Top Nav

Inspiring Media for Memorial Day

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for many people. It’s the weekend we get a day off work, the pools open, and the BBQs get fired up. But if we step back for just a few minutes and take some time to reflect on what Memorial Day is all about, then I think our weekend will be even more meaningful. So as we set off to enjoy this weekend, let’s start it off by reflecting on the men and women who served our country and paid the ultimate price to help secure the freedoms that we will celebrate this weekend and beyond. It’s ok to take a minute in your service this weekend to remember them as well. I’ve curated a few pieces of media for you that you could use this weekend for service.

We Will Remember by Hyper Pixels Media

To many, Memorial Day is the official kick-off of Summer or just a vacation day from work. Use this powerful Memorial Day Mini-Movie to remind your church that it’s a day for remembering the amazing men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom. John 15:13 states, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” On the Sunday before Memorial Day, honor and remember their great sacrifice.

Let Us Never Forget by Motion Worship

This poignant short film features footage of rows upon rows of graves in a military cemetery, with voiceover about the sacrifices made by soldiers to protect those they love.

Memorial Day Peace by Centerline New Media

This Memorial Day, may we remember those in our military who paid a price we wish that none should pay. We ask God to give peace to those who have felt the pain of this loss, and also to stir up a passion for peace in the hearts of leaders of every nation.

0

How To Run a Soundcheck Like a Pro

A soundcheck is a short moment when the audio engineer is in control. This means that we have just a few minutes to shine, put our best foot forward and get the bulk of our work done. Musicians tend to learn over time how to provide a good soundcheck. Speakers, like pastors and hosts are not so keen. This is no fault of theirs. Their gifts are communication, theology and leadership. It is not their responsibility to be concerned with audio and technology.

There are 44 phonetic sounds in the english language. We get these from consonants, multiple sounds from our vowels and then combining other letters creating unique sounds like “th” or “sh”. In a 25 minute sermon, you are likely to come across most if not all of these. Some sounds can create deep, swelling mids while others pierce through with multiple kinds of esses and t’s. Maintaining control of these sounds in various environments call for the right EQ, compression and other processing.

As sound engineers in church we have the challenge of making the speaking pastor have a clear, comfortable sound so that the gospel can be heard with little distraction. Often, the sound check for the speaking pastor happens in a short moment, maybe 30 seconds if your lucky. The pastor is also not worried about their microphone (or at least they shouldn’t be). They are focused on their sermon, people they may end up in conversation with between services or the tough counseling session they have coming up Monday morning.

Hopefully we have a good starting point, particularly with newer digital consoles. However weather, mobile A/V systems, pastors getting over a cold, and mic placement can sometimes make us clear everything out and start from scratch. I have been looking for a more efficient way to sound check each Sunday morning and I seem to have found the weakest link in our process.

This is a call to ban the phrase “Check, 1, 2.” I will also include “Is this mic on?” Stop it! No more, a complete cease and desist. These two phrases contain only 8 phonetical sounds each. It is not enough sounds and not enough time get the EQ right, much less the right compression. In order to serve our churches as best we can we must commit to fuller, richer sentences. Try this sentence that includes almost all 44 phonetic sounds:

“The beige hue on the waters of the loch impressed all, including the French queen, before she heard that symphony again, just as young Arthur wanted.”

We could require all of our speakers to memorize this sentence which may actually work, but it still does not provide enough time to dial in all of the necessary parameters. I often ask someone to tell a joke and then fake-laugh at themselves. Laughing tends to push the speaker to hit their peak volume and I can set the compressor at a decent level. Even if they think they won’t hit this volume, at some point in their sermon they will.

The most challenging phonetics are the esses and t’s. You’ll be dealing with anything from 3k-10k htz. Often you’ll have harmonics like 4k and 8k. Getting these just right is a challenge and can’t be addressed without the proper soundcheck. I prefer this excerpt from Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish:

“Who is this pet. Say, he is wet. You never yet met a pet, I bet, as wet as they let this wet pet get.”

Now we are working with something! Maybe set these up on the screen or print them out to give the speaker something to read. An easier ask is to have them recite their favorite scripture or poem. One of our pastors has the Lewis Carol poem “Jabberwocky” memorized. It takes him roughly 3-4 minutes and I can get pretty much everything I need in that time. Get them excited as they may have not quite warmed up their voice like singers do. Ask them about their Saturday. How do they feel about their current favorite sports team or the book they are reading right now? But no political questions, please!

The pastor will know that you care and that they will be heard that day. It’s a well spent 5 minutes.

0

3 Ways to Impact the Unchurched through Social Media

Words over the internet travel faster than the speed of light at 299,792,458 meters per second. Your daily post reaches an average of 100 to 1000 people, or if gone viral, can reach millions.

Together, imagine how many people this tool could potentially reach for Christ. It’s obvious; we need to speak up! Knowing this, what could social media do for the church? In a world of fake news and the darkness of possibilities that lingers over the internet, we are called to be the light.

I know, I know… being “social” is exciting. I personally run over thirty Christian social media accounts, and absolutely love the possibilities it brings. Utilizing the creativity of God to help reach the unchurched is my daily catalyst.

In this same virtual world, I sometimes want to ask people, “would you actually say that to someone’s face, or better yet, Jesus?” It’s sad when you see more criticism coming from “Christians” than unbelievers. Accountability and conversation is great, but when someone is obviously looking for a fight, it may be time to take it to Christ to see why something may be offensive to you. Instead of commenting on something judgmental, let’s all send out messages that edify.

Before we get into three great ways believers should use social media, this verse gives a great focus for our goal of being the light through social media. Read it before each time you post something for everyone to see.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

3 Ways to Become a Light

1. Stop Just Posting Bible Verses

Yes, I said it. That’s our first instinct and the Word is one of our most powerful tools, but how is it bringing clarity and understanding to the motives behind the post? Think deeper. I’m not saying don’t post scripture, but why not add more substance? My pastor does a live video every day. Yes, every day, and it is such an encouragement to people’s daily walk. He has even gained a reach of over 2,000 people through his persistence. With a mixture of live applications, scripture, direction, and love this is something that truly has made an impact. If used as a template for your social platform, image how many we could all reach!

Action:

Be real with people, providing substance and deep explanation to your heart and purpose. Share your testimony!

2. Take Action in the Real World

Reflecting on the bigger picture, the internet is only a platform for communication and transactions. The real work happens in the real world. You can create campaigns, but action has to be taken.

Action:

Take action in the real world, then tweet about it, get people to retweet, and send the story to big agencies, such as Fox, CNN, or anyone that will share your story.

3. It’s Not About The Numbers

Quality over quantity. Instead of posting five Bible verses a day, share a live video or shareable graphic, and encourage engagement through your post. My friend posts a live video once a week, asking people to comment with a video of them reenacting a scene from their favorite movie, or to sing the lyrics to a funny song. In the post, he explains that one lucky person who responds will be sent a bag of candy. Isn’t that something you would look forward to seeing on social? He is a true light and is encouraging others in who they are.

Action:

Be original and tap into God’s creativity for quality content. Don’t get discouraged if your idea doesn’t work at first, but persist. It may take people time to catch on to what you are doing, but even if it just impacts one, isn’t that enough?

Challenge time!!

John 13:35 states, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Now, I have a challenge for all of you. Encourage your friends, family, and church to use #BeALightChallenge to tweet or post words of encouragement to people’s walls, including to people they don’t even know. Let’s be a light and love one another as social neighbors, like we are commanded. Just one person may impact one, but together we can impact thousands!

0

Volunteers – How to Find Them, Train Them, and Keep Them

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.”
– Ephesians 4:11
Certain gifts have been given to equip others for the work of ministry. The load of “doing ministry” does not, and should not, fall on the vocational pastor. Their job is to equip others for the work of ministry.

One way people can do the work of ministry is by volunteering on the local church level. They can identify their gifts, and then serve in order to bless others. It’s a terrific model that just makes sense. Allow the pastor to focus on his role as equipper, while the vast majority of saints take the lead in ministering to the church and the community.

I think we can all agree, however, that this is not what it always looks like. When I look at churches, I see the equippers doing most of the ministering, and I see the saints doing a lot of the receiving. Can you think of any ministries where it seems downright impossible to get regular, consistent, faithful volunteers? Nursery duty, anyone? This is not exactly the model set up for us in the New Testament. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely equippers who don’t like to let go of tasks or projects; they hold on tight and want to take care of everything themselves. Wouldn’t you agree that they would have a greater impact if they were to let go, equip others, and focus on their calling?

Why does it look this way? Well, I’m not 100% sure, but I do know there are strategies that we can all consider on how to raise up volunteers who love to operate within their gifts and bless others. Here are a few strategies for us to consider:

1. Find Them

Volunteers are out there. They are everywhere. But something is keeping them from serving. What are the barriers that are keeping people from stepping up to serve? Here are a couple to consider:

– Fear

This barrier can take so many different shapes. One is a feeling of inadequacy. Take someone who has a great heart for Jesus, a sound theology, and an amazing voice. They think they could use their gifts on the worship team, but they may compare themselves to the people on stage thinking they could never do that. Another could be a fear of rejection. They want to step up, but are afraid that they will be turned down. This barrier can be dealt with from the pulpit. A specific message could be preached on this topic, but I think an overall tone from the lead pastor can truly help nullify this fear.

– Apathy

Some people just don’t see why this is important. They may think that someone else can take care of the needs of the church. It’s not that they necessarily have a bad attitude, it may just be that they do not fully understand why God created them. Helping people recognize the truth behind these verses goes a long way.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
– Ephesians 2:10
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:11-12
A solid understanding of these verses will help people overcome the barrier of apathy.

2. Train Them

Once you knock those barriers out of the way, it’s time for leaders to step aside and build opportunities for people to serve. It may be time for you to give up control of a certain area and allow others to step up and serve. Examples include a larger welcome team (always a good idea to have people dedicated to seeking out new people to welcome them and combat any cliques that may form within a church), a parking team, or a “have a great day team” that tells everyone goodbye as they leave. You name it; create opportunities for people to serve.

– Job Description

When you do create these opportunities, you also need to create job descriptions. Yes, even for volunteers. Especially for volunteers. Each job description will serve as a set of guidelines and expectations for the new people. This will help hold everyone to a certain standard, and it will allow you to evaluate their various gifts and talents.

– Train

Once the opportunity is created, and the job description is in place, call people to step up, then train them. Don’t just hand over the reigns to a qualified person and say, “You got this”. No way. Take the time to train these new volunteers. Let them see how you want things done at a level of excellence and commitment. This is a prime opportunity to disciple and replicate your “ministry DNA” into someone else.
The 4 stages of training are:

1. I do, you watch
This allows them to see exactly what it is you are looking for
2. We do together
Teamwork
3. You do, I watch
We don’t just want to drop them in the deep end without us being there
4. You do, I coach
Now, we don’t have to be together. You’ve entrusted the ministry to them and now you can meet on a regular basis to talk about successes and opportunities for growth

3. Keep Them

This is an important part of this process. Celebrate your volunteers. Don’t let them go unnoticed. Recognize them. It’s okay to publicly thank those who are giving their time and energy to serve the local church. Don’t be afraid to have a big dinner one night for all the volunteers in your church. Showing your appreciation will go a long way in maintaining volunteers and enticing new ones to step up to the plate.

Hopefully by implementing these strategies, you will see people step up and serve your church in ways you could only imagine.
0

An Amazing Story of Generosity from Hobby Lobby CEO David Green

The following is an excerpt from David Green’s new book, Giving It All Away…and Getting It All Back Again. David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, delves into an amazing story of generosity. David’s heart and passion for God’s glory is contagious, and his example of giving is one that can instill courage in us all. David shares with us how a line from a poem from C. T. Studd has really helped to shape his thoughts and actions.

 

What I’ve Learned That’s Most Important

I love British cricketer and missionary C. T. Stud’s poem “Only One Life.” The one line that really gets me is “Only what’s done for Christ will last.” I have committed myself fully to this. I believe that God has placed us on this earth to work, to earn, and to care for those he has entrusted to us. Yet I also believe that we are put on this earth to give, to devote ourselves to a radical brand of generosity that changes lives and leaves a legacy. To paraphrase God’s words to patriarch Abraham, we are blessed so that we can be a blessing.

But what do we mean when we talk about being blessed? In our culture, this might be interpreted as financial blessing. And certainly finances can be part of it. I believe, however, that the blessing God talks about encompasses so much more. Since I have been exceptionally blessed in my life, I have determined to give exceptionally as well. And what about the other ways in which I’ve been blessed?

Family.

Friends.

Talents.

Freedom.

Education.

I could go on. I’m sure you could too.

When I consider all of the blessings I’ve been given, it’s hard for me not to pause and thank my Lord and my God. His heart is generous. His blessings are wide and rich.

People may know my name now, but I started out like any Joe. Humble beginnings, working hard. But, as God would have it, my story took a turn. It was a turn marked by a faith that pushed me to my limits. Through it all, I learned to trust, and that trust led me onto a path of generosity. I look forward to telling some of the story of this journey in the pages of this book.

My second purpose is to offer the lessons my wife, Barbara, and I learned while trying to fashion a legacy for those who come after us in our family.

And there it is: legacy. What is a legacy, anyway?

The dictionary gives two definitions. First, a legacy is an amount of money or property passed to someone in a will. Second, a legacy is a thing handed down by a predecessor. I want to use the second definition because I believe it includes everything—from belief to right action to finances. You and I possess so much to hand to our predecessors, things seen and unseen.

My story begins in the unseen things. God took me on a wild trip that landed me where I am today, in the land of seen things—my company, Hobby Lobby. But God has taught me that with great wealth and power comes great obligation to the next generation. Knowing this, I have worked through my legacy plan more than once and have finally landed here, writing you my thoughts on the matter.

This is the story I want to recount now. My hope is that others can learn from it and that perhaps our generation can begin doing what few generations before us have done well: pass a true legacy on to those who follow us.

 

David Green
David Green is the founder of Hobby Lobby, the largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer in the world. He is soft-spoken, passionate about his faith, and dedicated to his family.

In 1970 David Green borrowed $600.00 to buy a molding chopper, set up shop in his garage at home, and started making miniature wooden picture frames. As of 2015, Hobby Lobby employs over 32,000 people, operates 600 stores in forty-seven states, and grosses 3.6 billion dollars a year.

David & his wife Barbara are the proud parents of two sons and one daughter, grandparents to ten, and great grandparents to eight. David writes what it looks like to leave a lasting legacy in Giving It All Away..And Getting It Back Again (Zondervan).

 

Bill High
Bill High practiced law for 12 years before becoming the CEO of the National Christian Foundation Heartland. His mission is to change the way people think about generosity and their practice of it. He is married to Brooke and they have four children, two son-in-laws, and one grandchild. He can be found at www.williamghigh.com.

 

Taken from Giving It All Away…And Getting It Back Again by David Green with Bill High. Copyright © [2017 by David Green. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.

Be sure to check out the Book Site here.

You can pick up a copy of the book from Zondervan and Amazon.

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes