Dear Georgia Baptist Worship Leaders and Pastors,
I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to address a recent development that has raised concerns within our Georgia Baptist Mission Board worship and music community. Lifeway has made the decision to discontinue the digital download service for churches through the LIFEWAYWORSHIP website. We appreciate all Lifeway has provided to our ministries over the years; however, this news has left many of us wondering how to move forward and find alternative solutions for our worship and music needs.
While the closure of this service may initially seem disheartening, it's important for us to remember that challenges often present opportunities for growth and adaptation. Considering this situation, I would like to offer some suggestions on how we can navigate this transition and continue to provide meaningful worship experiences for our congregations:
Remember, change can be an opportunity for growth and innovation. Though we may feel a temporary loss, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to leading our congregations in heartfelt worship. Together, we can adapt, inspire, and continue to glorify God through our music and worship.
May God's wisdom guide you in these decisions as you strive to lead your congregation in worship. Our team is always available to help you navigate through these times as you share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through music.
Catalyst for Worship and Music
Georgia Baptist Mission Board
Heart of Worship: Living a Lifestyle of Worship
Worship is a lifestyle. It is not just something we do on Sunday mornings or when we are at a church service. Worship is a way of life that should permeate every aspect of our lives.
When we worship, we are acknowledging God's greatness and His sovereignty. We are declaring that He is worthy of our praise and our adoration. We are submitting ourselves to His will and His plans for our lives.
Worship is not just about singing songs or raising our hands in praise. It is about a heart that is fully surrendered to God. It is about a life that is lived in obedience to His Word.
When we live a lifestyle of worship, we are transformed into the image of Christ. We become more like Him in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. We become more loving, more forgiving, and more compassionate.
Worship is a powerful thing. It has the ability to change our lives and to change the world around us. If we want to see a revival in our churches and in our communities, we need to start by living a lifestyle of worship.
Here are some practical ways to live a lifestyle of worship:
The Mind of Christ
Worship leaders and musicians in the church need to be spiritual before musical. They need to strive to immerse themselves in spiritual disciplines to grow closer to Christ.
This means spending time in prayer and Bible study, reading books and articles about worship, and attending worship services at their local church. It also means living a life that is pleasing to God and that reflects His love to others.
When worship leaders and musicians are spiritually mature, they are better able to lead others in worship. They are also better able to discern God's will for their lives and for the church.
Here are some practical ways for worship leaders and musicians to grow spiritually:
Voice of Discipleship
Music is a powerful tool that can be used for good or evil. It can be used to inspire and uplift, or it can be used to manipulate and control. In the church, we believe that music can be used as a tool for discipleship.
Discipleship is the process of learning and growing in our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a lifelong journey that involves following His teachings, obeying His commands, and living a life that is pleasing to Him.
Music can be a powerful tool in the discipleship process. It can help us to learn about God's Word, to remember His promises, and to apply His teachings to our lives. It can also help us to connect with other believers and to build a strong community of faith.
When we sing songs about God's love, His faithfulness, and His salvation, we are reminded of His great promises. When we sing songs about His character, we are challenged to reflect His love and compassion to others. And when we sing songs about His call on our lives, we are encouraged to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Music is a powerful tool that can be used for good or evil. In the church, we believe that music can be used as a tool for discipleship. When we sing songs that are true to God's Word, we are helping to shape our hearts and minds according to His will. We are also helping to build a strong community of faith that is committed to following Jesus Christ.
Here are some practical ways that we can use music as a tool for discipleship:
I was reading a blog post this week that said 3 of 4 church pastors say the number one challenge in church work it apathy. Apathy is defined as lack of enthusiasm, concern or interest. I started thinking through this and decided what things could help.... Here are my FOUR HELPS.
1. Address it - We have to remind ourselves and those we lead what we see. We need to remind people that we need them to invest in the ministry by giving their time, talents and financial resources. We have to remind them that we don't want something from them, but something for them.
2. Belong to a Community - It is one of the greatest encouraging things to be part of community. When you are in community with others, they help you carry the load. They can also spur you on to greater things and keep you engaged.
3. Create Curiosity - One of the things I think we all have to strive against is just floating. We find something that works great and we want to keep it and sustain it as long as possible and sometimes much longer than the life of it. Cultivate creativity by engaging the most people you can.
4. Deliver the Gospel - Nothing excites people and motivates them more than when they see lives being changed. We must share the gospel with those around us and when we do, God begins to change people When God changes people, there is an amazing motivation that happens.
So as you see, here it is ABCD's of getting rid of apathy
Ministry includes many people which most are volunteers. What is a volunteer? Webster says "one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest" We have to have volunteers to help us as we minister to our community. What are those things that volunteers can slip into that cause us all more harm than good? Here are just a few
1. When they come unprepared
2. When they have a sense of entitlement
3. When they are subversive and sow discontent
4. When they complain often
5. When they think 50% attendance is highly committed
As leaders most of the people we work with in our ministry are volunteers. It's important that we remember a few things as we minister to them and we allow them to help us minister to others
1. SPUR OF THE MOMENT CHANGES
It's important that we plan well so we can make sure we don't have to make those spur of the moment changes on a regular basis. It should be a shock to most people when we have to do this.
2. THE ONLY CALL AND TEXT VOLUNTEERS RECEIVE ARE WHEN SOMETHING IS NEEDED
We must minister to people and the best way to do that is to communicate well and minister to them as often as you can.
3. WASTING TIME
One of the greatest commodities that people have today is time. We have to make the best use of time and we do this by publicizing start and stop times and stick to them.
4. FORGETTING THEY ARE VOLUNTEERS
It's really easy to become a user of people and sometimes the "same" people. We have to remember that people who are in our ministries are usually full time mothers, employees or students and are gracious to give us the time they give.
5. USING SPIRITUAL WORDS TO MANIPULATE
People love their ministers and pastors and often they respect our leadership. We have to be careful not to use bible words in situations to put pressure on our volunteers. Things like, "submit to my authority" and "God impressed upon me" can be used for the wrong reason.
I was reading a few weeks ago and came across at Craig Groeschel quote. Craig said "When comparison ends, contentment begins"! What a great word and I thought I would share 4 things to help us as we do our best not to compare ourselves to each other. It's important in minister especially worship ministry to rely on the giftedness that God gave you and give that gift back to Him at 100%.
1. Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made
God made you just like He wants you to be. He knew that the gifts you have are the ones you could use to help build His Kingdom. God doesn't make any mistakes.
2. We all have different strengths and weaknesses
Look around, we are all gifted in many different ways. It is this gifting difference that makes ministry so fun. As you minister, you realize how God brings people in to help you with gifts different than yours.
3. Choose compliments over comparison
One of the quickest ways to become discouraged is to compare yourself to others. I would rather see us build others up and put others first! Look around today and see who you can build up.
4. Rely on God's opinion of you
You are a child of God, His word even calls you a "Friend of God" God loved you so much that He gave his one and only son to save you from yourself. His opinion of you is very high!
As I sit here today, I reflect over the past twelve months. One year ago, I started on my journey with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board to lead in the area of Worship and Music. I feel honored and blessed to serve on the Church Strengthening team to walk beside over 3500 Baptist Worship and Music leaders in Georgia. My desire is to connect worship and music leaders all over our state for encouragement, growth and support as they accomplish their God-given mission in the local church.
I am the Worship & Music Catalyst for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.