Archive for the ‘church art ministry resources’ Category


I’ve been hearing this story a lot lately. The idea is pretty simple. Sometimes the best way to move forward is to eliminate the possibility of turning back. Here’s a little tip, the way forward very rarely involves going backwards. Where in your life do you need to burn the boats?


Okay let’s start with the basics. I’m not actually isolated. I am here with my wife and my son and yet if I want to be vulnerable, and I do, there is something about being told you can’t really go anywhere, and seeing everything that is closing around you that makes one, or at least me, feel almost claustrophobic. It’s scarcely over a week since all this began, and today our governor added at least two more weeks to the “quarantine.” I know it’s all about flattening the curve, and I’m trying really hard to take everything our leaders are saying at face value, but I must confess it’s hard sometimes. On one hand, I’d like to rebel and try to get back to normal, but then I heard today about a young friend in Texas who’s been infected and a friend of a family member in another state, a health care worker who’s also been diagnosed and so I wait and I obey, and forgive me for handing out orders, but so should you.

Part of what makes this hard is I have a ministry that I love, and it seems as if most of that has been at least temporarily been stripped away. Oh I am still able to do my online services and zoom for now and for that I am grateful, but today I got two calls thanking me for writing my sermon in manuscript form and mailing it out to my congregants without online capabilities. Today our governor issues a shelter at home order for the county my church is in so now I have no access even to my own office to make the copies and mail them. Our district leadership said recently that it is unlikely that we will be able to meet for Easter, nursing home and hospital visits and pretty much visits in general are out of bounds now as well. I’m concerned for all the small business owners in our community and for loved ones whose jobs are affected, and even for my own status if weeks turn to months. I have to tell you it’s been tough inside this head of mine at times.

It’s about this time that I started to think of my friend Tom. Tom is one of the campers at a camp I do for adults with special needs each year. That camp is a highlight of my year and a highlight of the camp is always the talent show. In it that campers will sing or do a skit. Well Tom loves to sing, and he almost always picks the same song, Rend Collective’s song More than Conquerors. The chorus of the song repeats one word over and over again.

VICTORIOUS

Tom shouts that word so loudly that I assumed the recording did it as well. Well today I listened to the song and realized the band does not shout the word at all, but maybe I need to. The fact of the matter is Tom is extremely confident that God will be VICTORIOUS and he shouts it for all the world to see. That is Tom’s declaration and I want it to be mind. God can and will overcome this and everything else. My anxieties, fears and frustrations are pointless. I need to take a cue from Tom and remember, Jesus wins and I am one of His. We will be VICTORIOUS. Remember we are not really isolated. I am more blessed than many, my loving wife is here, my son is here and I have so many others as close as a phone call. Even in a season of “social distancing” I am surrounded by loved ones and I have the technology to be with them even when I can’t be with them. Even more than that I serve a God who has promised never to leave nor forsake me. We are not alone. We need to be in prayer first and foremost. Beyond that, we need to make the effort to connect. We need to give some of this time to the people with whom we can still be physically present and we need to creatively reach out to the rest. Maybe we need to disconnect from some the things that are dragging us into feelings of isolation, and make the effort to connect in whatever way we can, whether it seems ideal or not. Except for a few rare exceptions (and we should be seeking those people out), isolation is a choice. We serve a God who has promised to make all things work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Maybe instead of fear and stress and anxiety, we should spend our time seeking God’s purpose and living it out.

You’re not really isolated, and in Christ, you’re never alone. So the first step is to pray and then let’s follow Tom’s lead. Shout it from the rooftops. Let’s be VICTORIOUS!


This week, in addition to my own attempt at an online prayer meeting, I was able to sit in on two friends attempts at online creative community. Both did a really good job. One did Facebook live and the other did Zoom. Personally they both went well, but I think you get more community from Zoom. I also got to listen in on musician and former Kansas lead singer John Elefante’s Facebook live. It’s all kind of cool. Now here’s the thing, is it as good as being face to face? No, probably not, but my friends were in Michigan and Idaho, and yet we could communicate, I’m not even sure where Mr. Elefante is, but I’ve been a fan for quite some time, and all of the sudden it was as if I was sitting in his living room hearing about his creative life, with the ability to ask him my questions.

The point is, online community is not the same as live community, but it has it’s positives and that is sort of the point. As you know I always advocate that we don’t focus on what we don’t have but to make the most of what you do have. We may not have the opportunity to meet face to face, and let’s be real, that can be hard, but we do have a great tool to connect with each other and maybe even expand our reach. I plan to use Zoom more so stay tuned and I’d love to know how you’re doing online community and if you’re doing something, send me an invite, I’d love to connect if I can.


So I’ve been working on technology to get my services out via technology during the COVID quarantine. So far I’ve recorded sermons and posted them to youtube, embedding them into a service order. My internet both at home and at the church is pretty spotty, so I am relatively sure Facebook live, etc won’t work well for us, plus, is is just me or have all the work from homers really put a drag on the internet? We also did a prayer meeting via Zoom last night which went okay but there’s a learning curve there for sure. I will say I was most grateful that Zoom extended the meeting for free last night which was most appreciated. We’ll be subscribing to Zoom shortly. So overall technology has been helping a great deal and we have had some success, but there is still one problem. I have a fairly large percentage of people who are not online at all. How can I extend services to them? Now some might say well if they’re not online they need to catch up or get overlooked. If you think that way, shame on you. These people who are not on technology are some of the same ones who built this church up and mad it what it is today.

I love these folks and I was at a loss. I thought about trying to do some sort of drive-in church. That still could happen, but I’m concerned by the time I get the technology, the quarantine will either have passed or the restrictions will get worse. Like I said I was at a loss but over the course of the night, I had a thought. I have a few ladies who are “shut-ins.” We send them the bulletin, and they always tell me that they read it voraciously. And that’s when it hit me, the solution doesn’t have to be technological. Sometimes the easiest solution is the best one. I tightened my notes into a readable “sermon” and mailed it to all the folks without internet. It should arrive in their homes on Saturday, just in time for Sunday. Is it perfect, No, but it will work for now.

Sometimes the best solution is the Old School solution.


Welcome to 2020! It’s a brand new year. I was contemplating what this new year brings and I started to focus on that word, “NEW.” It implies something that is a the very least improves and quite possibly even something that has never existed before. It’s exciting when you think about it. New years are often times of new beginnings, when people tend to focus on turning the page, making changes or maybe even starting over completely. Then another thought occurred to me. What does God call new?

There were a couple of scriptural things that came to mind.

Consider Isaiah 43:18, 19:
18 
“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
19 
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

This reminds me so much of all those folks turning over a new leaf, yet the speaker in this case is God. His people went astray, again. He sent Isaiah to them with a message of warning. Keep going on your current path and disaster is coming. Yet even in the midst of this prophecy, God showed them that He still loved them and had something fantastic for them. I love this passage, because it speaks to freedom. Yes ultimately it is freedom in Christ, but there is something else. How many of us are haunted by our past? Maybe it’s something we’ve done, or maybe it’s something that’s been done to us, but regardless, it keeps us stuck. This is often a prison of our own making. Oh we’re not necessarily the one who caused the problem, but we are making the choice to dwell there. God has something new for us. Something better. This verse is at least in part a prophecy of a coming Kingdom, the Kingdom of Christ, the one who came to set the captives free. Maybe today is the day to trust Christ and step into a new thing.

The Bible tells us that he who the Son sets free is free indeed, and further it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Maybe today is the day to leave that cell you’ve been living in behind and step into the freedom of the Children of God.

There is grace and forgiveness in Christ, and there is freedom. This new year, why not step into God’s new thing?


One of the things that has been great about having an itinerant (traveling) ministry is meeting all the different churches and especially (for the sake of this discussion) the church leaders. As we would sit down, there seemed to be a recurring theme, the church is aging and the next generation is disappearing from our ranks. Person after person stated the same thing, “It’s happening everywhere.” I doubt that’s true, but it is, nonetheless, a growing trend, but what we can’t afford, at least in my estimation is accepting this as “just the way things are.” Losing a generation is not something we can just accept. It’s something we need to pray about and it’s something we need to fight to change.

I think Reinhold Niebuhr said it best,

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

Brothers and sisters, if Jesus is the only way to the Father, and He is, losing a generation is something that should burden our hearts like virtually nothing else. These are our children and grandchildren. These are the people to whom we are supposed to pass the baton. They are the church of today and they are the future of the church. Losing them is not one of those things Niebuhr (or for that matter Christ) says we should accept, it’s one of the things we need the courage to change. If we can’t see the difference, we need more wisdom. Eternity is at stake.

The answer is what it has always been, prayer and spreading the Gospel. The answer is going to where the people are. The answer is bringing them in. The answer is taking the unchanging message of the Gospel to an ever changing world. We have to jettison the fear we have of a judging world because the world is not our judge, Christ is. We have to be unashamedly about church growth. You might say it’s not all about numbers. Yes it is, because numbers are people! We need to be unashamedly evangelistic. Our Lord is the best “thing” going and He is the only way—our world’s only hope. You might think “But Dave, that’s not how the world works anymore.” I know and have you seen the results? Like our Master, we are not in this world to judge it, we’re in the world to save it, in the sense that we point our world to it’s Savior. Jesus came into this world on a rescue mission and when He ascended, He put that mission in our hands. That mission doesn’t change with the times. To think it does is to imagine a lifeguard who sees a drowning person and thinks, “Who am I to intervene? Maybe he likes drowning.”

The world needs the Gospel like never before. I’ve heard so often that the old methods don’t work anymore. I’m not always convinced that’s true, but if it is, then we better get creative church. We better fall to our knees and seek the Lord for what’s next, because the Gospel is still “…the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” Losing a generation is not one of those things to be accepted. It is something that can be changed. It’s time we knew the difference.


I was reading 1 Thessalonians 4-5 this week, and I knew that this needed our message. If you want to know how to please God, take a listen.