Showing posts from October, 2010

Countercultural Leadership

The following was presented at a lunchean for the Crossroads Worship Conference in Sioux City, IA on October 23, 2010.

Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. “What is your request?” he asked.

She replied, “In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”

But Jesus answered by saying to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?”

“Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”

Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup. But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”

When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, an…

Faithful Relevance

The following was presented as a message for an all-city worship gathering at Sioux City, IA on October 24, 2010.


When I was asked to be a part of this conference several months ago, I was very pleased. I think you’ve got a really good thing going here in Sioux City – doing a worship conference primarily with local folks. The value of building relationships and learning from people in other churches and denominations is no small ideal. I would love to do something similar in Sioux Falls.

But when I learned that the theme of the conference was to help churches be more relevant in their worship, I had conflicting feelings. On the one hand, God has put me in a position to witness tremendous changes in the church since I began music and worship ministry back in the 1970’s. Most of those changes have occurred through the church’s pursuit of relevance and resonance with the changing culture. I believe that some of the changes that we’ve made have moved the church forward. The …