I currently have the incredible honor of leading worship here at theCross. There are so many amazing and dedicated worship volunteers and I feel blessed and grateful to be able to lock arms with each of them as we do our part to build His Kingdom. As I listened to Pastor Zach’s sermon “Take It and Leave It”, speaking about taking up our calling to leave behind a legacy, (Week 8 from the Elijah/Elisha series) I couldn’t help but feel extreme gratitude for our previous worship leader, Tom Kern. Both Tom and his wife Nilette left an incredible footprint here. If the Kerns hadn’t given so much to theCross it wouldn’t be the amazing church it is today. God used the Kerns in a mighty way and we now stand on their shoulders as God continues to grow His church through us at theCross. Tom stepped down in November of 2015 and I stepped in to fill the void. Tom left some big shoes to fill and it was a tough transition for a young church that was losing their worship leader of 4+ years. You can read more about how the Kerns served here: #ThankYouKerns
Now that we are about 3 months in I wanted to share a bit of my heart as it pertains to worship. First off, I see myself as a steward here at theCross. And while my heart’s desire is to one day develop a care and recovery ministry here at theCross, God is using me now for this season to help guide and develop what worship will look, feel, and sound like moving forward. My sincere hope is that this worship ministry will take on a life of its own that will both inspire its current members and attract new ones.
In the Beginning…
Genesis 1:1— “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The first thing God ever did in recorded Biblical history was create. Creating matters and we do it because we were created in God’s image. As image bearers of the one true God we are natural born creators.
I have lead worship at a few different churches and the one common denominator of healthy and successful worship teams (other than a deep love for Jesus) was a culture of creativity. I come from a church ministry and worship background where the creative culture was an incredibly huge part of the church’s DNA and I feel called to try and grow that here. When I say, “I feel called to try and grow that here” what I really mean is that I want to create the space for God to do His thing. My hope and my prayer is that we will build this together.
Rehearsals for worship are on Thursday nights at 7:45pm (it’s really 8pm, but 7:45pm gets us all set up and ready to roll by 8pm). A couple of weeks ago a member of theCross came out to the Thursday night rehearsal with charts of the songs printed out and he sat in the front row with his guitar and practiced while we rehearsed. Mind you, he was not scheduled for Sunday worship — he just wanted to come and play and get better. It was awesome to see! I thought, “Imagine if everyone did this! We have such a cool venue with a cafe – fellowship could be happening – worship can be happening – and the band members rehearsing can get some feedback from more ears in the sanctuary! If this starts to grow we could start making sure we have food every night. This could really build the team!” It’s a very similar concept to Team Nights at Hillsong. Check out their 2 blogs about Team Nights here:
One of the quotes I love from the second blog is, “We serve a God who is limitless in creativity so we want to create an environment where all types of creative people have a place to connect and be inspired.” As Mark Crossman says, “Amen and Amen!” Again, “In the beginning God created…”
The main mission of TRIAD is to grow and develop our worship team, but these nights are also to help build our creative community at theCross. So if you are a: musician, photographer, barista, graphic designer, writer, sound engineer, singer, film maker, etc… you are welcome here!
noun: triad; plural noun: triads; noun: Triad
1. ◦ a group or set of three connected people or things.
◦ a chord of three musical notes, consisting of a given note with the third and fifth above it.
Obviously, TRIAD is a musical term, but we also serve a Triune God that exists in perfect harmony: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — One God in Three Persons. This is why in the Christian faith we can not only say that God created love, we can also say that God is Love — love needs an object and for all of eternity God has exhibited love within the context of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yeah, pretty cool – and it’s a great model for how we should love one another.
- We are a Team – focused on working together and growing together
- We are Responsible – for nurturing the creative culture at theCross
- We are Intentional – about our craft because we serve an intentional God
- We are Artistic – in all that we do because artistic creativity points to God
- We are Devoted – to God to whom we owe all our gifts and talents
Why does this matter?
Imagine this: A large, creative team that can use their God given talents to help reach the lost.
Imagine this: A new musician comes every Thursday night to watch the worship team rehearse. This motivates him or her to practice, practice, practice, until one day they are ready to finally play on Sunday!
Imagine this (this one is my favorite): You have a friend that loves to sing and write music, but he or she is not a believer. Now you can invite them to a Thursday night to just hang out. This gets them into the building. Maybe this becomes their next step towards getting to know Jesus!
I have no idea if any of this will even work. I don’t even have a metric to gauge what “success” will look like. I am just making a faithful commitment to show up. Worship rehearsal will still happen like it has in the past, but we may have a few new friends with us – which is a good thing. What I do know is that Pastor Zach has called us to be a Faith-Filled, Big Thinking church in 2016 and I feel like this is a step in that direction.
Are you a creative type? Join us on Thursday night @ 8pm. Email Chris for more info about TRIAD – or just show up!