Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Real Truth

"You can never be the same after the unveiling of a truth. That moment marks you as one who either continues on with even more devotion as a follower of Christ, or as one who turns to go back as a deserter" - Oswald Chambers

I came across that quote the other day, and it impacted me greatly.   I mean, I honestly never thought about that before. I know we can either accept or reject truth, but I never thought deeper.  Deep enough to realize that the way our conscience responds to truth instantly marks us and we are marked forever.  We are marked either as a devoted disciple, servant of Jesus Christ, or as a deserter who rejects truth and attempts to pursue things to fulfill a complete life.  Unaware that it can never be obtained...not without the greatest Truth.  I thought deeper upon those words and God began to reveal much more to me. He caused me to question, what is truth?  Ultimately I think the “truth” Chambers referred to was Christ Himself.  Christ is the one truth we have in the world today revealed in the pages of the Bible.  John 8:31-32 says, "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free".  In Jesus we are free, so why would we not wish to serve Him? 

On Sunday mornings we sing and play in worship to God.  He is revealed to us every time we start the music. We sing about truth, and we sing about going free, but do we mean it?  Every Sunday there is always a moment that I just take a look around and I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and the presence of God Himself. It is extremely humbling because He is the reason I do what I do. He is my truth. In John 14:6 Jesus said "I am the Way the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me"  So, the next time we start worship, whether it be at church or when you begin your day, why don't we take a moment to thank God for the Truth He so graciously blessed us with..... Jesus Christ.

In His Truth,


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What's Next-Part 2

With my last post, I wrote about some plans and ideas I have for 4 of the different teams within the Creative Arts Ministry here at MPBC.  The teams discussed were the Praise Team/Band, the Drama Team, the Children's Choir, and the Worship Technologies Team.  You can check that post out here:  http://mpbcworship.blogspot.com/2015/01/whats-next-part-1.html.  With this week's post I am going to share my plans and ideas for the other 5 teams/ministries within the Creative Arts Ministry.

The first one I"ll discuss is the Worship Choir.
  1. We have a wonderful choir that LOVES to lead worship.  They are truly a blessing!  One of the things I'm really looking forward to is the worship concert on January 25th.  In the past, the Praise Team/Band has always done the concerts, while the choir focused more on the Passion Play.  Now, the choir gets to participate in the concert and I'm really looking forward to what they will add to the worship experience.
  2. With the choir now participating in our worship, one of the things I would really like for them to do, is be a part of our next worship CD.  I think that they would be a GREAT addition to the overall sound of the next project.  Plus, it would definitely make the CD sound a little more like our Sunday morning experience where the choir helps to lead in worship.
  3. My next plan for the choir is to do another Passion Play in 2016.  I'll discuss more about the plans for our next Passion Play in the following section, but as always, the choir will play a major role in pulling it off.
  4. Finally, we are always looking for new members in choir.  So, if you know of someone who can sing and loves to worship, send him/her our way.  We'd love to have them!
The Passion Play
  1.  As many of you know, we have performed a Passion Play each year at Easter time for the past 7 years.  Well,
    this year I needed a break from the chaos, so we aren't doing the play.  I'm taking this year off to gather some ideas for potential scenes, but the biggest thing I'm doing is looking for someone new to play Jesus.  For 7 years, we've had the same person play Jesus and he has done an incredible job!  But the burden of playing Jesus is a lot, and I told this man that I would not ask him to do it again.  He and I both believe it's time to pass the baton on to the next person.  So, I'm looking.  And as soon as God reveals who this next man is, I'll start making definite plans for next year's play.
The Ladies Ensemble
  1.  I've started working with this group of ladies and I really enjoy the music that they sing.  Three part harmony for women just sounds nice.  And the only real plans I have for them are to expand the group from 6 ladies to 9.  That would give us three 1st sopranos, three 2nd sopranos, and three altos.  I believe it would really strengthen the overall sound of the group.
Music Lessons
  1. We currently give lessons in acoustic guitar, piano, voice, and drums.  I'm hoping to incorporate some other musicians and expand into other instruments (i.e. violin, mandolin, etc...).  This would allow us to reach and equip even more people musically.  Plus, as I've mentioned in earlier posts, the best way for us to get new musicians is to teach them ourselves.
  2. I've also got some ideas on how to possibly organize this ministry a little better, but I've got a number of things to figure out before any potential changes are made.
The Blog
  1. First off, I would just like to say how proud I am of our worship team here and the job they have done of contributing to our worship blog.  This post is the 73rd post from our team in the last 17 months.  Recently, I looked online for other worship blogs to get some ideas and to compare how they did things.  I think I looked at around 20 different worship blogs and I would say that 18 had only 1 or 2 posts.  And most of those posts had been made at least 2 years ago.  Apparently a lot of people had the idea to start a blog but then abandoned them within the first few weeks.  So, thank you team!  Thank you for being diligent and sharing what God has shown you and done through you in the area and ministry of worship. 
  2. So, for this year, I'm hoping that we can continue the blog.  I'm also hoping to find a way to get even more people to read it.  Currently our blog has been viewed well over 5,000 times, but I believe it could be a place of great encouragement to other worship teams and leaders if we can just find a way to make them aware of it.
  3. I'm also hoping that our worship team will continue to "dig" into what the Bible says about worship and how we can all continue to be better worshipers and worship leaders.  This is a great place to share with each other the insights we have gained about worship.
  4. Finally, I'm hoping that we can get some of our members who have yet to write a post to get involved.  I believe every team member has at least one good post in them.  Even if it's just to explain why or how they got involved.  I always enjoy reading those!
So, those are the plans for 2015.  I'm sure that some of these will work out perfectly and some will have to be postponed or changed in some way, but that's the way ministry works.  And that's especially the way that Worship Ministry works.

Worship Big!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

What's Next-Part 1

Hello everyone and welcome to 2015!  With the start of every new year, I always get asked, "What's next for the Creative Arts Ministry of MPBC?"  So, I thought that with this week's post and next week's I would put down some plans and ideas I have for the different teams within the Creative Arts Ministry. 

Now, if you go our church website, www.mpbc.ws, and then click on the "Creative Arts" tab at the top of the homepage, it will take you to a page of links for each of the different teams within the "Creative Arts" ministry of MPBC.  We have the Praise Team/Band, the Drama Team, the Children's Choir, the Worship Technologies Team, the Worship Choir, the Ladies Ensemble, the Passion Play, our Music Lessons, and the Blog ministry.  This week's blog will cover plans for the first 4 teams mentioned above and next week's post will cover the remaining teams/ministries.

Let's get started with the Praise Team/Band.  
  1. We have a worship concert coming up on Sunday, January 25th, and I believe that God is really going to show up in a powerful way that day.  Concerts are always fun and they are a great tool for inviting family and friends to church that don't normally attend.  So, I hope we have a great crowd that day.
  2. We just completed our 2nd worship CD ("Greater Still")
    and released it last month.  The response has been very positive.  Because of this, I'm hoping that we can record another CD this upcoming year.  We learned a lot about the process this time around and I believe we can do an even better job with the next one.
  3. Currently, the band and a few singers are on our Aviom
    in-ear monitor system (this allows each individual person to set their own monitor volume levels).  I'm hoping that over the course of 2015 we can continually add Aviom units until everyone on the Praise Team has them as well.
  4. One of the things I would really like to incorporate this year is the use of multi-tracks.  They are kind of like split-tracks that people use when singing a song in church.  Only, for us, the are run off of a computer and the band would play along with them. The multi-tracks still have the "click" that the band has grown to love but they would also give us the freedom to add pre-recorded extra instruments and layers of sound that we don't normally have.
  5. And finally, I'm always looking to add depth to the musicians that we have.  In church work, you can never have enough musicians.  My goal is for us to eventually be able to rotate 2 complete teams from Sunday to Sunday.  We're getting there, but we are still lacking a couple of instrumentalists. 
The Drama Team
  1. The Drama Team just presented it's now "annual" Christmas Play and did a wonderful job!  You can see it here:  www.mpbc.ws/creativearts/drama.   I'm planning on them doing another Christmas Play next year.
  2. One of the biggest ways that the Drama Team contributes here at MPBC is by doing monthly skits.  They really add a lot to our Sunday services and I'm planning on them continuing them and incorporating more and more people.
  3. One of the things that I'm really hoping we can pull off this year is a Dinner Theater.  We're currently in the process of finding the right script to use.  I believe this could be an incredible outreach for the church and an opportunity for the Drama Team to do something big and exciting.
The Children's Choir
  1. Over the past few years we've transitioned the Children's Choir program from doing seasonal musicals to learning and presenting worship songs on Sunday mornings.  Part of this was done because of a lack of practice time, but the biggest reason was to help prepare our kids to be worshipers and hopefully for some of them, to one day be worship leaders within the church.  To help accomplish this, for every song they learn, at least 2 kids get to lead it vocally, 1 kid gets to run sound for it, and 1 kid gets to run the lyric slides.  I'm hoping that this puts a desire within them to want to be a part of our worship ministry as they continue to get older.  The plan for this year is to continue giving them opportunities to lead on Sunday mornings and for us to keep equipping them to lead and serve within the worship ministry as they get older.
  2. I do have a couple of other ideas for them, such as another kid's worship camp (like we've done in the past) and even having them perform their songs with the band playing with them (I think the kids would really like that), but we'll see how those things work out as the year progresses.
The Worship Technologies Team
  1. This might be the most talented team within the entire Creative Arts Ministry.  What they do on Sundays and Wednesdays with our sound, lights, video, and projection is unbelievable! 
    So, for 2015 they will be looking for new ways to enhance our services, plays, and concerts with new technologies and equipment.  The possibilities for this team are truly unlimited!
  2. Just like every other team within the Creative Arts Ministry, the Tech Team is always looking for more dedicated team members.  So, hopefully this year we can add a few more members (camera men/women are always needed).
We'll, I hope you've enjoyed getting a little bit of a sneak preview of what 2015 will look like here at MPBC.  Don't forget that Part 2 will be posted next week.

Worship Big!