Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Food for Thought

I will post additional thoughts and comments on tomorrow--I'm still learning.

So... for today check out this blog (Curmudgeon's Progress) and the comments. It is thought provoking.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Delicious Pastor Lance

I am tall (almost 6’ 5”), 30 pounds over weight and my moustache has too much gray in it. Even with all of my imperfections I am still delicious. Wait a minute… I doubt if my wife would even say that I am delicious!

You can be delicious—like me!

I was recently introduced to a web site-- I have a account—thus, I am delicious! The web site allows the user to have their bookmarks on the web instead of on their computer.

There are many practical reasons for placing your/my bookmarks on the web. First, most people have access to more than one computer. Isn’t it frustrating to have a bookmark on the home computer and not on the computer at the office? A person has to waste a lot of time trying to remember (or find) those sites all over again.

A second reason to have bookmarks on the web is that they can be shared. I am teaching a class at our church called Interpreting the Bible Faithfully. Several people asked me what web sites I have used to assist me in preparation for the class. I now bookmark each of the sites on my account. Anyone in the class can view these bookmarks and go to the sites. You can use your aggregator (like to let you know whenever I post a new link to my account! Thus, people can be better prepared for my classes and sermons!

A third reason is that other people can save bookmarks for me. I am still not too familiar with this aspect of I will be learning more about it in the coming weeks.

A fourth reason is that I can search tags that other people have made on specific topics.

I have just started posting to my account. I have posted the links for last week’s class and I have started posting the links for this week’s class and my sermon for this week. Check it out at:

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Greater Song

As the pastor of a small congregation I wear many hats. One hat that I wear is leader of our worship teams. I love this part of my ministry—it is also the most difficult part of my ministry. Leading the worship teams is easy (we have wonderful folks on both teams). The difficult part is finding new music.

Music for our Sunday mornings needs to have a full music score (Saturday nights our piano player can play off of a guitar chord sheet). That use to be a problem, but not so much today thanks to Integrity music. They are now selling their new worship music books with a CD that makes it possible to transpose the piano scores to any key. Way cool! The two books that they currently have on the market with this capability are “Next” and “No Boundaries.” We are using numerous songs from these books (and the worship CDs with the same names).

There is a new songbook on the market that is a MUST BUY. Paul Baloche writes wonderful worship music. His new CD -- A Greater Song -- has many worship songs we will be using. The piano scores are not transposable; however, most of the songs are in a key that most of us can sing in.

Our Presbytery has a clergy/spouse retreat every February. One of our pastors is a very skilled guitar player and leads our singing. He tries to have to good blend of hymns and contemporary worship songs. Each year I am shocked and amazed at how few of the pastors know the contemporary worship songs. They know the old stand-bys: Shout to the Lord, Open the Eyes of My Heart, The Heart of Worship, etc. Very few of the pastors knew the songs by Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp, Paul Baloche, etc. Someone asked me how I knew all of the songs that we were singing! It’s simple; I try to keep current on worship songs. I believe that every pastor should at least make an effort to keep current on some of the new worship music that is available today. There will always be a place for hymns in the church—but the 21st century church is going to demand that we also know contemporary worship songs. Our lack of knowledge of contemporary worship music communicates that we don’t like, or care, about that style of worship music.

It is too bad that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offers almost no support for contemporary worship. I believe that every church in our Presbytery that is growing offers either a contemporary or blended worship experience. Since we can’t depend on Louisville to help our churches in this area it is up to us to help each other. If you have found other helpful contemporary music resources please post them in the comments section.