Tag Archive: Church


Peering into Sunday #2

What a morning. I got to basically run the show this morning. Did the music, put together the presentations, arranged announcements, offering, corporate prayer…and preached!

“It’s the JUSTIN show!” (cue music)

But really, aside from it being a somewhat stressful morning, great things happened. Here was the set:

I Saw the Light (if only I could play the banjo…)
The Hope of All Hearts/How Great is Our God medley
The Wonderful Cross (it should be noted that buddy drives me bonkers with his hands in his pockets…but I’ll get over it)
The Doxology, which we sang a capella, but this is still really cool.

It kinda hit me by surprise that the first song had the most to do with what I preached on…but more on THAT in the next post 😉

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A Course Adjustment

Just an FYI for my few readers out there. This blog has alternately been alive and dead for a long time now, but it still serves as a great outlet and a great platform for discussion topics and the like as it relates to worship arts. I’ve had posts on gear, leadership, theology, team dynamcis and other assorted ideas. I think those are great things…important things.

But.

What has been burning in my heart for so long can be summed up in an something that appeared (very curiously) in David Crowder’s “A Collision” album. In the track titled “A Conversation”, David responds to a question about the significance of the album art, which was a scientific drawing of an atom. He relates that the atom drawing is an incomplete picture of what an atom really looks like, and our picture of worship is much the same. Whether it was meant as a joke or not, I tend to agree.

Our picture of worship is tremendously incomplete. It is not helped along by people who are desperate for the picture to stay the same. You know who those people are…especially if you are one of them.

The course adjustment for this blog is in response to that idea…our picture of worship is incomplete. From this day forth (incomplete post series’ notwithstanding), the topics in this blog will deal largely with the struggle to explore the dark and undiscovered corners of how we worship our God through the arts, as well as the simple act of worship from a 50,000 ft view. As a part of this change, here is what you can expect to see:

1. Content from other people and websites.
2. A LOT more visual and audio content. We are talking artwork and experiments with sound.
3. A healthy amount of far reaching questions about what is acceptable and desirable in worship.
4. An unhealthy amount of risk-taking.

That last one is intentionally ambiguous. Visit the reworked “About” page for a clear picture of what this is all about.

In Search of Accessibility

One of the core values at our church is accessibility. It basically means that we don’t speak in Christian code, one doesn’t need to know the handshake in order to come in, and we don’t filter attendees based on things like behavior.

As this distinctive, as we call it, was being out in place, I had chosen the song “Days of Elijah” as one of the songs for the week. I like that song…great encouragement, easy to play and sing, and a lot of people know it. And as I was speaking with my pastor (also my bass player) about the list, he said something profound.

“Days of Elijah isn’t accessible.”

Really?

I examined the words…sure enough, he was right. The words were true, telling us that the God that did amazing things in the times of Elijah, David, Moses and Ezekiel is the same God that lives in us today. What a fantastic message! But without extensive knowledge (and even with it, for some folks) of those times and what events the song is referring to…it is like we are singing in code. It isn’t, in our context, accessible.

So I dropped it, saving it for another, more exclusive event like a conference. That wasn’t the easiest decision…after all, it was a handy “free song” for those weeks when a gap needs to be filled, I know it well and can lead it fairly easily. It was comfortable.

But “comfort” is not a distinctive of my church. Being accessible is.

What kinds of concessions have you had to make, or should you make that you’ve been putting off? Do you find yourself speaking “Christianese” sometimes?