Thursday, January 8, 2009

Two Relevant Articles

This morning, I was down. I was in a spot that was - and is - very difficult. I needed God to speak loudly and clearly to me as my thoughts were clouding my mind and I needed some clarity. I had been praying frequantly - for most of the last few days - and then this article came into my life. It was an article from The Worship ( It was a great article, filled with God's Word for a struggling man...

Idle Words: The Destruction of Teams

Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
I honestly believe if a negative word was never spoken during a rehearsal, during a service or during team meetings, teams would be so strong nothing would destroy them.
Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks! So basically what is in our heart is revealed when we open our mouths. Scary.

The most discouraging ongoing problem we face on our worship team is negative words, endless suggestions as to how the sound can be better, complaints about who has a solo, suggestions on how to improve this or that.

Any word spoken with the intent of self edification, with a critical spirit or just a negative tone is truly an idle word. So how as leaders do we stop the barrage of words and teach our teams to live worshipfully and not just lead on stage worshipfully?

Stop it as soon as it begins. Speak to any individual immediately who begins to slowly poison the team with negative or idle words of any kind. We have learned this the hard way. In several cases if I or one of the other leaders had confronted negativity immediately, it would not have seeped in to affect others.

In the case of confronting someone in love we have NEVER had an angry exit. We have always had team members who confess and admit that they realize they are being negative. Sometimes they choose to leave the team after a period of time if they see they have no audience. We have standards that insure to the best of our ability that each team member is a fully devoted Christ follower, or is pursuing a deeper walk with Christ. What a blessing, to be tough up front and avoid trouble in the end.

Lori Biddle
Director of Magnification
Crossroads Community Church
Mansfield, Ohio

It is amazing how God works. How he can get a word to you in a way - and from a place - you would never expect. I've never read Lori's article or any of her articles, but this one I needed to hear. Negativity is a cancer that can spread like wildfire if unaddressed. We can choose the words and attitude we have. Sometimes our choices are wrong even if we are justified in feeling hurt. How we address something can be as important as if.

I thought that was the only word I was supposed to receive until I followed her link to her homepage - then I read this post... 

Chasing Maturity

In my study this morning, I studied one of the most encouraging passages in Scripture.

Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

He endured this so I would not give up! Wow! Certainly nothing I have ever gone through comes close to this sacrifice God gave.

My study went on to discuss how we can sometimes be chasing meaningless "maturity practices" or goals that can take our focus completely off of Jesus himself. This was freeing to me, described my continuous discouragement at failed trys! Looking to Jesus, abide in Him is all He asks, no lists, no trying to live up to others expectations!

Spiritual disciplines are good things, striving to mature spiritually is a good thing, but then the author of my study went on to say this; "perhaps spiritual growth is actually as simple and natural as breathing, when our focus is on Jesus and not on the breathing itself..." profound!

He calls me to just be focused on Him, when my eyes focus elsewhere I become easily discouraged. I love Him, I live for Him, I trust Him and I pledge my focus and life purpose to Him!! Chasing maturity simply leads me into His arms.

Lori, I don't know you - but just know you affected a struggling worship leader for the good of God's kingdom.

To some, Lori's posts may not connect - it may be something you feel like you already know, or that you've deal with, but both articles - together -  were exactly what I needed to hear today. 
I needed the word of God to speak loud and clear, and Lori was the vessel.

I have been negative about things in my life too long and haven't trusted my God to take care of it. It has - and will - affect my life of worship if I don't turn from these things and focus on Him fully. I know God will take care of everything - sometimes I need to be reminded of it.

I hope these articles will speak to you as well. Maybe you're caught in an uncomfortable situation - one filled with hurt and confusion. God is our healer, and he sees and understands you. He is Jehovah Rapha and Jehovah Roi - The Alpha and Omega and the beginning and end.

Thank you, Lori, for both your article and your post. Thank you, GOD for your wisdom and patience.

May God always be praised !

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