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Two Venue Launch at C4 Church

Since starting on staff at C4 Church as the Worship Pastor a couple of months ago I haven’t really taken the time to fill you in on why I’m so excited about God is doing here, what is happening in and through us, and where we believe God is calling us to go in the future as a church. These really are some pretty exciting days.

One of the really incredible things is that C4 has been praying and working for years about launching a second venue in our building. Right now we are full in our one service, we’re not ready to go to two services yet and we were able to convert a multi-purpose space to be a great venue for worship on Sunday morning.

This past Sunday, March 30, we officially launched our second venue at C4. It was an incredible day. Watch this video to get a glimpse of what happened:

We have an awesome staff team, some incredible volunteers who went way above & beyond to help make this happen. More than that, we have a ridiculous dream and conviction that God is actually going to use us and other churches in our area to change the face of our region. We believe He’s going to do it.

God called Joshua and his army to obey, God made the walls collapse. God has called us to obedience, He does the real work that only He can do. Praying for obedience and a great move of God.

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Preview: “Glorious” by Paul Baloche

Hearing the new Paul Baloche LIVE album wasn’t my first time experiencing those songs. I was actually able to be part of the choir that sang with Paul on the night he recorded those songs. It was a huge honour to share the stage with Paul, his band, a bunch of friends and a room full of worship team members from churches all across Ontario.

Something special happened that night and thankfully there was an incredible tech crew with some amazing gear to catch it all on video and audio.

Once again I was impressed in the right kind of way with Paul, his attitude, his leadership, his love for Jesus and his real desire for people to worship. There’s no other way to put it. Paul leads worship.

Thanks to the great people at Integrity Music I’ve got a preview of this live DVD for you. Here’s one of those special moments I talked about – make sure you watch through all the way to the end! You’ll get to hear some of this incredible worship of our incredible, glorious God.

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Paul Baloche LIVE CD / DVD Giveaway

Paul Baloche’s new LIVE CD / DVD releases on April 1 from Integrity Music and I’ve got FIVE copies of this awesome album to give away. The Paul Baloche LIVE CD / DVD is a great collection of favourites and new songs to inspire and encouraged churches around the world to worship Jesus.

Paul’s songs have had major impact in the church for decades and he continues to be a friend and mentor to many younger worship leaders around the world.

You can find out more about this album at www.paulbalochelive.com

Keep scrolling down to find out how to win your own copy!

For this album, Paul and his band recorded lots of favourites plus some new great songs too. The room was filled with passionate worshippers attending Paul’s concert at Harvest Bible Chapel in Oakville, Ontario. I was privileged to be there along with several people from the worship team at my church.

Continue reading…

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Seeds Conference 2014

Seeds Conference happens at Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK and is an incredible opportunity for creatives to gather to learn from some of the best. Whether it’s worship, production, kids, students or communications, your area of focus is represented in the sessions and breakouts at Seeds Conference.

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Photo by @andybarron

 

Connect with Seeds Conference on social media:

I was able to attend Seeds Conference in 2013 and was very willing to say it was the best overall conference experience I had ever participated in. Although I wasn’t able to go this year I did get to catch a good part of Seeds Conference thanks to their streampass registration.

Church on the Move has released video of their main evening sessions as well as some clips of some of the incredible production pieces they included. These guys are doing some incredible work and the best part is they are so willing to share with others. I have been impressed over and over again with the desire of Whitney, Greg, Andrew, Jesse and their whole team to actually serve and support other churches as they grow in creative ministry.

Thanks Church on the Move for what you guys are doing with Seeds Conference. You are making a big impact around the world!

Seeds Conference Night 1:

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Donald Miller, Church & Singing

The last few days there’s been a great discussion happening in blog world (yes, people still write and read blogs!) sparked by Donald Miller’s admission that he’s just not that in to church anymore.

I’m including links to these articles with quotes not because they are summaries of the entire post but because they highlight some of the points raised. All of these articles are worth reading in full.

I Don’t Worship God by Singing. I Connect With Him Elsewhere.

It’s just that I don’t experience that intimacy in a traditional worship service. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of sermons I actually remember. So to be brutally honest, I don’t learn much about God hearing a sermon and I don’t connect with him by singing songs to him. So, like most men, a traditional church service can be somewhat long and difficult to get through.

There was then a follow-up post on his blog, answering some of the comments and questions he’d received since the original post.

Why I Don’t Go to Church Very Often, a Follow Up Blog

While I love the traditional church, I love it like a foundational part of my past, as though it were a University I’ve graduated from to join a much larger church those still in the University program are quite suspicious of.

Because this is the internet, responses were fast and furious. I didn’t come across any “An Open Letter to Donald Miller” posts but I am sure they’re out there.

Here are the responses I did find and read which I thought were worth sharing. Enjoy.

Why, unlike Donald Miller, I will never leave the church from Geoff Surratt

Unlike Donald Miller I will never leave, or graduate, from the local church. I don’t attend because I have to or because I am paid to, I attend because I believe God calls me to. I can’t speak to Miller’s thought process or church experience, we’ve never met. (Most of the influential Christian leaders I know, however, do attend church. We must know different leaders). I can only explain why I’ve come to a completely different conclusion about church.

Donald Miller and the Culture of Contemporary Worship by Mike Cosper

I realize I’m guilty of caricature here, as there are many, many churches that break this mold. But I think it’s fair to say this much: in the past, corporate worship was seen as an immersive formational experience, wherein the church calendar and liturgy slowly shapes Christians to live Kingdom-oriented lives in a fallen world; today, the gathering (shaped by revivalist sentiments and revolutionized by new technology) is meant to be a catalytic, emotional experience. We aim to be spectacular, rather than regular. We aim for instant gratification rather than slow, steady change.

The Church Needs You – What Donald Miller Got Wrong by Stephen Miller

God doesn’t need our songs. If we weren’t to sing to him, he would be no less glorious than he is. We can neither add to, nor detract from his magnificent worth with our rhythm and rhyme. So to think that corporate worship in song is simply for the benefit of a God who needs our songs reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of singing within the corporate gathering of church.

On Going To Church by Glenn Packiam

Why do we go to church?

This is the question at the bottom of all this musing, right? Miller speaks for many who see the hollow-ness of what the gathered church has become. I see it. You see it. So we ask, “Why go to church?” Immediately, someone is going to say, “We don’t go to church; we are the church!” There is, of course, something true about this statement. But it misses a very crucial point.

 

These are only a few responses and typical of the general discussion I’ve overheard on this topic. It’s one worth addressing and shouldn’t be dismissed too quickly.

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Worship Media Handbook from Jeff McIntosh

January 22nd my friend Jeff McIntosh @jrsmcintosh is releasing an incredible resource called the Worship Media Handbook. Jeff is the owner and creative developer behind Church Motion Graphics and has developed the Worship Media Handbook as an awesome tool for anyone involved in creative ministry. Worship leaders, projection volunteers, communication directors, even pastors – you will find this resource very helpful as you think about what is projected on the screens at your church during worship and how that helps or hinders our worship of God. Worship Media Handbook covers so much info and I promise it will be useful for your church and your creative ministry. Worship Media Handbook

This 101 page PDF ebook on the fundamentals of worship projection will help you and your church media team prepare, edit and project worship lyric slides with excellence. Topics include: typography, layout, color theory, alignment, punctuation, timing and more. Available January 22 at www.worshipmediahandbook.com

I had the chance last week to do a Google Hangout with Jeff McIntosh to talk about the Worship Media Handbook and how it’s going to help you do your job. Check out the video below and then check out the book on Jeff’s site. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKdvNrGaa1I

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Elevation Worship – Only King Forever review plus bonus FREE Download

Elevation Worship from Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC are releasing their new album “Only King Forever” today. “Only King Forever” from Elevation Worship features 13 new songs written by Elevation Church worship leaders Wade Joye, Chris Brown, Mack Brock, London Gatch as well as Elevation Church’s Pastor Steven Furtick and other great songwriters like Matt Redman, Jason Ingram, Israel Houghton, Carl Cartee and more.

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There’s so much that I love about this album and I want to share some of it with you so read through to the bottom of this post for a free download of my favourite song from the album.

Since the beginning, the heart of Elevation Worship has always been to write and record the songs and anthems reflecting the journey of our church and God’s work in the people of our church. The sixth album from Elevation Worship, Only King Forever, is a collection of 13 new songs praising God as the eternal King, and raising our banner high as children of the King. See more at: http://elevationworship.com/home

I’m a huge fan of two things:

1. I love churches that are willing to do the work of digging in to their own story and crafting new songs which tell the work that God is doing within their own community. Of course we can and should be singing songs from around the world and across the ages but there is nothing quite like adding to the worship vocabulary of your own congregation with songs that sing back to God the very things He has done and is doing among us. Elevation has taken this to heart and made it central to each of their worship albums. In turn this blesses other churches, give all of us words and songs to sing to the Lord as expressions of worship and motivates us to sing our own new songs back to Him.

Watch this little trailer for the album and catch the first words describing the heart behind this album:

He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise
A sound that resonates, that all of heaven and earth may worship Him

 

2. I love that these songs deepen my faith, magnify Jesus, expand my view of who he is and inspire worship in my own life. These are not simply songs for the sake of music or an album for the sake of filling a shelf. These songs really dig in to the majesty, might, and worthiness of Jesus. I’ll sing songs like that every day for the rest of my life!

Here are some lyric snippets in different songs from across the album. Tell me this doesn’t drive you to worship:

  • You are the only King forever / Forevermore, you are victorious
  • I will look up for there is none above you / I will bow down to tell you that I need You / Jesus Lord of all
  • Oh the glory of the Savior’s love / Surrounding our surrender / To know forever we are welcomed home
  • Jesus the great commander / You conquered death forever / In victory you reign / We triumph in your name

I could go on. Actually I feel like I could pull lyrics like this from every song and give you a glimpse of what this album is all about.

So why don’t I share some of it with you? Thanks to our friends at Elevation Worship and Essential Worship here’s a free download from Elevation Worship “Only King Forever”. Click below to get “Grace So Glorious” (this is my favourite song on the album!) as well as the chord chart and lead sheet to help you learn the song. This free download will be available until February 14 so get it while you can!

GIVEAWAY – Paul Baloche Tickets for Oakville – February 7

Paul Baloche is one of the most influential worship leaders and songwriters of our generation. His talent is matched only by his humility and his desire to see the church equipped for passionate, Jesus-centred worship. Paul Baloche has had a major impact on my life and on the lives of many of you.

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Paul Baloche is coming to The Meeting House in Oakville, Ontario on Friday, February 7 with special guests Joel Augé and Tim Neufeld & The Hallelujah Glory Boys. This is going to be an incredible night of worship, celebrating Jesus together with people from all over Ontario.

And I’ve got TWO pairs of tickets for you to win! Once you enter, make sure you share this post with friends so that they have a chance to win, too. There are two pairs to this great concert so you’ll definitely want to spread the word on this one!

I’ll draw the winner on Thursday, January 16. Good luck! Thanks to our friends at Unite Productions for putting this concert together and providing tickets for this event.

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2005 – 2014

I started on staff at Compass as the Director of Worship on November 15, 2005. That will be 2,973 days from my last day at Compass which is this Sunday, January 5, 2014.

In my time I will have overseen 425 Sundays. Obviously I’m not there every Sunday but it’s just under 400 Sundays that I’ve been leading or playing at Compass.

Of course that’s just a blip on the radar in the big picture of 152 years of Sundays in the history of our church! 7,904 Sundays since Compass was founded in 1861. Thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to be part of 5% of the Sundays in our history.

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I’ll say we sing an average of 5 1/2 songs per week (sometimes more, sometimes less) so that’s a total of 2,338 songs that we’ve sung together as a church family. And we do two services each week so that’s somewhere between 4,500 and 5,000 total songs sung. Add 8 years of Good Fridays and Christmas Eves and the final number is even higher!

In total, we’ve sung 280 different songs in my time here (Thank you Planning Center Online!). Some of them we’ve sung once, some of them we’ve sung often and consistently. For our community, these have become part of our vocabulary.

Around 80 people have played some part in our teams in our time here – musicians, singers, sound techs, projection, announcements, prayer, whatever it is. Lots of people giving what they have to offer to help make Compass a great place.

So thankful that I’ve had a role to play but even more thankful for what Compass has meant to me and to our family. God has incredible things in store for Compass and great days are ahead!