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Can You Spare a Minute?

My family and I were driving down to San Antonio, TX last weekend when I saw a banner on a church building near Waco, TX that quickly got my attention. The banner read: “30 Minute Worship.” I went to the website listed on the banner (which I won’t display here as I do not wish to dignify them with a link) which confirmed my outrage. They proudly state:

This innovative service is for anybody who is tired of the way traditional church has been done, has limited time, or has to work Sundays. The high energy, focused package will creatively engage you to personally connect with God.

The site goes to explain that 8-10 minutes will be spent in worship, 12-15 minutes of lesson time, and 5 minutes of response.

Before I begin, please hear me say that I do believe this COULD help those who work on Sundays.  But for the statement, “tired of the way traditional church has been done,” I am outraged.


You mean to tell me that you think anyone can have a personally engaging worship time in 30 minutes?  Have we lost all ability to spend actual time with God?  Here I was thinking how crazy it is when people complain about worship going a few minutes longer than an hour.  Are we so busy that we give God the “leftovers” of our time?  It is as if we are approaching God saying, “Listen, I don’t know if you are aware of this, but I’m pretty busy down here so I don’t have much time to worship you.  How about I squeeze you in on Sunday mornings…will 30 minutes do the trick?  Will I have worshipped you enough in 30 minutes to last for the week?  Cause, God, you don’t know how busy I am.”

The Hebrews in the Old Testament would have known the answer to these questions.  They were commanded to bring the “first-fruits” of their labor as an offering to God.  I contend that God deserves the “first-fruits” or ‘first and best cut” of my money, my work, and my TIME.  Our weekly worship time should not be a time to squeeze God into our week, but rather a time to relish in the presence of God in the gathering of his people to worship.  God deserves our very best, and let’s also acknowledge please that worship is not about us.

Sure, worship uplifts us and draws us closer to God, but God is the object of our worship.  Our worship is for Him and to Him, and I refuse to short-change God by limiting my time or my spirit in worship.

30 Minute Worship, eh?  I’m sure glad that God doesn’t have anything on His schedule that prevents Him from hearing us when we cry out.  I’m glad Jesus didn’t have a prior commitment that would have prevented him dying for my sins.  God deserves the best we can give…and I commit to not allowing this world and its busy nature to ruin what I can give to my God.

(I was going to apologize for the rant…but some things in life deserve it!)

Blindness – Teenage Christian Conference 2008

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to lead worship for several hundred teenagers at the Teenage Christian Conference in Albuquerque, NM.  First off, leading worship for teenagers is just about the best experience one can have, IMO.  Teens are uninhibited, and on fire for the Lord.  We have much to learn from them, as all weekend, they praised with their entire heart and soul.  And, when you consider that we were without A/C for part of the weekend (hence the fan next to me in the picture), worshipping with conviction did not come without challenges. 

Leading worship for Jeff Walling is always a treat, and he and I got to spend some time together catching up.  Jeff has a powerful way of speaking God’s word.  He can have the room rocking with laughter, and then, within seconds, have the entire group in tears with the way our lives need to change.  Jeff interviewed me during one of the sessions in order to teach how we should see Jesus when we see people who look different than we do.  God used Jeff this weekend to bring many back into a relationship with God, and several teens were baptised as well. 

Joni and I also got to meet Rusty Tugman from Norman, OK.  Rusty concluded our weekend with 2 very powerful messages with calls to evangelise.  Rusty and I hit it off very well, and we found out that he and his family will be in Walt Disney World at the same time as Joni, Hannah and I will be.  We already have plans to meet up so that we can meet the rest of his family and share some time together.

Lance and Tim at the Montgomery Church of Christ in Albuquerque, NM are to be praised for their hard work in setting up and running this wonderful weekend.  Lance’s passion for teens could really be seen this weekend as he poured himself out for these kids.  I really enjoyed working with Montgomery’s praise team, and they were a joy to get to know as well.

This weekend was an absolute joy…well…except for the looooong car ride.  Oh well, if you ask me, the car ride, lack of A/C, and constantly being on the go this weekend were all worth it to see those teens praise, and to witness 10+ teens put on Christ in baptism.  I pray that the Lord continue to use TCC in a powerful way!

Two for One Special

Chet and Jim McDoniel speak at Altamesa Church of ChristYesterday was a first for All He Needs Ministries.  My dad and I spoke at two different churches on the same day, and I led worship both times.  Our first stop was at the Altamesa Church of Christ.  We have spoken here before on a Wednesday night, and were asked to return and give our presentation for the entire church on a Sunday morning.  We really enjoyed being back, and I greatly enjoyed leading worship with their praise team.  My sister and her family attend here, and we loved getting to be with them as well.

Our evening presentation was at the Burleson Church of Christ.  Their auditorium reminded us very much of a church we had previously attended, so we felt right at home.  The presentation went well, and the teenagers sang enthusiastically, which makes leading worship a true joy.

Speaking of teenagers, I have been invited to lead worship for over 700 teenagers this weekend at the Teenage Christian Conference in Albuquerque, NM.  We are driving over and visiting some grandparents on the way.  I will be leading worship, and Jeff Walling will be speaking.  Now, I love getting to lead worship, but when you throw in lots of teens and Jeff Walling…well, let’s just say I’m super excited about this weekend.  I’ll post plenty of pics and a report when we return next week.  I’ll also be updating the All He Needs site in the next few weeks and blogging about a new campaign called “Contagious Smile.”  Until then…