Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New stuff on the side

I've added some new stuff on the sidebar -

*TheBlogstar.com - Chad Jarnigan is a blogging worship pastor from Tennessee and has some good insight in the whole world of the creation of an arts culture.

Google Reader shared items - Every day I'll run through my Google Reader and share items that are interesting to me. They may not be interesting to you but it's my blog and I'll do what I want.

Sunday, February 25 Recap

On Sunday we launched BEYOND - a 6-week stewardship emphasis where we will be focusing on how we manage and invest our time, our talent and our treasure. At the end of this 6-week period everyone at our church will be asked to make a pledge in each of those areas of their lives.

I'm really excited about our Celebration Sunday in April when we'll see kids, students and families coming together to commit to financially supporting our "Transform our Region, Transform our World" vision for the next three years. This is an exciting time in the life of OBC and I really do feel privileged to be a part of it.

So here's what we did on Sunday -

Sunday, February 25, 2007 - "Generous Living"
Matthew 25:14-30

Your Grace Is Enough - Matt Maher (we do the Chris Tomlin version)
That's Why We Praise Him - Tommy Walker

Everlasting God - Brenton Brown & Ken Riley
Awesome God (chorus only) - Rich Mullins
Your Love Oh Lord - Third Day
How Awesome Is Our God - Chris Vacher

Be My Everything - Tim Hughes

One of the things we're looking to explore here is the whole idea of "indigenous worship expression" - basically a fancy way of saying that we're going to be encouraging our own people to write music, create artwork, tell stories, etc which all tell the story of God and encourage our church to worship Him.

This will be a long process - it certainly does not happen overnight! One of the small steps in this process is me putting myself and my songs out there first. "How Awesome Is Our God" is a song that I wrote this year which we've used a couple of times. Right now it's just a chorus - and I've done some tweaking to make it a better chorus - and I'm currently working on developing the rest of the song.

Writing is not a natural process for me. It is a discipline. Songs do not just pour out of my guitar. As this whole idea of indigenous worship expression becomes more and more important here, the discipline of creating artwork will become more ingrained in our culture.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Link - How Canadians Can Save the American Church

From Monday Morning Insight - link

Definitely an interesting post and the beginnings of some interesting discussion. Hey Mark - maybe our conversation was a little prophetic?

The American church is desperately in need of help if we are going to have any reasonable chance to do mission among Pre, Post, and Semi Christians in emerging culture. Some of that assistance might just come from north of the border.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday, February 18 Recap

This morning we finished up our 3-week series "Revive Us" with a service focused on seeking God's face.. I thought Earl's message was so bang on with the idea of seeking God's face and turning from wicked ways being directions rather than destinations..

Sunday, February 18, 2007 - "Revive Us"
2 Chronicles 7:14

Let Everything That Has Breath - Matt Redman
Indescribable - Laura Story (recorded by Chris Tomlin)

Hosanna - Paul Baloche & Brenton Brown
Famous One - Chris Tomlin & Jesse Reeves

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus - Helen H. Lemmel
How Marvelous (chorus only) - Charles H. Gabriel

Audience of One - Mike Weaver

Give Us Clean Hands - Charlie Hall

Today was a great example of not being afraid of changing what you're doing when it's not working. In our first service, there were a couple of elements that made the service feel very choppy - you'll see that we didn't have any one extended worship package so we were already playing a little short-handed. The Hosanna/Famous One combo led in to communion and the Turn Your Eyes/How Marvelous combo was played as communion was served, so that was really our longest package of music during the service.

As I said in my recap last week, our two services are identical in content and although we certainly don't think of our 9:00 service as a dress rehearsal, it does allow us to see if there are any kinks that need to be worked out before our 11:00 service. This week we had two kinks.

The first was that our worship leader* prayed after the first set of two songs. After praying, we did our typical "meet & greet" and then moved in to our announcements/offering/prayer section. Having her pray after two pretty driving songs caused us to lose a bit of momentum early in the service. Don't criticize me because we prayed less in our 11:00 service - there was still a good chunk of prayer that we included later on. :)

The second change we made was right at the end of the announcements. We usually have one of our staff members come and give our announcements (I'll do another post someday about our announcement selection process) and while that is happening our ushers take up our offering. Because we only had a couple things to announce this week, the offering was still going when the worship team came back in with "Hosanna". In our service planning, we had asked our announcements guy to ask the congregation to stand when he was finished - and you can imagine what happened next.

People were standing. The offering was only half-done. The band is playing and asking people to sing. People aren't sure if they should sing, pass the plate, give their offering or just stop. They were pretty confused. But the moment passed - and thankfully it always does! :)

So there you go. Two small changes we made after our 9:00 service that really helped the flow of our service and helped people to focus on the worship, on the fellowship and on the word.

*We have three worship teams at our church who play on a rotation basis and each team has a different leader although I play on all three teams - I lead one, play piano on a second and guitar on the third. The leaders of the other two teams also sing on a second team.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Does it look Canadian?

Okay.. So I realize that my little blog space looks very.. boring.. Very Canadian, if you will.. It's a little plain..

Anyone out there with some design skills want to help out a brother?

By the way, if you're wondering what the weather is like up here today, here's a link to a webcam on Parliament Hill in Ottawa..

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sunday, February 11 Recap

I'm thinking that the majority of the posts here will simply be a recap of the previous Sunday's service and me giving a little bit more insight into why we chose these specific elements or why the service was structured a certain way..

I know that when I'm looking at putting a service together I'm always looking to see how other people have used certain songs, so hopefully this can be helpful for people.. I think it will also be helpful for the worship ministry volunteers here at the church to hear from me about why we choose to do things the way we do them..

We have two services at OBC - 9:00 and 11:00 - and both of them are identical except for the rare occasion when we have baptisms or child dedications in only one service..

Sunday, February 11, 2007 - "Revive Us"
2 Chronicles 7:14

Forever - Chris Tomlin
Holy Is The Lord - Chris Tomlin & Louie Giglio
Reign In Me - Brenton Brown

Come Now Is The Time To Worship - Brian Doerksen
All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises - Paul Baloche
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross - Isaac Watts
The Power Of The Cross - Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

In Christ Alone - Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

Using two songs by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend was not intentional - we weren't trying to increase our UK content!! Earl's message this week focused on the "pray" section of 2 Chr 7:14 and coming out of the humility focus last week we spent a lot of time talking about the confession aspect of prayer and how important it is to acknowledge sin and deal with it. So to bookend the message with a song about the cross and a song about the faith we place in Christ alone made a lot of sense.

"The Power Of The Cross" is a new song that I learned at a conference that went over pretty well - we'll probably add it to our on-going repertoire.. The lyrics are so full of great stuff.. I love it..

Introductions and all that..

So here we go.. I've attempted this blog thing a few times before and it's never worked - I think mostly because I never really knew what I wanted to do with the stupid thing.. But after giving this some thought I think I've come to a good spot about jumping on the blog-wagon..

A little about me..

I'm 29.. Married for almost 4 years.. I've got one daughter and another one on the way in a few monhts.. My house is becoming overrun by females.. I'm afraid of what that means for me 15 years from now.. I'm on staff at a church in Orangeville, Ontario as the worship director.. I was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario and love going back there to visit friends - although it doesn't happen as often as I'd like..

I'm a big fan of music and get very excited about discovering a new artist before anyone else does.. John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Matt Wertz were in my CD player before any of my friends had heard of them.. I have not had any recent discoveries but mostly that's because I'm old and I don't listen to the radio..

I don't think I own a CD player anymore - except for the one in my minivan.. Yes, I own a minivan.. Cue the laughing now.. It's actually a very masculine minivan.. A man-ivan, if you will..

I'm hopeless when it comes to remembering things - especially names, appointments and significant dates.. It is for this reason that I have a computer to run my life.. If I don't write something down immediately it is forgotten before I take my next breath.. Honestly, I'm hopeless..

Funn thing, though, is that if I meet someone I can tell them when we met, who they were with, sometimes what they were wearing, what we were doing, what we were eating, what we talked about - but there is ZERO chance that I will remember their name.. I've learned to just confess my ineptitude right up front and the conversation usually goes much better from there!

I play guitar - acoustic almost exclusively.. I've got a nice little collection which drives my wife more than a little bit crazy.. I'm hoping to condense the guitar population in the house this summer and come out the other side with just one guitar that will bring me joy and happiness and lucky charms the rest of my life.. Guitars can do that, can't they??

I also play piano.. I did the whole classical training thing growing up and actually spent a year at university in the piano performance program.. One year was enough of that.. So I switched my major to religion & culture and life was much better after that.. University is also where I met my wife, attended my first (and only) Toronto Raptors game and spent some good time honing my Playstation skills..

So that should be a good chunk of stuff to chew on.. I'm actually going to post again right now with the first of what will be the standard type of thing I use this site for - just recapping the past Sunday morning and talking a little about why we did what we did..