WLCC Worship

July 2, 2006

Solid worship teams build solid foundations

Filed under: Worship — by Tim @ 8:58 pm

(A few more thoughts stirred by Ramesh Richard’s book Soul Passion.)

Every worship team, every ministry for that matter, builds a foundation. Often the construction is haphazard, unplanned and anything but deliberate. Sure, the bedrock may be Jesus – and He doesn’t shift – but the structure itself may be steel reinforced concrete, paper mache, granite block or tissue paper. Establishing that foundation is a core part of the team leader’s job.

The foundation is more than knowledge or training. Without substance, knowledge is fluff. Richards points this out on page 105. “Knowledge is not power. Knowledge draws power from application. Doing gives reality to hearing.” He realizes that our foundation – our passion – begins with a common set of core values. These values provide the world view enabling us to be successful doers and hearers of God’s Word.

Core Values:

1) Dependence upon God

2) Brokenness before God (rejecting defensiveness, recognizing sin as sin, repentance)

3) Meekness before God and others (thinking of ourselves less)

4) Yearning for God’s righteousness (hunger and thirst, longing and seeking)

5) Having received mercy from God, we extend it to others

6) Transparency before God

7) Becoming a reconciler / peacemaker, a filler of “peace vacuums”

8) Living as a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, including resulting persecution

By applying these core values to decisions we make, we’re setting out to become deliberate foundation builders. We align ourselves with the Word of God. We explore what Jesus had to say. We apply His Word to our lives. We create strategies to obey. We attach self to the love of God. We detach self from the world. We engage ourselves fully – heart, mind, body – in relationship with God.

All in all, we step from being in the crowd of hearers into becoming doers.

What foundation is your team building? What fruit should be evident if you are building upon good, clear core values? What does the fruit of your team say about your real core values? What strategies can you put into action which will better enable you to build deliberately and well?


Professionalism and worship arts

Filed under: Worship — by Tim @ 8:54 pm

Professionalism is overrated. The Titanic was built by professionals. The ark was built by amatures.


July 1, 2006

Diversify, diversify & discover team unity

Filed under: Worship — by Tim @ 7:23 pm

On the way to my grandmother’s funeral I read Ramesh Richard’s book Soul Passion. It had been sitting on my shelf since the Moody’s Minister Conference two months ago and 11 hours of flight delays provided just the opportunity needed. Although Richards was addressing pastoral ministry, some of his key points also apply to people in worship ministry.

He said that successful, ongoing, sustainable ministry must have deliberate purpose. Purpose contains three overlapping distinctions. These key ingredients are:

Passion: This is where the heart goes. It’s what energizes and unleashes, drives. It’s the underlying purpose.

Mission: This is where the hands and feet go. It’s what you do repeatedly, the daily business, use of time, strategic action, responsibility.

Vision: This is where the mind goes. It’s the impact, difference, change you’re trying to accomplish. Your niche. It’s what you understand to be your unique purpose and how it fits within the overall supreme purpose of God’s plan.

Consider people serving the church through the worship ministry. It doesn’t take long to discover that almost every one has a unique and distinct mix of these three points. Some of us are passionate about the music and its role in congregational worship. Some of us are passionate about our role on the team. Others are passionate about how music expresses our hearts. Some are passionate about those special moments when the team and the congregation are all in unison and God’s presence seems especially tangible. And so on.

The same is true regarding mission and vision. We each have different roles and views of what we are about. And as we add new teams and team members, as we expand even the types of teams to include projection, video, drama, special music and the Lord only knows what else, the differences continue. The fabric’s texture becomes more and more complex.

I’m thankful for this diverse mix of passion, mission and vision to which each of us add. It’s stone soup. The final product is much more interesting than the individual components. Spice. Creation Jesus style in full multi-textured variety.

As you approach your role ministering through the creative arts, be deliberate. Discover and fan the flames of your passion. Deliberately approach your ministry to become more effective. Explore your vision. Sharpen your tools. Streamline life to enable effectively partner with the Lord in the areas He has called you to, be it marriage, family, ministry, work…

And also, make room for others to do the same. We’re each approaching our roles with the toolboxes God has developed in our lives. Each approach often reflects the specific blend of passion, mission and vision to which the Lord has called us. Allow others to approach their role differently than you would. They are different and should approach it differently.

But you’ve got to talk about your differences with one another. Differing approaches, gift mixes and resulting attitudes cannot be left as the unspoken elephant in the room. Discussing your differences allows each person to discover where they fit into the overall fabric of the team. It validates the role each person plays and the unique texture each brings to impact the congregation’s worship expressions.

This is the trick to ministry. Blending your passion, mission and vision mix with others so you can accomplish the work together. Unity is not having carbon copy views of passion, mission and vision. Unity isn’t being all the same. Unity is the interweaving together of very different body parts called together into a strong, functioning, breathing, living whole.

The benefits of communicating these things with your team build that unity. It also allows team leaders to make objective decisions by comparing new possibilities to what they know the team to be about. It helps the team remain untainted from distracting rabbit trails. It builds a sense of peace and stability within the team. The team clarifies overall team identity and each person’s role leading to “mission accomplished.” in short, they function as a body.

And that’s glorifying to God.

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