pastor at Shoreline Church, Austin, TX. Father of two girls and husband of 8 years, Tyson's mission is to see the Church (global and local) worship God in spirit and truth. 

Comment

Comment

15 Totally Local Austin Things to Do With Your Small Group

15-things-to-do-with-your-small-group.png

Who said finding stuff to do is difficult?! We have a whole list for you, full of creative, unconventional ways to hang with your group. 

  1. Plan a day trip. Fredicksberg anyone

  2. Rent kayaks on Town Lake. $20 for a day of fun? I'm in!

  3. Bike, run, rollerblade, skateboard together at Zilker or just in your neighborhood. 

  4. Movie Series night?! Lord of the Rings, Father of the Bride, or if you're really up for it, Harry Potter.

  5. Thrift store shopping

  6. Do a weekly food tour. Michi Ramen, Food trucks, Forthright, Homeslice, just some of our faves.

  7. Grocery shopping. It's gotta happen, why not make it a group thing :)

  8. Head to the Children's hospital dressed up with some silly music! (Call ahead first)

  9. Volunteer at Shoreline East with Thomas Wright.

  10. Grab dessert at Copper. Or Amy's. Or a Bj's pizookie

  11. Find an elderly woman in the church who needs yard work or little house projects done. 

  12. Pinterest Party. Find a DIY everyone might enjoy and make an afternoon of it.

  13. Pitch in and sent a box of Tiff Treats to someone!

  14. Local Summer Concerts

  15. When all else fails, everyone loves bowling.

Bonus: Find a local record shop and find your favorite albums from high school ;)

Whatever you do, however you do it, do it together, have fun, and give God glory.

Comment

Comment

Thanksgiving Therapy

Thanksgiving is that weirdly beautiful time of year when everyone takes a second to remember what they’re thankful for. That’s the beautiful part. The weird part is when we all chuckle to each other, “Why don’t we do this every day?!” 

And then it becomes our New Year’s Resolution to be more thankful. And then life happens. 

Anybody? (Insert hand raising emoji) 

Being thankful is one of God’s natural therapies to the stress of life. 

King David is famous for starting out his musings with the lowest groans of pain or suffering, lament or disgust and then wildly turning them into a song of praise and thanksgiving. 

It’s like the human part of him acknowledges the (crap emoji) of life, but then allows the Spirit part of him to take over. 

Have mercy on me and be gracious to me, O Lord;
See how I am afflicted by those who hate me,
You who lift me up from the gates of death, 
That I may tell aloud all Your praises,
That in the gates of the daughter of Zion (Jerusalem)
I may rejoice in Your salvation and Your help.

(Psalm 9:13-14)

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me? 
How long must I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart day after day?
How long will my enemy exalt himself and triumph over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Give light (life) to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.
But I have trusted and relied on and been confident in Your lovingkindness and faithfulness;
My heart shall rejoice and delight in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

(Psalm 13)

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again--my Savior and my God!

(Psalm 43:5)

King David must have been such an interesting person to be around. So conflicted, yet so free. So toiled, yet so surrendered. So intensely focused on his reality, yet even more aware of what was to come. 

There’s so much we can learn about ourselves through this man. But even more so, there’s so much we can know about God through him. 

God is patient in our weakness. 

God is long-suffering in our confliction.

God is present in our storms.

God is active in our battles.

God is rest in the midst of our strife.

God is ever loving at our worst. 

God is ever loving at our best. 

God doesn’t move, when our world does. 

I see why David wrote so often about thanksgiving. It wasn’t a once a year thing for him; it was every single day. 

It’s therapy. It’s necessary. It’s life giving and sustaining. 

I’m ready for a little more therapy in my life, how about you? 


Challenge:

Grab a piece of paper, set a 10 minute timer, and write as many things as you can that remind you what you're thankful.

You might be surprised at your ending list. 

Comment

Unity is NOT Uniformity

Comment

Unity is NOT Uniformity

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." - Mahatma Gandhi

Or as Jesus put it, "Father,...I pray...that they may be one, so that the world may believe that You have sent me." (John 17:11-23)

Unity in heart, mind, soul and mission is our goal. But we want to be super clear that "unity" is not the same as "uniformity." 

UNITY : the state of being united or joined as a whole

UNIFORMITY : the quality or state of being, remaining the same in all cases and at all times

Being the same person with the same talents, same characteristics, same ways of thinking, same passions and gifting accomplishes a very small piece of the mission Jesus gave us. 

The distinctive between unity and uniformity, according to the quote above is "unquenchable faith in their mission."

The distinctive according to Jesus is, "so that the world may believe that You have sent me." (John 17:21)

We have a mission. We have an ultimate leader we are all following: Jesus Christ. He did the hard work of determining the end goal we, as Christians, are aiming for: Love God and Love Others.  

In alignment with that mission (which is reassessed and adjusted all the time) are the methods; the HOW of what we do. But Jesus already gave us the WHY. That is unalterable. 

"I have personally come to believe that unity does not have to require uniformity, and I believe that there must be such a thing as healthy diversity in human society and in the Christian world church. I see the world church as the gathering together of a great symphony orchestra where we don't make every new person coming in play a violin in order to fit in with the rest. We invite the people to come in to play the same score—the Word of God—but to play their own instruments, and in this way there will issue forth a heavenly sound that will grow in the splendor and glory of God as each new instrument is added." - Ralph Winter

The other side of this coin is that we are fighting for diversity with the same tenacity we are fighting for unity. 

We are so thankful to have a team, a family, a clan, that brings such an excellent and wide variety of instruments (literally ;) to the orchestra of Shoreline Music. 

Shoreline Music exists to unveil God's love by creative atmosphere of worship for the local church. 

And we're so honored we get to do it with you. ~


MORE VERSES ON UNITY

Col. 3:13-14
1 Peter 3:8
John 13:35
Romans 15:5

Phil. 2:2
1 Cor. 1:10-11
Rom. 15:5
2 Cor. 13:11

Comment