Greetings Church Musicians,
Spring is here! School will soon be out and summer schedules in full swing. It's good to have a plan beforehand. I've been surprised over the years at how it creeps up on me. Some summer Sundays have been great learning times as I've purposed to plan better next time.
I hope you'll have a chance to pause over Memorial Day, even for a few moments, during a parade, or at a cemetary, to thank God for the brave souls who have sacrificed so much for us to enjoy our freedom, under God.
Thank you for your faithful service in your local congregations - may you be encouraged as you continue to hope in God.
Enjoy this month's issue.
Church Musician Tips
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This Month's Tip
Do you have a plan for summer? People tend to get hazy, lazy and crazy when summer roles around - it seems the smaller the church, the harder it is to stay on task.
So this year I'm offering options to our music team. We will attempt to plan ahead, in fact we will be meeting over lunch one Sunday to decide whether we will have:
a one hour weekly rehearsal,
a 3 hour monthly rehearsal,
or just show up 30 minutes before the service starts on Sunday morning.
Regardless of your situation, I have found that May is a great time to rally the troops before summer and catch up on various communications. People love information, so make sure you pass it on. This can help the team feel connected and aids ministry ownership.
Maybe, for a surpise, you could print up a Certificate of Accomplishment - one for each team member, and include a few special ones for efforts recognized above and beyond the call of duty. The point is to have fun with your team and celebrate all your hard work together.
I hope you were able to "celebrate" the National Day of Prayer, recently, on May 5. I have a friend who does open-air preaching on college campuses throughout the US. Here is an excerpt from his recent newsletter.
I urge you to join with me and with millions of other Americans
in sincere prayer
to God on this day. I have copied President Bush's proclamation
of prayer at the
end of this letter, but first, let me mention ten things you
might pray for.
1) America would have strong churches: growing churches, holy
built on God's word and led by God's Spirit.
2) Godly leaders in our churches: pastors who are bold, filled
with faith, love
and wisdom; who lead in the fear of God rather than the fear of
3) Stable families: The family structure in America is under
attack and is
crumbling. Pray for godly husbands, wives, mothers and fathers
to love one
another and to love their children with the love of Christ.
4) The youth of America: They face so much pressure to be
ungodly. They are the
unwitting victims of a radically secularized education and
society. Never forget
that these are the future of the church and of the nation. Pray
for a mighty
revivial among our youth.
5) Our entertainers: Hollywood, TV, sports and music have a
dramatic impact upon
our culture. Much of the entertainment we are given is vulgar
and wicked. Pray
for Christians with a love of God and upright standards might
emerge as leaders
in the field of entertainment.
6) Our educators: Those entrusted with teaching our youth have a
tough job. Many
get discouraged at the work. Pray for many teachers to know
Christ and to have
wisdom in how to share His eternal truths with their students.
7) Our governmental leaders: Washington and each state capitol
is a battle ground
in the "cultural war." Over the past 25 years, many believers
have answered the
call of public service. Pray that they be innocent as doves and
wise as serpents
as they make laws designed to restrain evil and promote the good
in our culture.
8) Our judges: that they would rule justly, protect the
oppressed and innocent
and not give in to bribery or the pursuit of personal power.
9) Our military: There are thousands of our finest young men and
women serving in
harms way. Undoubtedly, they are lonely, scared and often serve
in the worst of
conditions. Pray for their safety, courage, wisdom and that many
of them would
find Christ during this time of their lives.
10) Finally, pray for many, many people throughout America to
find Christ. With
this, pray that we believers would be bold in sharing our faith.
And remember to
pray for your favorite missionaries -- including (if I'm on your
list) -- me!
I'm sure there are other things to pray for as well, but these
ten come to my
mind as I write.
God bless you and fill you with faith, courage and love,
National Day of Prayer, 2005
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
Since our Nation's earliest days, prayer has given strength and
Americans of all faiths. Our Founding Fathers relied on their
faith to guide them
as they built our democracy. Today, we continue to be inspired
blessings, mercy, and boundless love. As we observe this
National Day of Prayer,
we humbly acknowledge our reliance on the Almighty, express our
gratitude for His
blessings, and seek His guidance in our daily lives.
Throughout our history, our Nation has turned to prayer for
strength and guidance
in times of challenge and uncertainty. The Continental Congress,
meeting in 1775,
asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a new Nation.
Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued exhortations to
prayer, calling upon
the American people to humble themselves before their Maker and
to serve all
those in need. At the height of World War II, President Franklin
our citizens in prayer over the radio, asking for God to protect
our sons in
battle. Today, our Nation prays for those who serve bravely in
the United States
Armed Forces in difficult missions around the world, and we pray
Across our country, Americans turn daily to God in reverence. We
ask Him to care
for all those who suffer or feel helpless, knowing that God sees
their needs and
calls on us to meet them. As our first President wrote in 1790,
"May the father
of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths . .
.". As we face the
challenges of our times, God's purpose continues to guide us,
and we continue to
trust in the goodness of His plans.
The Congress by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on
our citizens to
reaffirm the role of prayer in our society and to honor the
freedom of religion
by recognizing annually a "National Day of Prayer."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United
States of America, do
hereby proclaim May 5, 2005, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask
the citizens of
our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own
faith, for the
liberty and blessings we have received and for God's continued
protection. I also urge all Americans to join in observing this
appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day
of May, in the
year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of
the United States
of America the two hundred and twenty ninth.
GEORGE W. BUSH
Since the last newsletter in April, I added some information on songwriting for church musicians and updated the free music downloading page. Check out SongSource, which is a great place to share songs you may have written for your church. I have a song there called "Every Good Thing" I wrote for a friend's wedding a few years ago. The lyrics come from James 1:17. I hope you like it.
Free Music Downloading
Searching for sheet music you can download? Just click "Find It!" above, after what are looking for to see what musicnotes.com offers.
Installing the download program couldn’t be easier. When you sign up, you barely know anything is happening and then
Wha – la
It’s done – and your sheet music appears on your screen, ready for printing or saving to your computer hard drive. Here is a virtual storehouse of all types and styles of Christian music. It is the best!
Church musicians - have some of you have found a creative outlet for your songwriting in your local church that keeps you going when the going is tough? And why not?
Scripture is filled with stories of how songs and singing have been an important part of every God-happening in all of recorded history.
Anything you can do to learn how to write songs that help people live closer to God brings Him pleasure. There is a verse in
Zephaniah 3:17 that says God sings over us.
If you are a church musician, worship leader, or someone who aspires to be, songwriting is something you should pursue with all your heart. There will never be too many songs expressing the greatness, magnificence, mercy, power, forgiveness, wisdom, and love of God.
But – where to start is a fair question.
This month our featured article is a covenant established for an event celebrating 25 years of intentional living. It reminds me of events like the dedication of Israel's temple, in the Bible, where great statements are made setting in motion entire generations to live and promote God's honor.
I hope you'll read it and be energized all over again to keep on keeping on for a cause that is larger than any one of us - yet provides us all a meaningful destiny and purpose.
Try reading it out loud - it is very worshipful. Each time I do, my eyes fill with tears, and I'm inspired to do my best for One who gave all for me.
THE ANGEL STADIUM DECLARATION
April 17, 2005
Today I am stepping across the line. I'm tired of waffling, and I'm finished with wavering. I've made my choice; the verdict is in; and my decision is irrevocable. I'm going God's way. There's no turning back now!
I will live the rest of my life serving God's purposes with God's people on God's planet for God's glory. I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word.
Since my past has been forgiven, and I have a purpose for living and a home awaiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying. Instead I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of his family.
Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, "we" over "me," character over comfort, service over status, and people over possessions, position, and pleasures. I know what matters most, and I'll give it all I've got. I'll do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.
I won't be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation, or intimidated by the devil. I'll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal, not the sidelines or those running by me. When times get tough, and I get tired, I won't back up, back off, back down, back out, or backslide. I'll just keep moving forward by God's grace. I'm Spirit-led, purpose-driven and mission-focused, so I cannot be bought, I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.
I'm a trophy of God's amazing grace, so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for everyday, and generous with everything that God entrusts to me.
To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say: However, whenever, wherever, and whatever you ask me to do, my answer in advance is yes! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, I'm ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway. Whatever it takes Lord; whatever it takes! I want to be used by you in such a way, that on that final day I'll hear you say, "Well done, thou good and faithful one. Come on in, and let the eternal party begin!"
This covenant may be reprinted for non-profit use as long as the following tagline appears:
"This article is printed from the website www.Pastors.com. Copyright 2005 by Rick Warren. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
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Until next month, may grace and peace by yours,
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