Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Good tips for running a worship ministry

As I settle more and more into running a worship ministry across two campuses I see more and more how these points by Austin Stone's worship director, Chris Collins, are incredibly helpful.  As I read this article I was encouraged to see his points as things I have been attempting to implement in my time here at Birkdale, so thought I would share the article wider so other's can read and be helped to.  And they are good points for single campus churches too!

Check it out.
Pastoring Worship Leaders in a Multi-Campus Model

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Freshening of my spirit, with the Spirit.

I was reading through Ezekiel 36 last night - sitting in a prayer and worship time with young adults from my church, and here I was totally absorbed in God telling Ezekiel to prophesy to the mountains of Israel which had been run down by the invading armies.

God tells the mountains that they will be renewed, because their people are coming home, and will live on them once again.

I sat there hearing God speak to me.  I have been feeling a bit run down recently, caught in the culture of the world, and the expectation of what the world thinks a pastor is.  I think I'd been enjoying my new role in my new church so much I'd allowed myself to become a bit complacent about the call to holiness and set-apartness that I am called to first as a Christian.

At the beginning of the prayer time I had asked Jesus to personally speak to me as I worked hard to focus on Him - because I had felt over the past few weeks I had been almost acting on autopilot, doing the things people needed to see a pastor do, but not focusing on connecting to Jesus through those things myself.  And that's when He too me to Ezekiel 36.

In some sense I was the mountain.  As a pastor I am a person people come to, or look to to find guidance - and the world around me had run me down.  God was promising to renew me first, so that I could be the renewing of His people by His Spirit.

As Ezekiel 36:26-27 says He first needed to give me a new heart and new Spirit, for me to be empowered by Him to live according to His statutes and obeying His rules, and then for His Name, He could use me to do that in other people too.

It was an incredibly empowering time, and then as I turned the page I remembered what Ezekiel 37 was all about - the vision of the valley full of dry bones - and so I read it allowed to the young adults there, feeling God calling me to pray that those who were there that night feeling dry (just as I had at the beginning) would be refreshed and have the breath of God reenter them and the Spirit renew them.   It was a specific call from God to speak to people at that time and moment, and it was powerful, because I saw straight up the work God had done in me, so that He could work through me.

I encourage you to go and read Ezekiel 36 and 37 if you are feeling dry in your faith - let God speak to you as He promised Israel He would refresh and renew their faith for His glory!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Real interactions...

Last week as most of the world reverted back to the 90's with the latest Pokemon craze, I found myself feeling like it was the 90's for a whole different reason.

With being out of the office a lot, having my internet connection go down at home and then being away for TeenStreet I used up my data allowance for the month on my mobile, I have a high allowance so usually breeze in each month, but this time I had a good 6 days where instead of paying for extra data I decided to turn it off and wait it out.

So last week my phone could only do two things... make phone calls and send text messages.

What I found was that though I did get annoyed if there was something I needed to post or wanted to share but couldn't, most of the time I felt much less of a need to have my phone in my hands and whenever I had a spare moment I spent more time observing what was going on around me.

Over the years of having a smart phone it has just become natural that whenever a spare moment comes up I pull out the phone and browse... but without the ability to do that I was much more present in the real world.  I walked places and looked in windows, smiled at people walking the other way (if they weren't on their phone) and generally interacted better with what was around me.  I chatted with the lady making my kebab for lunch, instead of ordering then checking Instagram. Most of all I wasn't bored or disconnected because I didn't have my phone... I was just engaged with the world around me.

Since getting my data back on the weekend I feel less of a need to constantly be checking things on my phone - I'm glad to have the ability to share something or be in contact with someone if I need - but I am going to try and be more absorbed in the real world around me than the virtual space social media creates.
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