Archive for the 'Worship' Category

Books / Readings, Missional, Spiritual Formation, Worship

Common Prayer

This past Spring, I attended the Church of the Brethren (CoB) church planter’s gathering at Bethany Theological Seminary. It was my first CoB event in almost 3 years. It was good to reconnect with some of the relationships I cultivated during my tenure with the Church of the Brethren General Board.

One of my big take-away’s from the conference was buying the book, Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro (Zondervan Press, 2010). I have been mostly using it for my daily devotions since then. Each day has a liturgy that is like a mini Sunday worship service. For someone who enjoys the contemporary praise and worship format, I find it surprising that I enjoy this book so much!

Today, I read a prayer from the book that really touches my heart. May it bless your’s, as well.
Lord God, help us to live out your gospel in the world. We pray for those who do not know your love, tha they would be wooed by your goodness and seduced by your beauty. Form us into a family that runs deeper than biology or nationality or ethnicity, a family that is born again in you. May we be creators of holy mischief and agitators of comfort. . . people who do not accept the world as it is but insist on its becoming what you want it to be. Let us groan as in the pains of childbirth for your kingdome to come on earth as it is in heaven. Help us to be midwives of that kingdom. Amen. (p. 409)

Blessings to you!

Community, Worship


The other week I was attending the Church of the Brethren Church Planting conference at Bethany Seminary in Richmond, IN. I got the pleasure of hanging out with some friends who I don’t get to see very often. One of these friends lives and ministers in Seattle, WA. Turns out he was doing a workshop the same time that I was doing mine, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to be at his. But he gave me the handout, which was a tour of the churches and ministries happening in Seattle.

One of the ministry he highlighted was Church of the Beloved and he mentioned that they had some free music on their site, so I went and downloaded the music. (You can do that here…

One song is called Peace and as I listened to it, I realized just how much our world, our families, our denominations, and our churches need this type of peace. Read the lyrics and pray that PEACE may start with you (through your relationship with Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit)

Broken conversations, broken people, we’re broken Lord.
Terrified illusions, seeking comfort, we’re seeking more.
We need each other more than we need to agree.
Father, Son, Spirit bless us with your love,
with your grace and peace.

Let there be peace.
Let there be peace.
Let there be peace.

Let us see and not destroy. Let us listen. Let us listen.
Let us suspend judgement for the sake of love, for the sake of love.
We need each other more than we need to agree.
Father, Son, Spirit bless us with your love,
with your grace and peace.

Let there be love. (among us)
Let there be love. (among us)
Let there be love.

Easter, Missional, Worship

Easter is coming!

Before we know it, Holy Week, with all its activities will be upon us. It feels strange to me that it’s occurring so late this year. How are you preparing for it? Are you planning something traditional or non-traditional to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection? Last year, I went to a sunrise service in Kona, Hawaii. At one point, as a part of the service, we were all surprised as a helicopter flew over and dropped thousands of plumeria blossoms upon the worshipers. Not only was it a beautiful sight, but it also engaged the sense of touch and smell. Plumeria have a wonderful fragrance!

Last year, George Barna wrote an article about people’s understanding of Easter. His main point is that people understand Easter more as a religious holiday, but don’t know about its Christian meaning. You might find it to be helpful reading in your preparation.

How many of your members/participants are active in inviting others to your Easter service? 75%? 64%? 50%? According to Barna’s report, only 31% are active in inviting a non-church going person to Easter worship.

To read the article, click here.

Change!?!, Community, Worship

I HATE Altar Calls….

I have long hated altar calls… since a boy in growing up in church… they seem so manipulative. And frankly, I don’t think they work anymore these days. In fact, let me say that stronger… they DON’T work!

Here’s why I say that so strongly… three weeks ago on Feb 22, I offered an altar call in both of our worship gatherings… NO response. None… Nada… Zip! Then the very next Sunday – March 1, I introduced a response card in each bulletin. I got 7 responses that day from people wanting to commit their lives to Christ, be baptized, and/or join the church. The very next week, I got 3 responses.

Go figure!

I think the day of the altar call in USAmerica is over!


Media for Worship, Worship

Free `Using Video in Worship’ Resource

There’s a free resource available through the Building Church Leaders website. Since many of you are either using video projection in worship, or are considering it, this resource might be helpful. The following describes the resource:

This tool will help you understand and establish values and policies for using images and video in your worship services. You’ll also learn where to get projection software, and how to select and use the right equipment to make your video projection the most effective for your congregation.

This Training Pack contains all of the following:

Values and Policies for Screen Use
An example of how one church drew up guidelines for video screens in worship.

Using Still Images
Think about these four major categories when deciding what goes on the screen.

How to Make Great Eye Candy
Simple, colorful graphics help create an attractive principal image of worship.

Church Projection Software
A wide selection of programs gives your church alternatives to PowerPoint

The Screen is Like …
Consider how the video screen fits with existing elements of your sanctuary.

Select the Right Screen
Factor in church size, screen uses, and surface material to get the big picture.

Pass the Screen Test
What you project on is as important as how you project it.

Projecting an Image

Don’t shortcut the evaluation process when choosing a new video projector.

Here’s the link to download it: Building Church Leaders.

Let me know if this is helpful!


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