Viewing entries tagged
How to

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

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

Comment

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

Comment