A new, 6 topic video course for all worship leaders and teams in local churches. Finally finished after years of work. Accessible to every team and leader.
The NEW “Essentials In Worship – Video Training Course”
This course is a team training video series designed to equip all your worship leaders (main session, small group, youth), worship musicians, and ministry members in core ideas and skills related to worship. Drawn from over 25 years of worship leading experience, and bringing together wisdom from some of today’s most respected worship leaders, Essentials is the complete training solution for your team.
Train your leaders and team(s) in:
Worship Leading (character, skills, sets, and bands)
LUMINOUS BEGINS! My video invitation to you to LUMINOUS 2013, starting tonight, MAY 1-3, with Makoto Fujimara (Painter, Pres. Council on the Arts), Ian Cron (Chasing Francis), The Brilliance, Chad Jarnigan, myself, and others. In beautiful Franklin, TN. http://www.luminousproject.com/2013/
3 SURPRISING REASONS THE NEW POPE MATTERS Dan Wilt, M.Min.
There are many reasons the faithful believe the new Pope matters – and others do not. Here are my top 3 for why roles like this must exist to balance out the thrusts of random spirituality and disembodied hope in our generation.
1. There are few institutions and leaders today whose imperfect language and imperfect systems at least hails to point to Love as the central causality of the cosmos and of human life.
May Pope Francis I stand for this – that a random universe does not exist, but a designed one does, and that, by Love – and Love incarnate.
2. People respond to fellow, incarnate people. Leaders with flesh and blood lead people with flesh and blood.
May Pope Francis I seek to embody the way of Jesus in a complex world, and in the imperfect world of Catholicism. We need more than leaderless communities, despite all the attempts of postmodernism to celebrate the unfounded glories of leaderlessness, to move forward.
3. The battle will always be around a specific King with an all encompassing sphere of authority, and the powers of every age are disarmed only by One who has trumped spiritual, emotional, psychological, relational, and physical death.
May Pope Francis I love people of every faith, respond to human suffering with wisdom, compassion, and resource, and confront the power-brokers of our age with a vision of the future that transcends the capacities of human achievement via the impotent language of human social evolution.
Cheers to Easter, the New Creation, the Lord of the Cosmos – and to the election of an imperfect spiritual, international leader with an unrelenting, singular focus on Jesus, a pastoral and diplomatic skill set, and a wisely-chosen name.
One of the greatest gifts to me as a young songwriter, worship leader, and pastor was a mentor who immersed me in the life of the poor.
Delivering furniture, bicycles, and food, eating meals together and sharing communion, all were a part of my nascent, unspoken leadership training program. There was no disconnection between my faith life, creative life, and compassionate life in my early years of church leadership. Eating, laughing, and worshipping with those who are the most vulnerable to society’s overarching incapacity to care shapes one’s spirituality irrevocably.
Friends and mentors like John Wimber, Gary Best, David Ruis, Andy Park, Brian Doerksen, J. Pullinger, Steve Stewart, Bruce Ellis, and many others had their faith and leadership forged among the poor. It became a guiding North Star for vital leadership.
I’ve come to realize that many of my greatest struggles are with systems that create programs for ongoing life enhancement while singularly forgetting the poor. Celebrities help us forget the poor. Malls help us forget the poor. A toothless grin from a woman living on the streets (accompanied by pungent breath from drinking Listerine as a cheap buzz fix) can be more hospitable and endearing than any supermodel’s perfect smile. Society, by and large, teaches us to forget the poor.
The Apostles, when they were launching the passionate Apostle Paul to reach out into the foreign Gentile world, said that there was only one thing they asked of him if he was going to represent the Jesus-faith in the world. “Don’t forget the poor,” is all they asked. Paul responded, “That was the very thing I was eager to do!” That’s why an Empire shuttered at their voice – and why a little old 20th century nun from Calcutta commanded the respect of Kings and Queens.
This is one of the main reasons I proudly call the Vineyard Movement my immediate faith family. It is in our DNA to care, meaningfully and intentionally, for the poor.
When your core founder carries groceries in the trunk of his car, waiting for the right soul who needs them, it creates a viral ethos throughout that imperfect system. Every church plant, every leadership appointment, will resonate with some degree of awareness that without the poor near the center of our value set, we’ll create spiritual social clubs and disciple self-absorbed Christians.
If you’re stuck in a myopic vision of life, fearful about money, or relationships, or your job, step outside of your current patterns this season and immerse yourself in the world of the poor. Reclaim your value system, and get this part of your purpose in life back in order. The haves need the have-nots, and one day we’ll wake up to find we are the have-not needing the other.
It will alter you, and a revelation of what it means to be one with the poor, to live in spiritual solidarity with the broken in society, will forever stamp your soul. Mother Theresa and many others followed their Lord Jesus onto this terrain. We can too.
In this video, artist and worship leader Dan Wilt leads from the Hammered Dulcimer. Sampler includes “You’re Beautiful” by Phil Wickham, “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing,” and “How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan.
Contact email@example.com for bookings, and for more resources on leading worship from this uniquely beautiful instrument. Like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/danwiltishere
A Public Challenge To Christian Colleges And Universities.
It is time we used our influence in shaping the worship vision of millions of Christian students each year by taking some core, provocative action steps. While arts programs and the humanities tend to fall in behind business and engineering program choices for the sake of Christian school budgets, the following thoughts are offered in the spirit of responding to our educational vocation and our cultural calling – rather than to the bottom line.
Using fresh language about worship, and embracing our astounding influence over the thinking and intellectual discipleship of Christian young people every year, we must:
1. IMPLEMENT entirely new majors and programs that not only spiritually, intellectually, and professionally form organists, choir directors, and contemporary worship bands for Gathered Worship, but also develop the next musical versions of bands like Mumford & Sons, U2, Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, The Civil Wars, and others, for cultural connection and permeation.
We have a mandate to develop cultural influencers, not only church musicians and leaders.
As part of this, we will create programs that provide Spiritual Formation and Direction for creative leaders called to serve both the Church in Gathered Worship (what we do when we’re together), and the world in Creational (art that flows from being alive) artistic expression. We will value both kinds of leaders.
Our teaching will combine the energies of the ancient-future Church, addressing the four-fold worship progression of Gathering, Word, Table, and Sending from historic worship practice, how to lead an effective set of musical worship songs, how to direct a choir, and how arrange a band that would be considered sonically current in the 21st century by anyone’s standards.
Gathered Worship leaders will be seen as significant in our development as cultural music artists.
2. EDUCATE our students, board members, and donors why we are making aggressive, immediate shifts in our curriculum for the sake of the world. Moving from Sacred/Secular language to Sacred/Creational language, we will take the risk to re-shape our approaches to educating young Christians to send them out after 4 years with a Life Worship (Rom. 12:1-2) mandate that will exponentially expand their sense of call to their co-mission with Christ.
3. INNOVATE by jumping headlong into the 21st century, keeping aware of current cultural trends and technologies, rather than digging our heels back into the past or cloistering in Christian safe houses.
Rather than often lagging 20-30 years behind in our technology (or church/culture perspectives), we will invest in upgrades as quickly as we do new buildings. This will attract gifted young people of faith into specialized arts programs where they will be discipled in Christ-likeness even as they are prepared to write scripts for the film industry, become advocates through photo-journalism, or create the next architectural design vision that rivals anything created by Frank Gehry or Michelangelo.
Our purpose for going online with our current and new programming will be driven by our desire to infuse a Life Worship mission into a new generation, rather than our desire to generate income to sustain our bottom line.
.4. VALUE the power of a vital, vibrant worship community among our students, teaching that mission is the natural overflow of the Gathered Worship encounter. Cultivate your Gathered Worship environments, invest in student spiritual formation, and prepare them for occupations in which their Life Worship can be expressed passionately and dangerously.
Dan Wilt, M.Min.
Worship Studies Educator & Advocate
More on this topic will be explored in my upcoming book, Worship White Noise: Tuning In The 7 Worship Culture Shapers In The Chaos Of The Modern Worship Experience. Watch here for the release date and link. All currently released books can be found on Amazon here.
“If the Church can begin to maximize its language of Life Worship, support it with the language of Gathered Worship, and hit delete on the language of ‘secular occupations and music,’ we may get somewhere with our generation.
Until that time, we will spin our insular wheels, wishing for the kind of impact we could actually have if we only changed our paradigm.
The Church is the world’s most magnificent force of humanitarian innovation, driven by love for Christ and all manner of people. It would be a shame to see our energies continually deflected by minimizing language that feeds our disconnect from culture.
You can be ‘churchy’ or Christ-like. I am exceedingly convinced one can’t be both.
THE ELEMENTAL LIFE: Living Grounded, Inspired, Empowered and Communal Lives
Dan Wilt, M.Min.
For over 20 years I have had the privilege of walking side by side in ministry with fellow worship leaders, artists, and creative influencers around the world. Over the course of these decades, I have watched many leaders’ souls expand to a place of great spiritual depth and breadth. Others, however, have seemed to shrink in spirit-barely maintaining a semblance of spiritual vitality as they grow older.
Four Elements of The Spiritual Life
Spiritual formation is about allowing Christ to develop our whole person, our interior and exterior life, as he shapes us into his likeness through the unique stories of our lifetime. It is our approach to spiritual formation that determines how we will age as disciples, expanding in spiritual richness or shrinking in spiritual stagnation.
We will look at four unique elements in the spiritual life, using creational imagery in the best traditions of ancient Celtic Christian spirituality. Each element is intended to be a lens through which we can evaluate our overall spiritual progress toward the likeness of Christ-and a robust devotional future.
Earth: A Grounded Life “While it was still night, way before dawn, he got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed. Simon and those with him went looking for him.” Mark 1:35-37a (The Message)
When I was a young boy growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, I first learned the lesson of gravity. I jumped off the very top of a set of monkey bars like a superhero launching from a skyscraper-all to impress a little neighbor girl. When I landed on my chest with a horrid “thud,” wheezing and crying for Lois Lane’s help, I understood the unyielding nature of the earth.
Earth speaks of the grounded life. This is a life deeply rooted in nurturing, stabilizing values that do not change-values like faith, family, and character.
Earth speaks of life elements like faith, and a spirituality fueled by the regular study of the Scriptures and habitual conversation with God in prayer.
Earth speaks of life elements like family, and our need to tend to our immediate flesh and blood relationships with generosity in attentiveness, time, and tenderness.
Earth speaks of life elements like character, and welcoming the blossoming of our soul through events that evoke integrity, honesty, perseverance, courage, faithfulness, goodness, and love.
Are you living in the element of earth-tending to those arenas of life that ground you?
Wind: An Inspired Life “… Jesus intervened: ‘Let the children alone; don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.’” Matthew 19:13-14 (The Message)
One of my most treasured mentors and friends, the late Bob Horvath, was passionate about sailing. I would watch him thrust the thick canvas of his beloved boat into the sky to catch the slightest breezes God might send his way. Through years of working with his equipment, Bob knew just how to maneuver his sails to go in exactly the direction he wanted to go.
Wind speaks of the inspired life. This is a life that raises its sails with the sole intent of catching every joyful wind sent our way.
Wind speaks of life elements like finding heroes and allowing them to call us forward in skill, in passion, in faith-to stimulate our desire to be better at what we do than we already are.
Wind speaks of life elements like dreams, and giving ample room for the hopes and desires within us to be tested, matured, and reshaped along our life journey.
Wind speaks of life elements like art and beauty, gardening, concerts, inspiring books, good food, energizing conversations and passionate vocational (or avocational) work.
Are you living in the element of wind-tending to those arenas of life that inspire you?
Fire: An Empowered Life Jesus’ refusal was curt: ‘Beat it, Satan!’ He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.’” Matthew 4:8-10 (The Message)
I have interacted with many friends around the world who, like me, have endured lifelong battles with severe depression. On occasion I have had the privilege of watching some lives, in a season of prayer, mission or encouragement, come back from the dead. They have burst through their next chrysalis to embrace a colorful, resurrected life on the other side.
Fire speaks of the empowered life. This is a life that is spiritually motivated, prayerfully covered, and actively engaged with God’s new creation mission in the world he so loves.
Fire speaks of life elements like ongoing personal development in areas of our passion and skills. It speaks of study, risk, and placing ourselves in situations where a wild adventure with God is our only option.
Fire speaks of life elements like a prayer circle of committed friends who we have asked to pray for us with consistency and a burning desire for our highest impact to be felt in the world.
Fire speaks of life elements like missional community activities that put us in a position to be someone’s humble hero, someone’s louder voice, or someone’s undying supporter.
Are you living in the element of fire-tending to those arenas of life that empower you?
Water: A Communal Life “You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” John 15:11 (The Message)
I, like you, love fly fishing. One of my favorite summer pastimes is to stand in a river with a friend far downstream, casting my line into placid pools where fish are resting. In the river and its pools, one sees the playful nature of water. This unruly combination of hydrogen and oxygen not only hydrates and cools-it also runs to the lowest places in need of its revitalizing touch.
Water speaks of the communal life. This is a life that is invested in authentic friendships, accountable communities, and key life-to-life mentoring partnerships.
Water speaks of life elements like connecting with others in intentional, mutually encouraging, interdependent community gatherings.
Water speaks of life elements like spiritual friendships, painstakingly maintained over the course of decades and nurtured on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Water speaks of life elements like mutual service, in which we share the labor in the lives of those around us, running to their lowest places in times of need and allowing them to run to the lowest places in ours.
Are you living in the element of water-tending to those arenas of life that establish you in community?
Moving in the Elements
Walking with Christ as grounded, inspired, empowered, and communal people, we begin to find ourselves living “in our element,” serving the common good of others from the center of who God so artfully designed us to be (1 Cor. 12:7).
Move in the elements with grace, and know that he will complete the new creation work he began in you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Wilt, M.Min. is the Learning Community Director of The Worship And Arts Institute and is the founder of WorshipTraining.com. Drawing on insights both past and present, WorshipTraining.com invites you along with worship leaders, musicians, techs, scholars, artists, pastors and creative leaders in all spheres of ministry to interact on all things worship. You can get a free account at WorshipTraining.com, and join over 16,000 of other creative leaders and teams who are growing together online.
Dan lives with his wife Anita, and three children Anna, Abigail and Benjamin, in Franklin, Tennessee, USA.
Dan Wilt, M.Min. is a husband, father, worship artisan (leader and writer), spiritual storyteller (radio), educator (spiritual formation and worship studies), author (applied artistry in ministry), and communications media content developer (wildpearcreative.com).