New Song for Easter

30 03 2010

It’s ALWAYS more fun when we know the songs that the band is playing on Sundays. This Sunday at Lifeway we’ll be introducing the new song “God Is Alive.” The best way for you to get this song “in your heart” is to download it, get it in your iPod, and worship with it every chance you get leading up to Easter. You can hear the full song by clicking the play button below or you can click here to download the MP3.

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Recruiting in Progress

15 10 2009

double-worship-team-buttonRight now at Lifeway I am in the middle of the largest recruiting process I’ve ever undertaken in my 9 years of Worship Leading. As many of you may or may not know, in February 2010, Lifeway will be a big 2 years old. If you’ve ever been a part of a church start up (from scratch) you’ll know that the few people you have do everything. Everyone MUST work or the job just won’t get done and more importantly people won’t get reached. So, what generally happens is you begin to start building teams based on necessity, a need will pop up and wah-la so does a team to fill the need. After a while you have a bunch of teams but you begin to lose continuity amongst them and thus the need for organization. At Lifeway we are at that place.

Earlier this summer I was able to take a two week vacation. The first week was spent with my wife (no kids) on the white sands/ blue water beach in Mexico on a much needed honeymoon that we never took 10 years ago when we got married. The second week pretty much spent by myself. During this time I was able to get away from everything and really evaluate my ministry and my leadership. This was a great time and it’s where I stumbled upon the recruiting process that I’m currently using. Some of you may have read his material before but I have listened to and read several of Jason Hately’s publications on leading worship as well as his recruiting process. Jason is the Pastor of Worship Arts at The Journey Church in NY and serves under his Lead Pastor, Nelson Searcy. It doesn’t take a long time listening or reading things by them and you will quickly realize that they live and die by “systems”, a philosophy I am quickly coming to live by myself. When you think about it, God designed everything according to systems… the solar system, the eco system, the central nervous system and the list goes on. Everything we do, whether you realize it or not, is done by some sort of system. As I began this article I said I am in the middle of recruiting right now and it is going very well. I am following the How To Double Your Worship Team system by Jason Hatley. We began the recruiting process 4 weeks ago with 23 people currently serving on the Worship Arts Team (W.A.T.) (who have been recruited over the last two years). In the last 4 weeks we’ve had and additional 22 people sign up for auditions and interviews which are coming up next week on Oct. 25. Of those 22 people 3 are currently serving somewhere and would like to join another team and 19 are not currently serving anywhere. These are great results! I could share more but there’s way too much. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to know more and I would HIGHLY encourage anyone in a leadership position to get you hands on Jason Hatley’s material.





Like to be organized?

24 06 2009

Planning Center Online

By far the best organizational tool I have in scheduling my team/ band, uploading charts and general communication with anyone or anything that concerns the elements flow of our Worship Service. I’ve been using it for about a year now and have zero complaints.
I HIGHLY recommend this tool to anyone who leads a team(s) and needs to schedule multiple people and get information out to the masses without having to set up a distribution list in your email box and send large attachments that never seem to go and clog up your server. Go check them out. PCO is constantly updating their program making it better everyday. Two thumbs up!





10 Year Anniversary

28 05 2009

WOW!!! Time really does fly when your having fun. Tomorrow will be my wife and I’s 10 year wedding anniversary. I can honestly say (even with her not reading over my shoulder while I type this post) that it has been the best 10 years of my life. From our first date to Whataburger on a Friday the 13 (March 13, 1998) over 11 years ago till our traditional anniversary date tomorrow night she is the best thing God has ever given me. Yes I said Whataburger. We met in college in Harlingen, TX and I drove a rusty truck and took her to Whataburger for our first date. I knew I was broke so I had to pull out the charm if I had any chance at all of winning her over. Oh yeah, don’t forget the handsome smile. That was a must. I made sure I opened every door for her, walked between her and the street and pulled out the chair for her every chance I got. Evidently it worked she yes to my diamond ring and we were married on May 29, 1999. As I said before I was broke when we met and things weren’t much different when we got married. Two days after we got married I had to go back to work so we never got to have a real honeymoon. This year we’ve been saving and saving and hope to be able to take a long over-do honeymoon somewhere where there’s a beach, a resort and a Margarita (or two).

Today we have three great kids and she’s still my best friend, work out buddy, and LLLLLover. 🙂

Honey if you read this, I love you! (the most)

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The Seven Twitterers You Meet In The Twitterverse By Scott McClellan

11 05 2009

In 2003, author Mitch Albom brought us The Five People You Meet In Heaven—a touching tale about the death and after-life experience of a maintenance man named Eddie. Albom’s book is full of warm sentiments and life lessons about the people who play meaningful roles in our lives … or so I hear. I haven’t read it; I just liked the title as a jumping off point for this article. You won’t find many warm sentiments here, but you will find profiles of a few archetypes that populate the Twitterverse.

(Note: If one or more of these profiles describes you, that’s OK. No approach to tweeting is inherently better than another. Keep doing your thing.)

Sleepers & Eaters
Most of us eat and sleep every day. In fact, I’ve made a personal commitment to sleep at least once and eat at least three times every day. Sleepers and Eaters distinguish themselves by announcing these activities as they happen. For instance, the typical Sleeper will tweet that he or she is tired and heading to bed, and then bid all their tweeps a good night. Six to 10 hours later, the Sleeper will tweet that he or she is up and ready to take on the day (possibly mentioning a cup of coffee in the process).

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Speaking of coffee, Eaters offer us live coverage of their daily food and beverage consumption. It could be a Starbucks drink, a pulled pork sandwich, a microbrew, or a frozen custard; it doesn’t matter—the Eater will name-drop the item and where he or she got it, then provide an evidentiary TwitPic and/or a “yummy!” punctuator. Upon seeing a particularly yummy TwitPic, the rest of us look down at our ham sandwiches and grumble.

Sample tweets: “Fajitas from On The Border! Yummy! [TwitPic]” and “Great day. I’m exhausted. ‘Night tweeps!”

Instant Messengers
Known for their frequent back-and-forth conversations with other individual Twitter users, Instant Messengers often appear as though they mistake their Twitter client (e.g., TweetDeck, etc.) for their IM client (e.g., AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, etc.). But appearances can be deceiving. In reality, Instant Messengers simply don’t mind a public exchange (or “tea party” as they’re known around the schoolyard) about plans to get together for coffee or the finer points of Christian orthodoxy. Of course, not everyone who uses Twitter’s @reply feature is an Instant Messenger, so how can you know if you fit the bill or not? Simply consider your Twitter patterns. If after two or three @replies between yourself and another user you feel compelled to direct message, IM, email, or call them instead of continuing the convo on Twitter, you’re not an Instant Messenger. For everyone else, add the Instant Messenger merit badge to your scout sash.

Sample tweet: “@[friend] LOL! Where u wanna meetup tomorrow?”

Broadcasters
Broadcasters are the kinds of Twitterers who like to keep their followers informed. If they hear a bit of breaking news, they quickly tweet a link to it (Broadcasters recently helped to spread the news of Sully’s Hudson River landing minutes after it happened). They report. We decide.

Broadcasters also perform an editorial/programming service by reading online blogs and articles all day and linking to the best of what they come across. Most of us could probably get by with ditching our RSS feeds and relying on Broadcasters to supply us with links to good content, but I personally fear the eventual consequences of that kind of Twitter news & content aristocracy. Let’s move on.

Sample tweet: “Breaking news: A plane just crashed in the Hudson—[shortened link to news story].”

Mystery Linkers
It’s easy to identify a Mystery Linker—they link to mysterious stuff using vague language and a shortened URL. Because of the proliferation of shortened URLs in the Twitterverse (courtesy of tinyURL, bit.ly, and others), people have no idea where a given link will take them unless the Twitterer in question gives them some indication. Mystery Linkers are notorious for withholding that indication so that their links remain a mystery. Does the link lead to CNN? YouTube? A PDF? Or, heaven forbid, MySpace? You won’t know unless you click.

Sample tweet: “Wow. I’m speechless—[shortened link to who knows what].”

Proud Mamas and Papas
Yes, of course, all of us with kids are proud mamas or papas. But that doesn’t mean we quote, describe, and TwitPic our little ones a dozen times a day … not that there’s anything wrong with that. The only problem is that as a parent you’re designed to think your rugrat is the cutest/funniest/smartest kid ever, while all the other parents who follow your tweets are programmed to think the exact same thing about their rugrats. Ergo, no one else is as impressed, amused, or touched by the tweets of a Proud Mama or Proud Papa as they are. Again, no harm done—just know that the rest of us are likely to skim past updates on your little tyke’s latest shenanigan.

Sample tweet: “Brody just asked if Jesus could beat up the Easter Bunny! So cute!”

Indecisive Instant Pollers
This Twitterer profile is a fun group. They aren’t sure where to eat on a Friday night so they poll the Twitterverse. They don’t know which movie they should rent so they poll the Twitterverse. (Disclosure: During the writing of this article, I appealed to the Twitterverse for recommendations on iPhone games.) On one level, this technique is fun because it is useful for the poller and invites feedback and conversation from their tweeps. One another level, Indecisive Instant Pollers can develop a lazy reliance on the Twitterverse to provide them with information they probably should’ve researched on their own or could attain by performing a simple Google search instead of composing a tweet. When the Twitterverse becomes a crutch, it’s time to look at yourselves in the mirror, you Indecisive Instant Pollers.

Sample tweet: “I’m hungry. Where’s a good Korean BBQ place in downtown Chicago?”

Please Retweeters
You know those emails that implore you to forward them on to your whole address book lest your friends and family be stricken with bad luck, communism, or mad cow disease? Please Retweeters aren’t that bad, but they do implore you to forward their tweets to all your followers. The problem with this tactic, indicated by the “(Please RT)” tag at the end of a tweet, is that it usually follows an update that isn’t all that worthy of a retweet. In other words, tweets that are worthy of retweeting tend to get retweeted with or without the “(Please RT)” exhortation. If you aren’t sure if the content of your tweet is RT-worthy, that’s OK. Unleash it on the world and see what happens. If you feel compelled to solicit retweets from your friends, whatever you do, don’t threaten them with mad cow disease if they decline.

Sample tweet: “Free donuts tomorrow AM at New People Church!!! (Please Retweet!)”
Thanks for studying these common species of Twitterers with me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to ask the Twitterverse where I can find a yummy lunch and then I’ll probably try to take a nap. If you’ve enjoyed this little article, please tweet and retweet it or someone you love will get a mild papercut.





Acquire the Fire, Battlecry Event

3 03 2009

This weekend (March 6 and 7) we, Overflow (the Lifeway Student Ministry), are taking 105 people to the Acquire the Fire Battlecry Event at SMU’s Moody Colosseum. God is DEFINITELY up to something though I wouldn’t attempt to speculate what. He (God) has provided the money for this event to be possible. Our students were challenged to use this as an outreach opportunity and if they invited someone to go with them then their way would be completely paid for. This was made possible by an anonymous donor being obedient to God with their money that said they would cover the cost of going for any student and their friend who met the challenge put before them.  In one weeks time we went from having 12 students signed up to having 92 students sign up to go. That’s 41 teenagers who invited a friend. It doesn’t stop there. No, no. God has gone another step farther. Now, because of the vast number of teens we ran into a transportation issue. It’s one thing to barrow a Suburban to transport 12 kids, it’s quite another to have to transport 105 counting our adult sponsors that are going as well. Two weeks ago, someone else came to church and donated $2000 dollars and specified that it go towards the Overflow ministry. This amount covered the cost of renting 7, yes 7, fifteen passenger vans for the weekend. I said this earlier and I’ll say it again, God is DEFINITELY up to something. The effects of this weekend could and most likely will be felt for years to come even until Jesus returns.

Should you think of us this weekend please pray for our adult leaders, our student small group leaders and each student who will be attending. Pray for safe travel (though we’re not driving far) and pray most of all for the spiritual battle being waged over us while we’re  there that God will be able to work in someones life.

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Another milestone in the life of a child… my child

26 02 2009

Well to say the understatement of the year, I’m a proud daddy. My son Braden entered a new level of boyhood independence on Monday night when he learned to ride his bike without training wheels. He was so proud of himself but not as much as I was. Here is a short video that captured his accomplishment: