Thoughts About Credit Cards and Purchasing Equipment

Can I Buy Equipment With A Credit Card?

I see this question a lot. Mostly on forums and gear groups but sometimes I’ll get an email or something about it. With the cost of musical gear and accessories such as PA or computer equipment being so high, doesn’t it make sense to use a credit card to make purchases on high cost items? Won’t it be too late to use it by the time I save up for it?

Sadly, the answers people give are often over-simplified or limited in their scope. People living in one context might not see that the person asking the question might exist in a different situation then they do. In this post I hope to address the central question and give some perspective that might be helpful, not only in deciding when or if to use credit, but how we buy our equipment in general.

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Codes and Keys (How To Dress For The Modern Church)

CODES AND KEYS

I’ve been writing this blog for almost 4 years and this is the first time I’ve addressed how we dress on stage. The Bible has things to say about how Christians should present themselves. The Church Culture has things to say about how Christians should present themselves (not necessarily the same as the Bible). Even the Secular Culture has ideas about how Christians dress, or how everyone else should dress too.

So why should I add my thoughts to the mix? That’s actually not my goal. Of course I have opinions on this subject, but my goal isn’t to give you a list of things I think you should do. My goal is to break down some general keys to follow as you try to figure out what’s right in regards to you, your church, your cultural context and your convictions. As always, while our basis for these things must be found in God’s Word, working these things out can feel at times like a moving target so I’m going to try and focus on Dress Keys than Dress Codes.

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4 Reasons To Avoid The Imitation Trap

WHAT IS THE IMITATION TRAP?

I noticed the trap in pulpit ministry before I saw it in music ministry. Young preachers imitating older or better known preachers. Cadence, vocal pitch, even attempting to mimic the humor or jokes, and sometimes just outright stealing stories and analogies employed by the preacher they obviously admired.

The same thing is true in music ministries and if you’ve been around long enough you’ve probably seen it yourself. Churches whose bands play note for note everything exactly like it was off the record. The singer who is obviously trying to be Kim Walker-Smith or the worship leader who is shouting things because he heard Matt Redman do it.

The Imitation Trap is seeing the success of someone else, and assuming that this is the way that you have to do it. To judge your success not on what God has called you to do, but on how others live out their callings. I want to present four reasons that we as worship leaders should avoid this trap at all costs, and a positive alternative to imitation that might just be a way forward for you, and your ministry.

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How do you solve a problem like Mars Hill Music?

Recently, you might’ve have seen, or heard or read about the troubles at Mars Hill Church and with their Pastor, Mark Driscoll.

The question was put to me in regards to all of this: what do we do with the songs? What about the Mars Hill Music bands like Citizens and Saints or Kings K who’ve become popular with many worship leaders in recent years?

While I hope to address these questions, I think it kind of misses the point. Do you know where the songs you sing come from? Do you know what the implications of singing a song is? Or what the implications of promoting a worship leader are? Is Mars Hill Church the only church I need to be concerned about?

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On Gungor, Doubt & Belief

If you’re on any sort of social media, then it’s possible that this last week you saw 1 (or 20) posts, comments, links, and/or articles relating to Michael and Lisa Gungor, their band, and how they’ve denied the faith or something. This is a funny subject because it’s not strictly about worship. Most of Gungor’s songs don’t translate to the average church (you try doing Beautiful Things and see how that works out for ‘ya 😉 ). But I think it’s worth talking about for a few reasons.

First and foremost, I’ve been annoyed about the whole thing and it’ll be cathartic to get this off my chest. Secondly, because there’s just been a lot of silliness written about it in the last few weeks and I’d like to write something that gets past the rhetoric. Lastly, as worship leaders, we should know where our songs come from, who writes them, and how we should interact with churches who don’t line up with the style and shape of our own.

(See the article that kind of kicked every thing off HERE and Gungor’s response HERE)

NOTE: Michael Gungor (MG) really is representative of his family, band and church. So there may be parts of this post where I’m not just talking about him specifically, but you’ll just have to let the context tell you when that is.

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Can A Non-Christian Worship God?

Recently, I noticed a google search that lead someone to this blog: Can a non-christian worship God? I’m assuming that google lead them to either THIS POST about whether or not a non-Christian can be on the worship team, or THIS POST about the arguments over sacred vs secular in church music. While I hope that either of those articles was helpful to the person’s Google search, I realized that both flirted with the question, but never answered it directly: Can a non-Christian worship God? Yes or no.

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“The Problem With Worship Leaders”

I recently stumbled across a post on the Reforming Baptist blog from a couple of years back called “What Bothers Me About Worship Leaders”. I’m sure the guy who writes the blog is a super nice guy and if we were having lunch we’d probably have a good conversation. This is not me finding a blog another Christian brother wrote and ripping on him or his position on my blog. The concerns he raises are one’s I’ve heard other places and I think they’re worth addressing. The truth is that, aside from his 1st point, all of his concerns have some validity, and he’s expressed them better than most. I think they’re points worth addressing. You can read the original post HERE

1. THE POSISTION OF WORSHIP LEADER IS A MODERN INVENTION

This isn’t on his list but it is found in his opening paragraph and it’s something you hear every so often from certain corners of the Church. The concept of a worship leader isn’t a new thing, no matter what anyone says. There have always been people who God has called and gifted with talents in writing and creating art and song for the purpose of delclaring the praise of God. It has looked different over the years, but the intent has generally been the same. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant of history or is just basing their statement on the relatively recent history of their tribe of churches. WorshipLeader has a quick run down of the “History of Worship Leading” HERE.

That being said, even if the position of Worship Leaders were a modern invention, that doesn’t mean that they are wrong or evil. A “missions pastor” is a new invention, but a church being orgainized and intetional about missions isn’t bad right? What about an “Outreach Pastor” or a church IT guy? Let’s not forget my current position of College and Youth Pastor. Those are all new positions that have been created out of cultural need or an attempt to have better or more effective organization. All are new, none of them, on their own, are bad.

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