Category Archives: Worship Pastor

Observations and dialogue from the experience of shepherding a community as an artist

The effect of soaking in theology for worship leaders (essentials blue 09 – week 4)

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

Long have I appreciated the Worship leaders and pastors who not only get up in front of folks and emote, but have the ability to construct foundation theological experiences that lead people into accurate understandings of the saving work of Christ, the activity of the Holy Spirit, and the love of the Father.

For this reason, I am loving the mental and theological crunches that Dan and the Institute is asking us, (a group gifted in emotional expression) to go through.   In his Week 4 Video summation Dan described his hope that our soaking in these truths about God and the outworking of his kingdom would flow over into our writing, our songs, our literature our preaching, our relationships, and our approach to Christianity.  I can already see it happening in me and the others in my church that are walking with me through this course.

In my sermons, I have a renewed focus on inviting the heavenly and earthly spheres to interlock and creating “thin” places where our citizenship in the heavenly kingdom can be more fully tasted.  In my prayers, I feel more authority and confidence as I freely embrace the members of the Trinity as a collective and as separate entities.  I have been given language to more creatively and vividly express the activity of the kingdom and the purpose of God throughout the ages.

Indeed, becuase of this course, I already feel a renewed hope that I am playing an important role in God’s kingdom.  I am a reconciliar, a SalvificStoryTeller, an ImageBearer, and a SubCreator.  I am not divine, but I there is something of a pilot light of divinity that lights my furnace and keeps me hot for God and the kingdom.  Oh God that you would turn up the thermostat in my personal life, in my pastoring, and in my worship leading!


The language of the interlocking ages (e*b Fall 09 week 3)

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

For the past several months I have been preaching through Philippians on Sunday mornings.  It seems that in each section I delve into, Paul is calling people to look heavenward, set their sights on the future, and be motivated by the breaking through of the coming eschaton into our current experience.

So the language N.T. Wright (1) has been employing to refer to heaven, or the co-existing kingdom of God has been helpful in explaining what it is that Paul is so fired up about.   It is not some distant death dependent dwelling place of God for which Paul is pursuing his “prize.”  No, he is seeking the “power of the resurrection” right there in his time and space.  He is vividly aware that he and his Philippian cohorts have already been made “citizens” of heaven and that the benefits of that citizenship should follow them around wherever they go.

At the same time he is extremely motivated by the knowledge that at the end of the age, all the glimpses he gets of the new creation will replaced with scenic overlooks.

His other focus is that of living a cruciform lifestyle that includes an embracing of suffering and focus on Chirst in his life and death.   But right now what is more intriguing to me is how the language of Wright’s book gives us a kind of scaffolding of images with which to understand the reality of the “already” kingdom – or the creation that is “already” being made new.

(1) N.T. Wright, Simply Christian (San Francisco: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2006), 55-140

The Worship Pastor (Essentials Blue)

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

One thing I love about the Vineyard is the concept of a worship pastor that has been promoted by the churches I have been in. I like the idea of a leader shepherding a group of God’s creative kids much more than someone whose sole responsibility of leading others or a team of others into worship. When I am being lead in worship, I find that I respond much more to someone leading if she has been willing to share her heart with me and has made attempts to care for me.

Somehow (although not surprisingly) when I feel a connection with the people leading worship, when I have been in their living rooms, and when I am aware of some of their struggles, problems and fears, their example of heartfelt worship does much more to draw me into the presence of God.

I hope the be the kind of pastor that I like to have for myself. Certainly my life is leading me in that direction, since I am the lead pastor of a small church. On any given Sunday, it may be true that the day before they were with me installing a floor in someone’s house, fixing a roof, or watching their daughter at a flag competition. We’re a small church, and one that stresses authenticity and emotional health, so much of my baggage – bad habits, sins, childhood issues, anger management problems and hangups with God are available to be seen. And the same for me about them. I know most of the quite well. I am not just their worship leader, I am their pastor. And they are not just the congregation, they are my friends.

I hope that through this essentials course, I experience an increase in this fusion of ministry worlds. God, draw me more deeply into your presence and there make me more like you – the ultimate leader (err.. object) of worship and and the kind of friend everyone wants to have.

Fun picture of a fun time and a fun friends ranch.

Fun picture of a fun time and a fun friends ranch.