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Friday, June 24, 2005

Ask the ChurchStaffing/MMI Guy: My Testimony (follow-up)

Question_1 Last Friday in my ASK THE CHURCHSTAFFING/MMI GUY segment, I shared a little bit of my testimony.  Some people had some follow up questions for me; so this week, I'll try to pick up the pieces.  Next Friday, I'll try to catch up on a pile of short questions that people have sent in.  As always, I'm more than happy to give an answer or an opinion... I'm just not sure that it will be the right answer or that you'll agree.  :)  OK... here goes:

After last week's post, Grant wrote:

Personally, I am left wanting more information on you. I find the work you do fascinating, and it has inspired me to pursue an internet ministry as well. Knowing what you have been through, learning from your experiences, and getting ideas not only inspires me, but many pastors and ministers as well. You are doing something revolutionary in the ministry, and I applaud that and wonder where you got the idea, how it came to terms, and am interested in how God has carried you, or humbled you, through this experience.

A revolutionary, huh?  I like you Grant!  :)  Actually, I don't know that anything revolutionary really happened to get things rolling.  But here (quickly) is how ChurchStaffing.com started...

Back in the early days of the internet (the mid 90's), I was fascinated with the idea of the internet.  I was a worship leader at the time, and was disappointed that there weren't any websites specifically for worship pastors.  So I started an informational website on worship called Minister-of-Music.com.  (Anyone out there remember that one?!)  I included different worship articles I could find spread out across the web; some song book indexes, a message board, a directory of worship pastors, etc.  I had one page that was specifically dedicated to posting worship job openings.  After a few months, I found that that one page was by far the most visited page on the Minister-of-Music.com website.  So, I thought that if there was an interest in posting and viewing worship job openings, that a website just might work that allows churches to connect with staff people for all kinds of positions.  That's how ChurchStaffing.com started.  It's really a pretty simple story!

Ben E. has some additional questions as well:

1.  Has having been a Worship Leader effected or influenced your view of the role or position of Pastor?

OK, Ben... here goes:

1.  I've served in three churches over about 17 years or so, and worked with three senior pastors (all of which may be reading this now, so I'd better be careful).  And I've probably experienced all different kinds of relationships (both positive and negative) with all three pastors I've served with.  The pastor, in my opinion, is the one driving the bus.  He determines the direction we're going, and the speed with which we get there.  That being said, some churches have leadership structures that allow too many people to have their 'hands on the wheel' at times.  That can really drag a senior pastor down (and his staff as well).  When there is trust in the leadership (the senior pastors and staff) by the leadership team, board, elders, etc.; then great things can happen.  And, yes, I think being a worship pastor/associate, does effect what I bring to the website, and to the discussion and topics here at the blog.  While I've not served as senior pastor, I've seen what they deal with; and can sympathize.  I've been in the associate's role, and I know what that's like as well... so hopefully I can bring some balance to the table.  As I mentioned last week, there have also been some key life-changing events/moments in my ministry that have influenced me greatly in what I do at the website and the blog.  And someday (I promise), I'll write about those influences as well.

2.  From your personal resources and from the input you receive from the blog, do you see any new trends in church staffing?

Ahhh, interesting that you should ask... I just wrote an article for The Church Report that will be out in August about the top ten things that have changed in the church job market.  You'll have to wait until then to read it though!  (How's that for a teaser?)

3.  What's your Top 10 Favorite Worship Songs or CD's? They don't have to be current or contemporary but influential to you or, in your view, influential in worship.

Oh man... you know, I'm kind of embarrassed about this one.  When I was a worship leader, I knew practically every new song and every new release that came out.  It's been three years since I've been actively leading worship and picking songs for worship; but here's what I've liked/am liking now:

--One of my favorite songwriters is Paul Baloche.  I love just about anything he's done.  That includes much of the Maranatha Praise Band stuff that was done during the 90s.  (Man, some of that stuff sounds dated now!) 

--Probably my favorite worship leader on the scene right now is Chris Tomlin.  I really like most all of his stuff and we do alot of it at my church.

--Other songs that I've really loved over the years (and some of these are a few years old) are:  Power of Your Love and Reign in Me.

--I'm really pretty eclectic in my musical tastes.  I remember my first big Christian Concert... must've been back in 1986 or so... here was the line up:

Michelle Pillar
The Dixie Melody Boys
Mylon LeFevre and Broken Heart
The Imperials

Talk about blended!  But I liked it all... and still do.

Alright already... enough for this week!

Have a question (or a comment) please leave it in the comments section... and I'll be back next week with a bunch more answers (and maybe some questions of my own!)

Have a great weekend!


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June 24, 2005 in Ask the Churchstaffing/MMI Guy! | Permalink

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Chris Tomlin is fantastic!

Posted by: Ricky | Jun 24, 2005 3:48:38 PM

Thanks for the answers! The "driving the bus" phrase is one I use often. I know in the land of Baptists (where I reside) people like for the Pastor to be the "driver," they just want to sit in the back (pew) and tell him where to go! haha
I'll second you & third Ricky on Chris Tomlin. Tremendous consistancy!
My tastes range pretty wide also, from Paul Baloche to SuperChic(k) all the PASSION guys, big on Darryl Evens and Chris Rice. Ginny Owens, Sarah Groves and Nicole C. Mullins are my top three in the ladies department and if you haven't checked it out, the Blind Boys from Alabama are STILL doing some amazing music!
And yes, I still love old Imperials! Saw them 3 or 4 times and knew all their songs, and I still think "Water Grave" is a classic!
Thanks again
Ben E

Posted by: Ben E | Jun 25, 2005 12:26:19 AM

Speaking of music, what do you think of Apologetix (www.apologetix.com)? They have lots of free music downloads on their website.

They take many of the worldly classics and recent hits, and redo them with godly lyrics. It's funny... I find them both amusing and inspirational, esp. the ones dealing with the Gospel and Jesus.

I love music, and would love to be in a band, but I don't have the talent (no where near it). But if I did, and could do whatever I wanted, it would probably be doing the same thing this group is doing. That's why I deeply appreciate what they do.

Another band I deeply appreciate is Audio Adrenaline. I find some of their lyrics to be very deep and moving, spiritually, in a devotional sense... many themes of giving it all to Jesus...


Posted by: bernie dehler | Jul 15, 2005 3:22:46 PM

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