Recently, my ministry has started to expand in a new direction. While songwriting writing, recording, performing and leading worship is still the staple of what I do, I’m increasingly being called upon to teach. Teaching is something I love, and truth be told, I’ve always felt like a better teacher than I am a musician. My original plan was to be a schoolteacher, back before I felt a call to ministry, and I did a couple of years of an education degree before I switched to Theology. In the early days, music was mostly just a way for me to gather an audience to teach some of the things that God had laid on my heart to say.
Now, more than ever, it seems like people are interested in my perspective, particularly on worship. Every week someone tells me I need to teach/speak/write/blog more often. I think this mostly has to do with the fact that I travel a lot. I’ve had the unique opportunity to visit hundreds of churches in these past few years and have some observations about how different churches from different traditions in different parts of the country are faring. It could also be because, while spending most of my adult life in the evangelical church, my family and I have been attending an Anglican church for the last year and a half, so I feel like I have a foot in both of those worlds. I suppose you could call me “Angligelical” (or maybe Evangelican?). And, although I spent 8 years as a pastor and completed my ordination, I’ve technically been a layperson for the last 6 years, so I have a bit of an understanding of both those worlds too.
I’m not telling you all this to brag. Mostly, I’m just coming to the realization myself that God has put me in a unique place, and given me a unique perspective, and I’ve felt His persistent nudging to write and speak more. So here I am.
By far the subject I’ve been called upon to speak and write most about is the subject of worship. Both Evangelicals and Anglicans seem to be struggling with how to make their time together on Sunday mornings deeper, fresher and more meaningful. Anglicans enjoy a rich tradition of liturgy, creeds, prayers, etc. but often feel their services a bit dull. Evangelicals, on the other hand, enjoy lively services that are fresh and new from week to week, but often fear they no longer have any sense of depth to their worship. Both traditions seem to wish they could be a little more like the other, but fear falling into the ditch on the other side of the road. As someone with a foot in both worlds, I think I can offer some help.
So in addition to teaching worship workshops in churches around the country a lot more, I’m going to engage some of the topics I cover in the workshop here online with the hope it will spark some conversation and so that churches of both stripes can sharpen and learn from each other, while maintaining their own identities.
I should say, if you’re interested in having me come and work with your church, I’d love to discuss that possibility with you. I’m here to serve the Church in whatever way I can.
Thanks for your continued interest and support of my ministry. I’m planning to publish a new post on different aspects of worship every week or so for the next few months. I hope you’ll find them useful in your own context.