Getting Your Art in the Right Place

MonaMinistry is more than heart – it’s art, too.

I’ve taught for years in my songwriting workshops that great songs have “heart, art, and good doctrine.” I stand by that for public ministry, as well. Great ministry week to week needs great art just like it needs the passionate heart of someone who loves Jesus. Can you keep the good art coming, right along with the love you have for Jesus you want everyone to see?

Nancy Beach from Will Creek Community Church has famously said, “We do 52 special events a year.” That’s so true. Those of us who serve in the local church are among the rare breed of people who actually host a congregation no less than 52 times a year. For the churches who have two services a week that’s 104 special events, not counting Christmas Eve. How can we keep it fresh?

The first challenge is to contend for great songs and a dynamic delivery each week, despite all obstacles. This means you work your team and help them aspire to greatness. The second thing is to keep it fresh personally. That means that you make sure you are current with Jesus, truly filled with His presence and His Spirit in every moment, and that you keep your heart pure. Those are no easy tasks, believe me.

There’s an old saying about marriage that says, “You can’t live on love alone.” That’s true for us as leaders in the local church. It takes more than the love we have for Jesus, as important as that is. It takes being a cunning leader, a wise person, an artist.

Keep your heart fresh, but keep your art fresh, too.

ChizBESTJohn Chisum is an internationally appreciated worship leader, songwriter, mentor, and clinician. Click here for information on The Worship Leader’s One-on-One Coaching with John Chisum. For information about booking John for a worship seminar, worship concert, or special event, contact him directly at john@johnchisum.org, or call 251-533-5960.

Shut My Mouth in the Presence of the Lord

finger lipsI’ve had a hunch for years that we’re not going to be singing when we see Jesus. No. We’re going to fall down in silent, rapt, awe-filled adoration that defies all human language. How else should it be?

Solomon wrote, “Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words (Ecc. 5:1-3).”

Does it seem sometimes like we’re talking more than we’re listening? 

I tune into the news channels sometimes, though only once or twice a week, I admit. I can only stand to listen for a few minutes because the anchors, aside from talking incessantly, continually interrupt each other. Now, I understand that their job is to talk. But, at some point, the talking ceases to help us and starts to hurt us.

We’re always in God’s presence, even when we don’t know it or feel it. He’s promised to never leave or forsake us. But there are times when His presence is so heavy in a worship service that it’s undeniable. Often the singing stops and people sink to their knees in silence and to a deeper place in worship than usual. That’s a lot closer to how it’s going to be when we really see Him.

SO – shut my mouth in the presence of the Lord. Let my words be few. Let me listen, not speak.

ChizBESTJohn Chisum is an internationally appreciated worship leader, songwriter, mentor, and clinician. Click here for information on The Worship Leader’s One-on-One Coaching with John Chisum. For information about booking John for a worship seminar, worship concert, or special event, contact him directly at john@johnchisum.org, or call 251-533-5960.

 

I Quit! Living an Excuse-less Life in Jesus

i resignNOTICE: I hereby resign my post as Chief Excusiologist. I will no longer be making excuses for my life.

“God will never give you a dream without the power to fulfill it,” said Peter J. Daniels. Daniels, once an Australian bricklayer who’d failed every grade he ever entered in school, a man who had four fathers, two mothers, and two alcoholic brothers, is now one of the world’s wealthiest men worth billions of dollars. He is self-educated, has read over 2,000 books, and owns so many companies worldwide they have their own currency. Daniels is a man with no excuses for himself.

Peter Daniels failed at business three times, yet felt the Lord told him that he would be known as one of the world’s most benevolent men long before he ever earned his first million. He is now one of the world’s great philanthropists and helps thousands of people realize their own dreams of financial security. He could never have made the trip from bricklayer to billionaire if he was willing to make excuses or blame others for his problems.

I want to be like Dr. Daniels. I want to use more of my God-given brain power to prosper myself and do good things in the world. I want to stop excusing the lack of drive, the lack of focus, the lack of purpose and passion that I have tolerated all these years in myself and do something, really do something, in the power of God. Don’t you want that, too?

Check out Peter J. Daniels on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rQM4IkiMik. Suspend all criticism and self-preservation. Lose your excuses along with me and let’s see what GOD wants to do in our lives. What if He wants to bless us beyond our wildest imaginations and make us a blessing to millions of others somehow? I’m giving up all the excuses I’ve used to not believe God for the absolutely limitless display of His love, power, and riches (even physical and financial riches) in my life.

In the end, the only people critical of those who are blessed are those who are not.

ChizBESTJohn Chisum is an internationally appreciated worship leader, songwriter, mentor, and clinician. Click here for information on The Worship Leader’s One-on-One Coaching with John Chisum. For information about booking John for a worship seminar, worship concert, or special event, contact him directly at john@johnchisum.org, or call 251-533-5960.

Be Careful What You Ask For (or, “Why What You Think You Need to Lead Might Not Be What You Really Need to Lead”)

lightingBe careful what you ask for. You Just might get it!

Have you ever wanted something in the worst way, only to find out that you didn’t want it once you got it, after all? I know I have! My garage has seen a lot of junk come and go over the years that I just had to have, only to realize it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, or that I didn’t have the level of interest in it that made it useful (like all those exercise gadgets I’ve bought and never used!). Expert marketing just has a way of pulling us into things that aren’t always what we actually need.

If we’re not careful as leaders, we can fall into the trap of wanting something that may not be helpful to us, after all.

Take, for instance, the example of intelligent lighting. You’ve seen these amazing digital lights at, say, a Jesus Culture concert or a Passion Conference. Maybe the mega-church down the street has a million-dollar worship budget and just outfitted their new 3,000-seat auditorium with them. You attended their grand opening, and now you feel like “the country cousin come to town” – there’s just no way you could ever afford those lights for your church, but somehow you believe intelligent lighting is the one thing that would open up the heavens and cause your congregation to worship in spirit and truth.

So you convince the Lead Pastor and budget committee that all the worship problems in your church will be solved if they will scrap everything else and allocate every extra dollar for the entire year to purchasing these magic lights. The day finally comes when the boxes arrive, you unwrap them, set them all up, turn them on, and suddenly there’s a deep sinking feeling inside you. You realize that the lights are going to blind your 80-year old organist and trigger cranial seizures throughout your congregation. Maybe you should’ve invested in your people before buying a bunch of lights, especially if you expect them to worship God more than be dazzled by intelligent lights.

Okay, so that example is a stretch, but, can you identify with the temptation to think that something you could buy would increase the level of commitment to authentic worship in your congregation? Whether its lights or a sound board or a younger worship leader, aren’t we all subject to thinking sometimes that we can manipulate our people into worshiping?

In the end, the only thing that will deepen authentic worship is for the beauty of Jesus to be valued as the one essential element in our services. If we don’t hold that value as the dearest to our own hearts no kind of light in the world, intelligent or not, is capable of making others worship Him.

ChizBESTJohn Chisum is an internationally appreciated worship leader, songwriter, mentor, and clinician. Click here for information on The Worship Leader’s One-on-One Coaching with John Chisum. For information about booking John for a worship seminar, worship concert, or special event, contact him directly at john@johnchisum.org, or call 251-533-5960.