I am excited about a new resource that will be hitting the blog every Thursday in 2018. I am calling it “#ThursdayWorshipThoughts”.
It is hard to believe that I have been leading worship for more than fifteen years! In fact, I was a “Music Director” (though I much preferred the term “Worship Pastor”) at a church for nearly an entire decade. Before that, I spent more than a decade of my life playing secular music and touring around the country playing over 100 shows per year.
It has been a wild ride, and God is not finished with me, yet.
This past year has probably been the most exciting for me, personally. In January 2017, my wife and I became full-time “Musicianaries” (Musical Missionaries) with the Jeff Polen Music Ministry. As a Musicianary, I have had the privilege of leading worship (and teaching) for Dare 2 Share in Seattle, WA, Charlotte, NC, Austin, TX, Washington, D.C., Apple Creek, OH, and Denver, CO. I also had the privilege of leading worship for the D2S Certified Trainer Retreat in Estes Park, CO. I was blessed to lead worship at the Sonlife D•Conference in sunny Orlando, FL. I had the opportunity to play guitar with John Schmid in Shipshewana, IN, and for a week of prison ministry all across the state of Alabama. I led worship alongside of multiple ministries in Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and of course all over Ohio. I even had the incredible privilege of leading worship in Israel. It has been an amazing year!
As much as I enjoy life as a Musicianary (and I certainly do feel called by God to it), there is an undeniable hole in my heart. Something is missing. That something is the ability to speak into the lives of worshipers on a weekly basis.
As a Music Director, I looked forward to Thursday evenings, which was when we would get together as a Worship Team to rehearse for the upcoming Sunday morning church service. This was a high calling, for sure. I never saw my responsibility as merely making preparations for Sunday morning, but rather as an opportunity to grow as a worshiper, and to invest in the worshipers around me. For this purpose, we would always set aside 15 minutes in the middle of the rehearsal to fix our eyes on Jesus and consider how He wanted us to grow as worshipers, as Christians, and as people.
#ThursdayWorshipThoughts is a way for me to continue on this journey. I may not be leading worship at the same church every Sunday as I have in the past, but perhaps this outlet will give me the opportunity to form a “cyber church”, of sorts. Perhaps some specific “congregants” will check back each week to look for new ways to grow. Perhaps “visitors” will stop by just once or twice, and hopefully receive the challenge or encouragement they need for the journey.
Either way, I will be drawing upon years of experience, successes, and failures as I post my #ThursdayWorshipThoughts. Part of my calling as a Musicianary, after all, is to offer training & resources…
Joining me in this epic endeavor is one of my favorite guys in the whole world, Brooke Gehman. Brooke and I met at YWAM Nashville. We did a Discipleship Training School and School Of Ministry Development together. He is an authentic and wonderful man of God, devoted follower of Christ, and an amazing husband and father. He is a gifted Worship Leader, a Potter by trade (check out his website), and an incredible artist.
Brooke will be joining me by offering a fun, artistic representation of the main point of each article. The #ThursdayWorshipThoughts articles are intentionally kept short and to the point. Because of that, I am afraid they may come off as pointED. That is not my intention.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6, ESV)
These articles are not necessarily meant to talk about what we are doing right, but more often to highlight areas of improvement. Criticism is a cheap gift. Everyone has it. Hopefully you will find these articles to be not merely critical, but critically constructive (and instructive)! They are not just fluffy shots of encouragement, but I hope that you find them to be ultimately encouraging.
I had the opportunity to take professional recording classes with the Recording Workshop in 2015, after spending decades of my life dabbling with recording music at home and in professional studios. I didn’t consider myself to be a “novice”, but I was by no means a “pro”, either. During my classes (I graduated from both the CORE and ADVANCED programs), I found 3 basic categories of things that I was learning.
- There were things that I already knew. This category was fun, because I was encouraged to know that I was actually doing something right!
- There were things that I didn’t know. This category hurt a little bit. I had to admit that I was doing things wrong if there was any hope of change, and ultimately of doing things right.
- There were things that I didn’t know I didn’t know. This was the most unexpected category! Though I had been in and around recording studios for more than half of my life, there were so many things that I didn’t know I didn’t know. In fact, I’m not even sure what questions I could have asked in order to accumulate the right information.
My hope with #ThursdayWorshipThoughts is that each article will fit into one of those same 3 basic categories. As a Worship Leader or Worship Team Member, perhaps you will read articles that highlight the fact that you are doing it right! Good job! Or perhaps you will be convicted of areas where you are doing it wrong. That can be helpful, too! And alas! Most likely, you will encounter articles that illuminate ideas you didn’t know you didn’t know. Good! Now you do, and now you can grow!
But the #ThursdayWorshipThoughts are not just for Worship Leaders and Worship Team Members. I hope there will be some great insight here for anyone who happens to be perusing the blog. So here’s to an exciting new year of #ThursdayWorshipThoughts… I hope you enjoy the ride!