Ritualistic Spirituality

Ritualistic Spirituality

We all need a little more solitude in our lives. We also need a little more community as well. The more I experience life as a Christian the more I truly believe that communal spirituality fuels our individual spirituality and individual spirituality fuels our communal spirituality. We need both. Just like how introverts need a little more extrovertism in their lives, and how most extroverts need to learn to calm down. 

I Thought You Would Want to Know

I Thought You Would Want to Know

I recently had the privilege of hanging out with about 20 dedicated volunteers who serve the worship ministry of their congregation, one that worships nearly 1,000 people each week. Their worship pastor had just moved on to a new church and, before launching a search for a new one, we thought it best to have a conversation with those most involved in the ministry

Little Black Books

Little Black Books

I found it in an antique store. I was there to shop for my wife’s birthday, but heard the siren song of an old bookshelf filled with old books and was lured into complete distraction. I stood shuffling through the collection, amused by the lack of organization. Julia Childs cookbook next door to a Ronald Reagan biography, giant hardback coffee table book shoulder to shoulder with a Louis L’amour paperback. Dostoyevsky sandwiched between The Hardy Boys. It was like literature whiplash.

The People of the Future

The People of the Future

My favorite movie of all time is unashamedly Back to the Future (and for the record, I consider all 3 movies to be one continuous film). 

For those of you who have been living under a rock since 1985, Back to the Future is a story about a teenager named Marty McFly (played by Michael J Fox) who time travels in a DeLorean with the help of scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd). The movie is filled with time traveling adventures to the past as well as to the future.

Nashville Number System: 101–Worship Leading

Nashville Number System: 101–Worship Leading

We've all been there. We posted the song on Planning Center in the key of F, (and everyone learned it in F), then on Sunday morning the vocalist can't hit the high-note. She needs it dropped to the key of E... Or, in the middle of rehearsal, you realize it'd be great to flow from one song into the next, but you learned one in the key of B and the other is the key of C. Do you need to run back into the church office and print out new chord charts for the band?

Worship Pastor or Karaoke Singer?

Worship Pastor or Karaoke Singer?

Tragedy struck a family in our church and, while visiting their house, I was called upon to lead worship for a room of grieving family members, with no monitors, no lights, no haze, no band, no confidence monitor, and no advance notice.

And in that moment I found myself with nothing to sing and even less to say.

I remember strumming very poorly through part of a hymn, mumbling a prayer, and leaving the house crushed by my inability to pastor these beautiful people during this precious moment in their lives I had been invited into. Of course, they were incredibly gracious, but I knew that I had failed.

"I would rather be in a valley with the Lord than on a mountain without Him."

"I would rather be in a valley with the Lord than on a mountain without Him."

I’ve long loved Psalm 34:1, “I will praise You at all times, your praise will continually be on my lips.” I want to praise God at all times—not just the good times, or easy times—but I so often fail to. I often default to whining, not worshiping. I often complain, rather than consistently praise God in faith. “The Valley” is an aspirational prayer that aims to determine: no matter what comes my way, I choose to bring you praise.

The Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer

We were backstage at a massive event a few years ago. I was about to lead worship for around 3,500 people in the room, and another 100,000 (!) people watching online. In-demand preachers were slated to preach. We were going through the program beforehand, getting on the same page regarding all of the cues, transitions, and last-minute details. The producer of the event asked me what I planned to do for the opening worship set...