Friday, August 21, 2009

Everybody Needs Somebody To Look Up To

I have lots of friends, many who are in ministry and many who are not. They have different positions from farmers to banker, from gas clerks to associate pastors, and all of them bring a unique prospective to the table. Each friend from the different backgrounds hold valuable advice and direction from unique perspectives, however they are not what I would call a mentor. Even though I talk to my friends often and ask advice, it is always good to find those people in my life or those I know about who have been doing ministry longer and better than me, and ask questions about how they got to where they are and what God is doing in their lives! Sometimes we are afraid to ask other people questions because that would be admitting that we don't have the answer. God told us that there is wisdom in the company of counselors, but we must be careful who that counselor is. This idea can be applied to all areas of life and to anybody. If you are a banker, you can always be better by asking somebody who has been doing it for a while and really making a difference. If you are a CEO, there are always others who are in charge of larger companies that you can take to lunch and find advice. As a worship pastor, I am constantly finding other worship guys and pastors to watch and ask about ministry things. Recently I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days with a fantastic worship team from FBC Woodstock in GA. These guys are absolutely amazing and God is blessing them tremendously. You might say, "They are in a huge church, how do they relate to you?" Easy, because there was a time they were where I am at, and God has taken them to a larger platform to reach more people. Obviously God has blessed them and deserves all credit for any good or advancement, but there were many lessons learned on the way to thier present position. The time I was able to spend was filled with observation and lots of questions. Everything from what time do you practice, to how do you handle conflict. Those two days have been a major blessing to me and I will take several things I learned in GA to make the ministry better in KY. Did I like everything about Woodstock's worship ministry? No, but even difference of opinion can be a learning experience. Let me challenge you. Find those people in your life that you might not even know yet, and request some time with them to learn and ask. Even if it is only lunch, offer to buy their lunch and pick their brain. Be sure to really be interested and have some questions ready, this way you don't wast your time or theirs. John Maxwell when he was first getting started, would take those in his profession who had it together to lunch and pay them $100 for an hour of their time. Why? Because input from others is very valuable if you ever intend to grow and be better. Why be better? Because God deserves our best, and if we only want to stay where we are, then God is not pleased and we will become stagnant. God was always asking His followers in the Bible to go forward, or stand still and wait on Him, but He never asked them to go backward or become dull and dried up. Take this opportunity to evaluate where you are in your walk, profession, ministry and service. If you have not made any advance in those areas of your life in recent months, find somebody to speak into your life through Gods word and get moving again for the Glory and worship of God! Be ready for honesty, and dont accept anything less. Honesty is what will help us be better.

Friday, August 7, 2009

CD Music Review- Travis Cottrell

I am not a professional critic but when I find a great collection of worship I want to share it with others. So many of today's artist sound the same, especially when they release a worship CD. We usually find a CD filled with songs we don't know or are hard to sing. Sometimes we discover songs that make us want to cry and not because we are broken, but more like the songs on the CD are so bad. If this is the case in your search for good music, I have great news for you! Travis Cottrell is not just another artist trying to promote a new CD that just happens to be filled with worship tunes but, Travis is an actual worship leader with a heart that comes through as he leads. Jesus Saves Live was recorded at FBC Woodstock in GA along with special friend Beth Moore. From the deep drumbeats of "To The King" all the way through to the classic "In Christ Alone", this project will move you to worship God with everything that is within you. Giving others who are called an opportunity to serve is definitely a vision of Cottrells and you can tell as other leaders are featured on the new rendition of Mercy Seat and the great exhilarating arrangement of Victory In Jesus. This is not your grandmothers hymn tucked away in the pages of an old hymnal, but this power packed version has been revived to portray the real, powerful victory that is our in Christ! I highly recommend this project to anyone that loves Worship music that is deep and meaningful, not just shallow or as some traditionalist rightly describe some songs as 7-11 music. This CD is anything but....Thank God for Travis Cottrell!