Sunday, October 26, 2008

unquenchable worshipper...

Read a really good book yesterday.

The Unquenchable Worshipper (Matt Redman)

"Worship leaders, we are on a sacred journey. The cargo is precious and the mission is vital. If we are really see our King’s pleasure in this whole worship music movement, then there are some narrow paths we need to cling to. At times it may seem more attractive to find pleasure from the people. Many of you have a lot of gifting and could certainly impress a lot of people. If you really wanted to, you could grab a lot of attention for yourself. But, the challenge is to stay pure and true to the cause. Always keep in mind the end of the journey-the pleasure of the king over you as you bring your unspoiled offering to him and him alone. "

a broken Kingdom...

It's early in the morning, still dark and I know that I am not alone...

...out there all of you are up early (yet again) preparing for worship today. It is an honor to serve with all of you.

We did cardboard testimonies today. If you haven't seen this powerful type of testimony, then check this one out.

We hope to have ours posted soon. It was unbelievable how God moved.
We had about 30 people who prepped ahead of time to share, then invited others to come forward and share, probably had about 25 more share. God was honored and glorified greatly today!

Worship Set 1
Be Glorified

Welcome & Greet

Message: Jesus’ Kingdom: A Broken Kingdom

Worship Set 2
Poverty - Jason Upton

Chris (pastor) came up with his card and explains cardboard testimonies
Cardboard Testimonies (rehearsed and planned ahead)
All of the Words - Kutless

Worship Set 3
Chris to bridge for congregation to come and make their own cardboard testimonies and share them at this point.

Jesus Paid it All
Grace Like Rain
Mighty to Save

What is your cardboard testimony?
This is being submitted as part of Sunday Set List blog carnival at Fred McKinnon's blog. Come and see the hearts of worship leaders.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jesus' Kingdom: An Exclusive Club

Sunday Set List for Cross Current Ministries October 19th, 2008
It’s hard to describe how well everything blended together today. The music was really rocked out, which I personally love.
We have an amazing lead electric guitarist who only is able to play every 4-6 weeks. We had him, a bass player, drums and our worship leader (playing both electric and acoustic).

No stage set today, everything was focused on a personal invitation to step into God.
Everyone received an actual invitation to the “Exclusive Club” along with “reserved” seating.

Worship Set 1
Blessed Be Your Name

Welcome & Greet

Our missionary to China spoke with a video- it was really cool.

Worship Set 2
Invitation to the wedding banquet – a spoken word about…
The Stand

Message: Jesus’ Kingdom Pt. 2: An Exclusive Club

Worship Set 3
Thank You

At other churches, I have often found musical interludes distracting for worship (just a me thing), but today was spot on. Everyone was worshiping so strongly through out. It was flat out sweet. I think it has to do with how much prayer our worship team puts into their offering.
I have a question: how do you handle musical interludes?

This is part of the Sunday Set List 13, blog carnival at Fred McKinnon's blog. A place where wroship leaders and worshipers alike share their SUnday Set lists.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sunday set list 12...

Wow, I’m not sure how to act this weekend. After weeks and weeks of logistics, setting up stage designs and breaking down, I have the weekend off.
I had to fight the urge to slip in and help out. Have to realize that this gives other people opportunities to shine. I know that in my mind. And I know it will be wonderful. (and it was).
But I have found myself wondering how the design is going…
I will be out of town a lot over the coming 6 weeks.
So this weekend I truly am just a worshiper.
Next week I’ll be a visitor… I think I will share the Sunday set list from where I attend next week.

Worship Set 1
Oh Praise Him

The creative element was pulled from our Cross Current Classic vaults…
Barbie’s House

(This is from the mad mind of Bill. He has some incredible stuff. For more check this out...from the mad mind of Bill)

Welcome and Greet

Our worship leader shared a story about her trip to serve at Passion Kampala, Uganda, Africa.
It was an amazing story. Very touching. A modern day version of the parable of the widow and the coin. I will try to post her story later this week.
Then she shared a song she had written some time ago. I’m going to try to get the words from her.
Special Song
I Surrender

Worship Set 2
Here Am I
Exalted (Yahweh)- reprised I Surrender and back to Exalted

Message- It Ain’t Suburbia. We are focusing the next few weeks of this series to address the reality of our nation’s economic situation vs. the eternal view of God’s Kingdom.

Worship Set 3

Overall, it was one of those days that was amazing.
This is part of the Fred McKinnon's Sunday Set list blog carnival. Come see what's happening in worship across the nation.

some hot set designs...

Here are some hot set designs I gathered up this week...

@ derrick logan

@josh lazar

@gracepoint ssl

@ worship tech online

Have you found some hot set designs this week?


The "Flobots" element was kicked to the curb.

blowing of the shofar...

This vid has a good explanation of the meaning behind the "blowing of the shofar". The actual blowing of the shofar isn't that great.

How do we disengage our minds from the everyday stresses we walk in with on Sunday - to prepare ourselves to enter into the presence of God?
– how to engage the hearts and minds of people in a Sunday morning worship experience. Lately, we’ve been exploring a variety of ways to call people to worship – to help move them from a place of neutrality or even passivity toward a posture of readiness for the presence of God and anticipation for what might happen.- Nancy Beach
I gather many creative teams struggle with this.
The 5 minute count-down has no apparent meaning now. I must admit ours has fallen into a rut.
-Five minute count-down
-Musical intro
-Leading into the first worship set.
People still are straggling in during the first two songs.
So in reality the people aren’t drawn into the worship experience often until after the Meet and Greet.
We have even discussed this when deciding on the placement of a creative worship element. We sort of default the placement until after the Meet and Greet.

I believe we need to start intentionally designing a more focused time of “call to worship”.

Blowing of the shofar? Both figuratively and literally?
The shofar says: "Wake up from your (moral) sleep. You are asleep. Get up from your slumber. You are in a deep sleep. Search for your behavior. Become the best person you can. Remember God, the One Who created you." Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance 3:4

What does it take to engage – attract people into the presence of God?

What are your experiences of intentionally drawing people into worship?

Friday, October 10, 2008

there is a continuum…

Entice the skeptic, challenge the lukewarm and inspire the mature believer to new levels of passion...

I don’t think that “relevant” necessarily is the same thing everywhere you go.
Just six months ago, I was working with a group church plant from my current church, not 15 miles from here (Metro Washington D.C.) and it should have been flat out country western in flavor.
There is a place for all “styles” of worship. As long as it is authentic and designed to glorify God.
Personally for me, it’s rock worship.
For my youngest brother (37) it is vintage traditional (Presbyterian) complete with vaulted ceilings, choir loft, magnificent pipe organ, stained glass windows and classical (think Handel) worship.
The “style” of worship doesn’t matter as much as knowing “who” you are called to reach.

The “enticement” part for me is a sort of a tool to get them in the door. A connecting piece. Something that enables them to drop the wall of incredulity…
It also needs to be sincere, not merely manipulative.
Once they enter that space of worship they need to see genuine hearts worshiping God- our God of love and transformation.
God will handle the transformation.

We need to take what God has given us and work within that framework.

I spent many years as a lukewarm believer. There was a disconnect from my head to my heart. When I finally turned my life completely over to Christ is when I was radically transformed. I desperately wish that all people could know this place of transformation.

There is also a piece that involves increasing “mature believers” passion. To go beyond just feeding ourselves. Raising their level of passion, so that our hearts break for what breaks His.

All of this leads us back out into the world.

I truly believe in the great commission. Each and every one of us is called to “go”. Working at Starbucks is what works for me. I know I have far more God conversations at work, than I do anywhere else in my life. Maybe for others it’s an indie coffee house or being a bartender or competitive poker playing.

I merely find it amusing that God calls me into the land of piercings, tattoos and the disenfranchised. I gave up a long time ago trying to figure out God’s calling, I just go where He leads me.

What is your heart calling?

This is in response to my blogging buddy Chris at prophets and popstars comment on my post about the mind of the skeptic…

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

the mind of the skeptic…

I am almost hesitant to share my not so random thoughts this morning…

I spend about equal amounts of time hanging out with skeptics, as I do with the “churched”.
I am constantly amazed that God has placed me in this position.
I am over 50.
Fluffy (nice way to say I’m not thin)
And a grandmother of four.
I am madly and passionately in love with God and an extremely grateful follower of Christ.

For some astonishing reason the skeptics actually like to hang out with me.

I believe…

Everyone who knows me understands that I am a follower of Christ, but they also know I don’t beat them over the head with the Bible, I pray that I am always very real and non-judgmental.
I love sharing frank discussions about their life journey.

It’s actually kind of cute sometimes. Monday-one of my peeps was bashing Christians (and rightly so), then turned to me and said “I’m sorry”, acknowledging my faith journey. But, she was right and I totally agreed with her. She has a mad hate on with Christians. And I understand why.

We work at Starbucks and she was sharing how the “Christians” stopping off at Starbucks on their way home from being so holy are rude and disrespectful to the barista’s, often cursing; after blithely dropping Christian tracks into the tip jar. That is the “witness” my dear skeptics see every week.
I’d actually prefer that Ned Flanders would come by for his latte…

What I know from the skeptics p.o.v.:
They want authentic relationships -they want to be able to be real…
Do not want to be judged - they want to be safe…
Have huge stereotypes of Christians. Which are most often based in realities. They don't want their lives to be changed, because they don't want to become like what they perceive "us" to be.
They are having real time spiritual conversations, just not with “Christians”.

Sort of related, sort of not….

Fast forward to Tuesday: When I am with our creative team I constantly viewing everything we do through the eyes of the skeptic.

I am continually bewildered when our creative team (comprised mostly of 25-35 something’s) get locked into designing from their point of view.
Can’t they see how locked into their own post-modern, Christian world view they are?
Completely missing what is now culturally relevant for the next up and coming generation? Or even people their age, but that are unchurched.
This isn’t the 80’s, or the 90’s, this is 2008.
They used to be cutting edge, when they were a fledgling young adult ministry. They were impacting lives.

But, now it seems to be that they are designing from memory instead of imagination…

Please understand that any discussion like this we need agree on the premise that we all are seeking to glorify God and we are uncompromising in sharing Word. And know that God is able to work through anything.
But I believe in giving God a fighting chance…

How many “skeptics” do you hang out with?
Are you designing from memory or imagination?

I apologise if this doesn't make sense, but it makes sense in my mind...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

new vocabulary...

changing my vocabulary from "traditional songs (hymns)" to "vintage songs".
Like it.
Thanks HL!

Monday, October 6, 2008

90% grown-up?

Found this through Brent (in worship)

You Are 90% Grown Up, 10% Kid

Your emotional maturity is fully developed, and you have an excellent grasp on your emotions.

You're honest, direct, and compassionate. You don't let a bad mood get the best of you.

People know that they can turn to you in times of trouble. You are stable and smart.

In fact, you are so emotionally mature - you should consider being a therapist!

I'm not sure I am happy my results. But, I guess it's based on emotional maturity. Un-like my insane child-like personality.
How mature are you?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

they went out to the Mount of Olives...

I came from a traditional denominational background. I served in many capacities from deacon, elder to licensed minister. Without a doubt the most meaningful was serving the elements of the Last Supper and praying over the individuals.
I’m now a member of a non-traditional, non-denominational church. Because of the constraints of our current location, we are just starting to have communion more often. We meet in an auditorium of a middle school.
At first the school wouldn’t allow us to have any “food” in the school. There was a point where we actually filed out of the auditorium, out the front door of the school to be able to partake at the Lord’s Table outside of the school.
We now do it more often.
I grew up celebrating communion every Sunday. It has always touched my heart. Join with me...

"On the night that Jesus was betrayed...
Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples,
saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives."

I miss it…

130 feet of material...

Stage design for Jesus' Kingdom: you want in?
We had a drama, based on the story of the rich young ruler. (Luke 18: 18-23). What it must have felt like when he arrived back home...

We do our set-up on Saturday mornings.
We arrive at the middle school at 8:00 a.m. and have bags packed and be out the door at 11:45 a.m.
Our team arrives at 8:00 with an idea, a sketch and materials. Sometimes we have 3 people working, other times it just me. I liken it to throwing spaghetti on the wall to see if it will stick. When we get there we have no idea if it will work or not. We have 3 hrs. and 45 minutes to throw it on the wall. Crawling over and around the band, and other teams (like drama this weekend).

We’ve started utilizing a lot of cloth. We use a 20 ft. ladder to throw fishing line over the various rods on the stage and attach gaffer’s hooks. The hanging materials are hung. This weekend alone we used approximately 130 feet of material. Gotta love the $1 a yard table at Walmart.
We have it measured and wrapped up on bolts.

I started on this team in January this year. I came with zero experience with stage design. Sometimes I feel like I am sharing meaningless details here; but each detail is a lesson learned the hard way in this designing process. If I have ever responded to one of your posting on set/stage design, and pestered you for details and more photos…that’s why.

I am always searching for set/stage designing elements. That is why I started a flickr creative elements design WAREHOUSE lab group. If you design (or you have a team that designs) set/stage design elements for your worship space, please encourage them to post pictures and details.

One of the things I am learning is that I try to take pictures on Saturday and look at them at home. This week for example, I noticed several things: The draping was really off, we forgot to add the candles, material was not covering the legs of the bar stool (on the left), the material wrapped around the papa-san wasn’t tucked in properly.
Things we were able to rectify this morning, when we got in. We ran out of time on Saturday and didn’t get to hang the plant (with fishing wire)

Sunday we arrived at 7:30. Finish up details, do full dress rehearsal run through. Practice transitions.
We have a pre-service mini-worship gathering at 9:15 for the leadership and teams (children’s ministry, connections team, etc) that are serving that weekend.
We have a breakfast bar at 10:00.
Then the auditorium doors open at 10:20 for our regular service.
Service ends at 12:00 and we break everything down, load it on the truck and out of the school by 1:00.

We are working towards having just general set/stage design packages. But, mostly we are designing something fresh each week.

Are you a mobile church? Give me your details and photos?

This is being submitted to the Creative Chaos on Thursdays at Ragamuffin Soul.

Jesus' Kingdom; you want in?

10/05/08 Jesus' Kingdom Pt. 1: You Want In?

Personally, I feel we are so blessed. I know for a fact one of the hardest things to do, is pull off a blended (ugh!) service. Been there, done that, have multiple t-shirts.

But, I am learning that it is more difficult to add "new" to the "old". Rather than the other way around. Or is that just in churches I have been in?

I think because we are predominately a rock worship style church, we are able to blend in traditional and contemporary along with our rock. We also add appropriate secular music.

Particularly since we focus on the reaching skeptic and unchurched. They don't have any idea when we slip in a traditional song like "I Stand Amazed". It's just like any other song we sing. And when we add secular music, it is such a connecting piece with the unchurched.
About six weeks out, we are actually going to be doing a dramatic movement piece using Flobots "handlebars".

The other thing I noticed, the unchurched never starts a sentence with "Back at my old church...".

Worship Set 1
All We Need

Welcome & Greet / Announcements
Promo for: "Card Board Testimonies”

Worship Set 2
I Stand Amazed

Creative Element
Drama - "Rich Young Ruler"
The stage set was designed for the drama we did today. Very simple, yet dramatic visually.
The stage design was fun and used 130 feet of material.

Message: Jesus' Kingdom Pt. 1: You Want In?

Worship Set 3
'Till I See You

Do you think it is easier to blend in the old with the new vs. the new with the old?

This is submitted as part of "Sunday Set List #11" blog carnival at Fred McKinnon's blog. Check it out and see what worship leaders are planning from all over.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

life with four doggies...

Wednesday was a wild day.

A nasty cold finally caught me. Ugh! Went to Walmart to get o.j., cold meds., and Airborne...

Then I had to take one of my younger pups to the vets.

She evidently ripped the pad on her dew claw. ouch and ewww!

Poor thing, she looked so pathetic. But, she was a good girl, even when they removed her entire dew claw and pad.

When we left the vet's, she had on one of those plastic cones on her head and her paw was all bandaged up and she cowered and limped. She couldn't figure out how to raise her head with the cone thingie, so would would just stand in the middle of the floor with her head bent down and the cone flush to the carpet. It was pathetic.

I felt so sorry for her, I finally took the cone off and vowed to watch her so she wouldn't lick the bandaged paw.

I'm so proud of her. She hasn't bothered the paw at all. all evening all night and today...

You know sometimes it would be nice if God put a big plastic cone on our heads to help us stay on track. Keeping us away from the temptation of nibbling and licking our sin spots.

But, amazingly He trusts us with out the cone on our head.

Here's to another day of not being tempted to nibble and lick.

Sit, Ubu, sit. (Arf) Good dog.

pool noodles, a hula hoop and a chipmunk...

That's right pool noodles and a hula hoop...

It's hard to describe how my mind works. Before I started working on our fuZe (creative) team nine months ago, I had zero experience in creating stage/set designs.

These pool noodles and the hula hoop were actually purchased for another design several months ago (a giant faux mirror), but not used. So I carried the noodles and hula hoop in the back seat of my Thunderbird for months. It's kind of my traveling storage unit.

Anyway when we came up with this "heart" element for this week, I instantly thought of my pool noodles and hula hoop. We created two halves of a heart. They were perfect. We cut the hula hoop in half and inserted each half into a pool noodle. Then duct-taped the remaining noodles into a heart sharp and covered the frame with red cloth attached with safety pins. We duct taped fishing line to bow the rest of the shape. It was about 6 feet tall.

We attached each half of the heart to each side of the back stage curtain (with safety pins).
The service started with the curtains closed and during the second worship set, the curtains were slowly opened to reveal "the reality behind the scene", which was white chiffon, hung with gaffer clips in the shape of a cross. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture after we completed the lighting.

We used to photographer's lights. One positioned at the bottom of of the cross shooting up, and one positioned on the right crossbeam shooting to the left. The effect was awesome.

It was one of "those" weekend, with tons of technical difficulties, from our truck getting trapped in the compound where we store it - to our Media-Shout program crashing - to a chipmunk that got in the auditorium and was running amuck around the media team's table...(the reality behind the scene).

Oh, along with some of the nice comments we got from people - we had a couple people say it reminded them of the opening for the old "I Love Lucy" show. LOL. Our creative team never even thought about that.

I love God's sense of humor!

This is part of the insanity of Creative Chaos//29 on Ragemuffin Soul. I look forward to this all week...