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Many small to medium-sized churches wish they had a better grasp on this whole worship thing. By small I mean rural, suburban and start-up churches, and churches that find themselves in decline for one reason or another. But they don’t have the wherewithal to call a worship pastor or program director to join their leadership team. Often it’s challenge enough to adequately provide for one pastor and his family.

Some churches tackle their worship challenges themselves but find that while seminars and conferences are useful, there’s always quite a bit you just can’t bring home. How many times have you heard or said:

  • “It’s nice, but it doesn’t fit our congregation.”
  • “It would be great but we’re missing a few key ingredients – like people with those skills.”
  • “We want to do our best, serve God with our talents, but we’re not even sure what questions to ask first, what to ask next and what to leave for later.”
  • “We’ll muddle through again. We always do.”

The Lord has placed a keen desire within me to help if I can. Maybe those days will soon be behind you as a church. Wouldn’t that be nice? Over the last several months a means has come to mind of a way I might be able to help three or four churches at a time, putting this technology to work along with phone conversations with periodic visits to teach, coach and follow up. (More on that in later posts)

In the interim, though, I’ve captured a few few things that may help answer those frequently-asked “who are you?” questions – and they’re important, no doubt about it.

I’m the product of the small church. My parents specialized in small church ministry for over forty years, some rural churches, some suburban. I was ordained by a small-town church in 1979 and have over twenty-five years of experience in worship ministry (Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, Illinois and Wisconsin). I know the limitations and challenges of being small. I know its advantages too — a strong sense of community, long-term ministry, sense of family (sometimes TRUE family) for starters. I also know the challenges and rewards of larger churches having served a church of 750+ for several years.

I bring to the table a solid conservative theological upbringing. I grew up in Bible churches through high school then attended the only school I could find where I could major in music while taking all the Bible analysis courses the school offered. That school is now Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I earned my M.A. in Ministry at Moody Graduate School where my Master’s project was on discipleship in the worship venue.

Brenda, my wife and partner in ministry, is an excellent student of the Word and a skilled communicator in her own rite. She’s a loving, yet critical thinker and she plays an important ongoing role in the refining and expression of the concepts we will consider should you invite you to help you as a church.

I’ve a wide range of musical interest, eclectic, you might say, including a deep appreciation of time-proven hymns, gospel hymnody along with an appreciation for many of today’s praise and worship expressions.

Because I take 2 Timothy 2.2 seriously, nothing excites me quite like seeing people I’m working with put concepts to use, enjoy the results, then teach them to still others! Everything I do in ministry is to encourage those with whom I serve. Encouragement (the KJV word for it is exhortation) is the gift that drives my teaching and administration gifts.

These posts are also pages (to the right, under “VIBRANCE MINISTRIES” if you’re interested in drilling down a bit more. But at the outset  perhaps these posts will provide a bit of something to pray about — or for. If you’ve already BEEN praying and this feels like an answer, or if you’re more than a little interested, keep checking Vibrance in Ministry as a tag, or drop me a note. We’ll see what the Lord has in mind.

Serving with Excellence,

Phil—

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