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Posted on Mar 7, 2012 in Blog, Values, Worship

We Is Greater Than I

Yesterday, I asked some questions about how we as a Worship Arts Ministry know if we’re winning or losing. It’s been great to hear some of your feedback on facebook about how we can know if we are winning and I’d like to invite you to go over to our group and join the discussion.

One of my highest priorities for us as a worship ministry is the power of the team. In fact, it’s so important to me, that it’s going to be our logo, our identifier. This is something I firmly believe. ‘We’ are greater than any ‘I’ could be.

The idea of “greater than” is an idea that pertains particularly well to worship. Ultimately, we worship because He is greater than we are. We worship because we want to make more of Jesus and less of us. We want Jesus to become greater and ourselves to become less.

The idea of “we” is also quite pertinent. Even in our private worship, we use tools that required a “we”. We might sing a worship song that was written by someone else, taught to us by someone else. We might read out of the scriptures which is quite a depiction of “we” considering all the authors who were used by God to share His message with us. Even when we pray in private, we pray like those who taught us to pray.

“We” is also at the foundation of the church. We are the body. We. Not they. Not me. We. Together we make up the body of Christ. Together we comprise the body. Individually we are a part. But, individually we are not the whole.

We live in an ever-increasing “me” society. Everything can be customized exactly how we want it. Marketers are increasingly trying to get us to do things because we deserve it. We are living less and less in community and more and more in isolation. Being the body is now the exception instead of the rule. Being the body is something we do a few hours a week instead of who we are all the time. We approach everything, including church and the ministries of the church like Worship Arts with an attitude of what we can get out of it. We ask, how does this ministry make me happy and what do you have to offer me instead of serving Christ and serving one another in love.

I want us to be the anomaly. I want our Worship Arts Ministry to stand out among all others. Not for the same reasons most Worship Pastors want their ministries to stand out. I’m not worried about beating the other churches. In fact, if you know much about me, you know that I’ve committed quite a bit of my life as a Worship Pastor, to helping other Worship Pastors lead their ministries the best they can. I’m not worried about our worship being better than New Heights or Crossroads or Living Hope. Those aren’t the things about our Worship Arts Ministry that keep me up at night.

I want us to stand out because we are such a team that people just have to be involved. Because we are so much more concerned with others than ourselves that we selflessly serve by nature not by force. I want us to stand out for our humility in leading worship. I want us to stand out for our humility in serving our body and each other. I want us to be the ministry that is like minded, who has the same love, who are one in spirit and purpose. I want us to be known because selfish ambition doesn’t drive us neither does vain conceit, but humility. I want us to be known because we consider others better than ourselves and that we are more concerned with the interests of others.

I want us to stand out because our attitude is the same as that of Christ Jesus, who had every reason to boast and brag, and yet He humbled Himself and died the most embarrassing and painful death for us.

I believe that when we act this way, it will change the way we do ministry. We won’t fight for our own preferences and styles anymore. We won’t come to rehearsals unprepared because we don’t want to let the others on the team down. We won’t talk about the others on the team behind their back because we recognize that we are all on a journey and none of us have arrived.

Will you join me on this journey? Will you dare to change the status quo of Worship Arts Ministry? Will you join me as we move away from doing things to get attention for ourselves and begin doing things that point people to Christ? I believe we can. I believe we can be the most diverse and still the most unified worship arts ministry. I believe we can be a group of people who loves each other so much that others want to join us because they want to be a part of a team that truly cares about them. I believe that we can move into uncharted waters and truly tap into the creativity and ingenuity that our creator has endowed us with.

Let’s turn over a new leaf and create the future God wants for our Worship Arts Ministry!

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Posted on Mar 6, 2012 in Blog, Values, Worship

Clarify the Win

The definition of win: “to finish first in a race, contest, or the like.” When you’re running a race, it’s easy to know if you’ve won or lost. If you were the first to cross the finish line, you won. If someone else beat you there, you lost.

The same principle doesn’t as easily apply to Worship Arts Ministry.

The first person the finish the song wins? The person to sing the loudest wins? The first person to arrive to rehearsal wins? The last person to leave rehearsal? These just aren’t legit ways to measure success of a worship arts ministry. (And no, drinking tiger blood isn’t going to help either)

So then how do we know if we’re winning? There are a few tangible things we can measure that can help us gauge our progress. For instance, if there is a constant influx of new people into a ministry, that’s a good sign that we are winning in that area. If we’re constantly struggling to find the necessary people, that would be a sign that we’re not winning.

However, a lot of our measurement has to come from subjective means. It may seem that we could judge the response of the congregation, rate it and compare it to other weeks and begin to gain a sense of whether we’re winning or not. But not everyone worships in the same way, especially when you take into account a vast differentiation between worship styles and generations. But, if a once responsive congregation goes unresponsive, then we can know something from that. If a once unresponsive congregation suddenly responds in an obvious way, we know we’ve done something to connect.

There are some other ways that I measure whether we’re winning or not. These go back to the post I wrote a while ago (Click here to read it), Relationships, Unity & Focus. If we only have the same relationships we’ve always had in the worship arts ministry, then we need to change something. But if we’re building new relationships, then we’re winning. If we are finding a new unity amongst us, then we’re winning. However, if I’m being constantly bombarded with people who are unhappy about this or that, if I’m hearing a bunch of stuff “through the grapevine” then we’re not winning. If our focus is on worshipping God and nothing else, then we’re winning. If our focus is on us, making ourselves look good, seeking only our desires then we’re not winning.

There are other things I use to measure how we’re doing, but I want to hear from you (by the way – also a way I can tell whether we’re winning or not – if people are participating in conversations and I can see people taking ownership, then we’re winning).

What are some ways you think we could measure whether we’re winning or not?

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Posted on Jun 2, 2011 in Blog

The Gift of Christmas

I wrote this song a couple of years ago for our choir to sing at our church. I wanted a song for our choir to sing that talked about what the gift of Christmas really is. Sure it’s a message that’s been told in many songs, but it’s a message that needs to be repeated as often as we can. The point of Christmas isn’t “Presents in bows or wishes for snow, or gifts underneath a tree.” It’s about God himself, becoming a man, bearing the weight of our sin, giving his life, being raised from the dead, covering us with Grace and being with us. That’s the point, God is with us.

So, as you listen to this song, I would just encourage you to be thinking about Christmas, and the amazing gift that it really is.

From what I can gather, this song has been a real blessing to many people in our church and in our choir, and I hope that the same blessing extends to you as well!

Some notes on the recording:

Acoustic Guitar: Dan Friesen; B-3: Kevin Kruse; Background Vocals: Phil & Danielle Carter; Violin; Rob Pullen

I do have choir music for this song, and I could also get a you a track if you would like to use this song this coming Christmas.

The choral parts aren’t on this recording, but they are simple enough to learn along with this recording. The parts that Phil & Danielle sang on the chorus would also make great parts for a “praise team” to sing along with the choir which would really fill out the arrangement!

The Gift of Christmas by davidlindner

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Posted on Apr 13, 2011 in Blog, Grace, Pain and Suffering

Pardoning Blood

For me, this was one of those songs that was totally inspired by the Holy Spirit. The chorus for the song came in just a few minutes and the rest of the song less than an hour later. Of course I polished it up a bit, but the core of the song stayed the same.

For me, this is a song that encapsulates my day to day worship in light of the pardoning blood that was poured out for me. The lyrics are below the play box below!

 

 

Pardoning Blood by davidlindner

 

A new and living way You have made for us,
Our ransom paid, by Your body and blood.
We live no more, enslaved to sin,
But we live by faith, enslaved to Him.

It’s by Your sacrifice alone
It’s only by the grace of God
I could ever know

Pardoning blood, priceless and sweet
Undeserved gift, poured over me
Nothing I’ve done, and nothing I could
But be washed in this fount of Pardoning Blood

How can I not look back, to see what You have done
How You’ve changed my path, from where I had begun
Day by day, I find myself in awe
I can’t believe the way You have paid for us all

It’s by Your sacrifice alone
It’s only by the grace of God
I could ever know

Pardoning blood, priceless and sweet
Undeserved gift, poured over me
Nothing I’ve done, and nothing I could
But be washed in this fount of Pardoning Blood

It’s by Your sacrifice alone
(Pardoning Blood)

Pardoning blood, priceless and sweet
Undeserved gift, poured over me
Nothing I’ve done, and nothing I could
But be washed in this fount of Pardoning Blood

Pardoning blood, priceless and sweet
Undeserved gift, poured over me
Nothing I’ve done, and nothing I could
But be washed in this fount of Pardoning Blood

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Posted on Mar 21, 2011 in Blog

Be Thou My Vision

This is an arrangement I did a year or so ago for this Hymn that we all know & love. It’s one that has been arranged many times and in many different ways, but I think this is a new twist to the song. I added a chorus to it, that really helps to create dynamic feeling in the arrangement.

I hope that this helps you worship as you listen along!

Be Thou My Vision by davidlindner

Be Thou My Vision – Chord Chart – Key of D

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Posted on Mar 20, 2011 in Blog

He Leadeth Me

One thing I’ve loved doing for as long as I’ve been involved with worship ministry is rearranging Hymns. A lot of the great Hymns have been rearranged several times, and we have a contemporary version of them that our band already knows – so it would be redundant for me to come up with a new arrangement for one of those.

So, I’ve been looking through my hymnals lately – looking for hymns that I think would be great for us to be using today, but maybe we don’t do them because there isn’t a new arrangement of them. And this is one I came across this week, and was thrilled to arrange.

I also “wrote” a new bridge. The music is mine & half the words are mine, the text of the first half of the Bridge is a rendition of the chorus from “God Leads us Along.”

So, I thought I’d let you hear it. This is a rough recording I did for our band, I’m going to listen to the recordings from our services this weekend and see if one of them is good enough to put up here. But you’ll get the idea.

He Leadeth Me by davidlindner

He Leadeth Me – Chord Chart – Key of C – D

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