Monthly Archives: January 2012

Ideas That Didn’t Work: The Offering

Every once in awhile, pastors need to speak about money. It’s biblical, and it’s important for people to handle their money in a way that honors God. As a creative arts leader within the church, I have found that people are REALLY touchy when you talk about their money. Once, back in the day, we made a humorous video called “Where does your offering go?” The basic premise was that the pastors took the money and went out and bought fancy motorcycles and mobile homes. I was pictured on a jet ski. Our Sr. Pastor was pictured shaking hands with a well-known local car dealer, while standing in front of a fancy sports car.

The congregation did NOT think the video was funny…


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The Pros And Cons Of Low Lying Fog

The Pros And Cons Of Low Lying Fog

Pros: It’s Cool; It’s Dramatic: It’s Mysterious

Cons: If you move much, it won’t be low lying anymore; It’s smelly


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Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Worship Staging


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This Is Why I’m Taking This Weekend Off

I love my church (Northview Church in Carmel, IN)! I have a great job, a great team, a great boss, and great people in the congregation. However, I am prone to workaholic tendencies, and lately it’s been getting out of control. Exhaustion has started to color my attitude, and that’s not OK. I ran across this blog today, and it helped remind me of something I already know…  (click here)

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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Spiritual Moments


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Idea If The Week: Going Old School To Deal With Grief

Once again, as we moved in the Christmas rush last month, we slowed things down for a an evening for something that we call “Glowing Memories.” It’s a decidedly old-school event that we put on for folks that have lost a loved one over the course of the preceding year (or simply in the past, as some come year after year). It’s short, simple, and ends with each person having the opportunity to light a candle in memory of their loved one. I lost my mom a few years ago, and I will testify that this goes a long way to show that the church cares when we are in pain. This is very important – my mom had been a church choir director, and when she lost her own mother to cancer no-one at the church reached out to console her in her grief. That lack of love soured her strong love for the church for many years. I glad that we can offer this simple way to help our friends to know that someone cares…


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Worship Leader Quote Of The Day

“I’m ashamed to admit it, but something in me just can’t get over the fact that Britney Spears is an anagram of Presbyterians. Irrelevant? Ok, I admit it.” – Matt Redman

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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Just Plain Cool


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Throwing A Changeup, Part 1

Variety in our worship services is something that I really strive for. Like anyone else, we have our “liturgy” (ours is the standard megachurch fare of 3-4 worship songs, announcements, video, special music & message). However, I really try to look at what can be done to change things up – not to be “presentational,” but really to be more relational. In any relationship, you’re always wanting to tell friends about new things that have happened to you, or interesting things that you have found out (as opposed to telling the same story in the same way every time you meet them). Our Story doesn’t change, but there are virtually endless ways in which we can tell it – and virtually endless types of people waiting to receive it.

An easy way to inject variety in a service is to change up the style of music. Each of us has styles of music that we like best (and do better than other styles). However, just because you don’t like country (I’m not wild about it) doesn’t mean that a country song isn’t the best choice to support a particular topic. We did a ska song this morning, believe it or not, and it really went well!

Don’t use the same instrumentation on every song. Just because you have a killer 7-piece band doesn’t mean that you have to use all 7 players in every song. It’s not going to kill a player to stand there as a song (or part of a song) is being played that he or she is not part of. More to come…

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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Creative Planning


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Book Review: “Tribes”

Business guru Seth Godin encourages everyone to step up to the plate as leaders – leaders, as he puts it, of their own individual tribes. Tribes are no longer local – the internet has allowed groups to come together easily and organize – people from all over the world. Godin insists that each of us has a niche to lead in this new new world, and that the world will suffer if each person doesn’t figure out what they’re supposed to lead & get busy!

Godin’s writing style is like his personality – a mile a minute, and what ever happens to come to his mind immediately comes out. I liked “Tribes” – it was an easy read, it contained some interesting insights, and it was fun. Before I give my rating, I will confess to a bias towards books (especially if they are of the leadership variety) which have action steps and practical “how-to” ideas. This didn’t really have any (or not many). But it did make me think, so I’m not sorry I read it.

My rating: 3.5

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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Book Reviews


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