Practical

You Are One of “Those” People.

Success is not a matter of Luck.

Are you ready to make a positive choice what you want? Are you finished with hoping and relying on luck? Let me know what you’re going to do.

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Gary’s Rules

Several years ago we started watching NCIS. It used to be a great show about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service before it got political. The characters are great and the story’s were great. I really liked all the characters but I loved Gibbs.

Gibbs is the leader of the team and is a seemingly heartless pragmatist. Until you get to know him. You find out quickly that he has a huge heart and lots of baggage. But is very good at his job and a great leader. Someone I would like to emulate in some ways, in others not so much. One of the mainstay of the show is Gibbs rules. He doesn’t write them down. He feels it’s his job to teach the rules and he expects everyone on the team to know them.

I started thinking. “what are my rules?” so I started a list and here they are, 30 of Gary’s rules:

  1. Always default to relationship
  2. Always assume the best in people
  3. Don’t make arbitrary rules
  4. Always give your people a “why”; or they will come up with their own and they will be wrong
  5. Always give honor and respect; not always obedience
  6. Never judge motives, only fruit
  7. What you allow you promote
  8. What you reward you get more of
  9. Unity trumps disunity
  10. Continually cast vision
  11. Email is the lowest form of communication; texts are the next lowest
  12. Vision that creates opportunity for others; will never lack the involvement of others
  13. Sometimes your’re wrong; when you’re wrong apologize, it’s a sign of strength.
  14. Direction comes before correction
  15. Always over communicate
  16. Don’t give too much attention to your biggest fans or your biggest critics
  17. If you’re going to get into trouble anyway; get into trouble doing the right thing.
  18. Be predictable; your team should always know how you will react
  19. Training too close to the decision making process looks like lobbying.
  20. Ignore the squeaky wheel
  21. Ignore your weaknesses; hire or delegate to your weakness
  22. The best time to remove a team member is before they’re on the team.
  23. Always reward faithfulness over giftedness.
  24. Never confuse familiarity with understanding
  25. Focus on building big people not big organizations
  26. Nothing grows without conflict
  27. Consensus is the end of leadership
  28. Be very careful when playing the “God” card
  29. Take responsibility not blame
  30. Always give credit, take blame

These are not all original. I’ve stolen most of them and have forgotten mostly where they came from so if you know the origin feel free to give credit in the comments.

I plan to do a series of blog posts expounding on these rules someday. Stay tuned.

What do you think?
What would you add?

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What is God’s highest priority on the earth?

According to scripture;
What is God’s highest priority on the earth?

On February 5th & 6th I have the privilege of addressing worship leaders at the Continuous Worship Conference at Maranatha Bible Camp. I have a premise that will be the basis for the entire weekend and you can help my expressing what you think the Bible says is God’s highest priority on the earth.

It’s only one question. Please click through and answer the question.

God’s highest priority is….

Feel free to comment below as well. Thanks again.

Don’t forget to check out the conference.

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Walk In Your Gifts

“We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are”
Anais Nin

Are you ever frustrated because people don’t behave in a certain way? Do you ever get angry because someone didn’t respond the way you would have?

The right way.

We tend to be a self-centered bunch. I don’t mean selfish I mean self-centered. It’s something we have to constantly stay vigilant about. We are all uniquely made by God with specific gifts, talents, and bents. This is how a community is built. This is how a church is built. We all bring something unique and valuable to the community.

We must constantly be on guard against expecting others to behave in a certain way or respond to things the way we would.

This morning I was looking through my Strengths Finder results and realized I have put expectations on people based on my personality and my priorities. I haven’t been fair.

I’m reminded of a song by the band DOWNHERE called “The Problem”

Today I repent of my judgmental spirit and my expectations on people that have been unreasonable. I will walk in my gifts, not someone else’s, and I will not expect others to walk in mine.

Will you join me?

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The Sheep Are Not The Problem

Before I get into the purpose of this post I need to clarify a few things.

First of all life for me the past year has been very busy. Learning a new job that requires all of me for at least 45 hours a week leaves me with no bandwidth at all to maintain this site or any of my social media the way I would like so I have been posting articles written by others that I think are interesting. Also I’m sorry for not responding to every comment I wish I could.

The primary purpose of these posts are to start a conversation.

Recently I posted an article entitled “Who Will Lead Through The Church Disaster” by Randy Bohlender. Over the weekend I posted “Are We Headed For A Crash? Reflections On The Current State of Evangelical Worship” and “Why They Don’t Sing On Sunday Anymore“. I’ve also got coming up in my buffer app “Why Men Have Stopped Singing In Church

This morning I was looking through my Facebook news feed and a friend posted something to the effect of “Stop posting negative things about the way we worship”. I’m not assuming he is responding to me specifically because there does seem to be a lot of articles about what is wrong with worship.  Today I got comments on “Why They Don’t Sing On Sunday Anymore” and while looking through my news feed for something else I found “What Is The Real Problem With Todays Evangelical Worship

Looks like I’ve stumbled into a conversation.

Here are my thoughts.

Since 1982 I’ve been in this arena. Reading and searching for wisdom from all kinds of people. When I first started there was very little being written on contemporary worship. Now everywhere I look someone has an opinion on it. Some good; much of it not so good. I’m also a part of several online worship communities from communities like Worship The Rock to groups within LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. Frankly I’m saddened by the bulk of the questions and answers being posted.

One post asked the question “What do I do with people who complain the songs are too high when they don’t know how to sing?”. Others are talking about “At what point do I have enough musicians on my team?”, or “Our worship team is full how do I tell people no”. I even saw a post by someone who I highly respect. A staff worship pastor, songwriter, teacher, and mentor say. “As I get older I want to be purposeful about raising up the next generation”. I’ve commented on this here so I won’t go over it again. These are just a few of the many threads that break my heart.

Every problem is a leadership problem.

I’m not saying every problem is caused by leadership but I am saying if your people are distracted, not passionate, or don’t understand what you’re doing its your job to lead them and lead them with a pastor’s heart.

I found “Misplacing Charisma: Where Contemporary Worship Lost Its Way” on a Methodist website that is spot on.

Here is the money quote:

What’s missing? The answer is found in looking at what happened when “praise and worship” was adopted by mainline denominations. During the 1990’s many mainline congregations began to import the songs, sounds, and some of the sights (like hand raising and clapping) of the praise and worship style. In many cases, what got lost was the robust pneumatology behind this approach to worship. In other words, many mainline churches brought the form, but didn’t bring the theology of praise and worship into their congregations.

I hope this is not your problem. I hope you understand your role as a prophet, pastor, teacher, and theologian when you stand in front of your congregation. If not get this book.

May I also suggest a few practical solutions.

  1. Have the correct EQ.
  2. Have the correct volume. Sometimes its necessary for people to not hear themselves other times its necessary that they do. It depends on the size of the group.
  3. Have songs in the correct keys. If you’re doing everything in the keys of B and C I wonder if your leading worship.
  4. Leave the lights up so we can see people’s faces and lead them in worship.
  5. Keep your eyes open and connect with people.
  6. Pick songs that are congregational. If every song in your set list is from KLOVE or have octave jumps in them I wonder if your leading worship.

 

Bottom line, stop blaming the congregation for not worshiping. It’s up to us to lead them and teach them. Bring them lovingly into the presence of God. Meet them where they are and take them someplace.

Maybe the reason there are so many articles about what’s wrong with worship is because something is wrong with worship. 10 years ago there was lots of criticism of contemporary worship that was based on style not substance but when the congregation stops participating its time for us to start asking why.

Let the conversation continue.

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Worship Culture

This weekend I had the privilege of attending Peak Life Churches “Worship Culture Weekend”.

It was a weekend meant to define what the worship culture at Peak Life Church would be.

Culture is defined this way:

To till, to plow, to guard. Culture is the sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguish one group of people from another; a set of traits that have been plowed into a groups way of life.

What culture are you plowing?

If you don’t define it and guard it. Your culture will become something you probably don’t want.

It is essential that you cast vision at every meeting and every practice. You must establish a foundation and then continually build and repair as you grow. Those who were there in the beginning will forget and new people will not pick it up by osmosis.

Culture must be plowed and guarded.

Let’s partner together to lay a solid foundation you can build on. Worship team retreats are a great way to get everyone on the same page.

Contact me here to talk about the possibilities for your team. You can preview some of the teaching here.

I look forward to helping you build what God has entrusted to you in your context.

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Always Assume The Best Of People

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Post-Election Post

If you know me, you know I have many thoughts and many opinions about politics and about the election outcome specifically. I will however keep them to myself.

4 years ago I was very vocal and very engaged on social media and on this blog and I fear it accomplished nothing but animosity. These spaces are too small to contextualize and communicate in a way that reflects my heart. So I made a decision. The only things I posted relating to politics, save maybe one or two, have been related to how our republic works and the big picture ideas I hoped would inform those who stumble across what I have to say. Along with that I decided to put all of my energy into building that which is dear to the heart of God.

God is passionate about his prize creation. God created man in His image and desires and pursues relationship with us relentlessly. I also believe God’s chosen vehicle to reach the lost in these last days is the local church. So Kim and I have made a decision to focus our energy there.

Earlier this year we established a ministry under the covering of Life in Christ Church in Limon CO we are calling, for now, Trobee Ministry Partners. Our heart is to partner with those who build the local church. We feel like we have a calling like Nehemiah to stand beside and encourage pastors and leaders of smaller churches. Sometimes leading a church can be the loneliest place on earth and we want to come alongside leaders and walk with them.

We hope to do that in several ways. I will continue to do worship team retreats focusing on helping people understand their role in the church is to be a ministry of helps. We have a vision to come to smaller churches and facilitate a sabbatical for their pastor while teaching the congregation about rest and stewardship, among other things, while the pastor is being refreshed.

Our vision is still developing but we are very excited about what God is doing in the local church and excited for opportunities to build new relationships with leaders.

If you would like to know more or ask how we can partner with your church give us a shout.

As always would love to hear your thoughts.

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The Power of a Thank You

Proverbs 3:27 says:
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.

I served for 10 years in the Nebraska National Guard and was honorably discharged as a platoon sargent. It was a great experience where I learned invaluable lessons about many things.

I have never been deployed, never served outside the continental United States and have no idea what it feels like to fear for my life.

When Veterans Day comes around or when I happen to be in a place where Veterans are honored I never stand. Not for any real reason. I guess mostly because I don’t think of myself as a Veteran. My father in law who was in the Battle of The Bulge and is a real hero are the people I think of as veterans.

Stick with me here.

About 5 years ago on Veterans Day I got a text message from someone I worked with that said. Thank you for your service to our country. I was touched very deeply that someone thought of me and took the time to reach out and say Thank You in the simplest way.

I’m not asking you to text me next Vets Day. What I’m saying is if you know someone serving faithfully or someone who deserves a thank you would you give them one today.

It will make their day and yours.

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What Happened?!?

Never in my lifetime did I believe I would see the church in such a state. I’m talking about the capital “C” church here. Certainly there are churches making a huge impact on people’s lives for the Kingdom and the cause of Christ but the universal church is struggling at best.

My heart is breaking for the bride of Christ. We don’t have to look far to see the church today in serious trouble. We’re increasingly viewed as irrelevant and out of touch. The majority of Americans view the church as nothing more than a social organization that does some good things, maybe, but really has no relevance in today’s world.

How did a group of people 2000 years ago without advanced degrees and none of the resources we have today impact the entire known world for the cause of Christ? And why are we viewed as irrelevant when we are equipped with seminaries, mass media, marketing, and vast resources. Why are we viewed as a nice subculture by most and downright evil by some.

I came across two articles one declaring “More Americans Say They Have No Religion”, and another with the headline “The Coming Evangelical Collapse”.

What has changed? Where have we gone wrong? What must we do to become again the Church Jesus planted?

I have written a book called “A Broken House”. It has been sitting in my computer for almost 3 years and I would like to walk through it with you over the next little bit. I would love to discuss it with you and get your feedback before it goes to print.

Please comment and invite anyone who you think would add to the conversation.

Also I will release my E.P. “I Will Sing” on October 16th. The next few weeks will be a mixture of this conversation and song stories from the E.P. I can’t wait for you to hear it!  You can listen to the first cut here.
 
 

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