God Sent A Musician

I face giants, and you face giants, every single day. And whether those giants are standing on a battle line within us, or on a battle line outside of us, we can learn from the Scriptures how to handle a foe. When a giant needed to be dealt with, God sent a musician.

[Artwork Design by Daniel Whisnant | www.DanielWhisnant.com]

David said to the Philistine, “…All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s….”
1 Samuel 17:45a,47

When a giant needed to be dealt with, God sent a musician.

ToneWoodAmp Review For Small Group And Living Room Worship Leading

Turn your volume up or use headphones for this one. I review the ToneWoodAmp (www.tonewoodamp.com) for Small Group and Living Room worship settings. As a committed agent of the Acoustic+ Movement (i.e. returning the experience of music and worship to its native, more acoustic+, circular setting as often as possible), this little tool will prove very helpful.

Photo by Sebastian Radu on Unsplash

It’s no secret that I’m part of a movement to return music, but more specifically, the formational experience of worship, as often as possible, to its native, acoustic+, human environment.

The New Worship Leader

The idea of today’s worship leader was born in the 1960s – and it has taken us over half a century to finally figure out what we really need, as the Church, going forward. While the following list is brief, it may form a basis for defining the characteristics of the new worship leader the Church will need toward our coming worship life in the next century.

[Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash]

The New Worship Leader

These ideas are drawn from hundreds of conversations with worship leaders, pastors, and Christians over the past 30 years, as well as from my own learning and experience over those same decades. They are in no particular order, but each represents a subset of other ideas, and a practical list of action steps not represented here.

What’s On Your Business Card?

What You Put Beneath Your Name Determines Everything

Every day, you and I awake with our name on an invisible business card. It is what is beneath our name – in the place where our titles, roles, skills, experience, and personal stages usually go – that determines everything.

Photo by Anete Lusina on Unsplash

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Matt. 13:17

Jesus is under water, and the strong hands of John the Baptist are around his frame. Buried in the sea, this moment with Jesus foreshadows the tomb that will attempt to hold him forever in moments to come, after his life is spent on a cross of hideous design.

The waters of the seas and the oceans, for the ancient Jews, represented chaos – the great unknown, the always dangerous, and the spiritually ominous. The sea represented the mysterious home of unimaginable creatures (remember Leviathan?) and the burial ground of mighty ships and their brave inhabitants.

The Virtue Of The Second Question

After "How Are You?" Is Where The Real Conversation Begins

The conversation between two friends began as usual. “How are you?” one asked the other. The answer came, “It’s been a hard week, but I’m doing okay today.” Then came the response the askee had, unfortunately, come to expect: “Wow. Sorry. Me too. I’m so looking forward to the weekend. I went out for coffee with….”

Photo by Jorge Saavedra on Unsplash

The friend who had asked the first question, like many of us in our generation, had never learned to ask the second question – and the practice of asking the second question is the beginning of empathy – and its companion, friendship.

You Can’t Have Friendship Without Empathy

A colleague of mine, many years ago, defined empathy as “the ability to imaginatively enter into the experience of another.” 

But how can we freely enter the experience of another if we’re tucked safely inside our own feelings, our own experiences, our own worlds, and our own needs – continually (and often unintentionally) turning conversations with friends back to ourselves?

We all want the kind of friendships that feel – powerfully, emotionally, and consistently – deep, lasting, encouraging, helping, supporting, and mutually caring. But how do we get there in our friendships, and help others around us to do the same?

After a few decades of being a friend, and having others be a friend to me, here is a simple tool that can help our conversations with friends become gateways to greater, more lasting connection.

I call it, The Virtue Of The Second Question – and it is a way of conversing that can be learned.