GoingFullCircleBlog

Growing Worshiping Disciples on Mission for Christ


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Unlock a New Vision to Go to the Next Level

Resources Recommendations But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem,

for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done . . . I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought this calamity upon us and upon this city?

So I purified the priests and the Levites of everything foreign, and assigned them duties, each to his own task. Nehemiah 13:6–7,17–18,30, NIV

Nehemiah’s first vision was to re-build the city of Jerusalem. His next vision was to purify the people. While in captivity and immersed in another culture, they had compromised the purity of their Jewish faith. Nehemiah’s intent was to restore their allegiance to the one true God—the God of their forefathers who would use them to bring forth the Savior. In some ways, rebuilding the city must have seemed easy compared to changing the attitudes, habits, and daily practices of the people.

As you celebrate the victory of achieving your first vision, remember that the process of transformation is ongoing. The mission effort you have begun is very fragile. It must be nourished and protected in order to take root. Regression can happen before you know it. A single accomplishment will be an empty victory if we return to old patterns of hoarding our giftedness inside the “Church Club”. Being missional requires an ongoing intent, focus, and plan to get outside into our community. It will take years for missional thinking to be fully ingrained in an organization that has been self-centered.

Your ability to manage change is always dependent on the quality of your relationships. I am amused to read in Nehemiah how he resorted to strong-arm tactics of pulling hair out and beating up those who disobeyed the laws of Jewish purification (Nehemiah 13:25). A leader must certainly be willing to discipline those who disobey God’s laws. But a leader can never withdraw from the bank account more than he has invested in his people relationally. Nehemiah had said previously: “The earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people . . . Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that” (Neh. 5:15, NIV). We must constantly check our “relational balance statement” to ensure that we are depositing more care, attention, encouragement, and love in our follower’s lives than we ask for in return. That is servant-leadership by Christ’s example.

Once you have successfully accomplished your first ongoing mission project in your community, begin to envision your next work. Go to God and ask him to breathe another vision into your brokenness. Go back to your pastor and begin the circle all over again. Keep on dreaming and leading full circle. Never stop as long as God’s mission of redemption is yet to be fulfilled!  — Mark Powers

P.S. Enrollment in WorshipWise October Session OPENS OCTOBER 1 but CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT, OCTOBER 14.  Check out our 4-week courses for $99 each at http://www.worshipwise.com.

 


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Are Choirs Still Relevant in Modern Worship?

modern-worship-choir (As of last Wednesday 9/7, this SC Baptist Convention website article I wrote had 8,487 page views including 6,802 visitors.  Wow. I’m amazed!  Here is the article…)

Yes, I admit that many of our worship leaders and pastors hold divided opinions on the issue of choirs in modern worship. Yet in our culture we have seen a real resurgence of TV shows like “The Voice”, “Glee,” “The Sing Off,” and others that feature singers and choirs. Choirs are popping up in secular concerts, award shows, variety acts, and more. Some of the most cutting edge schools of modern worship continue to weave the choir into the fabric of their worship training.

I want to challenge you to rethink how a modern worship choir can be a viable way to revitalize your worship and involve more potential disciples in the worship life of your church! Here’s why:

The Bible tells me so

You may not be aware of it, but 54 of the Psalms are addressed to the choir director. Also, when the temple in Jerusalem was first dedicated and then again dedicated when Nehemiah rebuilt the temple, choirs were prominent in the dedication service. In fact, 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 tells us that it was the choir and orchestra that delivered the worship so powerfully that the glory of God fell on all those assembled in the temple.

Continue reading this article by clicking here: http://www.scbaptist.org/are-choirs-are-still-relevant-in-modern-worship/

Thanks!  – Mark Powers

(And take the WorshipWise.com survey to help us design future classes for worship leaders at WorshipWise!  Go here: http://www.WorshipWise.com)


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Leading through Change: Step Seven – Celebrate the Victory

Signs of Change At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem,

the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres . . . I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks . . . And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy.

The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.

Nehemiah 12:27, 31, 43 (NIV)

You have envisioned the dream, shared it with others, and led them to join you in accomplishing it. It wasn’t easy, and bringing it to reality required leading in the face of criticism and challenges. But you led through change into action. Now understand, this is only one small step in a long journey. Leadership experts remind us that it takes five to seven years to truly change a culture. So dig in and lead for the long haul.

Now God stands ready to show you the next missional step he has for you in the journey. Before you move on to your next mission there are two things that are crucial:

  1. Worship, praise, and thanks to God;
  2. Reward and recognition of the people.

When we praise God for success, we are recognizing that God gave the vision and all the resources to accomplish it. Because everything in life flows from God and to God, diverting any of the glory for ourselves is foolish. Leave no room for anyone to think you brought the victory. Offer your sacrifice of praise with such totality that there is no mistaking that God is getting all the credit.  – Mark Powers

 

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