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Have We Missed the Mark on the Worship Leaders Calling?

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“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! 


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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.

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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. 

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Dear Worship Leader, It's Not About Us

Dear Worship leader, I too am a worship leader. Actually, scratch that. I’m a redeemed child of God who He has called to lead worship.

I’m also queen of the hot mess express. I’m also a broken person. I’m also a warrior who doesn’t give up. I’m like a human cocktail of feelings and traits and characteristics, a walking contradiction some days.

But today, I’m convicted.

A lot of my life, the Lord has stepped out of the way to let me break and become empty. Every time it has unfolded into a beautiful testimony of drawing nearer to Him. Of Him winning, yet again, my love for Him.

I’ve been thinking and meditating on how God uses sometimes the most broken people to lead worship. But one night, I came to see it’s not just that He calls the broken to lead worship, but He requires those He has calls to lead worship to be broken before Him.

For a while thought, “I’m a messy broken person, here I am broken before you”. I almost cringe now at how wrong I was.

Being a broken person and being broken before Him are two totally different things.

He uses the broken because of grace. But as a worship leader especially, we cannot successfully, I believe, do our assignment without being broken before Him.

As worship leaders, we are called to create atmospheres. To call forth His presence. To lead the congregation into His presence so that the Holy Spirit can do the work that only He can do. And as mere flesh, we cannot bring that forth in pride.

We cannot lead His people where we are not and have not been. Thus, we cannot lead the congregation into His presence if we have prevented our own selves from being there.

Reading through Isaiah 57 and 66, the Lord gives us the direction to enter for this as worship leaders. That He dwells in the high and holy place and also with the one of a contrite and lowly spirit. That the one who He looks to is humble and contrite and trembles at His word. In order to be in His presence, we must be humble taking a step back to hide ourselves behind the cross. We must be contrite, being remorseful and deeply effected by our transgression.

This whole time here I had been caught up basking in the comfort of His grace so flippantly that I’d forgotten the weight of what He called me to do for His kingdom. I confused repentance with a brush off and walked back onto those platforms assuming I was good to go and it was all enough. I didn’t even see the pride or that by ignoring the gravity of my errors when I walked back onto those platforms, I was creating a possible stumbling block between the congregation and His presence.

"The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts."
Isaiah 57:15

Contrite is the key word here for me.
Did God love me and forgiven me in those moments? Absolutely. That never ever changes. Ever.

But by refusing myself to feel the remorse and coming in humility genuinely understanding I’ve done nothing to deserve what He has asked me to do, I prevented myself from being fully in His presence. And while I was there in lala land instead, I was leading these people God trusted me with nowhere.

I was broken, but not broken before Him. I didn’t understand that a contrite spirit isn’t an encouragement, but a beautiful requirement. And I thought, “What have I done…”.

Today I think of the draw towards repentance as a cross to bear for the worship leader.

I don't nail this 100%. I think we're all still growing and learning. This is why grace grows more beautiful the longer you walk with Jesus. Because it never runs out, no matter how much you use. 

If I could encourage you to do anything as a worship leader, just for a second, it would be to discover the gravity of the assignment He's given us and the gravity of its requirements.

As worship leaders, we lead worship. Therefore, personally understanding worship as an offering, and deeply experiencing that an offering, is a sacrifice.

Sacrificing ourselves, our ambitions, our aspirations, because it’s not about us, in even the smallest ways. It’s becoming so broken before Him, encountering His presence, so that our brothers and sisters, whom He loves so deeply, can follow us there.


 

Article Written by Whitley Degollado | Worship Resident

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Spirit Break Out

Original Song by Kim Walker Smith
Led by Jules Morlet

Lyrics

Spirit break out
Break our walls down
Spirit break out
Heaven come down

Our Father, all of heaven roars Your Name
Sing louder, let this place erupt with praise
Can you hear it, the sound of heaven touching earth

Spirit break out
Break our walls down
Spirit break out
Heaven come down


King Jesus, You're the Name we're lifting high
Your glory, shaking up the earth and sky
Revival, we wanna see Your kingdom here

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Dear Worship Leader, Let Love Lead

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love."

Apostle Paul | 1 CORINTHIANS 13 | Amplified Bible

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I Worship Because I HAVE To

I don't worship because I have to.
I worship because I have to. 

My life has been liberated and redirected, refined and redeemed, on so many levels by something outside of myself and my own choices and decisions. Sometimes people ask how I got to where I am in life, with my marriage or as a worship leader, and my only response will ever be this: 

It's Jesus. It's always been Jesus. 

Sure I've read books and studied for nearly a decade on some of these things. I've done counseling and training and sought advice and perspective from both professionals and people I trust. 

But at the end of the day, it's Jesus' life, His word, His example, His intimate relationship with me, that pushes me on day after day. 

Some people say they don't know where they'd be without Him, well I do. And it makes me shudder at the thought. 

That's why I worship. 

It's Jesus. For me, it'll always be Jesus. 


Written by Jules Morlet | @juliannamorlet | juliannamorlet.com

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Good | Female Led Worship Song | Key of G

Female Led | Key of G | Mid-Tempo

GOOD | LYRICS

We are needy, we are broken
Lost in awe of who You are
Life gets messy, we are hurting
But You are there to heal our hearts

Storms may rage around
But we will rest in the truth we've found

You are good
You are good
In the valley low, we trust because we know
You are good
You are good
We will praise Your name and give You everything
For You are good

Jesus Savior, Our Messiah
You came to make our sin to cease
In our weakness, You're made strong
In our storms, You're our peace

We lift our hands, we lift our hands
We lift our hands to You, for You are good
We lift our hearts, we lift our hearts
We lift our hearts to You, for You are good

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Leading Worship is More Than a Weekend Gig

It was a Saturday night and I was spackling on my "stage make up", readying for another weekend of worship leading. (Side note: I love my job.) I had just dusted my eyelids with a soft salmon color from Sephora, and when I opened them to make sure they were even, I felt like I was looking into someone else's eyes. 

They looked tired, weary even, as if they'd been fighting a battle and losing hope.

And they were. Fighting and losing. Or at least that's what it felt like. 

I dabbed on extra concealer, curled my hair, lathered on some Chapstick and called it. There's only so much you can do ya know.

That particular weekend I was sharing before the song Forever Reign. It was new(er) to our congregation at the time and as I reviewed my manuscript for my speaking portion, I couldn't hold back the tears.

It read:

"You are more You are more than my words will ever say, You are Lord, You are Lord, all creation will proclaim, You are here, You are here, in Your presence I'm made whole, You are God, You are God of all else I'm letting go." 

 These words have been true of me time after time and when I came to a place of surrendering control, I began to see God's hand at work in my life. I saw Him for who He was...

I subconsciously worded it from a past tense perspective. As if to say, here's what I learned, now try to learn it too. 

But I haven't learned it. It is not something I've mastered and I wept because I knew someone that weekend needed to know that.

I wanted so bad to separate myself from what I knew my God was telling me to communicate. I wanted to be the identifier, not the identified. 

But I did it anyway.

I changed "came" to "come", "began" to "begin", "saw" to "see" and "He was" to "He is". I told the congregation I was stuck in the midst of this very concept, too deep in to turn back, yet too far away from hope to swim faster.

I was right there with them, whoever them was. It could have been anybody that day, that didn't matter. 

What mattered was that they knew they weren't alone. And the girl who sings about freedom and hope and peace could relate with their bondage and despair and unrest. 

Two months later, at a women's retreat, that someone found me. 

She came to me, with timidity and tears, and said, "When you spoke, a couple months ago about surrendering to God because of who He is to you, you eluded to your miscarriage and I heard it. It was brief but I know you said those words for me. I needed to hear that someone else felt what I was feeling and that they still worshipped God. But mostly, that I was going to be okay. Thank you." 

As a worship leader, you may see a wide array facial expressions and hands in pockets, but you can't see the brokenness that is being mended inside the souls of those faces. 

As a worship leader, you may think you're choosing a song or a verse or a hymn because it fits the right key or it's the newest, coolest thing, but you can't see how it is giving words to the groans in someone's spirit. 

And this can ripple beyond the Sunday morning setting:

As a co-worker, you may be afraid of what your team mates might think of your encouragement, but you don't know how much they need it that day. 

As a neighbor, you never know what a plate of cookies can do for the soul and happiness of a lonely widow(er) or single parent. 

As a parent, you may feel like you are showing grace and love to a brick wall most of your adolescent's existence, but you can't predict what they'll remember when life thrashes them around. 

As a spouse, the negative may be highlighted in your marriage right now, but you can't yet see just how much your unconditional love and purposeful kindness can change even the hardest of hearts. 

Leading worship is more than a weekend gig when you let your church know you are real. 

Being a Christian is more than a weekend gig when you let the world know you are real. 

Ponder for the rest of the week: How can we be real this weekend? 

- - - - - - - - - -

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:3-7


By Jules Morlet | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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