Christian Living, Church Life, Ministry

How Fresh is the “New” You Just Discovered?

Over the past few weeks I have seen more on social media than I did most of the last 6 months. I seem to be susceptible to the “rabbit hole” concept of scrolling further down the updates than usual.

Today I came across a post from a pastor sharing his new favorite worship song. I’m familiar with the song and had a feeling it wasn’t quite as new as the post advertised. So I went back to check it’s release date. Turns out, I wasn’t wrong. The song was originally released in January 2014. That’s five years ago.

I will concede that five years is not a long time in the worship music industry. It seems too many songs come from so many corners of the spectrum from well-known to new on the block to one-hit wonders.

It did make me wonder, though. When we find something new, how fresh is it? And if it isn’t that fresh, though it is new to us, what do we miss when we latch onto it?

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courtesy of StockSnap.io; by Allef Vinicius
Church Life, Ministry

Seven Tips for When Your Worship Leader Teaches a New Song

A recent post by a respected church leader described several trends in the church that give him hope. One of these was the settling down of the “worship wars”, the clash within churches over worship styles. As he says, “We have wasted far too much time and resources insisting on our preferences rather than engaging in true worship”.

While I hope this is true on a larger scale, I still see many churches in worship lockdown. Either the battle hasn’t been fought yet, or it is just beginning.

One of the biggest issues is knowing what to do when a worship leader teaches a new song to the congregation. When you hear your music or worship leader leader say the words, “We have a new song for you today,” let these Seven Tips help you on the path of discovery.

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Bible, Ministry

Which Messiah are You Looking for?

Jesus made a lot claims during His life. Son of God. Forgiver of sins. Son of David. Lord of the Sabbath. The “I AM”. When Jesus asked what the Disciples thought of Him, Peter called Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-16).

Messiah literally means “anointed one”. It is, in part, a reference to the anointing of a new king. It is a perfect match for the One destined to ascend the everlasting throne of David, to rule over Israel, every nation, and all of creation.

When Jesus was received like a king to Jerusalem, everything the people hope for falls into the picture of Messiah. The title drew a very distinct picture in their minds. it should do the same for us. But are we looking for the right Messiah?

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Ministry

Six Tips to Remember Before You Speak the Hard Truth

Life isn’t perfect and rosy. It’d be nice, but it’s alright to be honest. Stuff happens. Sometimes there are a lot of pieces to pick up and put back together, or to scrap in favor of something new.

But fixing troubles isn’t easy, either. It gets worse depending upon the number of people involved in the situation, and how long the trouble has gone on. Eventually someone has to step up and tell the hard truth, to tell it like it is so the group can move on to what is possible.

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Ministry

It’s Okay to be a “Sensitive” Leader

Leadership is a responsibility. Some people desire a place in leadership so they can have a say or be the one calling the shots. They don’t want to be told to clean the bathroom, they want to be the one doing the telling. Others are thrust into leadership without asking for it. There are few who really understand all there is to know about leadership.

The very first thing to consider, for everyone who aspires to lead, is the issue of responsibility. John Maxwell often says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Scripture warns those who want to be teachers about their higher level of responsibility. Surely God considers the work of a leader to hold as much weight, if not more. Old Testament prophets often delivered God’s judgment on leadership for their failures that had destructive consequences on the people.

If our individual assemblies were meant to coast their way downhill, ending up wherever whenever, God would not have ordained leaders or provided the spiritual gift of leadership. The fact God places people in authority means that authority is as special to Him as those being looked after. It is no small thing.

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Christian Living, Ministry

When the Leader Speaks

After a recent meeting with our leadership team, one of them mentioned how he thought we had a good group. He had heard about church board meetings that involved a lot of yelling and screaming and said with confidence that we should not have to worry about that.

Another team member told a couple of stories from his experiences in those meetings, and agreed with the first’s assessment that we currently have a great group. He also mentioned how one of those big boardroom fights led to innocent families being pushed out of the church.

That’s when I gave the same two-cents I usually share in a discussion like this. It’s the pastor’s job to make sure those situations are as close to non-existent as possible. One way to do that is to be a strong leader, willing to put your foot down. Some things just aren’t up for debate. The senior leader, whether it’s a pastor in a church board or the chairman of a business organization, has to be willing to say so.

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