Project 7 is an organization I’ve been following for about a year now. They take everyday products that we all use and use the proceeds to fund incredible projects.
Think about it.. We spend SO much money. We have no clue where it goes.
Even when we give towards charitable organizations, often we don’t get the opportunity to see the difference our gift even makes.
What I love about this organization is that you can catch a glimpse of the change your contribution is making. You can almost feel it. Once you do it a few times, giving gets addicting. Life change is getting addicting.
So check out Project 7. You probably already buy these things pretty often anyway.
Too many of our church worship sets are put together like cars rather than movies.
Cars need to have the right parts. 4 wheels. A steering wheel. Exhaust. Lights. And brakes. PLEASE, put breaks on that thing.
But cars are different than movies.
Movies have themes, characters, emotions, scenes. You don’t start writing the script for a movie by coming up with how many scenes you’ll need or how many characters you want to have. These things come, but the story has to come first.
Worship leaders, music directors, what is the story you want to tell? What are the emotions you want your church to feel this weekend? What kind of praises do you want to send up? What element of the story have you been missing out on?
God has an incredible story in Christ that he has laid out from the beginning to the end.
You’ve got our attention for 20 minutes this weekend. Four songs? Maybe. Take us on a journey.
Help point us towards Christ and experience the fullness of joy that he has for us.
This may sound strange coming from me. I am always the one that drills being aware of the importance of context in everything we do.
We need to be aware of where we are, we are speaking to, and what we are speaking to them about. You can give an incredible speech or sermon, sing an incredible song, or present a brilliant presentation.. but if you are in front of the wrong audience your work is pointless.
In application, context is everything.
In learning, context is nothing.
When you are learning, there will always be a temptation to strictly connect what you are discovering to the area of study you are discovering it in. But what I am learning more and more is that the farther we pull what we are learning from the context we are learning about it in, the more we will actually discover.
I never thought 9 years of playing violin would allow me to lead music teams today.
I never thought my 8 years of wearing a Boy Scout uniform would prepare me for leadership now
I never thought that awkward school board speech in 8th grade would be what I needed to to speak in front of hundreds..
and I am yet to discover why I had to take some of those classes in college
Is context everything? Almost.
Blend everything. Ask questions. Create a mess.
It’s in the mess of things that beauty and brilliance are discovered.
Was just taking a moment to reflect over the last Heartbeat at Roberts Wesleyan College.
This month we gathered around stewardship – what do we have, who gave it to us, and what do we do with it all.
When we talk about stewardship, we always talk about money. Unfortunately, college students don’t have too much. What we do have, we should certainly use in a God-honoring way. But besides money, hasn’t God blessed us with so much more than that?
I got to speak to our community at Heartbeat on things that God has blessed us all with – time, influence, responsibilities, jobs, and a really expensive education. Wow, after thinking about it, hasn’t God blessed us with a lot? On top of this, he gave us stewardship over the world around us. See what he said after he created the heavens and earth, filled it, then made us in his image?
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth. Genesis 1.28 ESV
Then check what Jesus says to his disciples (minus 1) after returning from the grave..
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Genesis 28.18-20 ESV
He gave us stewardship over the message of what he did, so that we could share it to everyone.
Doesn’t this get sort of overwhelming? We are called to manage a lot for his glory.
It seems tough, but here is the truth —
If God isn’t the Lord over your stuff, then he isn’t the Lord over your life.
It starts with the heart first. We can give and give, but if we’re not giving out of deep place of surrender within us, then we’re giving in vain. We give because he first gave. We’re called to give ourselves as a living sacrifice (Romans 12.1) – because he didn’t hold back when he gave it all for us.
We had an incredible night of worshiping and witnessing many who made decisions to make God not just the Lord over their “spiritual lives”, but Lord over their entire lives. Including all of what he’s blessed us with.
One more this semester. I cannot wait.
Here are some photos from the night below!
Also, a big thanks to Nate Cronk for leading worship and Emily Oud for coming out to play after service!
Id like to begin with a confession. I dont like cranberries, and I am that guy that eats ALL of the dinner rolls. I have a problem.
No, but really, here is my real confession. I really suck when it comes to holidays. I tend to forget to think about veterans much on veterans day, Im more worried about if Ive purchased gifts for everyone and their Mother on Christmas, and I rely on a notification on my phone to remind me when Fathers Day is.
I find myself really bitter with the commercialism of each holiday, specifically Thanksgiving and its evil greedy rival that lives next store.
But last night I read this tweet.
First of all, our students at TFH challenge me daily. So thankful I get to lead and serve with them.
After reading this, I found myself starting to thank God for the things in my life that would make me really upset if they were not there when I woke up. You know, my family, my friends, my car, my guitar, Nutella..
And then suddenly I realized that if I were to wake up and those were all the things that were there, I would not be happy. It isnt a problem with the question, but a problem with what I am thankful for. James writes that
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV)
God is the source from who all the things we are blessed with come from. The roots of our gratitude should always travel out of who he is and what he has done.
So, if I was to wake up one morning with great things but without the source, Id be incredibly discontent. But if I was to wake up with nothing but the source, Id consider myself blessed. At least I hope. Would you?
Happy Thanksgiving. Im incredibly thankful for each and every one of you. Go stuff your faces.
This group of incoming freshman at Roberts Wesleyan College inspire the crap out of me.
So often in “church-world” we say that we believe in the next generation. We say and pray that they would become mighty men and women of God, and that they would grow to become pastors and leaders who change the world. But sometimes I wonder if we really believe what we pray.
I had the privilege of helping to plan and organize a 12 Hour worship service at Roberts this past Friday. It was an icredible time where over a hundred students came to glorify God and lift up the students of Roberts.
Out of the 9 worship teams that led, there was one that really struck a chord within me. It wasn’t the polished sound of Nate Cronk, or the smooth voice of Greg Coles, or the bold shameless leadership of Josh Grant. (Who all did a FANTASTIC job, by the way) But it was the young team of three college freshman.
Through some conflict and frustrations this week with their original team, all of them being beyond their control, they put together an hour long worship set in two days and led people into the presence of God. While there may have been a couple of wrong chords and a couple flat melodies, this team led worship with such admirable passion and boldness.
One of the singers said something in particular that I thought was really cool. And true. It went something like,
“Everyone always says that we are the next generation. But I believe that we are the generation of right now. We have the power to change the world now”
May we not get so obsessed with preparing ourself for what we could do that we forget about the things that we have already been prepared for that we can do now.
May we lead a generation who continues to call us out in return.