Destroy the Idol Mentality

These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Matthew 15:8-9 

The Other day I saw a post about a well known pastor in America whom I highly respect and admire. When I searched through the pictures about this Pastor I was a bit taken back by the "royal" treatment that I saw that he was receiving. Being escorted among of fleet of high-end cars, Being treated like a Palace King, and praised as if He was a god. Mind you, I'm not against the fancier things in life. I'm not against royalty as a custom of certain countries. What I am against is the treatment of a person as if they are a god or demi-god, when the one they should aspire after is God alone not man. We must be vigilant in understanding that we worship God at ALL times.

Social media attempts to ingrain and enslave the Christian to view men and women of God as demi-gods. This thought process and narrative easily leads to false pretenses, and more over leads to idolatry. 

I am all for a life-changing message or sermon. I’m not denying that we have the Moses’, Davids’, Pauls’, Elijahs’ etc. in our Christian faith today. They are necessary and they are fulfilling God’s divine purpose(s) on this planet. In fact, I’m not saying not to follow them on social media. 

Rather, what I’m advocating is that believers should not get entangled in “idolizing” a person because of their eloquent delivery of a sermon or the fact that they sing like their #1 on the billboard charts. Listen and get inspired by all means, there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, we should find our true inspiration and identity through the message of the Word of God. Always check sermons with the Bible...and song lyrics as well...you’d be surprised what’s out there! A person of faith with many followers on social media does not always denote nor represent correct doctrine or theology.

#AlwaysCheckTheWord #CheckYourHeart #FollowHIM #PrayForTHEM

This is the year you become a worship leader. Yes, you. The one who’s been disqualifying yourself for years. You’ve told yourself you’re too old, too young, too this and too that.

Stop it. This is the year.

And what do worship leaders do? They worship, of course.

The best worship leaders don’t just study the art of worship leading. They are worshipers. They step out to lead because they know the transforming power of worship. Worship changes us. And we want others to experience the same thing.

 

There’s nothing super mystical about it. You don’t need to see grand vision of archangels floating in the ethos. You don’t need to levitate while praying in tongues. You don’t even need to be heart-on-your-sleeve-overly-emotional.

But you must worship if you’re going to be good at this. Simple, but this is where most worship leaders fail.

The one habit that got them into worship leading has become a distant memory. They no longer spend time in the presence of God for no reason other than to see Him. They no longer sing for an audience of One. It’s become a job, a chore, a task. And it’s killing us.

Many worship leaders talk about worship, think about worship, read about worship, attend worship conferences, even lead worship songs, but they don’t actually worship. When these things are stripped away, all that’s left is a barren heart.

I feel the pull – to either bury my head in my work or to bow my heart in the presence of God. It’s the difference between pride and humility, self absorption or dependence.

This even happens to Matt Redman, folks. In this podcast he talked about how in a sense he had given up on ever having as close a relationship with Jesus as he once had before marriage, kids, career, and craziness. But it’s just not true. The best days are ahead, my friend.

Of course, there are practical skills you need to be a great worship leader. But it’s not enough to rely on our talent, organization, leadership, or personality. We need to maintain humble hearts in awe of the Savior.

You may not have a responsive congregation. You may not have enough musicians. You might not be getting along with your lead pastor. You probably don’t have enough money in your budget.

But you can get on your face everyday. You can sing to Jesus everyday. You can present a broken heart everyday.

And that just might be what we all need to do this year.

The secret to becoming a great worship leader is no secret.

BY DAVID SANTISTEVAN

Source: http://www.davidsantistevan.com/great-worship-leader/#more-14837

SERVE BIG

Whatever Church house God has called you to serve in, do it faithfully and with excellence. You may grow weary in serving and that’s ok, but don’t quit because you’re weary. God called you to serve HIS people faithfully, and until HE says otherwise then continue to serve. Never quit out of emotion. Stay the course. Stay consistent. After all, you’re serving God not man. Think about it! 

If your calling in missional or evangelistic, your service in the House of God still remains. I believe God can bless your ministry "outside" the church abundantly if you faithfully serve where you are planted. Even missionaries are planted wherever God calls them to go. For some service might be once or twice a month in their local church, and for others it might be more than a Sunday or midweek service. I once heard a Pastor say this statement and it has stuck with me every since, "There are two types of people in the church...those that know the vision, and those that are running with the vision." I want to be a vision runner, don't you?

“Serving” is not just coming to worship God in His house (church), it’s also involving yourself IN His house. Get involved! Plug in! Serve in a ministry at your church! “Root” yourself in HIS house. It’s so worth it! 

You grow and develop by serving! 

Challenge yourself to serve BIG in 2018! 

‬Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭92:13‬ ‭

Be YOU

          Today’s church trends have made an influential movement in the contemporary church by in large. However, there are other trends that may be categorized as growing epidemics, and may serve to have severe setbacks to the contemporary church if not properly and effectively executed. Colossians 3:1-4 states, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

            This verse brings clarity to the worshiper, and by worshiper I mean true believer or Christian. “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” gives a clarion call to all worshipers...look to God for fresh revelation, creative ideas for the church, and clear modifications and accommodations. So what point am I trying to make? It’s simple, don’t copy and paste your worship services or gatherings.

            Copy and pasting is fun and simple, by shortcut creativity standards, by most churches both contemporary and traditional. The problem and/or epidemic that lies ahead of that creative process is this: if we as a church fail to hear from God for our revelation and creativity and rely solely upon the revelation that is out there, other church’s ideas, then we run the risk of copy and pasting our church services/gatherings into a pre-made package that may not even be close to what the original church vision is.

            The effective way to utilize resources it to fit them into the vision, mission, and core values of your current church. Instead of doing church like “such-and-such church” and “so-and-so ministry” why not do church like GOD desires for it to be done. Just because a church trend is the latest thing in the contemporary service, does not mean that it will fit into your church nor does it need to fit. You should utilize church trends as inspiration for creative ideas, but never as a substitute for lackadaisical thinking and action due to poor creative leadership.

            God has given the gifts to your church for a reason, so utilize them where they fit, and if you don’t know who they are or where they fit, then get to know your church members. You may be surprised at what you’ll find if you’ll search out who God has already provided for your ministry. I once attended a conference where a particular speaker had passed out documentation for each attendee to following along with during the session, but he mentioned something while the documents were being distributed. He said, “Feel free to edit and modify these documents according to your church.” I appreciated that, because it showed me that the speaker understood that as a church we are ONE body but MANY parts. When you look at it from that perspective, it makes perfect sense why copy and pasting churches should not exist, but rather be who God has called you to be and fulfill that calling to the fullest. Occupy the region where you are for Kingdom purposes, not for popularity or recognition. Be the change that God wants you to be. Be the Church God wants you to be. 

           

 

Embrace the Process

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James 1:2-3 (NKJV)

Ministry, like many professions and labor, has its moments of glory as well as those that are less to be desired. The passage above reminds us to “count it all joy” in the midst of trials and tribulations. Two questions, “Where is your faith?” and “Where is your focus?” Often times our faith may be “in” God, however our focus may be in the opposite direction (in the trial). There are two things we need to consider as we move through the processes of ministry and life…faith and focus. Your faith may give you access to meet with God, but the focus of your faith captures the heart of God.

Process is in everyone that is growing or progressing in one way or another. Your destiny requires you to go through the process, because process is the potential agent of growth. Whether that growth is spiritual, educational, social, mental, or physical, it is of great necessity in order for you to be a better you. Growth is always a process, and it rarely happens overnight. One does not gain muscle through a one-time 30-minute workout for an entire year, and all of sudden they have muscular strength. Rather, the person must be consistent and persistent in what goals they may desire to accomplish. The same goes for the believer, as our lives are in constant process of change. It is important that the process is embraced, for it through the process that one is made stronger and wiser.

When we embrace the process of the spiritual things of our life, we understand that it is a purging or cleansing within us. God always has a purpose for the process. In fact, the purposes are beyond you. The purposes are so that God may be completely glorified through your life, and yes that includes Him being glorified through your trials. When you learn to embrace the fact that God is walking you through the process, then you are learning to focus your faith on what’s important…God and His will.

We do not walk alone in ministry or life. We walk with a God who is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. When you view the process from that perspective, then you can count any process in life “all joy.” Your source is God; His word is your compass; Your prayer life is your life-line; and salvation should be a reminder of your faith. So focus your eyes on the Maker and Creator of all things good. The process you embrace today, will be the workings of a better you tomorrow.

- Tad Ruiz