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Hum – Songwriting App Review

Every photographer will tell you the best camera is the one you have.

Every songwriter will tell you the best way to capture songs is the device you have. For most songwriters that’s an iPhone and that has meant a jumble of different apps in the songwriting process – Notes, Voice Memos, Evernote, etc.

Hum has changed all that.

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Hum is a beautiful all-in-one app for songwriters that pulls together lyrics, melody, notes and high level song data which is catalogued and searchable.

My journey with Hum started when I backed them on Kickstarter about a year ago. Even though their fundraising seemed to be going well they cancelled the pledges on Kickstarter and decided to go the traditional route of producing the app and having customers buy once it was live.

I was more than happy to be a paying customer and my love for this app has grown since it was released.

Over the last year Hum has become an integral part of my songwriting process and it does exactly what it promises to do. By giving me one place to write, record and take notes on song ideas there’s no longer any need to be jumping back and forth between several apps while I’m writing.

Want access to my full list of “must have” apps for worship leaders? At the bottom of this post you’ll see a big graphic that says “Best Apps For Worship Leaders” – click that and you’ll get instant access to apps that I use every day, every week to help me do my job better.

When you start a new Hum you are opening a new song file in your library. This can be a place to capture a quick melody idea or write down a lyrical thought that comes to mind or use the notes section to give words to inspiration which has just struck. Once you’ve fleshed out the idea you can assign it a key and it even includes two pretty unique sliders to assign emotion and intensity characteristics – at least that’s how I use them!

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Once you build your library you can search for specific words as well as sort by key and find songs with those emotion and intensity sliders. Again, some really great features in this little app.

And sharing? Yes, there’s sharing. Sending ideas by iMessage or email and backup to Dropbox in an upcoming version means you can swap songs with co-writers as soon as a session is over.

So what’s the bottom line? For $1.99 Hum is an incredible resource for every songwriter and is a must-have tool to help you write better songs.

Because I love this app and want YOU to have it, I’ve got two copies of this great app to give away. Enter through the widget below and winners will be announced on July 29, 2014. Good luck!

 

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3 Dangerous Assumptions for Worship Leaders

Worship leaders, in general, are artists. Artists, in general, tend to be emotionally invested in their own situation. Emotional investment, in general, results in assumptions which have varying degrees of truthiness.

And we all know what happens when we assume.

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Tweet this: 3 Dangerous Assumptions for Worship Leaders. Don’t be a donkey.

I’ve been leading worship for almost 20 years and I certainly fall into the category of emotionally invested artist. Time and time again I’m reminded that there are assumptions I make, there are assumptions I used to make and there will be assumptions I will make in the future which are wrong, unhealthy and potentially dangerous.

Not dangerous in the sense of “look both ways before you cross the street” or “don’t stick that fork in the electrical outlet” but dangerous in the sense that our hearts can become callous, our passion can fade and our sense of entitlement can grow over time. Dangerous, especially for those of us called to lead God’s people in worship.

So let me outline three of these dangerous assumptions that I have seen worship leaders (including myself) make and give some solutions which will be helpful for you.

Continue reading…

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When You’re Out of the Picture

I’m sure mine is not the only church with a running joke about staff only having to work one day a week. Worship pastors get to take this to the next level when we say, “And all I have to do is play guitar!”

If only this were true.

Worship leaders are passionate about leading. We love to be involved on Sundays. We love creating moments where people can experience the presence of the Lord and passionately express their worship to God. Worship leaders are also human and we have very real, physical limits.

We need times to rest and recharge or else eventually we’ll be dead. Whether we choose to or not, there will be a time for our church when we’re out of the picture. The choice we have to make is how we’re going to prepare our teams and our church for those Sundays when we aren’t there, either because we’re away or because our time at that church is done.

Earlier this year I moved from the church where I had been the Director of Worship for 8 years and came on staff as the Worship Pastor at my new church. Over the last few years at my previous church I had the unique opportunity to prepare my church for the reality of me not being there.

I want to share with you three very specific habits you need to develop if you want to prepare your team for your absence.

Commit to Equipping

A few years ago the pastoral staff at my church decided together that our roles needed to be primarily and explicitly about equipping. Ephesians 4 needed to be more than just a nice idea. The words of that chapter needed to be the hallmark and the standard of how our staff spends our time, energy, and focus.

You can often take the call to equip the saints for the work of the ministry to one of two very negative extremes: first, the perception that staff are trying to offload the work they were hired to do; and second, the perception that staff are simply trying to burden other people with more work.

What does good, healthy, biblical equipping look like? Ephesians 4 tells us that the equipper knows their calling, giftedness, and purpose and the fruit of the equipping is that more work of the ministry gets done.

In their book The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne develop the image that in church work there is trellis (the supporting structures to see growth happen) and the vines (gospel ministry). Staff, building, programs, events – these are all trellis. Equipping, discipleship, worship, fruit of the Spirit on display and in action – these are the vines.

The goal and ideal relationship between these two in any church is to have as much vine as possible with as little trellis as possible. Have as much gospel ministry taking place with as little official structure required.

What’s the most effective way for this to happen? A small group of equippers developing a larger group of co-laborers who can then, over time, become equippers of equippers and so on. How do we do this as worship leaders within the context of Sunday morning? Three ideas:

  • Have a two-way commitment with a group of leaders who are current or potential Sunday morning worship leaders. Ask them to read specific books and meet with you to discuss them. Ask them to commit to a certain number of Sunday mornings per month or quarter. Prioritize feedback and conversations with them about worship and leadership. Pray for them as you do this together.
  • Include your whole team in discussions on what you are trying to accomplish. Normally, during our Thursday evening rehearsal, I walk through our Sunday service with our team and let them know what kind of experience we are trying to create and if we are going to be calling for a certain response. They begin to see why I’ve chosen certain songs or how I’ve laid the service out to achieve this.
  • Co-lead with them. When I’m developing a new worship leader, I schedule them for a couple Sundays in a row or maybe three Sundays out of four and ask them to co-lead with me. At first it may be to simply introduce one song, speak through one transition, or pray at one spot. The next week it might be to lead a set of songs or do the welcome and call to worship. Each time I work with the person leading up to that weekend to make sure we’re setting them up to succeed.

If there is no culture of equipping at your church, you can forget about your teams being prepared for you to be gone – either in an emergency situation like sickness or in the eventual situation that God calls you away from your church.

Clarify Roles

As a worship leader, I know you do so much more than choose and lead songs for your church. You’re scheduling communion servers, choosing backgrounds for lyric slides, asking people to lead congregational prayers, making sure the thermostat is set to the right temperature, going out of your way to meet new people who show up, making sure the person doing announcements knows where their mic will be… and that’s all before you get up and say “Good morning!” on Sunday.

When a Sunday comes and you aren’t there, it’s important to have clarity for these tasks and know who’s responsible for making sure all of these things happen. In the summer of 2012 I had the great opportunity to be on sabbatical from my church. I was away for 3 months – 13 Sundays.

Before I left, part of my job was to make sure I had people lined up to carry the extra workload brought on by my absence. I wasn’t responsible for planning three months of Sundays, but I was responsible for making sure the right people were in place for that to happen while I was gone.

Obviously this took time and work. We actually began working on my sabbatical plan about 18 months out and putting some of the details in place 12 months out. We had a commitment to quality for Sunday morning and we wouldn’t let something like me not being there be an excuse for poor quality.

Clarify Expectations

When I know I’m going to be away for a Sunday, I now have confidence in my team and the people we have developed that they can carry the majority of the work to make Sunday happen. We’ve committed to equipping and we’ve clarified roles with the right people, but it’s still up to me to clarify expectations. Here’s an example of unclarified expectations:

“Hi Tim. I’m going to be away on Sunday six weeks from now and you are scheduled to lead. Can you plan the service? Mark is preaching on Colossians 3 and there’s a missionary visiting.”

What have I done? I definitely haven’t set Tim up to succeed. I haven’t supported my pastor in making sure we’re going to have a great worship service when I’m gone. And I’m not serving my congregation very well by doing everything I can to make sure they are given the opportunity to worship. What would be better? Here are clarified expectations:

“Hi Tim. I’m going to be away on Sunday six weeks from now and you are scheduled to lead. Can you plan the service?

  • It would be great if we could have a call to worship using Psalm 121, then two upbeat opener songs.
  • During announcements we’ll have a report from one of our missionaries. Julie is taking care of details and I’ve asked her to be in touch with you on how this will happen.
  • Out of the missionary report, let’s do a song that talks about God’s love for the world and move into a time of just singing about and celebrating God’s love.
  • Mark’s preaching on Colossians 3 and you should connect with him about his outline and what he’d like as a response section. I know he’ll be talking about the importance of encouraging one another’s faith when we gather.”

See the difference? I know this is a simplified example and life doesn’t always work out this way, but if you’ve created a culture of equipping and are having conversations like this with worship leaders and people on your team, they will be ready and able to step in during a week when you’re out of the picture.

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The Worship Bully

Lift it up! Sing it out! Raise your hands! Get your praise on!

Sometime worship leading can sound less like encouragement and more like jazzercise.

Worship leaders, I get it. I completely understand. You want nothing more than for your congregation to revel in and drink deeply of the blessings God has for them in worship.

Your heart burns for them to experience joy and peace and satisfaction in the presence of God as they passionately pour out their praises to Him.

You long for the day when your church would be known as that place where 1 Chronicles 16 worship happens, where your services are described by Psalm 96, and where Colossians 3 worship is expected and happening.

Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
1 Chronicles 16:9-10 (NIV)

Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
Psalm 96:9 (NIV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16 (ESV)

We long for this as artists and worship leaders because somewhere along the way we’ve tasted and we’ve seen. We’ve stood still in the thin place between heaven and earth. We have seen what can happen when the people of God turn back to the cross, lift their eyes to God, fall on their faces, confess their deep need of grace and mercy, and celebrate the goodness of God in every circumstance of life – this is worship and we want everyone to experience this!

Somewhere along the journey something clicked for us. “I’ve experienced this and know this is true and good and possible. I want nothing more than for other people to experience the same thing and find this same reality of the presence of God.” We were given opportunities to do that, encouraged, trained, developed and resourced so that now we are in the scary-yet-secure position of standing before people and helping them to do these things we know can be possible.

Turn from your sin.

Lift your eyes to God.

Celebrate His goodness and His grace.

Drink deep from the blessings He has for you.

Please. I beg of you. You need to do this.

In our desire for our congregations to seek the good things of God in worship, we can sometimes make the focus about the experience and not about God. We make it about the songs and not about the Savior. We make it about the art and not the Artisan.

We’ve all done it and we’ve all been there. We base our success as a worship leader on raised hands, weepy eyes, decibels, and broken strings.  We may have unintentionally created some kind of worship success formula that looks like this:

(Raised hands + Tear-streamed cheeks – arms crossed) x Peak dB level / number of people = Worship Success Ratio

And because of our humanity and our desire for our people to enjoy and express their passion of God, we become worship cheerleaders – Jazzercise for Jesus instructors.

Lift it up! Sing it out! Raise your hands! Get your praise on!

Is there anything wrong with encouragement and exhortation? Of course not. On some level, our congregations need exactly that, because worship is not our first tendency. Singing is not a regular part of our culture, and your people are not as focused and ready as you probably think they are.

So we should definitely make encouragement part of our worship leading. Psalm 121 has been so instructive and helpful.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2 (ESV)

Part of leading corporate worship is encouraging and helping your people to turn their eyes away from the things that have been begging for their attention and affection all week.

Turn away from the hills and lift your eyes to God.

Turn away from the distractions and look to the Creator.

Turn away from your own uncertainty and despair and questioning and return again to our firm foundation, our only hope, and our solid rock.

As we do that, we certainly want to encourage expression and engagement. But there is certainly a tightrope to be walked here. Part of our maturing and growing as worship leaders is being able to see and recognize when our encouragement is more about generating a response from the people rather than directing our attention and affection toward Jesus.

So how do we actually do this? Let me give you three ideas that may be helpful and allow you to use them as a starting point as you explore this.

1. Talk with your pastor

Whether you have a great relationship with your senior pastor or not, you need to realize and remember that he or she has put their trust in you to lead the flock they are called to shepherd. We submit to the authority of our pastor and this is one of those areas. Ask your pastor how you are doing in this area. Are you helping to lead and encourage genuine worship on Sunday mornings? How can we do this better?

2. Call people to worship

Many contemporary evangelical churches have swung the pendulum so far away from liturgy that we are terrified to even go there. Spend some time thinking about the first thing you are going to say on Sunday morning to open your service. How will you call people away from distractions so they can turn their eyes to God?

3. Instruct strategically

Find one spot in your worship set where you can call for a specific physical response as an expression of a spiritual reality. It might be raising hands to signify our desire for God to be lifted higher than all others in our lives. It might be kneeling to signify our submission to the will of God. It might be singing loudly to show our willingness to celebrate the goodness of God.

You can do this. God is with you. He wants nothing more than for your church to experience those things that you understand so deeply. God wants to meet with your people as you gather to worship Him. He promises to do exactly that.

Lead the way. Don’t bully.

This post was originally posted over at Sunday Magazine which is an incredible resource for worship leaders and creative directors. Make sure you check it out! www.sundaymag.tv

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Dealing with Prima Donnas

Q: What’s the difference between a diva and a prima donna?

A: I don’t know but where’s my water?!

If you are involved with leading people in any capacity for any length of time, you will undoubtedly come across someone who has tendencies which aren’t – shall we say – conducive to team-building and cooperation.

Artists certainly have a reputation for prima donna personalities. So if you’re a worship leader or lead artists of any kind, you should spend some time thinking through a strategy for dealing with prima donnas in your midst.

I’m not sure I could give hard evidence of this, but in my conversations with worship leaders over the past few years, it seems like the popularity and prevalence of the Idol and Glee culture has opened the doors for prima donna personalities to be revealing themselves more and more.

First, let’s define what we’re talking about.

You might be a prima donna if…

  • You think every song needs your electric guitar solo.
  • You do an overhead drumstick spin at just the right moment.
  • You don’t prepare for rehearsal because the material is straightforward.
  • You don’t come to rehearsal at all because you’ve already got a handle on the songs.
  • You are offended when the song you are supposed to lead gets cut during the service.

A one-time occurrence of any of these things may not be a full out prima donna arrival. But if this is the pattern of behavior, you need to address it and come up with an action plan to deal with it.

It’s important to remember that a prima donna may not always be publicly negative with their ego or dissatisfaction. A prima donna might reveal themselves as passive aggressive – reluctant to criticize but harsh and biting with their veiled encouragement.

The core strategy for prima donna prevention would be to have a solid audition process in place where you are able to be clear in what is expected from someone who is part of the team. There you can gauge personality and how they may fit with others who are already serving. If you don’t have any kind of audition or approval process happening now, this is the first thing you want to work toward.

Sidenote: I’ve got a free ebook on how to develop a great audition process at your church.

Auditions may be a new concept for your team and may not be perceived to fit with the culture of your church, but find a process where people who are interested in serving are given the opportunity to showcase their ability as well as gaining a solid understanding of what is expected from them if they are brought on to the team.

Or you may be dealing with someone who is currently serving. Perhaps they may have gone through your audition process and this is new behavior rising to the surface. Or maybe this is someone you inherited as a long-time volunteer with a (finger quotes) “great heart”. Maybe it’s your pastor’s wife. Awkward, but definitely not unheard of.

Once you’ve come to the realization that you are dealing with a prima donna, you really have three choices. Each choice will have an impact on you, on them, and on your church. Here they are:

1. Coddle them

Give in to their demands, allow them to determine the extent of their involvement and commitment, and withhold any kind of consequence. For those of you who tend to avoid confrontation and are generally people-pleasers, this will probably be your default. You have this person serving on your team because they bring a certain level of talent and quality and you are willing to put up with the prima donna for fear of losing them.

What is the impact of this? It will be different in every situation. But by coddling the prima donna, you are abdicating your responsibility for leadership, giving authority to someone who should be a team player, and contributing to the performance-focused culture of worship in your church that worship leaders should be avoiding.

2. Cut them

At the other end of the spectrum is the choice to remove them from serving. This may happen sooner or later, depending on the specifics of the situation. But if you have set clear expectations with defined consequences, the option of firing a volunteer remains as part of a solution. Wisdom would suggest that you tread lightly here and consult with your pastor or another leader before pulling the trigger on this.

Obviously the decision to remove them needs to be done in the context of expectations and consequences (ie. “If you miss rehearsal again, you will no longer be scheduled to play.”) rather than as a reactionary move. If you are a new leader, do this with caution. But it certainly is an option available to you.

3. Correct them

If a prima donna personality is becoming evident from someone who serves in your ministry, it must be addressed. You have a responsibility to call it out – for the sake of your leadership, the sake of your church, and the sake of the others who serve. This shouldn’t happen publicly or be intended to embarrass the person you are confronting. It should be done in-person rather than over email or text message. And you must be very clear in your reasoning as part of the conversation.

When you do this, if there is a sense of remorse (or if it’s a case where sin is present, genuine repentance) and a desire to make things right, you now have the opportunity to correct the relationship and correct the behavior.

Take the opportunity to lay out clear expectations. What does it mean to be part of the worship team? What is expected when it comes to rehearsal? What is and is not appropriate behavior on stage during the service? Connect these to specific outcomes with a clear understanding that prima donnas have no place on a worship team.

Nobody serves or leads in an area of ministry primarily because they enjoying dealing with difficult personalities. But the reality is that our call is to the people around us. Our call is not to perfect performance or exclusive participation.  Dealing with a prima donna personality will be a struggle and you will need to make some hard decisions.

As a leader you have three choices in dealing with a prima donna: coddle them, cut them, correct them. How you choose will have significant impact on you, on you ministry and on your church. Choose well.

This post was originally posted over at Sunday Magazine which is an incredible resource for worship leaders and creative directors. Make sure you check it out! www.sundaymag.tv

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Celebrating Death in Worship

What song will you sing on your deathbed?

Now there’s a snappy intro.

Imagine that God, in His goodness, gives you almost a full century of life here. You have family. You have friends. You have followed Jesus for many decades and, as you come to your final days, you are surrounded by the ones who mean the most to you. All are aware that your time is coming, and as you pass from this life to the next, a song comes to your lips.

Tweet this: What song will you sing on your deathbed?

Not everyone will be so lucky. Old age is a privilege. Some will die young – much younger than we would like. Some will die with many regrets, dreams left abandoned, destiny left floating away with an “I wish I had…” Some will die abandoned – forgotten by the ones they love. Some will die never knowing the grace that Jesus comes to give.

What song will you sing on your deathbed?

As a worship leader, one of the most humbling and fear-inspiring parts of my job is that I am helping to form a congregation’s memory. They will remember the songs we sing at Christmas, the songs we sing at funerals, the songs we sing on a regular, average, not-so-special Sunday. As I choose songs and lead them in singing, I am helping to shape how they respond to certain things that God is doing.

As church leaders, we are helping our congregations form their understanding not only of who God is, but also of how they should respond to certain events and seasons in our lives. The kinds of songs we choose to sing for special occasions like Christmas, Easter, funerals, or celebrations help to shape how people in our churches see those events.

I am helping to shape their understanding of death.

The way we talk about life…the way we talk about heaven…way that we talk about suffering and perseverance and blessing and faithfulness all work together to help inform how our people think about death. The songs that we sing certainly reflect our theology (we sing what we know to be true about God) but they also shape our theology (we believe to be true about God what we sing).

Tweet this: The songs that we sing certainly reflect our theology but they also shape our theology.

As church leaders, we all know the impact of the songs we use to lead our people. And so many of you take time to think and pray through the songs you are choosing. As you do this, remember that the theology you are reflecting and shaping will also be lived out in the lives of people in your church; during the ordinary days but also at moments of great significance such as preparing for death – their own or someone else’s.

“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.”Leonardo da Vinci

Many of our songs sing of the blessings that God has to offer here on earth. Life is hard, life is good, God is faithful, and we can certainly celebrate the goodness of God and the joy we find in the things He has to offer.

We also have lots of songs that talk about the life to come. We should definitely sing about heaven, about being in the presence of the Lord, about joining in with the eternal, ever-present song of worship happening around the throne right now. These are good things to sing about!

We don’t have many songs that talk about that moment where the body gives way, our lungs give out, and our time has indeed come. In the same moment, our faith will be made sight and the blessings we know now will pale in comparison to experiencing the full, real presence of God.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die.Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Those of you who have a part to play in designing worship services for your church community – how are you preparing your people for death?

What songs will they sing on their deathbed? Think about their families and their friends. Will the songs you sing together this Sunday prepare your church for the inescapable reality we are all facing?

Whether you are a pastor, worship leader, creative director, staff or volunteer, doesn’t matter – if you are in church leadership, part of your job is to prepare the people of your church to die well. Remind them of the blessings God has to give now, certainly. Affirm and celebrate that heaven is real and that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, Amen! But let’s not forget the heart-wrenching reality of what happens between those two worlds: we die. Nobody will escape that destiny. We may get old and frail and pass away quietly without much fanfare. We may go far too soon. But we are all going to go.

So I ask again:

What song will you sing on your deathbed?

This post was originally posted over at Sunday Magazine which is an incredible resource for worship leaders and creative directors. Make sure you check it out! www.sundaymag.tv

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Passion Take It All Deluxe Edition CD/DVD Giveaway

Passion Conferences are a highlight for college students from around the world and the new live CD from Passion releases today. Passion Take It All was recorded live at the 2014 Passion conferences in Atlanta and Houston and features the familiar lineup of Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill and other guest performers.

The influence of Louie Giglio and the Passion movement has spread around the world and has give a platform to songs like Our God, How Great Is Our God, Whom Shall I Fear, Holy Is The Lord and God Of This City as well as updated versions of hymns like Jesus Paid It All. Hardly a week goes by when at least one of the songs I’m leading on a Sunday comes from Passion.

Thanks to the fine people at Capitol Christian Distribution I’ve got THREE copies of the new Passion Take It All CD/DVD to give away. Scroll to the bottom of this post for details on how to enter.

Passion – Take It All is available now on iTunes

Scroll down to the bottom of this post for instructions on how you can win 1 of 3 copies of the Passion “Take It All” CD/DVD Deluxe Edition which includes all the songs from this year’s album as well as a bonus DVD featuring 3 live videos and a full Louie Giglio talk!

In case you are new to Passion and what they’re all about, here’s a quick recap of the 2014 Passion conferences:

Passion 2014 was a two-day gathering in both Atlanta and Houston in January and February of this year, attended by a generation of 18-25 year olds from around the world and led by renowned pastors and teachers Louie Giglio, John Piper, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, Christine Caine, Judah Smith and others, as well as worship by GRAMMY® winners Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman, along with Crowder, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill and Brett Younker. Over 35,000 students representing 46 countries and more than 1,200 universities participated at Passion 2014. During the two gatherings, students were challenged to personally give $500,000 to fund the printing and distribution of scripture for the people of Iran. This goal was exceeded as willing students gave over $670,000, providing 65,000+ Bibles to the people of Iran.

Continue reading…

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Easter Weekend at C4 Church

I love Easter. That’s no secret. Every Sunday is awesome and every big Sunday is awesome but there are so many things about Easter that get me so fired up.

Why do I love Easter? Here’s a short list:

  • Celebrating the resurrection of Jesus is always at the top of the list
  • People come excited to worship God
  • Lots of visitors come to church and we get to invite them to give their lives to Christ

Behind all this, though, is the fundamental truth that every Sunday is Easter Sunday. (I’ve written about this before in an article I called Easter Sunday Is A Lie.) Without the resurrection, there is no church. Without the resurrection, there is no celebration. Without the resurrection, Jesus is dead and the story is over.

Every Sunday is Resurrection Sunday.

But! I still love celebrating Easter because it’s our Super Bowl. It’s our Independence Day. It’s our.. whatever celebration you’ve got, ramp it up times 10 or 100 or 1000 and that’s just the beginning of how we should celebrate Easter Sunday.

So how did we celebrate at C4 Church? Oh you can be sure we celebrated.

The centrepiece of our celebration on both Good Friday and Easter Sunday was a video created by our artists. Birthed by the vision of a 14′ high cross as an installation art piece, our team worked to produce this video. We showed the first half on Friday, the full video on Sunday.

This video has definitely struck a chord with people – right now it’s had over 1300 views in a few days since Easter!

The response was powerful. We had people on both days give their lives to Christ. God used the work of our hands to bring them to a place where they knew they needed to do exactly what this video talks about – repent, believe, confess.

Photo by James Adams

Photo by James Adams

We also installed the cross from the video in our lobby and watching people interact with this piece was pretty awesome. It was very visible and commanded everyone’s attention as soon as they walked in the front doors.

I’m so thankful for Easter. I’m so thankful for the resurrection of Jesus. I’m so thankful for my church. I’m so thankful that people met Jesus for the very first time this weekend. I’m so thankful that He’s allowed us to be part of this. What a gift.

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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.