Really, Mr. Insidious Font Engineer Man?

Who’s the guy who decided that the capital i and the lower-case L would be the exact same symbol in all my favorite fonts? Come on, man. I want to write “ill”, not an overzealous pause button.

And while we’re at it, could you please explain the difference between Helvetica and its French cousin, Helvetica Neue. How did you convince your boss that an infinitesimally thinner letter and a fancy name are worthy of precious kilobytes on my hard drive? You must contract out for college textbook publishers.

Not About You, Not About Me

Your blog. Your follow count. Your marriage. Your ministry.

Everything around you is screaming otherwise, constantly contending the corner of You, the Great and Unrivaled. To and from our deepest place – the mighty, smoldering, invisible nucleus of every person – we are coached over and over and over that we are, in fact, really really important. That we could rule this kingdom. That we honestly do deserve some credit. We are continually self-medicating on the holy scriptures of brownie points and weekly attendance and Klout and PostRank. Continue reading

Worship Setlist: September 4, 2011

Yesterday was Labor Day. So I didn’t labor. That’s why I’m doing this today!

We had a really great time of worship in The Bridge on Sunday. A lot of technical stuff went wrong on my end, and I just had to give up, take my own advice, and let it be awkward. Once I had let go, I was able to worship. Chad Hutton filled in for Mark, and did a fantastic job challenging us during the service. You should check out his blog here and his twitter page here. He’s a brilliant, stylish man with a huge heart for Jesus. And he loves Cracker Barrel oatmeal.

Here’s what we sang in The Bridge this past Sunday:

Did you like these songs? Are there ways we can improve The Bridge services?

Top 5 Worship Songs

I’m always curious to know what songs other worship leaders are using in their services. Every local body of believers is different and carries a unique personality, but I’m sure there are some certain songs that trend the sea of modern worship gatherings.

Right now, these are 5 of the songs we love doing in our service:

With Everything – Hillsong United

Always – Kristian Stanfill

Like A Lion – David Crowder*Band

Christ Is Risen – Matt Maher

Rise And Sing – Fee

What are your top 5 worship songs right now?

How Messy Is Your Worship?

If I’m not careful, I find myself making worship into a time that is:

polished

rigid in structure

spiritually stationary

But real worship is messy and honest. Brutally honest. That means it’s not neatly trimmed and sometimes it smells bad. It’s the offerings of real, messy people. Living sacrifices. If offered in true seeking of the Spirit of God, the spotted lambs, the three-legged calves (juxtaposed anatomical pun, check), and the rotting meat are all welcome at the altar of God.

As a worship leader, I want to encourage times of corporate worship that are free to be:

awkward

fluid in structure

spiritually transformational

Do you try to clean up the mess? How do you encourage genuine worship?

Worship Setlist: August 28, 2011

If I had to describe yesterday’s Bridge service in one word, it would be: saucy. If I were given 1.5 words: boom-saucy.

Worship was great. Just great. Mark and I designed a special open-ended time after the message for us all to pray and worship as we felt led. Mark challenged us heavy, heavy, heavy. And it was wonderful. The Spirit was definitely moving in a lot of people, and it pulled the congregation together in a deep way. I saw several people praying together after the service, something we’ve been striving for as a church. People living life with people.

Here’s what we sang in worship:

Did you enjoy these songs? What are some you’d love for us to do?

4 Thoughts On Observation And Participation In Worship

If you’re a worship leader or someone in a church leadership role (staff or not), you’ve probably experienced the frustration of a “dead crowd”. We ask ourselves How in the world could these people be standing still, staring at the stage looking like they either want to beat somebody up or can’t wait to get to Shoney’s? I believe this is a legitimate desire wrapped up in that ugly school wrapping paper you bought from your niece so she could win a trip to Disney World. No one likes that.

Of course we want to see true transformation in people’s lives expressed in joyful worship! But the part that gets the air-time is the nasty, judgmental spirit that can rot a fellowship of believers from the inside out. The Enemy loves a noble complainer. Continue reading