Fifth Sunday of Easter

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Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

7 Pitfalls of Being an Introverted Pastor

This is a great article that I found on Facebook tonight from Ron Edmonson

I am an introvert. From all public appearances on Sunday morning that surprises many people, but in my private life and with those closest to me there is no questioning of that fact. If anything, I have become even more introverted the larger our church has grown. I can wish I was otherwise, but this is how I am wired. Being an introvert has its downsides as a pastor.

Here are 7 pitfalls of being an introverted pastor:

  • People often think I’m arrogant, aloof or unfriendly. I’m a lot of negative things. Those are not really the main three. I sometimes have to go back and apologize once I hear someone thinks I avoided them. This happens especially with extremely extraverted people.
  • I hesitate to make the connections I should sometimes and miss opportunities to build my network.
  • I’m worn out after a long day of talking and need time alone to rejuvenate, which can impact my family time if I’m not careful. It also leads to people at the end of the day telling me I look tired…guess what? I am!
  • Crowded rooms, which I love in terms of reaching people for Christ, are actually intimidating to me as a person.
  • I’m not as quick-witted when in crowds and sometimes appear awkward on first impressions when I try to be.
  • I realize the need to talk with people…it’s what I do, but wrestling through the introverted tendencies actually adds even more stress to my life.
  • If I’m not careful, and thankfully I’m fairly disciplined here, I will close out people from really knowing me, which subjects me to all kinds of temptations, anxiety and even depression.

How’s that for transparency?

Are you an introvert? Do you see how it impacts your work?

(In THIS POST I share how I handle being an introvert without injuring my ministry.)

Park to Park 1/2 Marathon 2013

p2p_logo_2013_5_year_annyToday was the 5th running of the Park to Park 1/2 Marathon. It was my second running of this local, Augusta County race.  This race is sponsored by the Waynesboro Parks and Recreation Department and Augusta County Parks and Recreation.  It is a hidden jewel among races, not that I’ve run many long distance races. Today’s race at 650 participants which makes it the biggest race that I have ever run, at least until the Richmond Marathon this fall which numbers its runners in the 1000’s.

The Park to Park is a tough little half-marathon.  The net elevation is a gain and the last mile or two have some tough hills especially on tired legs.  My legs were tired early, because I think I went out too fast.  So how did I do?  I finished 130th overall at 1:48:22 with a pace of 8:16 per mile.  I finished 13 in my age group – which isn’t that bad at all and next year I get to move up to the 50 to 54 year old group.  I also finished 99th among all the men.

Place First Name Last Name Chip Time Pace Group Grp Pl Gen Pl
130 Dale Argot 1:48:22 8:16/M Men 45 to 49 13 99

My splits worked out this way:

Mile Time Split
1

7:57

7:57

2

8:21

16:18

3

7:54

24:13

4

8:06

32:19

5

8:39

40:59

6

8:01

49:00

7

8:08

57:09

8

8:31

1:05:40

9

8:32

1:14:12

10

8:23

1:22:36

11

8:28

1:31:04

12

8:12

1:39:17

13

8:20

1:47:38

Finish

:44

1:48:22

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How Do You Improve The Technical And Emphasize The Spiritual?

from David Santistevan by David Santistevan

28628_5136There’s a tension we worship leaders face each and every week.

Sometimes it’s paralyzing. Stressful.

We want to worship God, but we also want to sound awesome.

We want to the church to sing, but we also want to do our favorite songs.

We want the glory of God, but we also want to progress in our creativity.

So often, its either one or the other.

 

It seems that our identities are easily wrapped up in our performance. At the end of a worship service I’m content with a good performance.

Sang well? Check.

Stayed on the click track? Check.

Band was tight? Check.

All important.

The technical and the spiritual. We already know this should be a balance. You can’t have one without the other.

But how does balance happen? How can you be spiritually in tune and also technically excellent?

4 Balancing Tips

Here are a few tips:

1. Emphasize What You Tend to Neglect – Some of you are gear heads. You love talking about the latest guitar pedal, drum shell, compressor, and can talk for hours about the circuitry of a bass amp. Or, at the end of a worship service you can deconstruct your performance and articulate to a “t” what you could have done better.

But if I asked you the question, “What did you see God doing?” or “Did we serve our congregation well?”, you fall silent. Begin to emphasize the spiritual. Or maybe you have spiritual passion but lack understanding when it comes to your instrument. Start to emphasize the technical.

2. Teach the Spiritual in the Midst of the Technical – If all you do is bark technical orders and your “spiritual” time consists of a quick 30 second prayer before stepping on stage, something is wrong. Spiritual truth should permeate your practical rehearsal.

Don’t compartmentalize. Teach truth when you rehearse. Create a culture where your team pursues God during practice.

3. Rehearse the Spiritual – I know you need to have the songs ready for Sunday. I know you want to avoid a musical train wreck where the whole church is laughing, rolling, and pointing the finger at you. But have you ever thought to rehearse the spiritual aspects of what you do?

Rehearse worshiping. As a team, get comfortable seeking God together. Rehearse declaring truth. Rehearse your stage presence. Musical excellence is only half the battle.

4. Get Outside the Box – Something that’s healthy for worship teams is to do something outside the box. Organize activities where you can step away from the stage, from rehearsal, from the routine. Go on a missions trip together. Visit a nursing home. Worship in a team member’s house.

Activities like this help your team catch a vision for God’s kingdom on the earth. It goes beyond music and roots people in the church and what God is doing.

What would you add to this list? How can we do a better job balancing the technical and spiritual?

Seeking God’s Will

Via my good friend Mark Wilsonquestionroad

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. 
I do not see the road ahead of me.
 I cannot know for certain where it will end. 
Nor do I really know myself, 
and the fact that I think I am following your will 
does not mean that I am actually doing so. 
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. 
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. 
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. 
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, 
though I may know nothing about it. 
Therefore will trust you always
 though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. 
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, 
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
— Thomas Merton

Praise the Lord!

universe_1Fifth Sunday of Easter (April 28, 2013)

Acts 11:1-18; Psalm 148; Revelation 21:1-6; John 13:31-35

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens!
    Praise him from the skies!
Praise him, all his angels!
    Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
Praise him, sun and moon!
    Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
Praise him, skies above!
    Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
Let every created thing give praise to the Lord,
    for he issued his command, and they came into being.
He set them in place forever and ever.
    His decree will never be revoked.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you creatures of the ocean depths,
fire and hail, snow and clouds,
    wind and weather that obey him,
mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all livestock,
    small scurrying animals and birds,
11 kings of the earth and all people,
    rulers and judges of the earth,
12 young men and young women,
    old men and children.

13 Let them all praise the name of the Lord.
    For his name is very great;
    his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
14 He has made his people strong,
    honoring his faithful ones—
    the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

I encourage you to read the words to this psalm and then play the video below.  What way to praise the Lord!