3 Ways to Elevate Your Worship Culture

When building a youth ministry, facilitating a dynamic worship culture can be a challenging, if not, grinding experience. From constructing ensembles to developing musicians, the road to ignitable liturgy is often far from ‘yellow brick’.

Thankfully, whether you’re a worship leader or a ‘leader of worship’, there’s always a way we can elevate our worship culture. Granted, starting points will vary; for now, let’s focus on three of the most applicative and go from there…

1. Extend the invitation

Regardless of where you are on the worship leading spectrum, we can agree the objective of our reverence is to encounter Jesus. But perhaps you’ve wondered how to sing about history-makers and planet-shakers in a way that convinces your audience they can be. If so, I submit there is a way to journey yourself and your audience to those deeper places of intimate belief together.

But Cam! What if the worship atmosphere grows stale?

To be honest, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution; however, in my experience, whenever I sense a  disconnected audience, my default is to exhort a reminder as to why they’re worshiping. For starters, people often approach the throne room with distracted hearts. So by offering those hearts an invitation to dig deeper (i.e. stand up, lift hands, close eyes, etc.), I broaden the engagement potential of the room. Of course, this doesn’t mean everyone will accept; however, by laying foundation for next level intimacy, I can carry on knowing I’ve done my part in inspiring surrender.

Bottom line: When in doubt, your role is to extend direction as the Spirit leads. Once you give what needs to be given, God will take it from there.

2. Prune your routines

Over the years, I’ve found “rotation” to be one of the most used and abused words in worship circles. While the model as a function of opportunity is constructive, to be effective it must also guard against the pride of ‘program’.

Hence, as youth and/or worship leaders, it’s critical we tend our unpruned routines (i.e. rehearsal times, visual aesthetics, service flows, team habits, etc.) capable of hindering full dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Yes, musical discipline and organization are key ingredients to effective worship; however, if we forget to pray before practices and services, if we’re not proactive in stewarding community with team members and congregants, then we risk tolerating our motions over God’s movement.

Bottom line: Before you get too attached to certain set lists and setups, make sure you’re constantly carving out room for the Spirit to breathe his game plan into you.

3. Incorporate the prophetic

As a Nashvillian, I’ve been around musicians and their tendency to identify value on ability all my life; however, as discussed in last year’s devotion, our identity, value, and call to worship center on having been made by God and being more like Christ.

Unfortunately, for many worship leaders and musicians, the bent to limit identity to ability and overlook prophetic potential is ever lurking. Why this is…I’m not completely sure. What I am sure of is while we may not all be prophets in a five-fold ministry sense, that doesn’t mean we lack a prophetic mouthpiece (see 1 Corinthians 14:1-5). Contrarily, as part of our original design to worship, we were also made to prophetically pour out.

So when it comes to facilitating engaging worship cultures, I believe it’s imperative for “spotlight leaders” to not only utilize platform opportunities to speak prophetically, but to also anticipate them in quiet times behind the scenes.

Bottom line: If we truly want to see our worship culture transform where people engage the power and presence of God in a deeper way, then we must be willing to engage it in the closet space of our heart.

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Stay tuned next time when we’ll unpack these points in greater measure, specifically knowing when and how to speak prophetically from a liturgical and bivocational perspective.

Photo creds: Pinterest

3 Inbox Time Savers

Whether you are managing your own inbox or a clients, the struggle of maintaining order is real. In today’s fast paced, content driven world, the need to wade through information can quickly grow from a desire for knowledge to drowning in information. It is unlikely that you can simply stop signing up for all of those webinars, periodicals or network furthering correspondence. You can, however, make your inbox work for you, rather than being a slave to it.

Here are three time savers that will help you stay afloat in the cyber sea of email.

1) Maintain a Zero Based Inbox

Easier than it sounds, I know. The quickest way to get buried under email is to let everything live in your inbox. Simply put, you wouldn’t leave all of your letters, bills and junk mail sitting in your mailbox. Apply that same diligence to your inbox.

It may take some time on the front end to get to that crisp, empty email home screen, but it is worth the investment. Say goodbye to the stress of seeing that little red badge number climbing up, up, up on your email icon and say hello to the peace that comes from dealing with emails in a timely manner.

The easiest way to do this is by utilizing filters and folders.

2) Use Filters and Folders to Gain Back Your Time

This option can seem overwhelming, but let’s explore and see just how simple it is.

There is no one size fits all. Create folders and filters that work with how you think. One person may have a folder for each property he manages and person that he corresponds with regularly and that works wonderfully for him.

Another may be great at deleting emails as they are done and a simple three folder structure of the following may work for her:

1. Needs Attention

2. Information

3. Archive

If you have someone else managing your emails, this efficient structure may suffice:

1. Needs Attention ASAP

2. To Do

3. Development/Reference

4. Accounting/Receipts

Once you have your folders set up, you can use filters to automatically send emails from certain addresses to specific folders.

3) Manage Your Subscriptions, Don’t Let Them Manage You

The quickest way to fill up your inbox is subscriptions. Content is king, but it can also clutter. A quick tool (especially if you are managing your own email is unroll.me.

This tool will search your inbox, group your subscriptions and then send you a daily digest. All of those emails from your favorite stores, blogs you follow and industry articles in one simple email. And, if you get tired of receiving them-you can unsubscribe from your dashboard rather than clicking through each email

Bonus: For those of you with your own business, your inbox can be your livelihood. If you find you are spending more time sorting through emails than doing what you do best, it may be time to consider outsourcing someone to handle that for you. A Virtual Assistant may be a great option for you, as you can hire for specific tasks or set amounts of time without the overhead attached to a full time employee.

These tips can save anyone time and stress. Just like investing in your 401(K) now will set you up to win in the future, taking a few hours to invest in bringing order to your inbox will save you days of stress in the months to come.

Cover photo creds: libreshot.com

Faith at Work (Intro)

In the bivocational life, there’s arguably no greater challenge than balancing marketplace and ministry. From conflicting schedules and limited availability to opportunity bias and indifferent colleagues, there are many hurdles bivocationals face on a daily basis. While the degree of difficulty may differ depending on calling, skill, and personality, truth is: whether we’re stuck in a stale work culture or thriving in vibrant community, there’s a specific roadmap in each context to help us better reflect God’s heart.

But before we dive into a more definitive dialogue, we must first set the framework for why this content is worth discussion. As mentioned in my last devotional, there are two general types of bivocational leaders:

  1. The ministerial leader who works a secular job for provisional purposes.
  2. The marketplace leader who has a place of liturgical influence.

For both sets of leaders, it’s important each understands their own wiring and from that work in unity to guide the saints into greater wisdom and freedom.

But perhaps you’re sittin’ there wondering how to connect where you’re at to being a ‘lasting impression’ leader. Maybe you’ve grown up compartmentalizing ministry and marketplace only to have recently discovered God’s intent for them to operate hand-in-hand.

If you can relate, then I encourage you to dig into this new ‘faith at work’ series with us. ‘Cause while other bivocational resources approach marketplace as secondary, we see it as primary given marketplace is the leading place of influence for most carriers of the Gospel.

Not to suggest occupational ministers lack a prevalent place in pastoral settings; however, when we consider our original design and extend it into our individual purposes, we find whether we’re marketers, accountants, doctors or psychologists, we all have vocational and spiritual gifts designed to extend God’s love to a broken world.

As for the purpose of this series moving forward, we’ll examine the marketplace side of ministry in two phases:

  1. First phase – Helping the church educate marketplace ministers in character assessment, administration, practical business wisdom, and workplace evangelism.
  2. Second phase – Helping the bivocational leader integrate their understanding of these topics into their respective roles.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Cover photo creds: cpplunkett.photos