Ready for Easter? Read this before you answer!

They say “The Devil is in the Details” and nowhere is that more true than in preparing for your Easter service.

He (the devil) would like nothing better than to minimize the impact of your church this Easter, and one of the simplest ways he does it is through overlooked opportunities and missed details.

As you’ve no doubt heard me say before . . . when it comes to our worship services, the details matter!

Harvey Mackay says, “The little things don’t mean a lot. They mean everything!” And Charles Swindoll says, “The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.”

As worship leaders, part of our role in preparing for Easter (or any worship service for that matter) is to pay attention to the details and don’t allow little things to become big things.

So today, I want to share with you a very personal 7 point check-list. You’ve heard me talk about the power of a check-list in the past. I love check-lists because they help you account for all the details and not miss even the smallest things when it comes to your worship services. Read more

Lessons from “Engage” – How to Make the Pastor / Worship Pastor Relationship Succeed

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I have been teaming up with Nelson Searcy (Lead Pastor at The Journey) this week to bring you 4 BIG worship planning principles from our new book, Engage: A Guide to Creating Life-Transforming Worship Services.

Today’s topic is one that Nelson and I believe is the most important lesson for every pastor and worship pastor . . . The Pastor / Worship Pastor Relationship.This weekend, in churches across America, teaching pastors and worship pastors will each stand in front of rooms full of churchgoers and… take turns doing their own thing.

If the songs the worship pastor has chosen for the day happen to be along the same thematic lines as the message the teaching pastor is preaching, the two pastors will high five after the service and revel in how powerfully the Holy Spirit moved.

If the teaching pastor preaches on something diametrically opposed to the songs the worship pastor leads the congregation in, they will mark it up to God’s indiscernible will and hope for better the next week.

In most cases, these pastors will lock the church doors and head to Sunday lunch having no idea that their relationship with one another is key to being able to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in planning cohesive, impacting worship services.The nature of the pastor/worship pastor relationship is complex, to say the least.

On the one hand, it is the most important relationship that exists on your church staff. Your respective areas comprise the two halves of an important whole. You share the stage, the message and the creative elements of the service. You are both integral to creating a welcoming, engaging environment that will lead to Radically Transformed Lives.

While this relationship is the most critical relationship that exists in the church, it is also the relationship that carries the most potential for tension and stress. Small issues can easily go unaddressed. Misunderstandings fester. Expectations are not always met. Frustrations rise… and the relationship becomes strained.

Over the years, both Nelson and I have had many pastors and worship pastors tell us, “My relationship with my [pastor/worship pastor] may not be great, but we manage. It doesn’t affect what we do on Sundays.”

I hate to shatter your illusion, but relational problems between the pastor and the worship pastor always affect the church’s worship services. If the relationship is wounded, the people in the seats will notice some limping. Good or bad, the details of this relationship play themselves out in our worship planning.

And since effective worship planning is the key to being able to conduct life-transforming worship services, the results can be devastating – on an eternal scale. When the pastor/worship pastor relationship is ineffective, the church misses out on its full redemptive potential.

When miscommunication, confusion, frustration and unmet expectations are chipping away at the base, it is going to suffer some damage. If the base is damaged, the tip isn’t quite so glorious. So if we ever hope to have God-filled, life-transforming worship services week-to-week, we have to get this relationship straightened out, once and for all; we have to work together!


PS – One more thing . . . your relationship with your pastor / worship leader is key to the work of your church. And Pastor to Pastor I want you to know that there is no better place for worship leaders to learn how to make this relationship a success than in my Worship Leader Tele-Coaching Network.

The network begins on Friday, April 20 (just 30 days away). There are still a few spots available, so I encourage you to prayerfully consider this opportunity.

To learn more and sign-up just go to

Lessons from “Engage” – How to Inspire Your Congregation to Action

Order Engage for yourself and your team.

Buy a single copy here
(Save 32%)

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What happens in your services is of no use to your people if they don’t walk away with a clear understanding of how to incorporate the teaching and worship into their lives.

That’s why it is so important to begin your worship planning with the end in mind. At The Journey, we do this by asking and prayerfully answering these three questions in the early stages of our planning for each service:

  1. What do we want people to know when they leave?
  2. What do we want people to feel when they leave?
  3. What do we want people to do when they leave?

What do you want people to have learned when you are finished? What do you want them to be feeling? And, most importantly, what action steps do you want them to take to integrate the themes of the service into their lives?

Thinking through the “Know, Feel, Do” as you craft your worship services is the best way to define where you are going and get there more effectively. If you don’t answer these questions in advance, you run the very real risk of wasting both your time and your congregation’s.

Let’s take a look at how the “Know, Feel, Do” plays out in practicality. Say, for example, I was planning a message on generosity. At the outset of my planning, we would start thinking through the “Know, Feel, Do” questions in relation to generosity.

We may decide that the big theme for the day will be: “Your life will ultimately be defined by one of two ‘G’ words – Greed (closed-handed living) or Generosity (open-handed living.)” That’s what we want my people to know.

Then, we want them to feel the power of generosity, so we’ll think through how to invoke that feeling. But, keep in mind, the feeling is only important if it motivates them to take an action. So, ultimately, we are concerned with the “Do.” We want them to be motivated to actually give.

We want them to give of their time through serving or give of their money to our giving campaign or to the needy in our city. We want them to take an action step that connects what they’re hearing with how they live when they step outside the church doors.

Never end a service without giving people specific next steps they can take in response to God’s teaching. Scripture is clear on this point: “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves” (James 1:22).

We don’t have a lack of knowledge in American churches. We don’t even have a lack of experience or feeling. What we have a lack of is action. People simply don’t do what the Bible says they should do.

By asking the “Know, Feel, Do” questions as you plan your worship, you can help your people know what God wants them to know and feel what God wants them to feel, with the ultimate goal of helping them do what God wants them to do. Otherwise, we are only helping them fool themselves.


PS – Are registered for my new Worship Leader Tele-Coaching Network that begins April 20. In the tele-coaching network you will receive monthly hands-on coaching from me, including over four hours of training on how to establish the worship planning systems we talk about in Engage in your church.

Learn more and sign-up at