15 Great Reasons To Read The Bible Daily

Studies have shown that the single most powerful catalyst of people’s spiritual growth is personal Bible study and reflection. Here are 15 great reasons to spend time reading God’s words daily.

Read your Bible

  • To be rid of anxiety and have peace  (PSALM  119:165)

Those who love Your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. 

  • To set things right when life is out of control (PSALM 19:7-8)

The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right,
bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
giving insight for living.

  • To have direction and know God’s will (PSALM 119:105)

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.

  • To experience healing and deliverance (PSALM 107:20)

He sent out His word and healed them,
 snatching them from the door of death.

  • To grow in the Lord  (I PETER 2:2)

Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.

  • To have strength comfort and hope (PSALM 119:28,50,114)

I weep with sorrow; encourage me by Your word. Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. You are my refuge and my shield; Your word is my source of hope.

  • To shape yourself and your life correctly (PSALM 119:11)

I have hidden Your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against You.

  • To be able to see clearly (PSALM 119:130)

The teaching of Your word gives light,
so even the simple can understand.

  • To know what’s really in your heart (HEBREWS 4:12)

The word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

  • To build faith (ROMANS 10:17)

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

  • To have joy (PSALM 16:11)

You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of Your presence
and the pleasures of living with You forever.

  • To understand God’s power (JOHN 1:3)

God created everything through Him,
and nothing was created except through Him.

  • To have more life in this life (JOHN 10:10)

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.

  • To distinguish good from evil (PSALM 119: 101-102)

I have refused to walk on any evil path,
so that I may remain obedient to Your word.
I haven’t turned away from Your regulations,
for You have taught me well.

  • To understand God’s love for you (JOHN 3:16-17)

For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.

Here is a link to some great Bible reading plans.

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Worship Leaders: 10 Things For Us To Work On

No matter how long I have been leading worship, there are always areas that I need to improve on. When you are doing well, it is too easy to get comfortable. But the truth is, none of us ever arrives. My prayer is that this list challenges you, like it challenges me, to move ahead with what God has called us to do!

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 9.30.24 AM

1. Never stop growing

  • Are you practicing your singing and playing on a daily basis?
  • Are you taking lessons and improving your craft and leadership?
  • Are you changing and growing with the new trends, styles and songs?

2. Develop your organizational and admin skills

  • Are you writing (or buying) great charts for your band?
  • Are you running organized and productive rehearsals?
  • Are you creating timely schedules for your musicians and planning ahead on the church calendar?

3. Keep working on a good relationship with your pastor

  • Do you have a regular meeting with your pastor?
  • Are you supporting your pastor in private and public?
  • Have you ever had your pastor and his wife over for dinner?

4. Take time to mentor new leaders

  • Are you looking for and developing the potential leaders on your team?
  • Are you giving room for new leaders to lead a song or worship time?
  • Jesus spent over 3 years developing His team, are you following His example?

5. Develop a great team

  • Do you have a system for bringing along new musicians?
  • Are you developing multiple musicians for each position?
  • How are you helping your team grow spiritually?

6. Learn to pick great worship songs

  • Are you teaching your congregation the great songs from around world?
  • Do you ever go outside your preferences in musical styles?
  • Are you developing a balanced repertoire of fast, medium and slow songs?

7. Increase your passion for worshiping God  

  • Are you keeping it real? Be authentic, are you the same on and off the stage?
  • Are there areas in your life that are holding you back from God’s richest blessings?
  • Do you love the Lord with all your heart and are you a passionate worshipper?

8. Love the church like Jesus loves the church

  • Are you building God’s kingdom or yours?
  • Do you love the people you are leading?
  • Jesus laid down His life for us, are you willing to lay down your life?

9. Love your spouse and family

  • Are you carving out regular time in your schedule for your spouse and family?
  • Are you taking one day off per week?
  • When is the last time you had a date with your spouse?

10. Love and spend time with God daily

  • Are you reading your Bible daily?
  • When is the last time you memorized a Bible passage?
  • How is your prayer life? Are you praying and obeying?

Here are some related posts:

Check out my new book.. “Leading Worship ~ Notes from a Grand Adventure available in Kindle or Soft Cover Editions.  This is a great gift for the musician or worshipper in your life.

 

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My NEVER AGAIN List

By Don Gossett ~

Never again

First ~ Never Again will I confess “I can’t,” for –

“I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13.

Second ~ Never Again will I confess lack, for –

“My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19.

Third ~ Never Again will I confess fear, for –

“God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – II Timothy 1:7.

Fourth ~ Never Again will I confess doubt and lack of faith, for –

“God has given to every man the measure of faith.” – Romans 12:3

Fifth ~ Never Again will I confess weakness, for –

“The Lord is the strength of my life.” – Psalms 7:1

“The people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits.” – Daniel 11:32

Sixth ~ Never Again will I confess supremacy of Satan over my life, for –

“Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” – I John 4:4

Seventh ~ Never Again will I confess defeat, for –

“God always causes me to triumph in Christ Jesus.” – II Corinthians 2:14

Eighth ~ Never Again will I confess lack of wisdom for –

“Christ Jesus is made to me wisdom from God.” – I Corinthians 1:30.

Ninth ~ Never Again will I confess sickness, for –

“With His stripes I am healed.” – Isaiah 53:5

Jesus “Himself took my infirmities and bare my sicknesses.” – Matthew 8:17.

Tenth ~ Never Again will I confess worries and frustrations, for –

I am “Casting all my cares upon Him for He cares for me.” – I Peter 5:7.

Eleventh ~ Never Again will I confess bondage, for –

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” – II Corinthians 3:17.

Twelfth ~ Never Again will I confess condemnation, for –

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1.

The original post is here.

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Worship Teams: Moving From Good To Excellent

How do we as individuals, leaders and worship teams go from good to excellent? How do we take from the past and learn from the present to lead our congregations in passionate worship of the Lord? Here are four main areas that we can grow and work on.

Excellent-good-average

1. Love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength

Loving God with all our hearts must be at the center of all we do. Here are two of the main ways we can grow in this area.

a) Reading God’s Word daily: I am passionate about the power of God’s Word to change and transform lives. That is because I have seen God’s Word transform my life. If you are not reading your Bible on a daily basis, I want to encourage you and help you make that an important daily habit in your life. Please check out my Bible Reading Challenge.

b) Praying daily: Jesus spent daily time in prayer.  Praying and spending time with God needs to be one of our top priorities. Only God, working though us, can change the hearts and minds of the people we minister to.

2. Love each other 

Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  Two of the main ways we do this are:

a) We serve each other:  Jesus said it this way: 

“You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.  But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Two of the main ways we show our love is by serving each other and laying down our lives for each other.

b) We are kind to each other: We should endeavour to have God’s Spirit working through us in all our actions. The fruits of God’s Spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. (Galatians 5:22). None of us get’s it right all the time. But our heart should be to love our fellow believer and be forgiving, just as Christ has forgiven us.

3. Grow as passionate worshippers of God

Two of the main ways we do this are through are attitudes and actions:

a) Attitude is everything: We need check our hearts and spirits and come to worship God with great attitudes: The Biblical attitudes of worship are: thankfulness, honesty, reverence, faith, humility, joy and with our whole heart. (The Attitudes of Worship). If we come with those attitudes, God is pleased and something powerful happens in our worship time.

b) Actions speak so loud: People will believe your actions before they believe your words or the lyrics of the song you sing. I believe we should use the Biblical actions as our standard for worship: Throughout the Bible, the people of God have worshiped Him through singing, playing instruments, lifting of hands, clapping, shouting, dancing, bowing down, standing and giving (their whole lives). (The Actions Of Worship). Let us never to content to do things the way we have always done them. Let us raise our worship to the standard of God’s word. 

4. Work on becoming excellent singers and musicians

There are four main ways that we can do that:

a) We work hard: Becoming excellent at anything takes hard work. If you are not willing to become disciplined and put in the time and energy, you will not improve.  

b) We are faithful: Teams only improve by consistently working together. We need faithful people who will go the 2nd mile to be on time and be faithful to their responsibilities.

c) We accept correction: We can all improve and we all have blind spots. Each of us needs people and leaders who can challenge us and speak the truth in love.

d) We keep learning and growing: None of us has arrived. There are always new things to learn and areas to improve in. If you are not growing, you are growing stale. We all need to be pushed beyond our comfort zones to new levels of excellence.

What area is God speaking to you about? Where do you need to move from good to excellent as an individual and as a team? May we never be satisfied with just going through the motions. May we always be passionate worshipers and lovers of God.

 

Posted in Church, God, Jesus, Leadership, Music, Wisdom, Worship | 2 Comments

Celebrating 450,000 Reads: Top 10 Posts

This blog recently reached over 450,000 reads from 188,000 visitors from over 190 countries. It has been such a joy to share with my readers. Here are my Top 10 posts in reverse order:

Top-10

10. Singing: 7 Keys To Improving Pitch

There are few things that ruin singing more than being out-of-tune. If you are a singer or working with singers, here are 7 keys to help improve musical pitch…

9. Worship Leading: 7 Keys To Becoming Invisible

Strong worship leaders know that worship is never about them, it’s about putting our gaze and attention on Jesus. Here are some keys to leading people toward Jesus in worship…

8. 10 Keys To Improving Your Singing

I have worked with average to great singers on the road, in the recording studio, in church and other musical settings for many decades. Here is what I have learned so far about helping singers improve…

7. 10 Tips On Improving Your Worship Band Rehearsal

Over the last 40 years, I have had rehearsals with orchestra’s, choirs, marching bands, studio sessions, vocal sections, brass & string sections and worship bands in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Caribbean and North America. Along the way I have picked up a few ideas on how to have a good rehearsal. Here is what I have learned so far…

6. 10 Tests Of A Good Worship Leader

How are you doing as a worship leader? How do you know if you are a good worship leader? Let me suggest a few guidelines that will help to quantify your leadership…

5. 12 Keys To Picking Great Songs For Worship

Picking great songs for worship is one of the most important skills a worship leader needs to learn. There are many different kinds and levels of worship songs. Some songs are written about God, some songs are written…

4. Guidelines For A Strong Worship Team

In any quality organization there are codes of conduct and concrete expectations. A number of years ago I attended a worship conference at Gateway Church in Dallas and was totally impressed by their worship team. Based on Gateway’s code of conduct and my own experience, here are my standards and guidelines for my worship team…

3. 10 Commandments Of Great Worship Team Members

Sometimes I lead the worship band and sometimes I play in the band. Both are important roles and have specific responsibilities to do them well. As both a leader and a player/singer, here are my ten most important rules as a team member…

2. 8 Tips On Taking Your Sunday Morning Worship To The Next Level

I love leading God’s people in worship. I have been blessed to have led church worship teams at home and around the world for over thirty years. Here are a few things that I have learned along that way…

1. Strong Worship Leaders: The 18 Things They Avoid

Strong worship leaders develop good attitudes and habits. They keep their heart, mind and spirit right before God and man. Check out these things that strong leaders don’t do, so you can grow and improve…

Check out my new book: “Leading Worship ~ Notes from a Grand Adventure’. It is now available in Kindle or Soft Cover Editions.  This is a great gift for the musician or worshipper in your life.

Posted in Church, God, God Adventures, Jesus, Leadership, Music, Wisdom, Worship | 2 Comments

10 Keys To Success That Require Zero Talent

By Wayne Duggan ~

It’s hard not to be envious of extremely intelligent and talented people.  After all, talent goes a long way.

However, Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker & Company brands, recently Tweeted a list of 10 keys to success that require no talent whatsoever.

Here’s a rundown of his list.

keys to success

10 Keys To Success That Require Zero Talent

1. Being On Time

Many of these behaviors seem like no-brainers, but showing up late to meetings, rehearsals or even walking into work at 9:10 a.m. instead of 9:00 is disrespectful to superiors, coworkers or partners.

2. Work Ethic

Not everyone can naturally be the best at his or her job, but everyone has the ability to out-work others in their field.

3. Effort

The easiest thing in the world is to give up. Not only will effort often produce results, it always demonstrates to others that they can rely on you to do everything you can to make things happen.

4. Body Language

Confidence and success can be contagious. When you believe in yourself and present positive body language to the world, others will (often subconsciously) pick up on it and will begin to believe in you too.

5. Energy

When are you more productive at work? When you drag in hung-over after two hours of sleep or when you show up after a healthy breakfast and full night’s rest?

6. Attitude

Not everything in the business world is pleasant, but unpleasant things must be done. If you approach everything with a positive attitude, you will earn a lot of respect.

7. Passion

It’s often easy to tell when people are passionate about their kids, their favorite TV show or the local sports team. If you can make your career your passion, the path to success won’t feel like such an effort.

8. Being Coachable

Stubbornness and pride are two major roadblocks to success. If you are willing to be flexible and handle constructive criticism and guidance, you will be the type of partner or employee that everyone in the business world dreams of having.

9. Doing Extra

Going the extra mile” often requires much less effort than it seems. You’ve already devoted 10 hours to putting together the presentation; why not take 10 more minutes proofreading it one more time? Your boss wanted 10 ideas for the new client. Why not come up with 12? Just because you were told to do something a certain way, think about whether there is a better way to do it. The Jesus principle of going the extra mile is the easiest way to stand out above the majority of people who always do the bare minimum that is asked of them.

10. Being Prepared

Preparation is an excellent way to demonstrate work ethic, effort, passion and going the extra mile. Walking into a situation knowing you’re fully prepared for anything that might happen also works wonders for your body language and confidence.

By Wayne Duggan , Benzinga Staff Writer (the original post is here) – slightly edited by Mark Cole for a Christian perspective

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A Simple Way To Spend 45 Minutes A Day With The Lord


By :

There is nothing more important than spending regular time with the Lord.

In John 15, Jesus said:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (4, 5)

Reading the Bible

I have to have my devotions first thing in the day or I get too distracted. Find a time that works best for you and try to establish a consistent habit. Give this little system (or some variation of it) a try and you will find you can easily spend 45 minutes with the Lord. If this seems like too much start with one small part but try to do it every day. For example, try to read the Bible five minutes a day. It may not seem like much, but if you do it consistently you will really benefit from it. Ok, here’s an easy way to spend 45 minutes a day with the Lord:

5 minutes – Scripture memorization
20 minutes – Read or listen to 3 chapters of the Bible
5 minutes – Write things you’re thankful for
15 minutes – Pray

Ok, let’s elaborate:

5 minutes – Scripture memorization. There are many ways to reach memorize scripture. You can listen to scripture set to music (e.g. Hide the Word). Or write down a Scripture on one side of a 3 x 5 card and the reference on the back. A good way to memorize is to focus first on key phrases rather than every word. For example, Ephesians 3:20-21 says:

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,  forever and ever. Amen.

Here are the six key phrases:

far more abundantly
ask or think,
power at work
glory in the church
Christ Jesus
throughout all generations

Focus on key phrases first. As you do, the other words will fall into place. Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of your devotions reviewing a scripture or two. If you do this every day, it won’t be long before you will have a lot of scriptures memorized.

20 minutes: Read (or listen to) 3 chapters of the Bible. At 3 chapters a day, you read almost the whole Bible in a year (there are 1189 chapters in the Bible. If you divide this by 365 it comes out to 3.26 chapters a day). There are a couple of chapters of names of ancestors and allotments of land to Israel’s tribes which you could skip if you want to listen to the whole Bible in a year.

5 minutes: Write things you’re thankful for. I use a moleskin journal and a nice fountain pen and write a single page of things I’m thankful for. I write it out in prayer form, e.g., Lord Jesus, thank you for another day. Thank you for the gift of sleep, and for your protection during the night, etc.

15 minutes: Pray. Often I use prayers I’ve written out in various categories, e.g. my family, God’s kingdom come, our nation, the persecuted church, etc. I may pray for one or two categories a day. Though I don’t restrict myself to using my written prayers, I’ve found that by referring to them it helps keep me on track. I hope to elaborate more on this in a future blog post.

There you go. Devise your own plan and try to make it a habit. Again, start small if 45 minutes seems too long. Spend 1 minute on a Scripture, read 5 minutes, etc. The key is to try to be consistent. Nothing satisfies or yields more joy than spending time with Jesus.

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.

The original post is here.

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30 Great Rules For Preachers

I recently read a great list, by Brian Houston of Hillsong Church, on the rules he gives to his preaching teams. There is a lot of wisdom in these points. Enjoy and be challenged!

6.8.CC.HOME_.RulesHillsongTeam

Every message…

1. IS POSITIVE.
Don’t preach to an individual—using the platform to get a personal message across to an individual is cowardly and blesses no one.

2. IS IN LINE WITH OUR BELIEF.
Don’t contradict basic fundamentals and doctrine. Make sure you know what they are BEFORE you take the platform.

3. HAS A SET TIME LIMIT.
Hillsong Church typically has a 35-minute time limit on messages. Be a good steward of people’s time. Be reliable. You can do a lot of waffling in 60 minutes! You are entrusted as a steward of the platform you are on—the moment you go over time, you are outside of your authority!

4. MUST BE PROVEN IN THE BIBLE.
If you can’t prove it, don’t say it. The platform is not for your opinions, it is God’s Word that matters. Every Scripture reference must be in context and within the tenure of Scripture = credibility and respect.

5. MANY HOURS OF PRAYER, MEDITATION, PREPARATION & FAMILIARIZATION.
All four are important: 1) What is God saying? 2) Think things through. 3) Get the structure as polished as you can—it must impact. 4) Be familiar with your message so you get it across clearly and effectively.

6. CHECKED FOR OVERUSE OF “I.” 
It is not about you. People will see through a self-focused message and it doesn’t build others.

7. FOCUSED ON HELPING, NOT IMPRESSING.
Joyce Meyer once made a comment that really helped me with this, after I had asked her if she ever gets nervous? She said: “I never think about myself, I just think about helping people.” This attitude will keep your focus on course.

8. REINFORCING—NEVER CONTRADICTING—OUR CULTURAL VALUES.
Wherever you are speaking, you must respect the cultural values of that platform. Encourage the congregation to engage with what is local and relevant.

9. FROM A NEW TESTAMENT PERSPECTIVE.
By all means, use the Old Testament, but always through the lens of the New Covenant of grace—through the cross of Christ. Otherwise we are in danger of preaching law and condemnation rather than building people up.

10. A REFLECTION OF THE LIFE YOU ARE LIVING, NOT JUST THE SERMON YOU ARE PREACHING.
Be authentic. The best messages come out of our own struggles and journeys. People sense authenticity as well as a lack of it. No matter how professional or eloquent you are as a speaker, you won’t build anything into people’s lives if you lack authenticity.

11. A REFLECTION OF YOUR PERSONALITY, NOT AN IMITATION OF SOMEONE ELSE.
This was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn but one of the most important. You’ll always be your best if you are being yourself—it’s not about being perfect or about a certain ‘style.’ Be your best self and don’t use this freedom as an excuse to support rebellion or negativity.

12. AFFECTS PEOPLE’S MONDAYS, NOT JUST SUNDAY.
In other words, your message needs to be applicable to people’s daily lives. The greatest compliment someone who is doing well in life can give me is to say, “All I’ve ever done is to take the principles that have been taught in church and put them into practice.” I love hearing that sort of testimony!

13. NOT STRAYING INTO THINGS YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.
Stay within your boundaries. Keep learning, but don’t preach outside your understanding. Stick to what you know but also continue to grow in what you know and in your knowledge of the Word. 1 Timothy 3 in The Message says of the leader, “He must know what he is talking about.” Preparation is a discipline.

14. REFLECTING WHAT WE ARE FOR, NOT AGAINST.
Remember, our lives should reflect what we are for and not just what we are against. Always preaching against things leaves people feeling downcast.

15. LEAVES PEOPLE FEELING BETTER ABOUT THEMSELVES THAN WHEN THEY CAME IN.
I intentionally approach every service by trying to create an encouraging environment. The world doesn’t input positive messages into people very much—between the newspaper and the television, people are starving for messages of hope and encouragement!

16. EASILY TRANSITIONED INTO AN ALTAR-CALL.
If people are being impacted and reached during your message, then the altar call moment will be a smoother and easier transition. (HOWEVER, you cannot let your confidence be measured by how many people get saved when you speak.)

17. NOTEWORTHY.
Are people taking notes? Make sure people understand what you are saying, that there is substance to it, and that you are not boring. Be compelling and helpful to people.

18. SEES HUMOR AS A BONUS, NOT THE GOAL.
Humor is a tool, but it is not the goal. If you are not good at being funny, don’t try. Any use of humor should serve the message—but never build your message around a funny story or joke.

19. PREACHED FROM NOTES YOU’D BE PROUD TO SHOW ME.
You should have some content in your notes: Key statements, scriptures, examples. Content—not neatness—is the goal. Your notes should reflect the hard work you’ve put in.

20. EXALTS JESUS AND BRINGS GLORY TO GOD.
Be deliberate about this. “God” means many things to many people, so ensure you are presenting Jesus. People don’t need motivational speeches, they need the Word of God and AN EMPHASIS ON Jesus Christ.

21. REFLECTS YOUR LEVEL OF AUTHORITY.
Speak within your sphere of authority, not outside of your credibility. Unless you have the right credibility or platform to confront and challenge people, then don’t. It is always better to encourage people.

22. PROJECTS CONFIDENT HUMILITY.
Minimize “I,” “me” and “my.” Be confident, not weak or false. I know who I am and that God has entrusted me with the platform. I know I belong here, but at the same time, I recognize I didn’t earn the right and I am accountable to Him for how I handle it. It’s about bringing glory to God—keep the main thing the main thing.

23. COMBINES FAITH WITH TRANSPARENCY.
It’s not about exposing and highlighting our strengths and weaknesses, but balancing these examples to enhance the message—our weakness or strength is not the message. It’s not about being ashamed of the blessing, but people benefit more from understanding the journey and challenges that you had to overcome to get there. People relate to and learn more from your struggles—don’t present yourself as perfect. Conversely, don’t be negative and down all the time—people need to be encouraged in their faith; they want to listen to an overcomer.

24. TELLING NOT JUST WHAT, BUT HOW.
It’s more challenging to tell people how to outwork the principles we teach. I remember early in my ministry a man came up to me after I preached on loving God with all your heart, soul and strength and he said, “I want to do that, but how do I do it?” It’s easy to tell people what they should do but more challenging to tell them how.

25. LEFT BEHIND ON MONDAY.
Don’t do post-mortems or beat yourself afterwards…AND be careful not to get too full of how great you think you were. Time moves on. Be good at walking away.

26. FOCUSED AS MUCH ON DELIVERY AS CONTENT.
If you aren’t good at communicating your message, then no matter how good the content is, it will get lost on people. Say it in a way that best connects with the hearts of people.

27. AWARE OF A GREATER AUDIENCE THAN THE ROOM.
The days are long gone when the possibility of being recorded in one form or another is absent—whether by individuals on phones or corporately on cameras or sound-systems. Even though you may be speaking to church family, you have to remember your message will more than likely go beyond the family—so nothing is entirely safe in that sense. Filter everything you say through this reality.

28. LISTENED TO OR WATCHED BY YOU.
Ask for a copy of your message for review and don’t worry about appearing proud by asking—it’s a necessary part of growing as a speaker. Get used to how you sound and get past the ‘cringe-factor.’ By observing and listening to yourself, you will notice habits and other distractions that you can fix. Learn to love the way you sound—if you don’t, no one else will.

29. HELPING PEOPLE OVERCOME AND BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT THEM.
Without exception. Remind people about what God says about them—there’s a lot of opposition in the world and you have an opportunity to lift people up and speak life to them—maximize it.

30. ABLE TO STAND ALONE IN A NEWSPAPER.
Every message should include points that would stand alone in the newspaper. For example, years ago I wrote a book with a controversial title. I was young at the time and thought it was a great idea to use a controversial title. But as Hillsong’s profile (and my own profile grew), I may as well have drawn a bullseye on my forehead. It became fodder for journalists wanting to criticize its content. Let’s assume everything you say is quotable and can be published in a newspaper—how does it stand then? Think about how would you sound without your spirit and physical presence on it—quoted in black and white?

Always take responsibility for what you say and never assume anything. It is an enormous responsibility that we have when it comes to carrying the message of Jesus Christ to this world. Ignorance is never an excuse, so decide today that you are done with excuses. Apply wisdom and understanding to the message on your life and the platform you have been given—and the potential and influence on your life will continue to grow and extend well ‘above and beyond.’

The original post is here.

Brian Houston

In 1983, Brian saw a need in Sydney’s north-western suburbs for a contemporary, life-filled, Bible-based church, and started Hills Christian Life Centre in the Baulkham Hills Public School hall on Sunday 14 August 1983 with just 45 people. It is now Hillsong Church, which comprises four major worship centers (Baulkham Hills, Waterloo, Southwest and Brisbane) plus a citywide network of connect groups, extension services across the city, and growing congregations in New York, London, Kiev, Cape Town, Paris, Stockholm and Moscow.

Brian on ChurchLeaders   Brian’s Website

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Worship Rehearsal Checklist

Solid prep work is essential for excellent rehearsals. Here is an extensive check-list to help you with many of the details.

Worship Rehearsal Checklist

A) Pre-Rehearsal Checklist (1-3 weeks ahead)

  1. Pray about the worship list. Ask God what He wants.
  2. Are there any special events happening this week? (communion, water baptism, etc.)
  3. If you have multiple leaders: Contact them and work on the set list.
  4. Are these the best songs? (12 Keys To Picking Great Songs For Worship)
  5. Are these the best keys for the songs, leader(s) and congregation?
  6. Do these songs flow well? Is this the best order for the songs?
  7. Is there a good balance of fast, medium & slow songs.
  8. Double-check all the charts: Are all the chords and words correct?
  9. Write or buy any charts for new songs. (Worship Charts: 7 Keys To A Great Rehearsal)
  10. Are there transposed capo parts for the acoustic guitar player?
  11. Are all the tempos correct? Have you marked them on the music?
  12. When do the players come in and when do they sit out?
  13. What are the vocal parts for the songs?
  14. Sing through all the vocal parts to make sure they work.
  15. Are all the team members confirmed for that rehearsal?
  16. Have all the players and singers been sent the list and charts?
  17. Have you asked the individual players to work on the solo parts and harder sections?
  18. Do all the players have access to a recording of the version you want to do?
  19. Have you transposed the MP3 into the key you are doing it in?
  20. Are all the church owned instruments working and in good order?
  21. Do the tech people have all the details and words?
  22. Have you rehearsed and memorized the songs?

B) Mid-Week Rehearsal Checklist

  1. Clean-up the stage from last Sunday
  2. Set-up for this Sunday
  3. Have all the charts ready (either put on stands or have the players bring their own)
  4. Determine the flow of the rehearsal (10 Keys To Improving Your Rehearsal)
  5. What song are you rehearsing first?
  6. Arrive early for rehearsal
  7. Greet the team members as they arrive
  8. Start on time
  9. Pray
  10. Sound-check
  11. Keep the flow of the rehearsal going
  12. Be ready for extra rehearsal for trouble spots
  13. Encourage excellence
  14. Encourage memorization (9 Keys To Memorizing Music For Worship)
  15. Rebuke bad work ethic, unprepared players and/or bad attitudes.
  16. Listen to the whole band (Is everyone playing/singing in tune and in time?)
  17. Are the players and singers coming in and sitting out where necessary?
  18. Are there proper dynamics in the music?
  19. Is the soundman comfortable with the stage volume?
  20. Worship (Get past the music and worship God)
  21. Singers: drink lots of water
  22. Work on transitions between songs
  23. Remind the team of good stage presence
  24. Support team members practically and spiritually
  25. Have fun
  26. If time permits, run through the entire set again in order
  27. Make announcements: pertinent details for that week and upcoming events
  28. End on time
  29. Pray and spend time with the team
  30. Prep the stage for Sunday (clean-up any mess from the rehearsal)

C) Pre-Service Rehearsal Checklist

  1. Arrive early
  2. Set-up your gear, space and in-ear monitors
  3. Have water ready
  4. Greet team as they arrive
  5. Start on time
  6. Sound-check
  7. Pray
  8. Run-through songs and work on transitions
  9. Are the onscreen words correct?
  10. If time permits: re-run any new song or problem section
  11. Worship God – (Where Is Your Focus On Sunday Mornings?)
  12. Review intros, endings and transitions
  13. Encourage the team
  14. Review service order
  15. Pray

Is this list complete? Did I miss anything? What works for you? Do you have any questions about these points?

Check out my new book.. “Leading Worship ~ Notes from a Grand Adventure’ available in Kindle or Soft Cover Editions.  This is a great gift for the musician or worshipper in your life.

 

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7 Great Strategies For A New Leadership Position

Ron Edmonson is one of my favorite bloggers. Here is his great advice for starting in a new leadership position:

Whenever I enter a new position, I want to be strategic. The first couple years in my new position were challenging and fun at the same time. I met so many wonderful people, but there were more opportunities than time it seemed.

It has proven to be a great ministry assignment. I thank God for the opportunity.

Since beginning, I have been asked repeatedly what my strategy was for the opening days. If you know me at all, you know I’m pretty strategic.

Leadership

Here were 7 elements of my strategy for the beginning days:

1. Got to know key leaders

I tried to get to know the staff and key influencers in the church. I believe God uses the influence of others to build His church, so I wanted to know who I would be working with in the days to come. Think of it this way – if Moses was implementing the “Jethro method”, his primary energy would need to be communicating and investing in those leaders he enlisted to lead others. I used this approach. If I hoped to make any substantial changes, I knew I would need these influencers support.

2. Let people get to know me

For an introvert it was exhausting, but I was very visible in the early days. In fact, in my ministry I’m usually always very accessible, just as I am online.  I may not always be available but I can always be accessible. I wanted people to feel comfortable with me and trust my leadership, so I think they needed to see me frequently – even more so in the beginning days of my pastorate.

3. Set my initial vision

People wanted to know where I was going with my leadership. I set an initial 7 part vision for the people. I really wanted 3 or 4 initial initiatives, but I landed on 7 – because all these seemed important. They were all things I was passionate about implementing. Some got started faster than others – we are really just seeing a couple of them come to fruition – but the church seemed anxious to get behind all of them. And, just to be clear, I didn’t lead all of these initiatives, but I was the chief vision-caster for them.

4. Identified quick wins

I looked for some things I could immediately impact and change for good. These were things I believed everyone could agree with, didn’t require a lot of resources or long debates. There were a few minor paperwork nuisances which impacted staff morale that I changed immediately. For example: I invested energy in some areas of ministry which never received a lot of attention, but motivated people. I re-energized some areas the church had previously been excited about, but weren’t seeing much excitement about currently.

5. Did the unexpected

It seemed like such a small deal, but I roamed the balcony on Sunday mornings. It took a little more time, but it proved to be a big deal. I talked to the person who would be changing my slides on the screen prior to the service. This was a surprise to them. They said it had never happened before, but it proved to be a big deal. I roamed the halls of the offices during the day, walking into people’s offices, and allowing drop-ins to my office when I was available. All unexpected, but it brought very positive feedback.

6. Paced myself

I realized I’m only one person and although everyone wanted some of my time and there were more ideas than we could ever accomplish, I knew I would burnout if I didn’t pace myself. This meant I said no to some things – really many things. It wasn’t easy to say no to such eager people, for me or them, but I knew it would prove best in the end if I was able to last for the long run.

7. Moved slowly on the biggies

Being honest, there were some big items I knew I’d like to change immediately. I had enough prior experience, however, to know some changes are too big to launch quickly. I could have. I was in a honeymoon period. I could probably have “gotten away with them”, but the people didn’t really know me yet. I might have won a battle, but I would have lost the war. (To be clear, there wasn’t a battle – just using a cliché.)

Have you ever been the new leader or the new pastor? What advice do you have?

The original post is here.

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