Wednesday, December 21, 2016

'Tis the Season

With this week’s post I just want to thank our UNBELIEVABLE Drama Ministry and Team for all of their hard work, dedication, and time given with this past Sunday’s Christmas Play.  It was AWESOME! 
Including rehearsals, I believe I saw the play close to a dozen times and it was funny and moving each and every time.  I truly believe that everyone who attended received a blessing.

When new people start attending our church, they tend to get blown away by the amount of musical talent that our church has.  And it’s true!  For a church our size (or any size), we have a ridiculous amount of musical talent.  But, I like to remind people that it’s not just musical ability that we have in abundance.  We have a LOT of extremely talented actors.  I mean a lot.  And it’s great to see them have an opportunity to use their talents for Lord.

So, if you didn’t get an opportunity to see the play in person, check it out on our church website: 'Tis the Season

Merry Christmas and Worship Big!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How Much Do You Practice?

One of the hardest parts of either being in the Praise Team/Band or Worship Choir here at MPBC is how little rehearsal time we get.  Our normal choir practice lasts about 45 minutes and our normal Praise Team/Band rehearsal probably lasts a little over an hour.  That’s not a lot of time to work and prepare songs for worship.  So, what’s the answer to this problem?  Personal practice time.  Everyone has to come to rehearsal prepared and practiced up so that our rehearsals are less about teaching new music/reviewing old music and more about making sure each part or instrument fits into the overall complexity of each song.

So, personal practice time is HUGE.  If you aren’t prepared, you can’t rehearse.  And if you can’t rehearse, you hold everyone else in the group back.  And so, everyone here at MPBC is expected to practice on their own and come to rehearsal prepared.  But, the real question is not whether or not to practice on your own; it’s how much and for how long should you practice?

The old adage “practice makes perfect” is what I’ve always
gone by.  You practice until you get something right.  But is that enough?  I can do lots of things correctly once, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve truly mastered them.  Recently, I read a quote from Bob Kauflin that really sums up very well how much each of us needs to practice.  It says:

“The goal of practice isn’t doing something until you get it right. It’s doing it until you can’t get it wrong.”

Wow!  That is a completely different approach and mindset to practice.  It’s about a true mastery of your instrument or voice.  Imagine practicing so much that it is almost impossible for you to play a wrong chord or sing a wrong note.  But for those of us who lead worship, this is even more important.  When we aren’t worried about lyrics, chord progressions, notes, or drum fills we can truly focus on the Lord and leading others into his presence.  Psalm 33:3 tells us that we are to sing and play “skillfully”.  When we do this, it frees up our minds, hearts, and souls to truly worship the Lord.

So, how much do you practice?  Hopefully, until you can’t get it wrong.

Worship Big!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Where is Your Focus?

When leading in worship, where is your focus?  I know that for most of us we would simply say, “I just focus on Jesus”.  And you wouldn’t be wrong with that answer.  But do you ever think about the people that you are singing/playing to?
Many of the songs that we sing/play are simply songs of praise to Jesus.  They give us an opportunity to pour out our praise, worship and adoration to our Savior and King.  But there are other songs that can have a more intimate and personal meaning to not only us, but also the people we are leading in worship.  And when we sing these songs I like to think about people in the congregation that might need to hear and/or sing the words.  Let me give you an example.

Recently, we have begun singing the song “Great Are You, Lord” during our worship times at church.  A couple of lines from the verse say “You give hope, You restore ev’ry heart that is broken”.  We have a lot of people at church who have lost hope and have hearts that are broken and need to be restored.  And when we sing these lyrics I think about these people and what these words might mean to them and how I hope that God ministers to them through these words.  Not only that, but many times I’ll try to make eye contact with some of these people or at the very least watch them to see how well these lyrics might connect with them and their needs.  It’s amazing to see how the Holy Spirit will use a song and words like these to touch someone’s heart.  They are reminded of their brokenness, but also of God’s ability to heal and restore.  And then in the very next line they get reminded that even in our brokenness God is worthy to be praised as we sing “Great are You, Lord”.

So, as we sing and play and lead, don’t forget the people we are leading.  Don’t forget their hurts, pains and troubles.  And don’t forget that through our worship and through the moving of the Holy Spirit, God can touch and heal hearts and fill each of them with hope.

Worship Big!