Thursday, August 23, 2007

New site, new feed, new look - lots of new!!

You RSS subscribers may not notice the new look but if you DO subscribe you're going to need to update your feed. This will be the last post that will come through on this feed.

New site -

New feed -

New look - you'll see that I've moved from Blogger to my own hosted WordPress. I like some of the things that WP does differently and generally like how feeds show up in my reader when they're coming from WP blogs rather than Blogger. Hopefully the transition is smooth and everything works like it's supposed to!

Friday, August 10, 2007

How would you respond to this?

On Sunday mornings we encourage people to use our "Welcome Pad" - basically a little black folder where visitors can include their info, regular attenders can give us change of address info or prayer needs can be communicated to our staff and elders. Naturally, the WP becomes the easiest way for anonymous "helpful input" to our worship team.

In my time here I've received a few doses of helpful input such as:
  • We really should do more of the traditional hymns.
  • Why do we repeat the verses so many times? I've talked to other people and they have the same concern.
  • Must someone always be playing while people are speaking or praying on stage? I'm hard of hearing!

Generally it is fairly harmless stuff but unless it's a significant issue that has already been recognized in our worship ministry, we don't really give it much thought. We put lots of work, thought and prayer (not necessarily in that order) into our content and presentation of Sunday morning and we don't expect it to make everyone happy.

This week was a little different. I did get some "helpful input" but this time it wasn't anonymous. The person (a first-time visitor from out of town) left us this comment in the WP:

Is this a concert or a church service?

To be clear, we pass the WP during our announcements, so this would have been
after our first two songs in the service which were fairly upbeat, good volume,
lots of energy.

So - how would you respond? Ignore it? Thank him for the input? Call or email
and explain the vision for the worship ministry and the Sunday service gathering
as a whole?

What would you do?

Worship Text-fessional - Sunday, August 5, 2007

My blog-friend Victor tipped me off to a new way of describing my recap posts. Lots of people are doing worship confessionals and I felt kind of lame calling mine the same thing because they're all high tech and fancy with their videos but I feel hip and satisfied by calling these posts worship text-fessionals, so that's what they're going to be.

On Sunday we started a new series looking at the life of David in 1 & 2 Samuel that we're calling "After God's Own Heart." The basic premise is to take 5 snapshots of David's life and look at the constant contrast in those stories between who David was and who the other characters are. We started this week by telling the story of Saul.

Sunday, August 5, 2007 - "After God's Own Heart"
1 Samuel ch. 8-15
Beautiful One - Tim Hughes
Because Of Your Love - Paul Baloche
Doxology (Praise God From Whom...) - Traditional
Everlasting God - Brenton Brown
In Christ Alone - Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Step By Step - Rich Mullins

Our congregation is loving "Everlasting God" right now - they sing it loud, they really get in to the lyrics and the words seem to really express a place that our congregation is at right now. It's also a song where our band can crank it up a little bit so they enjoy that. I had our piano player do more of the lead on the verses and pre-chorus and I just filled in little rhythmic things on my guitar - made for a nice arrangement and a good contrast for when we went full out on the chorus.

"Because Of Your Love" is a song that we've been doing for a while here and for the first time we dropped the key from G to F. I've been finding that the chorus (which hangs on a high D in the melody line) has been a bit high and I was wondering if it was holding the congregation back. So we dropped down a key to stay in that golden "C to shining C" range for our people and it really seemed to help.

I'm excited about the rest of this series and digging in to the life of David some more. One of the things we'll be doing with the worship side of our services is pulling from the Psalms which parallel different parts of the David story. Right now I'm working on a song taken from Psalm 51 that we'll be using in a couple weeks and we've got a few other ideas we're throwing around.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Krazee Arts Camp Recap Video!

We put this video together and showed it to the kids and their parents, neighbours, friends, neighbours' friends, friends' parents, dog's friends' parents' neighbours and everyone else that came to our Friday night Variety Show!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sunday, July 29 Recap

Sunday was good. We've finished our "Like This" series in 1 Thessalonians and we'll be starting our new series looking at the life of David this coming week. On Sunday we had a guest come and preach. Darryl Dash is the senior pastor at Richview Baptist Church in Toronto and is a good friend of ours. He came and preached a message on "Restoring Worship" from Ezra 3.

The service planning process was a little different - mostly over email and with less interaction between me and the speaker, obviously. Normally over the course of planning a service I will meet with our pastor several times to make sure that we're on the same page for Sunday morning. I'm planning on doing a post soon about our service planning process and will be looking for some feedback from other people who have insight in that area.

Anyways, here's what we put together.

Sunday, July 29, 2007 - "Restoring Worship"
Ezra 3:1-11
Ancient of Days - Gary Sadler & Jamie Harvill
Forever - Chris Tomlin

What the Lord Has Done - Reuben Morgan
Be Thou My Vision - Dennis & Nan Allen
Heart of Worship - Matt Redman


Give Us Clean Hands - Charlie Hall

"Heart of Worship" isn't a song that we'd typically do on a Sunday morning (in fact I don't think we've done it in the almost-two years that I've been here) but it made alot of sense as the first bookend, if you will, to the message. Our worship leader set the song up really nicely to encourage people to think about the song as we were preparing for the message - just the idea that worship is more than singing and we may occasionally need to rethink how and why we are worshipping.

"Give Us Clean Hands" was a really nice closer to the service and provided another good bookend to Darryl's message.

At the end of our service we did a little Q&A and prayed for a team of 4 students and 2 adults who are leaving today (their plane takes off in about 2 1/2 hours) for Japan where they will be partnering with some missionaries we support over there. It's been neat to have missionaries either visiting or being sent from our church interviewed durng our service the past four Sundays - a missionary we support in Rome, one in Central America, a family from our church going to Pakistan and now this team going to Japan.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Planning Centre

I'm Canadian so I call it "centre" :)

If you're a worship pastor or in any sort of church administration role and you're not using Planning Centre Online, you should be. The power, flexibility and ease-of-use of this thing has blown me away the past few months. I can put together service outlines so quickly now and everything I need - charts, mp3's, worship team email addresses, schedules - is right where I need it to be.

Here are some links to check out for more info but you should really do yourself a favour and try it out -
Planning Centre FAQ
Planning Centre Features
Planning Centre Video Tutorials


Jeff, the guy who put this whole thing together, is super accessible and VERY willing to make this program work to the best of its ability for those who actually use it.

Sunday, July 22 Recap

Well last week was amazing. We ran our Krazee Arts Camp for the first time ever and from all reports it was a HUGE success. Lots of photos on my blog.

Hilights from last week -
>Having a peacock in the building
>Telling kids every day that God created them, God loves them, God wants a relationship with them
>Hearing them sing LOUD at the Variety Show on Friday night
>Working with amazing volunteers to pull off an incredible week

Our service on Sunday morning was another good one. We closed our "Like This" series by taking two of Paul's "final instruction" verses and building a section of teaching around each verse. It went something like this -

Sunday, July 22, 2007 - "Like This"
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Let Everything That Has Breath - Matt Redman
Open The Eyes - Paul Baloche

Teaching - v.23 - "A Prayer"
The Wonderful Cross - Trad., Tomlin & Reeves
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) - Trad., Tomlin & Giglio

Teaching - v.24 - "A Promise"
Faithful One - Brian Doerksen
Never Let Go - Matt & Beth Redman

Two really neat things from this service -
I felt like for the first time "Let Everything" really worked in a service here. Right tempo, right groove, right placement. It just worked.
The other really great thing was "Never Let Go". This song rocks. I said to my team this week that the song feels like an epilogue to "Blessed Be Your Name". Same authors, same theme, same conviction, same range separation from verse to chorus. Anyways - the congregation ate it up. It is definitely going in our regular rotation and we'll for sure pull it out during our next series on David.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Krazee Arts Camp - Day 4

Krazee Arts Camp - Day 3

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Krazee Arts Camp - Day 2