Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

Leopard

osxThis was probably one of the best upgrades that I have ever made.  I am a huge fan of Apple and Leopard has only increased my passion.  I love Apple products and software because they are always coming up with new stuff that makes my life more productive.  It seems like they are never satisfied.  So here are some of the reason why I love Leopard:

 

  1. Quick Look – I never have to download anything that is sent as an attachment.  It doesn’t matter if it is a document, PDF, or music all I have to do is hit Quick Look and I can see what it is.  This also works great in the Finder.  When I am looking for a specific document I can look through without having to open Pages, Numbers, or Keynote.  
  2. Spaces – With this option I am able to have multiple work spaces.  I currently use 4 spaces.  One for my internet, mail, and Twitter.  One for Things and iCal.  Another for iTunes and the last one for any projects I am working on.  
  3. Time Machine – If your like me at some point in time you have lost everything.  Time Machine is great because I just plug in my MacBook in the morning and it regularly backs up during the day.  Another cool feature is that you can go back like 15 days in time and see how a document has changes during that time or if you need to go back to the original you can.  

Check out more on Leopard

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Burnt Popcorn pt. 2

Burnt Popcorn: And Other Things That Go Bump in the Night in Youth Ministry 

As we learned earlier Burnt Popcorn happens.  More important than Burnt Popcorn happening is our response to Burnt Popcorn.  Our response can determine how we grow as leaders and how our students grow as followers of Christ.

One of the temptations that we can have in ministry is to use the Popcorn button.  My wife always tells me that you can never trust the Popcorn button.  Why you may ask?  Because your should never just set it and forget it.  For youth ministers the Popcorn button can give a false sense of reality.  Once the plan is in place everything should go according to that plan.  Once we hit the Popcorn button we should have a perfectly popped bag of Popcorn.  Right?  Well, the truth of the matter is that something will always happen that may cause some burning.  This is where flexibility comes into place as leaders.  As I said earlier more important than  Burnt Popcorn happening is our response to Burnt Popcorn.  We can either be derailed by it or we can do something about it.  We need to learn when to fight it, when to stop it, and when to just go with the flow.  

We should not live in this place where we just expect things to go wrong all of the time, but we need to be realistic enough in our expectations that our plans may be altered.  The key is that we respond in the right way and not let any hindrances or obstacles determine the product of what we hope to produce.  Good things can come from Burnt Popcorn.

Burnt Popcorn pt. 1

Sunday Setlists: April 25/26

This post will be part of Fred McKinnon’s blog carnival called Sunday Setlists.  Worship leaders from all over are sharing about what’s happening in their services.

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This week we were continuing Greater Than series.  This has been such a great series.  This week we heard the testimony of Annie Lobert.  Annie spoke about how she overcame the hurt, abuse and the rejection and found her answer to life’s big equation.  Now Annie runs a ministry called Hookers for Jesus.  She describes this ministry as an is an international, faith-based organization that addresses the realities of human sex trafficking, sexual violence, and exploitation linked to pornography and the sex industry.  As we walked away from this weekend my wife said that she really appreciated how genuine Annie was and how she was not just here to preach a sermon, but to share her passion and what drives her.  If you ever get a chance to hear Annie’s testimony I encourage you to do so.

So here is what the weekend looked like:

Your Grace is Enough (G) – Chris Tomlin Arr.  

Hosanna (G) – Paul Baloche 

Jesus Paid it All (B) – Kristian Stanfill Arr.

Overcome (B) – Jon Egan 

Announcemnets

Video Bumper: On the Way to the Cross by the Skit Guys 

Sermon: Annie Lobert

Closing song: Make You Feel My Love – Written by Bob Dylan; Adele Arr.  

This was a great weekend.  I led at 3 of our services with 2 different teams.  It was also nice to have someone leading with me this weekend.  I really like having a female vocal during the verses of Jesus Paid it All.  I have to give a shout out to our Saturday night team.  We used some of the students from the youth ministry and they did a great job.  Musically, things were pretty good.  There were a couple of missteps, but good.  The Sunday team is definitely getting more comfortable with each other.  

Overall, this was a great weekend.

Burnt Popcorn pt. 1

Burnt Popcorn: And Other Things That Go Bump in the Night in Youth Ministry 

I have to give props to my friend Chico for this one.  Last week while I was taking some of the youth of our church to the Awakening Conference I was definitely entertaining people with my Twitter updates.  After one of the updates Chico replied and said one of my updates would be a great book title.  Now I’m not sure if I will use this as a book title, but it will definitely be an informative and humorous blog post.

Here is how the inspirational title came about.  I think it was the 2nd night of the conference.  I am sitting quietly in my room and I started to hear noise in the hall.  As I left my room I found my students in the hall and a strange smell in the air.  It was Burnt Popcorn.  It just wasn’t the smell though.  There was a cloud in the air and it was almost unbearable to be in the room.  The cloud began to leave the room, enter the hall and our entire wing was filled with the smell of Burnt Popcorn.  After the Burnt Popcorn update Chico replied back with the title, “Burnt Popcorn: And Other Things That Go Bump in the Night in Youth Ministry.”

Many time in youth ministry (or any ministry) Burnt Popcorn happen.  What is Burnt Popcorn?  Burnt Popcorn can happen in a variety of ways.  It is that stuff that could easily derail our leadership or those things that we are trying to accomplish.  Burnt Popcorn can be the car rental company that can take the reservation, but is unable to hold the reservation (Thanks Sienfeld).  It can be vans breaking down when you are out of state.  It can be kids sneaking out of their hotel room.  It can be simple or so complex that all you can do is lean into God.  Burnt Popcorn happens.  More important than Burnt Popcorn happening is our response to Burnt Popcorn.  Our response can determine how we grow as leaders and how our students grow as followers of Christ.  What have you learned from Burnt Popcorn?

Blog posts that you may find interesting

Tony Morgan: 10 Easy Ways to Know You’re Not a Leader.  This is a bit older of a post, but it causes you to stop and think about whether or not you are a leader.  #8 would probably be the area at times my leadership is challenged.

Churchrelevance.com: Kind of a tough article, but it’s dealing with reality.  The article ends with 2 questions that we all must think about: 1) At what age does your church begin approaching tough topics? 2) What do you think is the best way to teach tough topics to young students? 

Glenn Packiam: This statement stuck out to me, “So, why do we sing and dance? Not to coax God into acting. Not to make ourselvesfeel His presence. We sing and dance– and all the other physical activities– to make ourselves more present to God, to engage God with our whole being. In a sense, the focus of the worship is not on whether God is present, but whether we are.  Glenn encourages us to remember that God is always there.  

Stuff Christians Like: Judging people who use the table of contents in their Bible.  This guy rocks this should make you literally laugh out loud.

Trying a new element during worship

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We are currently in a series called Greater Than > and this weekend we tried to incorporate a new element into our worship service.  During the songs Jesus Won It All, Sing to the King, and My Glorious we had an artist on stage painting a portrait of Jesus.  I want to thank Angel (from our Albany campus) for painting and Matt for putting this together this video.  Great job guys.

Check out the painting

Genius Playlists

This is a great new feature in iTunes.  This feature has been great for me a worship leader.  This may sound weird, but it has helped me build better setlists for worship experiences.  One of the things that I have been trying to achieve is consistency in the theme of our worship services and Genius Playlists has been great for this.  You may be thinking it can’t be that hard to find songs that center around a specific theme.  Well, it’s harder than you think when your are dealing with different keys and songs you may or may not be able to pull off.  Here are some reasons why I use Genius:

  1. It can create a playlist from the songs that I all ready own.  My iTunes has grown to the point where I can easily forget what is in there.  
  2. It can create a playlist of songs that I are found in the iTunes Store.  This has been great because I am getting exposed to new artists and new expressions of worship.
  3. It helps keep things fresh.  Many times what is easy and familiar can be very attractive especially when leading worship is only part of my job.  Whether it is a new or old song I am give a playlist with great ideas and options. 

Check out the Genius Playlist for yourself.

Sunday Setlists: April 18/19

This post will be part of Fred McKinnon’s blog carnival called Sunday Setlists.  Worship leaders from all over are sharing about what’s happening in their services.

I am bit late on my post, but better late than never.  We are on week 2 of our Great Than series.  We started this series talking about how our good works cannot fix the problem of sin and we need something that is Greater Than our sin or any ideas that we could come up with to try and fix the problem.  For weeks 2 – 4 we are having real life stories of a mobster, a hooker and a murderer – all of whom found the formula for a guilt-free life involved a greater than equation.  This week our guest was Michael Franzese.  

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I actually got a weekend off.  We had the Julia Marie Band in this week.  They provided some great music and worship. The band led at 4 of our weekend services.  I really appreciate Julia and the guys that they are so humble and great to work with.  They really have a great spirit about them.  Each service had different time constraints so I will list some of their originals and others we sang.  We also had an artist from our Albany campus painting on a huge 10 x 4 foot canvas during the song Jesus Won It All.  He painted a beautiful portrait of Jesus and His hands outstretched to us.  I will try to post a picture when I get one.  

Originals by the band:

Such a Beautiful Thing

Get Away

Passing Through 

Other songs used: (painting started here)

Jesus Won it AllMiriam Webster 

Sing to the KingBilly Foote and Charles Sylvester Horne 

My GloriousMartin Smith and Stuart Garrard 

Leadership Lessons from Gideon pt. 2

Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”

Judges 6:14 (NLT)

When we first came upon Gideon we learned that, “If you complain about it, maybe God is calling you to do something about it.”  Now if God is calling you to do something about it, don’t you think that He knows that you will be able to do something about it?  

God told Gideon to “go in the strength that you have.”  At some point in time God will call us to do something about difficult or impossible situations (humanly speaking) I believe that He calls because He knows who we are.  He is the one who created us.  He is the one who has given us certain abilities, gifts, and experiences that are necessary for the challenge that is before us.  God knows us better than we know ourselves.  He is the one who has given us our strength.  He is the one who has led us through different circumstance in life that have molded and shaped us.  Our strength is His strength at work in us and He is calling you to go in the strength that you all ready have.

Gideon pt. 1

Sunday Setlists: April 11/12

This post will be part of Fred McKinnon’s blog carnival called Sunday Setlists.  Worship leaders from all over are sharing about what’s happening in their services.

We had a great weekend of worship as we gathered together to celebrate the Resurrection.  This year we used our Easter services as a starting place for a new series called Greater Than.  This will be a 6 week series where we talk about how the formula for a guilt-free life involves a Greater Than equation.

I am not sure how many people attended yet, but we were expecting a lot of people and our expectations were not off.  We had 5 services across 3 campuses.  I helped coordinate 4 of the services and co-lead worship at 3 of the services.  We had to be creative on how we structured the services because we have all ready been experiencing some space issues.  Each service was a bit different based on volunteers, space, and time available.  Over the last few weeks the 11 am Sunday service at our Utica campus has been a bit crowded.  So to compensate for this we used the 9 am service as a Family service and this was the only service in which the kid’s participated.  As you will see in my setlist our kid’s ministry Uptown opened the service with 2 songs.  The kid’s choir and dance team did a great job leading us in worship.  We used a video as our transition from the kid’s team to the adult team.  I can’t believe that worked getting so many people on and off the stage in a 2 to 3 minute period.  

Overall, it was a powerful weekend.  I am so proud of our church and everyone who made this weekend possible.  Pastor Mike Jr. did a great job speaking at 4 of the 5 services.  I truly believe that God was greatly honored through our worship and our communication of the Gospel.

Here’s what the weekend at our Utica and Rome campuses looked like (If I get the Albany Campus I will post that one):

 

Saturday 6 PM Utica Campus Service 

OPENING VIDEO: The Story of Life (Worship House Media)

Happy Day (C) – Tim Hughes 

My Savior Lives (G) – Glenn Packiam/Jon Egan

VIDEO: It Wouldn’t Have Mattered (Igniter Media) 

Jesus Messiah (B) – Chris Tomlin

Jesus Paid it All (B) – Kristian Stanfill Arr.

COMMUNION

The Same Power (B) – David George/Grant Pankratz: Hillsong 

After announcements/offering

SPECIAL: Mighty is the Power of the Cross – Chris Tomlin arr. (done w/ acoustic and cello)

SERMON VIDEO BUMPER

SERMON: Pastor Mike Jr.

 

Sunday 9 AM Utica Campus Service 

I’m Not Ashamed – Hillsong Kid’s DVD 

The Same Power – Hillsong Kid’s DVD

VIDEO: The Story of Life (Worship House Media)

Happy Day (C) – Tim Hughes

O Happy Day (C) – Public Domain Edward F. Rimbault, Philip Doddridge: Sister Act Arr.

After announcements/offering

SERMON VIDEO BUMPER

SERMON: Pastor Mike Jr.

COMMUNION

Jesus Paid it All (B) – Kristian Stanfill Arr.

 

Sunday 10 AM Rome Campus Service 

OPENING VIDEO: The Story of Life (Worship House Media)

Happy Day (C) – Tim Hughes 

My Savior Lives (G) – Glenn Packiam/Jon Egan

VIDEO: It Wouldn’t Have Mattered (Igniter Media) 

Jesus Messiah (B) – Chris Tomlin

Jesus Paid it All (B) – Kristian Stanfill Arr.

After announcements/offering

SERMON VIDEO BUMPER

SERMON: Pastor Mike Jr.

COMMUNION

SPECIAL: Mighty is the Power of the Cross – Chris Tomlin arr. (done w/ acoustic and cello)

 

Sunday 11 AM Utica Campus Service 

OPENING VIDEO: The Story of Life (Worship House Media)

Happy Day (C) – Tim Hughes 

O Happy Day (C) – Public Domain Edward F. Rimbault, Philip Doddridge: Sister Act Arr.

VIDEO: It Wouldn’t Have Mattered (Igniter Media) 

Jesus Messiah (B) – Chris Tomlin

Jesus Paid it All (B) – Kristian Stanfill Arr.

The Same Power (B) – David George/Grant Pankratz: Hillsong

COMMUNION

The Same Power/Jesus Messiah (B)

After announcements/offering

SPECIAL: Mighty is the Power of the Cross – Chris Tomlin arr. (done w/ acoustic and cello)

SERMON VIDEO BUMPER

SERMON: Pastor Mike Jr.