Each year, I appreciate the opportunity to create an opportunity for people to pull away to ponder Christ’s death on our behalf. It is a missing jewel in modern evangelical church life, and any opportunity to reflect is time well spent.

This year’s Good Friday service was focused on contrasting Christ’s innocence and our sin guilt. Hence the name, Innocent.

good friday 2014

The service focuses on the profound reality of the cross where an innocent man paid for the guilt of many. Before the hope of resurrection was the defeat of death. Death that was necessary because of the betrayal, denial, rejection, and sin that are part of the human condition.

The design of the service was very simple and very focused. Continue Reading…

Communion ideas (and its variants) is one of the most frequent search terms that brings people here. Which leads to the 21 Ideas for Doing Communion in a Fresh Way post.

communion blue

Which got me to thinking…

We can do communion in all kinds of creative ways, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it will be fresh, meaningful, or powerful for a congregation.

So, what will? Continue Reading…

wl toolbox

Every so often, I like to share a resource that I have found meaningful and helpful in my role as a worship leader. These are some tools that have been a useful addition in my Worship Leader Toolbox.

Today, I’d like to point you to Jon Nicol [twitter] and WorshipTeamCoach.com.

worshipteamcoach-web

Jon is the real deal. He’s in the trenches, doing what you and I do every week. He’s served in both large and small churches, and is currently in Ohio. His heart is for developing musicians, teams, and leaders, and that is why he does WorshipTeamCoach.com.

WorshipTeamCoach.com is both a resource site and a blog.

First, let’s talk about the blog. Jon blogs regularly on topics relating to worship ministry and leading a service. Some recent posts include:

Jon writes practically, but also with humor, metaphor, and is grounded in biblical truth. Jon writes about team development, worship leading/planning, biblical worship, spiritual formation, musicianship, and what he calls small church/big worship. Jon also offers posts that are devotional in nature that can be used with a worship team. If that was all there was to WorshipTeamCoach.com, it would be well worth the time to visit and subscribe.

But wait, there’s more…
(sorry, no steak knivesContinue Reading…

rooted themeWith a new year comes a new series. We’re starting the year with a series called Rooted in Christ where we’re looking at the foundational beliefs about Jesus that are at the core of our denomination, the Christian & Missionary Alliance.

It’s known as the Fourfold Gospel, and declares that Christ is Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King.  Defined by the C&MA’s founder, A.B. Simpson more than 100 years ago, it’s the heart of what Alliance people believe about Jesus and forms the foundation of all that defines The Alliance movement.

As a church, we want to begin this year reaffirming what we believe about Jesus, as He is the head of the church, and our desire to follow Him faithfully, truthfully, and whole-heartedly.

Here’s what we did together… Continue Reading…

immanuel titleLast Sunday of the year and last Sunday of the Immanuel: What’s in a Name? series. We combined elements of both those realities in this service.

We drew in Christ as the Light of the World as the focus of the service. We also expanded it to recognize that because Christ is the Light of the World, that when we are in Christ and bear the name Christian; we are to shine the light of Christ to the world around us. It was as much about whom Christ is as it was about who we are to be.

We spent time celebrating, remembering, and reflecting together as the people of God.

Here’s what we did together… Continue Reading…

wl toolboxYou’ve heard it said:

  • Worship is a lifestyle.
  • Worship is giving all we are back to God.
  • Worship is (complete the sentence with whatever phrase captures the wholeness of worship).

You’ve probably noticed the by-line of the blog is Worship is more than a Sunday morning thing.

It’s more than a catch phrase; it’s a reality. Worship isn’t just about singing songs together on Sunday morning or having an “experience”, but it is something that should change us, transform us, and be part of us … everyday as we live on mission for and with Christ.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17 (NIV)

The challenge is that while it’s easy to talk about, and even romanticize at times, it can be hard to do. How do we do it? How do we actually move worship beyond Sunday morning? Does it mean we need to be constantly singing or walking around shouting, “Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!”?

Or is there something more? Continue Reading…

immanuel titleLove. A popular topic, especially at Christmas time. After all, the story of God fully showing His deep, everlasting love begins with a baby in a manger on a dark night.

In the birth of Jesus, the fulfillment of the promises, the hope, and the reality of God’s love is seen. But it’s not a love that begin at the birth. It is a love that has existed for all eternity, and will continue to exist. It is a love that beacons us to be a part of the family of God. It is a love that doesn’t just call, but actually created and shows the way. It is a love that will not stop, and a love that is extravagant beyond what any of us can imagine.

It is the love of God. And this week, we celebrated it and were challenged by it.

Here’s what we did together… Continue Reading…

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