Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

Shut up and listen


I am coming up on my two year wedding anniversary at the end of this month.  One of the current lessons I am learning is how to interpret whether my wife wants me to fix the problem or just Shut up and listen.  

By nature I am a person who wants to quickly hear the problem, fix the problem, and be done with problem.  Most of the time this is not what she is looking for.  She does not want me to fix the problem.  Rachel wants my attention and wants me to just listen.  With my personality this can be difficult, but for me learning to listen is going to be a key to great marriage.  

In my own life someone just listening has helped me grow.  Hearing the words come out of my mouth while talking things over helps me realize how foolish I’ve been or it helps me discover the answer I am looking for.  So the next time your wife (or anyone for that fact) comes to you with a problem ask yourself whether this something that she wants fixed or should you just Shut up and listen.

BTW: 1. My mother-in-law gave me the inspiration for this one and at one point she told me that Rachel has a minimum amount of words that she needs to get in each day.  This is another thing you should keep in mind. 


Shut up and sing

In the first part of this series I stated that I am in the process of learning to Shut up.  At least for me the more that I talk the greater the opportunity for trouble or ineffectiveness.  Today I would like to talk to worship leaders.  My advice is simple: Shut up and sing.  

As a worship leader there is nothing more detrimental than talking too much.  I can say this because I have been there and done that.  I understand that after a week of thoughtful and prayerful preparation you want people to experience everything that you have experienced, but Shut up and sing.  I understand the thoughts that flood in when it seems like people are just not connecting and you feel like you’ve got to make something happen, but Shut up and sing.  I understand that you want to make sure people truly understand what you are trying to communicate through this song because you are helping to shape their theology, but Shut up and sing.  We are not preachers.  Our chief purpose is to lead people to a place where they can connect with God.  Here are a few things to consider that will help you Shut up and sing:

  1. Realize that people have not been thinking about this service like you have.  You have been praying, worshipping, and thinking about this all week.  Our job is to come down the mountain and show them the way up.  Lead by example.  Talking too much is not leading by example.  
  2. Worship is a choice.  God does not force it and neither can we. Strive to provide an environment that cultivates a heart of worship in that service and throughout the week.  Too much talking can break the flow of worship and break peoples focus. 
  3. If you are going to talk think about it before hand.  In preparing your list think about where spoken word would fit best.  If properly placed a prayer, scripture reading, or encouragement can create a flow that links songs or worship elements.


Shut up pt. 1

Shut up

Now from the title of this post you may be thinking this is going to be some negative rant on what is upsetting me, but you’re wrong.  Actually, you couldn’t be farther from the truth.  You may also be thinking, didn’t the Church Marketing Sucks Blog and Kem Meyer just post a link to the Harvard Business Review that talked about this very same topic.  You are mostly correct in this assumption, but I promise you (you can ask my friend Sam Luce) that this is a blog series I have been talking about doing for the last couple of weeks. 

In my life as a Christ-follower, husband, and a pastor I am learning that there are times when it’s best to just Shut Up.  The more I talk the more trouble I usually find myself in.  Have you ever been in this place?  Have you ever put your foot in your mouth?  Have you ever over-communicated?  If so, this series is going to be right up your alley.

Next post: Shut up and sing

Sunday Setlists: May 2/3

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. 


This was the 4th week of our Greater Than series and like the previous 2 weeks we had a testimony.  This week we had the testimony of convicted serial killer David Berkowitz who after ten years in prison found something Greater Than the horror of his crimes and the shame and guilt that he lives with.  Even though this was a video it was powerful and people seemed very responsive.  

Musically, I led at the Saturday evening service this weekend.  We had a small band and the team did a great job.  It was a little hectic because for this weekend we needed a larger projection screen and a brighter projector.  Which was delivered around 4 pm and service started at 6 pm.  We got everything installed about 5:20ish with enough time for a soundcheck.  Even in the midst of the craziness we were able to really worship.  The congregation seemed very responsive.  Overall, it was a great service. 

You, You are God (C-D) Walker Beach

Everyone  (G) Glenn Packiam 

Mighty to Save (A) Rueben Morgan, Ben Fielding 

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

Amazing Grace (E) Chris Tomlin | Edwin Othello Excell | John Newton | John P. Rees | Louie Giglio


Closing song: Before the Throne of God Above (D) Charitie Lee Banicroft, Vicki Cook

Favorites Friday: My favorite pair jeans

dsc032761Welcome to another addition of Favorites Friday.  This week I would like to introduce you to an old friend.  I am not sure how old these jeans are but as you can see they have been with me for a long time.  I have come to the point of not really being able to wear these out in public.  Although some times on Monday’s (my day off) I will wear them to run to the post office or if I need to run up to my in-laws.  My wife would actually prefer that these jeans never leave the apartment, but I just can’t give them up.  Here’s why they earned a spot on Favorites Friday:

  1. They are old: The stiffness is gone and they are like a pair of sweat pants with out any social stigmas
  2. They have holes: This is leading to my inability to wear these in public, but they are holes that I earned and not paid $100 for.
  3. They are my favorite fit: Through years of buying jeans and trying all of the different fits I have come to find that bootfit are the best for me.
  4. They are truly traveling pants: First of all it’s not like that movie the sisterhood of the traveling pants.  To my knowledge no one else has worn these jeans because that goes against the hygienic code of ethics that I follow, but they have traveled to other nations with me.