Thursday, November 19, 2009


There was a popular skit on the TV Show Saturday Night Live, that depicted a band having problems with a Rogue member who played the cowbell. The problem was every time he tried to actually play the cowbell, he would distract the other musicians and cause chaos, meaning the band had to stop the song and start over. Finally the producer of the band came out and demanded more cowbell, and announced that he had a "fever" and the only cure was MORE cowbell! The acting was great and the skit hilarious, however inside the church world, this parody is very true to an extent. So many people are crying out for MORE cowbell. They want to be heard, over everyone elses voice, or they want others to pay attention to them and their needs instead of their neighbor. When choir members are more concerned about hearing themselves more on the platform than the heart they bring to worship, its too much. When Pastors rule the church staff as a dictator instead of leading like a shepherd, its too much. When committee members that should be serving a function in the church, ignore Gods Word in order to please their conscious, its too much. When the regular church attender can pick out problems in everybody else's life but cant see any fallacies in their own, there is a problem. What is the problem? What does too much mean? Simply put, the needs and wants of our own flesh have become the proverbial cowbell in the church. We speak up, and loudly, only when it will benefit self. We make a scene and cause division, at the cost of God blessed unity and love. We play our personal cow bell so loudly, that the rest of the band is overshadowed and if anybody may try to help us town it down to blend, we purposely play louder or right in the ear of the one trying to help. What is the cowbell in your life? Who in your ministry plays the cowbell too loud? God gives us a challenge to work together to be unified and allow our lives to play Jesus a song of praise for who He is and what He has done. God is not looking for more cowbell, he is looking for more unity and obedience. More love and faithfulness. More praise and more worship. Put the cow bell down and serve without reservation. Give yourself and let Him help you become not just a cowbell player but a true worshipper of Him!

Friday, November 13, 2009


God has placed so many people all around us. Some are friends, others are merely acquaintances while some may be people that we look to for wisdom and advice. Many times we want to live life our way, do ministry how we think it should be done and play the game by our own rules, but this thinking can sink our ship so much faster than we imagined. If we do things only the way we think they should be done without input from others, then we will never realize the best way things could be done. Adrian Rogers used to say, "Do everything with excellence and all things to the glory of God", but if we really want to be excellent, we should consider how others function and execute their ministry and life. There are two groups of people, those who show us how to do something better, and those who show us what NOT to do, both are needed! As a worship pastor, and artist I sometimes have a very critical ear and eye, but when used in perspective, it can be a good thing. When I visit other churches, I am always interested in how they do everything, from where they find the music they play to how much they practice. As I sit and observe I find myself sometimes thinking, "WOW, that's an interesting way to do that, we should try it!" But sometimes after listening I think "OK, that doesn't work at all, do not try this at home". In both instances, I learned something that will help me in the long run with my own ministry at the creek and on the road. Things I would never have picked up on if I had not looked to OTHER ministries or leaders for advice. I am thankful for a church and a Pastor that encourages me to check out other leaders and ministries to learn, grow and stretch. In my 10 years of ministry I have never had a pastor that was actually interested in what I could learn from other pastors and staff members, and that in and of itself gives me alot of what I need to lead others with confidence! It would be pure pride to think that God only gives me and my team the best ideas, but when I realize that we are in this together as a family to please and praise our father in heaven then I will be intentional to ask questions, observe and even help other worship pastors, pastors, and staff members from other churches. If you serve in ministry, let me encourage you to find other people in your field of ministry and visit them, take them to lunch and find out the what and how of their ministry. Ask them what God is doing in their church, and how they got to where they are. Use friendships and networking to allow God to speak to your heart and mold you into the best leader you can be. During the past 12 months I made a commitment to visit some other ministries that God had given favor and just sit at those staff members feet to learn. As I close this article, I would like to give you 5 things that I found these successful ministries had in common.

1. People are always more important than the music or talent.
2. There is never any room for pride...Jesus never takes second place
3. Commitment to developing people as Christians make a world of difference
4. The Senior Pastor must have a heart for worship, to make a successful worship ministry
5. The Worship Pastor does NOT have to be in the front
6. If you expect others to worship, then don't tell the congregation how to worship, show them how to worship.
7. Its not the style of worship (choir, praise team, band, organ, contemp or traditional) it's the position of the heart!
8. You don't work up an atmosphere of worship, you worship anyway and depend on the spirit
9. Be flexible, bendable and teachable.