Monday, February 28, 2011

Notes From Darlene Zschech

This weekend we hosted Dalrene Zschech and the Hillsong team. This morning we had a small workshop with them and there were so many nuggets deposited that I had to post it for everyone. She was talking about music in the church, but really it transcends beyond that to all areas of ministry. They are brief points, but not much needs to be added to these simple truths and reminders.

• Don’t give up and never settle for anything less than what God has called you to do.

• Worship leaders/ Pastors take what you do seriously.

• The worship of God isn’t a job, it’s holy so be planted where you are called.

• Arrest the atmosphere and declare God’s presence in your services.

• People chase the dramatic of God’s presence, but he’s in the simple and little things of life. To often we make God’s presence about the wrong things.

• What you do or don’t feel really doesn’t matter when it comes to experiencing God’s presence. Our feelings lie to us, He’s there in the moments of quiet, peace or the magnificent obvious moments.

• Expectation is the breeding ground for the miraculous.

• You could be just one decision from stepping into what God has purposed for you to do.


1. BE AWARE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD – You become less aware when you are too self-aware.

• Familiarity breeds complacency

• Combat familiarity with staying prayerful

• You don’t have the right to make demands – serve


• There’s incredible musicians all over the world but the church should look different because of the presence of God. The musicianship can be amazing, but it’s God’s presence that will be the difference maker.

• The fragrance will sound like songs of hope and thanksgiving

• Excellence is important, but don’t be excellent for music sake, be excellent for message sake. Creating and environment that doesn’t distract, but easily leads people to Jesus.


• His power brings purpose

• it’s good to remember your life without Christ so you can reflect on His goodness, faithfulness and all He’s taken you from.

Monday, January 3, 2011

We All Have Something

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:24-25

Growing up I was always shown by my parents what it is to be a generous person and I've tried to continue that in my life in every area. There have been times I've had more to give, and there's times I may have less but I've always have something to give. I believe we all have something to give no matter how much or how little we posses.

There's a few ways to be generous that I've been shown and try to practice in my life:


YOUR GOALS - last year I started making 3 lists of goals. I used to only make 2 lists which consisted of personal, and spiritual goals. Now my list is: what are my goals for my personal life, spiritual life and what goals of others do I want to help make happen. Even within personal goals I try to center them around the betterment of others. Even losing weight has others in mind. A healthier you makes for a better husband or wife, leader, parent and friend.

YOUR COMPASSION - see beyond your hurt, your problems and yourself. See the needs and hurts of the world around you and do something about them. It could be as simple as taking time to grab coffee with someone going through a hard time and just listening to them. Being generous with your time will mean sacrificing some of the things you may want to do, or at least putting them off for a day or two.

YOUR WORDS - This is huge! Be generous with your words. Don't assume people know you appreciate them. Don't assume your son knows you think he's talented and gifted. Don't assume your spouse knows what you love about them. Don't assume your family knows you value them. Don't assume, and don't get so comfortable that you take even a day for granted with those in your life. The only thing safe to assume is that someone doesn't know how you feel.

There's so many more ways to be generous. I do believe in being generous in our giving financially, or in our time and resources, but sometimes it's these 3 simple things that make as much difference as a meal or large check would make.

Make it a generous year.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Sky Was The Limit

This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.” - St. Augustine

As I head into a new year I'm more determined than ever to really chase after all that God has put in my heart. As I go after all the dreams and desires that I have I know there's really only one thing that can get in the way. ME. I love the quote above from St. Augustine, and how that reminds me that each of us have limitations. It's our personal limitations, or imperfections, that will be the only thing keeping us from doing what we're made to do.

I feel it's important to recognize the imperfections and limitations so I can take the necessary actions to overcome them. Sometimes it will take accountability with others to over come our limitations. Sometimes it may require us to adjust and realign our focus and goals in order to beat the limitations. No matter what limitations we have, the worst thing we can do is let that limit us from achieving the goals and desires that God has put in our hearts. Make this a year where the sky – was the limit.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Does Size Matter

It's easy in life to compare. In life we compare the size of house we have, the car we drive or the success of our professional life. It's easy to do this in ministry too. There's publications celebrating the sizes of churches, or the percentage of growth in churches each year. All of these numbers are important because each number represents a person, but is that all that matters?

I was talking with my sister-in-law and I was reminded of the true measure of success. She grew up in small youth group of only a dozen or so and we were talking about what some of them are doing now. She happens to be on staff at Lakewood Church, loves God and has been serving Him for all of her life. Someone else from that youth group is in a very well-known Christian band. What was interesting is that of her small youth group each one of them are still living for Christ. That youth pastor could have said it's only a dozen students so I won't put as much into this, but instead he was a vital part of helping form Biblical foundations that would last a lifetime for those students. As a result some of those students have been given opportunities to be a great influence to thousands more than the youth pastor was. This reminded me of a few simple truths:

1) Treat a dozen as if it's a thousand and give everything all you have – ALWAYS. No matter what we at least have an audience of one.

2) Our goal should be to raise up others to do far more than we ever will.

3) Your impact doesn't limit your influence. You may have a small church, but the impact made in one life could result in that one impacting thousands around the world.

God calls some to lead large churches and he calls others to lead small churches. No matter what church size, He calls every leader to be a good steward of that which you've been entrusted with. So size doesn't matter, but what you do with what He's given you does.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Don't Look Now

Has anyone ever said, "don't look now"? What's your first response? Maybe you have more self control than I do, but my first response is always to look. Even though I was told not to, I still do it instinctively. I find it interesting that my instincts cause me to go against the grain and defy the request not to look. On the other hand, there have been times I really should have waited to look.

This response got me thinking about the way we make decisions. I believe that each of us has a risk taker in us and this response to "don't look now" is a healthy behavior in decision making. The response that looks is the one that overcomes obstacles, that embarks on new territory and produces results you've otherwise thought not possible. On the other hand, there's something to say about the warning we're given when told "don't look now". In our decision making there's also times to wait. We'll still see the same thing we've been waiting to see, but we need to go towards it with patience.

Some things that help me decide if I should go for it or wait are:

PEOPLE | it's always good to bounce big ideas off of people close enough in your life to not just tell you what you want to hear. Be careful though to not give ear to those who are always negative about your dreams. John Maxwell says there are "fire starters", and "fire extinguishers" in our lives. Negativity kills. Someone can help you see the negative side and still encourage you without being negative.

PRAYER | My pastor, Kerry Shook always says "lead from your knees". Every day decisions, great or small, should be given prayerful consideration.

INSTINCTS | I believe in following instincts. If at the end of the day you've talked to people, prayed about it and still don't know for sure – just go with your first instincts. The best, not the worst, thing that can happen is you'll learn from trying.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Understanding and Less Demanding

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Victor Frankl

In relationships with our bosses, in dating, friendships or marriage it can be easy to see what the other person isn't. We spend so much of our effort seeing what they're not and trying to change them which leaves us frustrated. This same frustration happens when things aren't working out in our jobs or dreams we're pursuing. When things don't work out it's easy to blame someone else, blame circumstances and point the finger but rarely do we take time to see these frustrations as opportunities to challenge ourselves.

My dad has constantly reminded me that when I go to work for someone I'm not there to change them. It's a simple truth that has been so liberating. It's liberating to know that I don't need to put my effort into changing my boss, or other relationships but instead my focus can be spent on how do I better serve them.


• IT LETS GO OF FALSE EXPECTATIONS - you can't expect someone to be what they are not. Accept who they are and find ways to embrace them, serve them and love them.

• IT MAKES YOU BETTER - when you spend time serving and not changing you become more understanding and less demanding in that relationship.

• IT KEEPS YOU STRONG - Saver your energy and effort for what you can change, not what you can't. There's nothing more draining than when you spend all your effort being frustrated with others and it keeps your from focusing on what you need to focus on.

• IT KEEPS BITTERNESS AWAY - probably the most important thing is it keeps bitterness and resentment from setting in. Proverbs 4:23 says, Above all else guard your heart. We'll lose passion, purpose for others and our dreams once bitterness sets in. Bitterness closes your heart.

This has been something I'm having to remember and practice daily because I'm yet to work for someone perfect, be in relationship with someone perfect or see everything fall into place everyday perfect.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Better Together

I spent some time this morning talking to an amazing artist from, Stephen Brewster. The guy has a ton of passion and some great insights and a really refreshing perspective on the church, design, worship and over all experience. There were a lot of things I walked away with, but I thought I share one thought.

There's a phrase I've been dropping around here a lot this year and that is we are "better together". After talking to Stephen I couldn't help but think of how incredibly large the churches impact would be if we operated with that mentality. Pastors, designers or songwriters – it doesn't matter, we were all created to create, but what we create only gains value when we share it. Stephen says it best, "we don't lose our value in sharing creativity – the value is found when it's shared."

If you're organization, or church is doing something effective share the idea. If you're a designer, or your in marketing and you've found an effective way to communicate a message – share it. The trick then is for those who want to utilize the idea need to realize that it still has to be shaped uniquely for you, your community or organization. Sharing won't create copycats, it will only make for more efficient methods and strategies as they are shaped uniquely for each situation and individual church.

Check out the Crosspoint staff and church. They are doing amazing things under the leadership of Pete Wilson. I've listed a few ways for you to find and connect to the team there.

Pete Wilson - on twitter @pwilson |
Stephen Brewster - on twitter @b_rewster |
Justin Davis - on twitter @justindavis33 |
Jenni Catron - on twitter @jennicatron |