1. Notes: 2 / 2 years ago 

    7 Questions concerning the mission of the Church

    1. Who?  Jesus gave this mission verbally to the first disciples, but it did not end with their deaths.As Lord of the church, he expects his followers to carry out this mission “to the end of the age.”  Their mission is our mission.
    2. Why?  The authority for our mission comes from Christ.  It is rooted in the Word of God and based on the Father’s sending of the Son.  We are sent because Christ was sent, and we go in His name, under His authority.
    3. What?  The mission consists of preaching and teaching, announcing and testifying, making disciples and bearing witness.  The mission focuses on the initial and continuing verbal declaration of the gospel, the announcement of Christ’s death and resurrection and the life found in hi when we repent and believe.
    4. Where?  We are sent into the world.  Our strategy is no longer “come and see” but “go and tell.”  The message of salvation is for every people group- near, far, and everywhere in between.
    5. How?  We go out in the power of the Holy Spirit and in submission to the Son just as he was obedient to and dependent on the Father.
    6. When?  The mission began at Pentecost when the disciples were clothed with power from on high with the presence of the Holy Spirit.  The mission will last as long as the promise Christ’s presence lasts; that is, to the end of the age.
    7. To Whom?  The church should make disciples of the nations.  We must go to every people group, proclaiming the good news to the ends of the earth.

    Taken from "What is the Mission of the Church?" by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert.

  2. 3 years ago 
    Great Thoughts on Corporate Worship by Greg Gilbert

    When we as a church show up prepared to engage in the service, excited to worship Christ and hear from his Word, our music succeeds in a big way—-the voices fill up our sanctuary like a flood, and it’s beautiful to hear

  3. 3 years ago 
    Family walk.. (Taken with instagram)

    Family walk.. (Taken with instagram)

  4. 3 years ago 
    Another favorite from tonight. Psalm 19:1 (Taken with instagram)

    Another favorite from tonight. Psalm 19:1 (Taken with instagram)

  5. 3 years ago 
    Seriously one of my favorite worship gatherings of the year. Annual Lane Michigan Baptisms. Such amazing stories of God’s grace.

    Seriously one of my favorite worship gatherings of the year. Annual Lane Michigan Baptisms. Such amazing stories of God’s grace.

  6. 3 years ago 

    An Interview with Justin Taylor about “Using Technology without Worshiping It.”

    A few weeks ago I had the privilege of interviewing Justin Taylor of Crossway about “using technology without worshiping it.”  I conducted the interview for one of our weekend gatherings where we talked about the above topic in our summer series entitled “The Walk.”  We are typically an expository preaching church, and we just finished 2 1/2 years in I Corinthians.  So, this summer we are hitting topics that we feel are important to talk about including evangelism, communing with God daily, affair proofing our marriages, etc.  

    Justin had a lot of wisdom to pass down to us and I am grateful to him and the team at Crossway for letting us come down.  I hope it’s as edifying to you as it was to me.

    You can find Justin blogging daily here.

  7. Notes: 4 / 3 years ago 

    Worship Leaders, want to improve musicality? Use a click.

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about whether or not worship leaders should use music stands while leading worship.  Continuing that theme I want to share something else I have implemented lately that has served us well.  (I know that I am way behind the game on this by the way)

    If you would have told me that using a click is a good idea for a worship band a few years ago I would have told you that you are crazy.  Then I discovered the beauty of loops in worship and my mind began to be slowly changed.  The problem was that all of our other songs weren’t on a click, so when we went to use a loop with a click, we felt constricted.  If you asked me today if worship bands should use a click, I would tell you it’s a brilliant idea.

    Why we went to using a click…

    1. I would go back and listen/watch the music portion of our worship gatherings.  I noticed a glaring problem with our musicality… we tended to play everything super quick.  Some of the songs had no groove.  I would think back on playing the song and remember it feeling just fine.  Songs always feel slower when you’re playing and singing them live.  The playback doesn’t lie though, and I came to the conclusion that we played songs at too quick of a tempo.
    2. No one knew who to follow.  Most musicians would follow the tempo I set with my strumming pattern.  The drummer and I would try and follow each other, but neither of us did a great job of leading or following consistently.  There was no tempo/groove center… there was no pocket.  It was all dependent on the song and what tempo I felt was best at that time.
    3. Like I mentioned above, when we wanted to use a loop, we had to use a click and it felt constricting because we couldn’t speed up or slow down like we normally liked to do.

    How it’s been beneficial thus far…

    1. There is a solid pocket and groove center.  The click doesn’t change.  This allows us to play more together and have a greater impact musically.  This also enables us to have more consistency with playing the same song from week to week. Another benefit is that it allows us to play with a loop without the extra burden of staying on a click, because the click is the new norm.
    2. The tempo can’t change based on how much “I get into it.”  I don’t know about you, but if I’m singing about a truth I love I “get into it” and end up speeding up the song.  The click allows us to stay consistent.
    3. By having a consistent tempo, we serve the congregation better.  When a worship artist writes a song, they have a particular groove and feel in mind, which would include the beats per minute (bpms).  If you sing a song too fast you lose the groove.  Also, if you sing a song too quickly, often times, you lose half the congregation because they can’t keep up.  
    4. Everyone knows what the tempo will be ahead of time.  That means that the drummer doesn’t have to sing the song in his head and think “I believe the tempo is this” as he clicks the band in.  The click also allows our electric players to set their delays ahead of time.
    5. Playing on a click improves the band musically.  If I had to pick two things that I think all worship bands will have to battle against musically it is tempo and dynamics/overplaying. Having to play on a click creates a discipline in a band of playing in the pocket as well as not overplaying because the click forces them to listen to other things besides their own instrument.

    I have found using an iPad with this app for a click on “non-loop” songs and using the iPod that comes stock on the iPad for playing loops has been the best way to go about it.  The iPad is easier to control due to the multi-touch interface.  I am looking for a better playback app than the iPod for triggering loops (the play button is super small) if you know of one… let me know.

    (Picture Credit)

  8. 3 years ago 

    Our missionaries know how to party. This is what I did at Bill & Christina Widdup’s (missionaries to Vanuatu) house today at a BBQ in their backyard.

  9. Notes: 1 / 3 years ago 
    My Thursday Night (Taken with instagram)

    My Thursday Night (Taken with instagram)

  10. 3 years ago 
    Apparently George Mueller and I have the same hairstyle…
This past weekend in our worship gathering my pastor compared my hairstyle to George Mueller.  It got an uproarious response of laughter from the congregation.  I must admit… I chuckled a bit myself.  I just don’t see it though.
What do you think?

    Apparently George Mueller and I have the same hairstyle…

    This past weekend in our worship gathering my pastor compared my hairstyle to George Mueller.  It got an uproarious response of laughter from the congregation.  I must admit… I chuckled a bit myself.  I just don’t see it though.

    What do you think?

  11. 3 years ago 

    Worship Leaders, get rid of your music stands.

    I would like to make a suggestion.  This is a suggestion and not a rule.  It doesn’t always have to be followed.

    If you’re a full time worship pastor… don’t use a music stand… memorize the music and use all of you to lead God’s people.

    Here are my reasons why I think this is valid

    If you’re a church planter, part time worship leader, or wear more than one hat at your church… I can understand why you might not have time to memorize the music and I think in that case it’s more understandable.  I would still say that some of the below principles will apply.

    1. Using a music stand for a lot of worship leaders means that their eyes are on the music during a lot of the gathering.  If this is the case then you cannot lead well. (Same applies if you close your eyes for the entire time.)  You need your eyes open and up to see if the congregation is engaged.  You need to shepherd the room when you lead worship.  You can “speak” with your eyes.  They can communicate the message of the song just as well as your voice and music can.  If you’re genuinely worshiping… your eyes are your biggest tell.
    2. Not using a music stand also allows you to KNOW the music.  This gives greater freedom to worship, lead, and shepherd.  You know what’s coming next in the music and you can concentrate more on the lyrics and truth.  This will serve your congregation greatly.  Again, this is not easy to do for every situation, but it is not impossible.
    3. It allows you to be spontaneous in your worship leading.  For example, if you want to sing a verse again and you haven’t rehearsed it that way… you can give a verbal cue for the congregation, slide people, and your band to go back.  Not following music a chart allows you to do this more easily and smoothly.
    4. Without a music stand you can’t hide.  You’re there to model, lead, and give worship to the King.  A music stand can make it easy not to look up, get lost in the music, and not be as engaged.
    5. Even if you’re not the “worship leader” you’re still a worship leader.  If you play in the band… SING… WORSHIP.  Do not be so engrossed in playing that you forget you have other faculties to use in leading.  Look up from your stand every once in awhile and let people know that you’re there with them… in the presence of God… worshiping.

    Again, this is not law, but it is a strong suggestion.  I know a lot of phenomenal worship pastors who still use music stands, and that’s fine.  My point is that  you do not need the music stand.  Try it out.. you’ll see.  I’d rather follow a worship leader who occasionally hits a wrong chord than one who is engrossed in his music.

    Sidenote: It is also important to know the order of worship really well… including all of your transitions, who’s coming up next, etc.  We use the back screen to help remind whoever is leading about what is coming next.

  12. 3 years ago 

    Took a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo w/ the fam.

    Sidenote: this video will be totally boring unless you are family, close friends, or just love our kids.  ; )

    Also, this video was shot and totally edited on my iPhone.

  13. 3 years ago 
    Having an awesome time looking at Gorillas (Taken with Instagram at Lincoln Park Zoo)

    Having an awesome time looking at Gorillas (Taken with Instagram at Lincoln Park Zoo)

  14. 3 years ago 
    "The gospel exposes you as a sinner and the gospel embraces you as a son or daughter."
    - Russ Moore (Tempted & Tried)
  15. 3 years ago 
    Being outside has been so awesome! (Taken with instagram)

    Being outside has been so awesome! (Taken with instagram)

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Lindsay, Father to Hudson & Hayden, Worship leader at Bethel Church (www.bethelweb.org).