Archive for June, 2009

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:14-16)

Do you find it difficult to be thankful? I’m sure you are like me, and find it easy to be thankful during certain seasons and for certain reasons. Towards the end of November I find it natural to be thankful for family, friends, health, and the blessings of living in 21st Century America.

But what about being thankful when this passage says to be thankful? Is it a struggle to be thankful when someone brings God’s word into your life as a point of correction? Is it a challenge to be thankful when someone wants to sing “hymns” and you want to sing “spiritual songs?”

Thankfulness is the rule in worship. If we are in process as people, continually arriving and striving toward who God wants us to be, then our worship services are also in process. We are continually reforming. Because we are in process and continually reforming, we should filter everything we say and think with thankfulness. When the communion bread isn’t what you expect, be thankful. When the music is too loud, be thankful. When the sermon is too long, be thankful. When you serve and don’t get recognized, be thankful. Be thankful in every situation.


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From FreshWorship.org:

lift up your hearts
we lift them up to god
lift up your heads
we lift them up to god
lift up your voices
we lift them up to god
lift up your hearts
we lift them up to god

we praise you for your unswerving love for us
though we are fragile
though we are wounded
though we are broken
you have never stopped loving us
and you have never forsaken us

greater love has no one than this that they lay down their life for their friends

you take what is broken and transform it through your death and love
what once was hurt
what once was friction
what left a mark
no longer stings
because grace makes beauty
out of ugly things

so we join with the angels singing
holy holy holy
holy holy holy
lord god almighty
lord god almighty
heaven and earth are full of your glory
heaven and earth are full of your glory
hosanna in the highest
hosanna in the highest

in your last meal with your friends
before your betrayal
you took the bread and gave thanks
you broket is and shared it saying ‘take and eat. this is my body broken for you’

christ’s body is broken
we are christ’s body, we are broken
may christ’s broken body nourish you in all the right places

you took the cup of wine, gave thanks and shared it saying
‘drink this, my blood shed for you’

christ’s body is wounded
we are christ’s body, we are wounded
may the blood that flowed from christ’s wounds heal you in all the right places

send your holy spirit on us
heal our brokenness
by showing us our place in your community of faith
great is the mystery of faith
christ has died
christ is risen
christ will come again

this is the table of christ
today it is literally made of our brokenness
a sign that christ welcomes us all as we are
there is no need to pretend and no need to hide

so gather at this table
not because you are whole
but because you recognise your need for healing
not because you are good enough
but because you recognise these gifts of god

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A definition from AlternativeWorship.org:

  • Christians reinventing faith expression for themselves within their own cultural settings
  • a response to postmodern Western society and cultural change
  • faith expression within culture not in a parallel ‘Christian’ culture
  • reconsideration of all inherited church forms and structures, including recent modernising ones
  • rediscovery of ancient and alternative Christian traditions as resources for the present and future
  • paradigm shift from centralised into networked forms of church

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From Church Marketing Sucks:

While advertising, street signs and a full garage on a Sunday are great signs of success for a church, they aren’t necessarily indications of a great impact on your community. As Rizzo points out, a billboard may mean that your community knows the name of your church, but does it mean any more than that?

The ultimate test would be this: if your church closed, would anyone notice? Other than the regulars, who would shed a tear for a moment and then go somewhere else? Would the neighbors, local police, community leaders and schools even notice if you disappeared? Now think, what would change that–another advertisement or visiting the sick and staffing an after school club?

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Parts 1 and 2

3. In keyboard driven worship the guitar players need to listen and play a complementary part and not the same rhythm. (This also applies to a multiple guitar scene).

When the keyboard is the driving instrument in a Worship Band (or just on a song), the guitar players need to do something different rhythmically. If the keyboard is playing steady eighth notes, the guitar should play whole notes, or half notes, or a lead part with a varied rhythm. If the keyboard is playing dense chords, the guitar should play a lighter voicing or even a single note figure. If the keyboard is playing sustained chords, the guitar should play a rhythm using open chords or a palm-muted power chord part. As always, there are exceptions to this rule – there are times when you would want all the instruments to line up rhythmically to create impact or buildup at a high point within a song. You probably don’t want every instrument playing the same rhythm the whole time in a song.

A note about frequency range: The guitars and keyboards tend to occupy the same frequency range. The guitar occupies the middle frequencies of the keyboard. Keyboardists can stay above middle C and be fine most of the time. If the guitar boosts it’s mid frequency this will help distinguish itself from the keyboard.

When you’ve got 2 guitars in the band, it’s good to break up their rhythmic approach and chordal voicing as well. If one guitar is playing open chords and strumming, the other guitar can:

  • capo and play different voicing of the chords
  • play palm-muted power chords in a higher voicing
  • play an arpeggio of the same open chord or a varied voicing
  • lay out (a novel concept)
  • play a counter melody using single notes

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Evangelism is being sent out into the world with good news for people.  The good news is God’s love for all people.  Love that is freely available and celebrated within Christian community.  We are sent out to invite others to come and see.  As such, evangelism doesn’t begin with a program, a plan or a budget – it begins as it did with the woman at the well, a burning inside after a confrontation with a man who knew her inside and out and accepted her anyway.  She didn’t have to be trained to run back to town and invite the whole community (that she used to avoid) to come and see.

Evangelism is what is happening when a busy fisherman like Peter receives an invitation from Jesus to follow and he leaves his nets behind.  Or like the jailer in Acts who is amazed at the courage of the disciples and he wants what they have.  He and his entire family is baptized that very night.

from Kerry Nelson

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