This is C.J. He played acoustic guitar during the Saturday night service last weekend. The story of how we got connected is totally a “God-thing” — so I must share it with you!
C.J. is from the South Bend, Indiana area — but last summer his church’s youth group went to a church’s youth camp in Colorado Springs. It was at this church camp that C.J. met my cousin Jeoffrey who lives in Colorado Springs. Jeoffrey and C.J. are both fantastic musicians. I had contacted Jeoffrey about possibly networking with me in a special musical missions project the end of this year and he suggested that C.J. come as well. I was open to that possibility, but of course I sure wanted to meet him first! His parents wanted to meet me as well.
Jeoffrey’s mother (my aunt) was here in Indiana to visit, and since she knows C.J.’s parents, she arranged for them to come out during our Saturday service so we could all meet. It just so happened that we were short an acoustic guitar player that evening so I offered the spot to C.J. as a guest musician. He jumped at the chance.
Now if that’s not a “divine connection” I’m not really sure what is!
C.J. is incredible. So is Jeoff. Their musical talent is outstanding and musical knowledge is through the roof — especially for their age and experience. Most importantly – they both have a fantastic attitude and they are truly willing to submit to God in their lives.
What happens when you get two amazingly talented Christians teens together in the same room? THIS happens. Everything you hear in that song was written, performed, recorded, and mastered by C.J. and Jeoff. That song, “Willing,” really ministers to me. Way to go guys!
I was reading in Matthew tonight, and there’s one passage that totally jumped out to me. Check out these red letters, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). When I read this I immediately thought of the “gift at the altar” in the context of a worship team. Most of my blog posts are general and apply to everyone, but please allow me to speak directly to members of a worship team:
When we’re leading worship – we’re not only bringing our gift to the altar like its mentioned in this passage — its our job to help others do the same thing. How much more important, then, is it for the worship team to be in harmony before any rehearsing or “stage time.” IT’S VITAL. A worship team must be in harmony to remain a biblical worship team!
I’m blessed to be serving in an awesome church where the worship teams are nearly always in unity. But I’ve heard way too many stories of churches where this is not the case; worship team members build up anger against each other. In one extreme case, I heard about a guitar player who walked off the stage during a Sunday Morning worship set and announced to the entire congregation, “I’m not playing if HE’S going to be singing in the microphone!” Unfortunately this type of event is not a rare occurance in many churches. Praise God nothing that severe has ever happened at New Hope!
If you are mad at someone on your worship team, go fix the problem before any rehearsing. Talk to them or grab a pastor to help you — do whatever it takes, but do not try to lead worship with someone you’re mad at — it’s unbiblical and that negative spirit can drag the entire worship team down. It would be better for you to take a break from being on the worship team that week (of course that’s only if reconciliation in your heart is not possible).
This is the last week of New Hope’s four part Myth Busters series (you can see the first promo video here). We’re finishing it off with a huge bang — you don’t want to miss it. We’re doing something that we’ve never done before in 27 years of existence. Don’t miss it!
This past weekend was a great service at New Hope. We were very blessed to have singer Jeoffrey Benward (of Aaron*Jeoffrey) ministering with us. He had come up for a special appreciation dinner of Gilbert Dilley, an older gentleman who served years as a pastor and evangelist. (Gilbert Dilley had a profound impact on many young people in the 70s during the Jesus Movement. He led many people towards the baptism in the Holy Spirit during late night prayer meetings in his house – among the group were both of my parents and Jeoff. We owe a great deal of gratitude to people such as Gilbert Dilley who influenced the lives of the people who are influencing us! Seeing the legacy that Gilbert Dilley has already left made me think – what kind of legacy am I leaving? Will the people who I am influencing influence others? I can only pray and trust God that my influence will be lasting.)
During the special time of appreciating Gilbert, Jeoffrey was saying a few words. I had never seen the prophet side of Jeoffrey Benward – but it was definitely there. He was speaking to Gilbert directly when he said words we should never forget, “You will never loose your relevancy when you are working with the Spirit.”
How true is this! The push among many young Christian leaders today is to remain “relevant.” Many of them say that to be relevant you must use proper technology, use special words to develop branding, advertise a certain way, and wear blue jeans on the stage. I’m not speaking against these things — but being “relevant” without working in the Spirit of God is wrong. We can never loose our relevancy when we are being led by the Spirit of God.
My fear (and what I have observed) is that while young Christians have a desire to remain “relevant” — they listen to U2, but they’ve stopped listening to God. U2 doesn’t bring relevance to your ministry (although their sound is really tight!) – the Spirit of God has stood the test of relevancy. That’s relevant.
Leading the Worship Arts department at New Hope Christian Center would be impossible without the horde of Worship Arts volunteers, and to each of them I want to offer a great big THANK YOU!
One volunteer that I want to point out in particular is Luke. Luke is currently a middle school student who serves in a variety of behind the scenes ministries. Luke helps run sound for the youth group. He helps film and edit many of our video projects, which is extremely time consuming. Every one minute of video requires AT LEAST one hour of video editing — and Luke helps with this on a regular basis. Every single week Luke comes into the church’s media booth and artistically selects worshipful backgrounds for the songs we sing in worship. These backgrounds can help determine the environment of the room during the service, and Luke does a fantastic job with it.
All of these ministries are very behind the scenes, and Luke continues to serve faithfully. Luke is amiable, committed, respectful, reliable, dedicated, passionate, focused, creative, and inspires those he is around.
Luke is one of a kind, but at the same time he is one of many volunteers who consistently use their gifts to honor the One who gave them. Thanks for serving our Lord.
Last weekend was a little rough (hopefully nobody knew it). Mostly it was just Saturday night. I arrived early as usual to rehearse with the Saturday night worship team. Rehearsal went pretty good. After rehearsal I headed back to the office complex to pick up the service schedule and check with my pastor to see if there were any last minute adjustments that I needed to know about. He said, “Be prepared for some obstacles, Adam. Satan does not want this service to go well.” He went on to mention several problems that had occurred already.
The “pre-service” music sounded fine. But RIGHT AS WE BEGAN WORSHIP, one of the two FOH (front of house) speakers just stopped working. Our sanctuary is set up to be more wide than deep, so for one of the speakers to stop functioning is a huge deal. My sound guy wasn’t experienced enough to troubleshoot the problem. After the worship set I went back in the booth and began troubleshooting. Both sides of the amp were receiving signal, but only one side was outputting. It wasn’t easy to check, but one of the connections had come loose at the back of the amp. It just needed to be stuck back in and screwed into place. I thought about fixing it during service, but then I realized that if I touched the + and – at the same time, I’d suck in about 600W of electricity. No thanks. So we just waited until the end of service to fix things. It’s all good now, but a wise man was right when he said,
“The devil gets into sound systems.”
This “plug” is for the techies (I know you’re out there). If you’re not a techie, you can stop reading this post.
Last weekend was Easter weekend and at my church we used confetti launchers disguised as plants during the service to help us celebrate the resurrection of our King. We rented this equipment from a company in Orlando called SpFx.com. From the looks of things, their equipment is typically used for gigantic events, but I was only renting 2 small confetti machines and I still feel like I received royal treatment. This is a plug for “SpFx.com” Every phone conversation was extremely professional and concise. The company is very “on the ball” and they even recognized my name when I called in with a question.
After receiving the rental product there was some confusion with the assembling of the confetti launchers. Specifically, we needed to tape a cap to the top of the canon to build pressure. This was not indicated in the instructions, which is no problem for someone who does this all the time — but this was the first time I ever used a confetti launcher and I didn’t know unless someone told me. The problem was solved with one extremely helpful and professional phone call. I suggest SpFx improve their directions so that the inexperienced would be able to assemble the product correctly the first time.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with spfx.com. They are prompt, polite, punctual, and professional. I intend to use them in the future.
I just looked at my site statistics, and apparently someone searched the internet for “Prozac” and they linked into my website. What? (Prozac). I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about Prozac. Prozac is not something I need to (prozac) blog about because Prozac does not interest me one bit. Of course (prozac) now that I’ve typed “Prozac” so many times in this blog entry (PROZAC) a lot more people will link in to this website after searching for Prozac. To those newcomers, I say WELCOME TO MY WORLD.
And to my local readers in the DeKalb County area, couple things going on this weekend to help you celebrate the Holy Week.
Community Good Friday Service – The Waterloo Community Good Friday service will be held at the Waterloo United Methodist Church (From Wayne Street, Go west on Maple by the Library. The UMC is a few blocks down on Maple). I think Auburn has a community Good Friday service, but I’m not sure.
Easter – Artistic planning for this weekend began back in January. It will be awesome. Don’t miss church at New Hope this weekend. Three identical services to choose from – Saturday 6 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m., or Sunday 10:30 a.m.
I don’t mean to mock the old Charter Beacon commercials, but in all seriousness, “If you don’t go to New Hope on Easter weekend, please, go to to church somewhere.”
‘Nuf said. (This is a link, right here).
This weekend my church is beginning its Easter series called Risen to Reign. Lots of great things will be happening — this four week series is our Easter production for 2007, integrated with our services. Here are the top ten reasons I’m looking forward to the Risen to Reign series.
10) Hundreds of hours have gone into it – I’m anxious to finally see how it unfolds.
9) After the series, my work days will actually last from 9-5 again. Okay – so they never did. But still . . .
8) The story of Jesus has the power to change an eternal destiny. Through the ongoing drama in this series, the story of Christ will be more clear than perhaps ever before — I know lives will be touched as a result.
7) I think some friends of mine A, A, and J are coming. I’m pretty sure they aren’t Christians – and I’m praying they recieve Christ during this event.
6) I’m adding some instrumentation to the worship band during this series.
5) We’re going to integrate some very sweet artistic elements within the worship sets — including some stuff we’ve never tried before.
4) My friend B might be coming. I talked about him a few days ago. I’m definitely looking forward to that.
3) We’re completely transforming the stage on week four (Easter Weekend).
2) I believe people will make decisions for Christ.
1) IT’S GONNA BE SWEET!