“I Love The Osteens”!

VICTORIA OSTEEN AND FAMILY

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart……….AND love your neighbor as yourself”! – Luke 10:27

For sake of time, and too be honest, more so just trusting that we all know what the context of “neighbor” was, we’ll just assume that we all agree in fact that loving the Osteens as well as any one else we agree or disagree with is within our own interpretation of who God said to love, whether they be a brother or sister or, a “Samaritan”!

So, “loving” should push us towards patience, kindness and long-suffering, and, push us away from dishonoring others or keeping a record of “wrongs”, and, it might just hope and maybe, protect………just maybe!

UNLESS we believe our job to warn, reveal and point out is FAR greater than one of the TWO things that Jesus left us with……and left with the idea that ALL other things were subject to these two things. OR maybe we believe we don’t have enough people attacking christianity today???

Delete the 1st four paragraphs and just think on this:

What if by chance “the ones” we think are “diluting” the gospel are just doing what God has called THEM to do?

Not possible??

Maybe it is…..

Maybe it’s not…..

Maybe it’s what they’re saying…..

Maybe it’s what they’re not saying…..

Maybe it’s not what they’re saying but rather what they’re not saying…..

Maybe it doesn’t matter and they’re wrong, they’ve always been wrong and they’re still wrong…..

Maybe…..

However, if they’re NOT, that possible chance that they’re NOT wrong, just imagine standing before God and Him saying something like this:

“You attacked the ones who I told to go in MY name, you spoke against the works of MY hands, you called them cultic, you said that it was in NO WAY of Me or MY spirit and that it was the words of a fool”!!!!!

“Well done my good and faithful servant”!

Hmm…..

I may or may not agree with some of the things that have been said, but, I will not be that guy!!

I got enough in me to worry about…..

Bb

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How to get the MOST out of your team!

If you read this title the way a majority would, you would see a side of those words that was never meant to be so…..

You probably read “How to use your team to it’s fullest”!

Which doesn’t SOUND all that bad but in our minds, the definition, would mean……”drain your team of all they have, that’s what they’re there for”!

I may be wrong, God knows I’m definitely wrong about you, cause you would never do that, I would never do that right???

No, we wouldn’t, or at least, we would never mean to…..

And the truth is, when we get a glimpse of our own actions going in that direction, we pray for an intervention, “God help me change this”!!!

The bigger truth is that, our culture seems to have built a system that uses people for everything they got, till they ain’t got no more…..

And if you look at it from a fulfillment point of view, most of us, WANT to use everything we have and go to the grave with nothing left to give right???

Absolutely, how many books, quote’s, messages, challenges have you heard lately that say just that…..

However, and a HUGE however, is, “is it our job as leaders, managers, directors, etc. etc. to make sure someone else does that”, OR is it our job to make sure we, ourselves, me, you, I the ONE and only someone that we are completely responsible for does?

See, because of what we’ve been trained to do and learn-ed to do, we expect the same from those around us, especially when we have an authority over them (how easy is that) EVEN in good intent, for their own good, we push and drive, and “encourage” to give 1000%, to go till you can’t go no more…..

All most ALL the time, with good intent…..

Well, 

To put into words and simply come up with a solution for this is not easy, I DON’T HAVE all the words or the solution at hand, BUT, I do know that I’ve been on both sides of this coin, and I HAVE failed in both cases, and I will say, I do my best to make it not so NOW, no matter what the climate or DNA of the organization that God has allowed me to be a part of, effective leadership comes from effective influence, and effective influence comes with a heart of pure intent, one that seeks God’s heart for all that’s intended…..

“How to get the most out of your team”?? You decide, make your choice on how to lead, shepherd, direct, encourage, but make sure to do it with an intent to “love on” and care for as a true shepherd needs to, and know, always know, that those that are appreciated, truly appreciated, will love to do what they do, for the one they report to, and will have a true understanding of the One we all “report to”!!

Bb

“Why don’t they sing with me”?

For the worship leader with a heart to see others engage, the most disheartening thing is when it seems you can’t get through!

There are far too many elements that factor into this “merry go round” of a subject but lets just look at one…..

YOU!

ok two…..

ME!

alright three…..

US!

and “our” ability to connect!

To connect with the congregation, the team, and most of all, GOD!!!

 

Here are my quick three:

 

1. Smile

– Not just because it looks good but because we truly enjoy when God is worshipped

– Not just when we feel like it but especially when we don’t feel like it

– Even when it doesn’t look cool

– Especially when it doesn’t look cool

– Because we love to do what we do, and it truly should show

 

2. Worship

– Not just because it’s a given, (because it does take work at times), either way, let’s let “OUR” worship be the gauge

– Even when it “seems” that no one else is

– Especially when it “seems” that no one else is

– Because our first calling is to Him, and it surely should show

– Because when someone is “just watching”, they ARE watching, watching to see if it’s real to US

 

3. Connect

– Look at someone in the eye, look at another in the eye, who knows, the spirit that is guiding might just show something behind the eye

– Know that whatever we went through this week, “they” are going through too, maybe not the same, or, maybe just the same

– Not just with the congregation but with the team standing beside you, if they follow, chances are, others will too

– Not just by telling a story, or maybe by telling a story, with out words…..there’s such thing as countenance

– Speaking of countenance, they might just be following, use discernment to see if “their” countenance shows

 

If you’re having a hard time “getting through or getting others to follow, these three things have helped me, hopefully they can help “us”!

 

Bb

Song Selection, Comment Cards & pleasing EVERYONE!!

It’s a well known statement and, a 100% true statement that says, we worship for “an audience of One”!

A statement without if’s, ands or buts…..

However, (which is not an if, and or but) the team that programs, plans and works hard on our worship services has a lot to put in to play when it comes to creating an atmosphere for ALL that would lead to our worship being the best presentation for the “One” who is on-looking, receiving & inhabiting it!

Let’s make sure we all agree on one thing……the platform is only a part of that presentation, those who are in the congregation or crowd or community, whatever term you wanna use, has a HUGE part of it.

Most worship leaders are driven by participation, which is a GOOD thing, coupled with the right heart and intent.

If a leader does his or her best to lead from a Christ centered perspective or a Holy Spirit guided direction or a God’s eye view than he or she are gonna have a crazy drive in them that looks to please God with the whole package……”What does God want for His people, what does He want to do here, what does He see that we miss all too often”, and many other things that go on in “our” hearts.

To do that, to at least try our best to do just that, there are many things that need to be in action…..

Prayer

Discernment

Submission

Humility

Preparation

Teamwork

Just a few, but a few that I personally have found to be the constants!

There is no formula to a great worship service and the truth is, a lot of people would say, “how do you know when it’s great, that’s for Him to judge”, well, very true but if He’s entrusted some to lead those things than hopefully He’s equipped them to discern when it’s going in the right direction and fulfilling it’s purpose, and hopefully they are submitted to that, right???

If there’s no formula than how do we do it, how do we build a consistency, how do we approach it weekly, daily, or whenever it’s in “our” hands to determine what’s right for the “whole”!

Just a couple of my own personal thoughts that have worked for me over some time now…..

If you’re doing “too many”* new songs, expect the “engaging” to be limited

*too many – 2 out of 4, a new one every week……just a couple of thoughts, try a new one for a couple weeks, if it seems to be working give it a week off than come back with it as a regular

Have a “staple” song”*, Mighty To Save, How Great is Our God, The Stand, 10,000 Reasons, just to name some obvious ones, your church might have a few of their own that are always great for EVERYONE to engage in…..

*just 1 out of 3 or 4, it’ll make the difference for that few that are looking for a reason not to engage

*maybe even just a chorus, or a chorus and bridge

Know your Pastor’s heart, know the people’s hearts, know that YOU are serving them and in that, God will honor it

Know that when comment cards come in, it may not mean you have to make a change, but it BETTER make you think and discern if there is any truth to it

Know that the phrase “played out” is only used by “us”, you might be “over it” but “they” might not be…….if it’s the right one, it’s the right one

Know that shifting a culture takes time, trust and a true heart for the “why” and every single “how”…..this topic we’ll save for another post 🙂

Know that YOU may not like a song or style but the person next to you may love it

And for you personally, on stage, off stage, in prep, out of prep…..

Know that your gift, talent & calling is ALL from Him, be confident, but be confident in Him…..

and SMILE, it truly does make a HUGE difference when it comes to building trust and ultimately, people wanting to follow YOU as a leader in your planning, preparing and building what is needed and/or desired.

There are many other truths and constants that you may have found, but these are just some that I’ve found and wanted to share.

If you have any to add or inject, please do…..

Bb

 

 

 

The Stone Caster Pastor….

Let’s just start by saying this post will not be about casting stones at those who we think don’t do it our way, that’s not the intention at all.

If it was, than we might as well just stand in a big group and start throwing boulders straight up in the air cause we’d all be guilty!

Come to think of it, we probably all share a bit of guilt in this subject anyhow…..don’t we???

I’ll admit, when I don’t agree with something I find my way of criticism (making it seem very Jesus like in a loving way of course) and make a judgement based on maybe a statement, an action, a life decision, a relationship, a way about things…..you name it!

We all do……some to higher degree than others, but we all do, or have….maybe just once.

So then, how do we determine our role between John 8 and 1 Corinthians 5?

“Judge not for ye shall be judged…..”

vs.

“Remove the wicked man from among yourselves…..”

To some that’s a simple matter…..

To others the simplicity is that the one who believes that it’s simple is the “stone caster”!

Matthew 18 seems to be simple and very proper, but not to the one who is in sin…..

being approached,

feeling the need to defend,

in turn pointing out the accusers sins,

cause we all have em, right??

……………….??

The point is, it’s not an easy subject, at least not to the majority of us who aren’t all knowing.

We all have to make our choice when each situation presents itself on how to love and yet stand in our faith, how to love so much that we don’t want to see our brother fall…..and each one of us will be accountable for it, so my suggestion to myself and anyone feeling like this would be…..”I’m gonna work on ME, and if I ever feel so compelled by God that I can’t shake it, I’ll find a way to love someone so strong that they’ll have a hard time not seeing my heart”!

Ya, I like that, that’s what I’ll be working on…..

BUT, what about…..

…..what about from our platform, what about when the church next door or the leader down the street doesn’t line up with what we believe, going as far as to say “they are not biblical”, essentially saying, “if you’re not for me, you’re against me”, what about that kind of “stone casting”, it IS happening you know, and HAS happened since the church began?????

What about that kind of “stone casting”?

Well, we can say our opinions, our judgements, throw out plenty of arguments based on, or against, but instead, let’s end with this thought…..

One day, those of us who God has ALLOWED to stand on a platform, will stand before God and will account for all our mistakes, and just by chance what if our casting at the other platform was wrong, just what if we were wrong, and He says, if He says, if we’ve given Him reason to say…..”I was doing so much work through so, and so, or, My Spirit was in this and that, and you called it a work of My enemy, an evil thing being done, a “cult like movement”……THAT WAS ME, MY SON & MY SPIRIT…..well done my good and faithful servant”!

Bb

Things ur worship leader NEVER wants to hear

Lets take a look at a few things that a modern day worship leader NEVER wants to hear…….

“Dude, is it cool I brought my double bass pedal”

“Is that your wife’s scarf”

“I just can’t worship to that song”

“Check it out man, I found my chorus pedal”

“I can’t hear myself (while plugging one ear)”

“What U2 song can we do this weekend”

“You sound just like blahhhh blahhhh blahhh”

“Uhh, you don’t mind wearin’ long sleeves to cover up that tattoo do ya”

“If it wasn’t so loud, we’d be there on time, but, we usually show up right before the message”

“Hey, btw, you’re doing announcements this week”

 

The reality is (as my good friend Jluv coined)……

If a drummer rocked the double bass and made it work, bring it on…..

If it’s below freezing and your neck is fragile, wear that scarf with pride…..

*even if it is your wife’s

If a song is not engaging for people, think twice about it…..

-If a song is engaging for people and somebody’s got a problem with it, let ’em talk to Jesus about it…..

*you might not wanna be THE one to tell ’em that

If you gotta worry about your guitar players tone, you mighta forgot why you were called to do this…..

*if your guitar player ISN’T worried about their tone, they might wanna focus more on their cover band

If ANYONE can’t hear themselves, politely ASK the right person to give ’em a little more in the monitor…..

*than tell ’em that plugging don’t help

U2……uhhhh…..

If you sound like someone else, thank God for the gift…..

*unless they’re british…..and you’re not

If you have tattoos and your church doesn’t support your views, you might be at the wrong church…..

Maybe it is TOO LOUD…..

*maybe it’s not, install an earplug dispenser

Sing the announcements, they won’t ask you to do it again…..

 

All in all, yes, there are many things that the creative, artistic, eclectic, “original” worship leader doesn’t like to hear, BUT, if WE aren’t flexible, adaptable, thick skinned and most importantly focused on what’s best for the WHOLE church (and many times our personal likes and dislikes are shared by a very small minority), than I’m sure the coffee shop down the street would make room on their roster.

 

Bb