Month: April 2009

10 Keys for effective worship leaders (4)

1. Submission to the Leader

2. A Lifestyle of Prayer

3. Preparation

Todays Key:

4. A Lifestyle of Obedience

What I’m talking about is obedience to God and His word.

In John 14:15 Jesus says if you love me you will keep my commandments. It’s a comment about fruit similar to saying if your healthy you will have a temperature of 98.6 degrees. John 14:15 is talking about obeying the the Word. those things that are known, written down.

In John 15:14 Jesus says you are my friends if you do whatever I command you. He is referring to hearing His voice. Do what I tell you to do.

If we are going to be effective in ministry of any kind we must have a lifestyle of obedience both to His Word and to His voice.

Blessings,

Number five is here.

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Posted by Gary in Intimacy W/God, Practical, Worship, 0 comments

10 Keys for effective worship leaders (3)

1. Submission to the Leader

2. Lifestyle of Prayer

Todays key:

3. Preparation

In almost 25 years of leading worship the complaint I hear most is “I hate it when I come to rehearsal and the leader isn’t ready!”.

What they are talking about is being prepared administratively which is huge but not the only preparation I’m talking about.

First administrative.

When our team arrives at rehearsal everything shoul be ready to go. Charts prepared, recordings available, what ever you need to rehearse. We should have already worked through the set and know where were going. What the transitions are who is starting each song, what happens in the song etc. etc.

Second spiritual.

When I started in sales I was told:

Sales is 90% people skills and 10% product knowledge and you have to know 100% of the 10%

The same is true with spiritual preparation It’s 90% spiritual and 10% practical and you have to know 100% of the 10%. Make sure you are prayed up, that you have heard from God about what He wants to do in the service. Pray for your team, the music, the transitions, the scripture, what you should say. Pray for the congregation, the pastor, the MC, MD, don’t leave anything to chance.

If you only have time to do one of these two things prepare spiritually but don’t make it a habit of only leaving time for number two.

Blessings,

Number four is here.

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Posted by Gary in Practical, Worship, 0 comments

I’m through with Christianity

In the last several weeks there have been several articles about America the post-christian nation. It could mean a lot of things and I wonder if this article doesn’t represent what those who say they have no religion are feeling. They are still believers but not wanting to be called “Christian” or identified with a denomination. Maybe they are like Geoff Surratt who posted this:

You see, I am one of the many Americans who would no longer describe themselves as a professing Christian. I cannot in good faith associate any more with what the label Christian has come to represent in America. Christianity is now a set of political views, a way to distinguish different groups of people (Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus), a movement to impose a certain view of morality on others regardless the condition of their hearts.

via Inner Revolution: I’m through with Christianity.

We must return to our foundations. We must be relevant and current but true to the foundational principles.

I’m not talking about doctrinal issues. I’m talking about equipping the saints and releasing them into the fullness of their calling.

We must stand for righteousness but it’s not enough to have an opinion on an issue we must steward God’s people. The church must be a place where God’s people can thrive and serve in the fullness of their calling not just come and listen to those who are paid to preach, teach, or sing.

Do you agree with Geoff?

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Posted by Gary in Faith, 3 comments

10 Keys for effective worship leaders (2)

The first key was Submission to the Leader today’s key is:

2. Living a lifestyle of prayer

In December of 2006 I posted The Prayer Life of a Worshiper so I won’t re-post those thoughts here please have a look at them.

The bottom line is we serve a God who is always communicating. In many ways, not just words, and we must learn to receive what He is saying. It’s critical that we hear and know His voice so well we can, and do, respond to it.

If we have a lifestyle of walking in constant communication, allowing God to speak and direct our steps, we are more able to lead His people on Sunday morning with confidence and humility.

I’m not talking about an hour or whatever each day, although if you practice this you may do that, I’m talking about a lifestyle of walking with Him.

Blessings,

Number three is here.

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10 Keys for effective worship leaders (1)

I like checklists.

Looking for lists can be a bad thing. People were always asking Jesus “what must we do?” looking for the list of things to check off so they would be “ok” with God.

However lists can provide an effective way to organize our thoughts and to audit our performance. Over the next 10 days we will look at some keys in no particular order. Practical and Spiritual items will be interspersed.

1. Submission to the leader

People ask all the time; “when is it ok to not submit to the leader in the service?”.

The answer is never. “but what if they’re not hearing the Holy Spirit?”

The leader, whether the Sr. Pastor or the delegated M.C., for the morning will be accountable to God for how they led. You are accountable for how you served and submitted. Chapters 11-14 of Romans talks about order in the church. God cares about order. Psalm 133 says where there is unity God commands a blessing.

This applies outside of the service as well. If the Sr. Pastor wants a particular song and you feel like it doesn’t fit with what “God told you” do what the Sr. Pastor asks (with a joyful heart). God will bless you for keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3

I look forward to your comments and additions to the list.

Number Two is here.

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Update to Frontier School of the Bible

In this political environment with our freedoms attacked daily and politicians who go about implementing their agenda through tricks bypassing public debate and the will of the people. I assumed their was a dark purpose regarding the new legislation in Wyoming.

Mr Miles has asked that people not call or email the legislature rather to pray. His update is posted below. I appreciate Mr Miles taking the high road and I hope I have not damaged the cause.

Dear Christian Friends,

The following is an update on our situation with the State of Wyoming :

Yesterday, we sent an email to every member of the state legislature. Most of them are not aware of how the new state statutes have affected Frontier School of the Bible. Thus far, there has been a good response. The Economic Development Committee got involved and are very concerned about this situation. We are seeking to schedule a meeting at Frontier with the Department of Education, the Economic Development Committee, our local legislators, and the LaGrange City Council. Also, we asked for an extension to the April 15th deadline.
I spoke with Don Landis, who is the president of Jackson Hole Bible College , and learned that he was unaware of these new statutes. They affect this school as well.
Please pray that we can schedule this meeting and for a solution to this problem to come about in a non-confrontational way. I believe this can happen. For now, I think it is best if supportive individuals do not make calls or send emails to the State of Wyoming . I think it would be fine to do so if you have friends or contacts in the Wyoming state government.
There is no question that prayer is the best approach.

Thank you for your prayers and encouraging emails. I will continue to give updates.

Yours In Christ,
Nelson Miles

I sincerely apologize for my rash reaction.

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Posted by Gary in Civics, 1 comment

Does Wyoming really want to establish a state religion?

If the Wyoming state government were pressing this issue on a k-12 school it would be egregious enough however; This is a Post Secondary School which people can choose to attend or not based on how they want to be trained.

Below is a letter to constituents from Nelson Miles, President of Frontier School of the Bible

Dear Friend,

I am writing to you in regard to a situation facing Frontier School of the Bible – a situation that could shut down our school in the state of Wyoming .
In 2006, the legislature was seeking to deal with diploma mills. New legislation not only addressed this issue, but also included religious schools and took away religious exemptions, which protected us from state control. We were not aware of this and had no notification. The statute requires private post-secondary schools to become accredited or become licensed by the state. Last fall, the Department of Education did notify us that we were in violation of the law. I explained to them that we were unaware of the statute and thought we were under a religious exemption. Also, I explained the nature of our school and asked them to reconsider an exemption. They told me they would consider my request. Last Friday, I received a letter from the Wyoming Department of Education stating that our request was denied and we had until April 15 to start the process of accreditation or state licensing.
Bringing our school into compliance with the new state statute in regard to accreditation would create the following problems:

(1) It is very costly. As a faith-based institution, we do not have the financial resources to acquire and keep the accreditation.

(2) It would change the purpose and curriculum of the school.

(3) It would eliminate well-qualified instructors who do not have the higher degrees. We utilize experienced pastors and missionaries to train for those fields of ministry. Some have the higher degrees and some do not.
The other option is state licensing. This would involve having the State of Wyoming evaluate our Bible and ministry classes, instructors, and facilities to see if they want to grant us a license. Any changes to our curriculum would need to be approved by the Department of Education. Also, it appears that as a religious school we could not discriminate against religious beliefs and we would not be able to hold instructors or students to our doctrinal stand. This appears to be a clear violation of freedom of religion and one step away from state licensed churches. The implications of this situation could impact churches and Christian organizations all across our country.
We are asking Christians to fervently pray about this situation. We are praying that, if it is God’s will, legal action will not be needed. The Rutherford Institute and the ACLJ are looking at our situation.

Thank you for your prayers.
In Him,
Nelson Miles

President, Frontier School of the Bible

Mr Miles is only asking for prayer. We need to do more.  If you live in Wyoming call and write your state legislature and ask them why they want to establish a state religion.

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

We must take a stand here.

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Posted by Gary in Civics, 4 comments

Abundantly Blessed

I truly love living in Colorado Springs.

The winters are usually mild and the summers are perfect. Not much for water sports but a small price to pay. The first day of spring was 15 days ago, last week was spring break, and we have had one storm after another. It is currently 30 degrees outside with sleet and a stiff wind. I hope my trees make it through.

As I sit here this morning looking out the windows drinking coffee. I am considering how blessed I am. God has allowed me to pursue what I love while partnering with the two best pastors I could have hoped for. My beautiful wife is flourishing in her job and I couldn’t be more proud of my two boys. They are smart, talented, and well mannered. It’s been such a blessing to have them play for worship with me.

Ephesians Chapters 1 & 2 talk of God’s great love for us and how He had planned from the very beginning to adopt us as sons,

Side Note:

Sons is not a statement of gender. First born sons are the inheritors and that is why the Bible calls us all sons.

give us an inheritance and in the age to come can point to us as an example of His grace and goodness. Just stop and consider this for a minute.

There are some things you just have to settle. The most important one is “God is a good God”. When you read something you don’t understand start with the premise “God is a good God”. When something happens either to you or someone else start with the premise “God is a good God”. When someone is taken from you understand God did not need someone else in His choir. He is good and has good things for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 and Jeremiah 29:11.

Enjoy your Saturday and spend the day remembering how much you are blessed, loved, and set apart for a great purpose.

Blessings,

Gary

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Posted by Gary in Faith, Intimacy W/God, Personal, 0 comments