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Waiting to find your purpose tomorrow is a great way to ensure you don’t live with purpose today. — Jon Acuff

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Josh has an incredible heart for God and is passionate about helping create environments that lead people to experience God.  He has tremendous gifts that enable him to help churches advance the Kingdom of God.

Posts Tagged ‘Worship Wednesday’

Worship Wednesday: Why Do You Pray?

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Thoughts from an 8 yr. old, Worship Wednesday

Kids ask the best questions. Let me rephrase that, MY kids ask the best questions. I say my kids because frankly my kids are in fact better than your kids. By a long shot. I mean seriously, would you expect anything different from a man who’s made a living out of creating awesome things?

Ok, ok, I’m just joshin’ ya. Funny how I always hated hearing that as a kid, but I digress.

Seriously though, if you’re a parent, then you already know exactly what I’m talking about here.

Kids don’t have the filters that we adults have, and that’s part of what makes them such incredible blessings.

Why Do  You Pray

Photo Credit: thejuniorpartner via Compfight cc

Kids provide us with beautiful pictures of things that once were and hope for what could be again. (tweet that)

Just the other day I was talking with a neighbor friend, whose son and my son are best friends. They were telling me about having to attend a funeral and how their son reacted. We stood in the street talking, and were both shocked at the seemingly innocent understanding this young boy had about what he had just witnessed.

I was telling them about how I think there really is a sacred connectedness inside the innocent and how, more often than not, this played out in our kids. As you age, and enter different stages and seasons of life you lose touch with that connectedness and more importantly with that innocence.

When you’re young, anything is possible and everything is an adventure.

Your emotions are huge and your joys uncontainable.

It was meant to be this way.

I believe that’s part of what Christ was trying to teach the disciples when he rebuked them for not letting the children approach him.

I’ve written frequently over the years about various questions that my daughter has asked and as she gets older, the questions are getting harder and harder.

The other day we were reading a story in the storybook bible. (which you need to own 3 copies of, 1 for yourself, and 2 to give away) And she asks me, “Dad, if God knows everything, then why do we pray?”

Great question right? Have you ever asked it? Perhaps you’ve thought it and felt it, but never actually voiced the words.

My wife and I gave the best answer we could, but I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Your prayers and your worship are deeply connected. And in the very simplest of definitions, if prayer is nothing more than just communicating with The Father, then your worship can be just as simple.

The mistake that is often made from prayer and worship is in thinking that somehow you are putting pressure on God to respond, or react.

This can’t be further from the truth.

That’s not to say or diminish the power of prayer or even to suggest that our prayers aren’t answered.

But in trying to keep things simple, prayer and worship are necessary not because they change God but because they change you.

So asking the question should you pray isn’t asking the right question at all.

The better question is are you comfortable continuing to be the person you were yesterday? And the day before that. And the day before that. And so on.

Are you so content with your struggles and with your defects of character that you won’t even consider giving prayer a chance?

The simple, good news, for you and I today is this: “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:13 

What do you think? Why do you pray?

Encourage someone in the comments below!

Posted on: August 21, 2013

Worship Wednesday: And You Think Being A Worship Leader Matters

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Worship Wednesday

From Josh: I’m honored to have Jennifer Kaufman guest posting today! Jennifer is a musician, photographer, Disney aficionado, wannabe runner, sometimes-writer and – most importantly – wife of an amazing husband and mom of three incredible kids five and under.  Her heart is for helping people be real – with themselves, and with one another. You can follow her blog here and be sure to follow her on Twitter as well!

A few years ago at a leadership conference, the worship pastor at the hosting church shared something that has stuck with me ever since.  I think of it often, as it’s changed my walk beyond the stage.

And You Think Being A Worship Leader Matters

In a breakout session for worship leaders (and by the way, each and every one of us on stage or behind the scenes is working to help lead others to engage in worship – so this means you, too!) he said that we are “Children of God first, ministers to others second, and worship leaders third.”

This spoke to me not only about my role as a church volunteer, but also about other areas of my life as well.

As worship leaders, we are part of a team that, each week, does something very visible.

We’re also wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, students, employees, friends… the list goes on and on.  We’re each working hard to balance various roles, accomplish things we set out to do, etc. It’s easy to get caught up in task lists and goals and even details that truly are important, but are not our identity.

The truth is, if we just sit back in God’s presence, doing nothing for a moment, we experience that we are never loved more or less. (tweetable

Regardless of what we accomplish, or fail to accomplish; regardless of our role at our church, our promotions at work, our good days and bad – we are cherished by the God of the universe who created us exactly as he intended, and who has an incredible plan for each of us.

John 1:12 “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Of course we are called to do more than just sit around.

Of course it’s ok, even necessary, to strive for excellence – both musically each week and in every area of our lives.

But it’s not because our excellence is what defines us.

Even in spite of our failure and imperfections, God uses us to bring glory to himself.

He loves us with an unmatched love, simply because we are His children.

In order to lead others in worship, we need to remember that our identity is not in our talents or abilities, but in who we are in Him.

Ephesians 2:10“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

We need to start with a lifestyle of worship – spending time with Him daily in our own lives.  And then we need to remember that he has called us to love and serve others next

After all of this, we can also play some instruments, sing a little, and make great music that helps others to enter into His presence.  But if any of that goes away – or if we have a day in which we fail to be the people we had hoped in any other area of our lives, His love for us and His calling on our lives doesn’t change.

What does it mean to you to start with a lifestyle of worship?

Share in the comments below!

Posted on: August 14, 2013

Worship Wednesday: Learning to Have Some Fun

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Worship Wednesday

I have to admit sometimes it’s hard for me to just sit back relax and have some fun, especially as an adult.

As a man and a father, I experience more stress and anxiety from the weights of responsibility, than joy from living the way we’re supposed to live.

Which is in part, why I’ve taken this last week to just try to sit back and have some fun.

Believe it or not, a new school year is upon us and for the first time ever, all three of my kids will be in the same school.

A whole new horizon is about to be experienced!

So before homework starts and the business of school takes root, I’ve been trying really really hard to just enjoy the last couple weeks of summer with my kids.

It’s not been easy, but it has been fun.

Out of that fun, surfaced the most amazing video I think I’ve ever laid eyes upon. I literally laughed so hard, that my sides and stomach were hurting for hours. I even woke up the next day, with remnants of pain from the laughter.

I’ve shared it once or twice already but thought it necessary to be viewed and shared here on Worship Wednesday.

My hope is that wherever you are today, no matter the stress, no matter the weight of responsibility, you’ll be able to find some rest, even if just for a few minutes and laugh with me at this ridiculously awesome video.

Posted on: August 7, 2013

Worship Wednesday: Where the Church Gets It Wrong

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Church, Worship Wednesday

These days you can walk up to just about anyone in America and ask them what their experience of church has been like, and chances are they will tell you a story that either embarrasses you as a christian or makes you cringe in horror.

I know because I do this from time to time.

As an Experience Architect and story-teller, I love hearing these sorts of stories. They fuel my mission and my purpose, and if the old adage is true that you can’t improve on anything that you don’t measure, then these stories become just as important and necessary for the church to hear than any other powerful testimony of transformation.

Where the Church Gets It Wrong

Photo Credit: James Jordan via Compfight cc

Just the other day I was talking to a Pastor about the church he planted. He had some really positive things to say but when I asked him about any challenges or if anything has surprised him in his journey, his tone began to shift.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that shocked by his answer, but you may be.

He said, “I never thought I would have faced this much rejection from other Pastors in the area.”

He went on to tell me that local Pastors were refusing to even meet with him all because of… wait for it… the translation of the Bible he preaches from.

And while I’m quite aware of the complexity and depth that the issue of Bible translation has had over the years, what this story really points to is the current state of the church in America.

Unfortunately, the church has created places where some people don’t fit and some people aren’t welcomed. It’s almost as if the church is now saying, well if you fit into any one of these categories or boxes, then the gospel isn’t for you, please go elsewhere.

Now when I was younger, I would well up with rage and anger against such church cultural statements, but these days my response is much softer and more gracious. 

I understand something better today than I used to – I’m broken, and I tend to mess up. A lot.

Stories and situations like this present a mirror for me, and that mirror reveals my own heart and my own words of alienation and exclusion.

They should for you too.

Consider these words:

“I can anticipate the response that is coming: ‘I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?’ Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.” Romans 7:14-25 MSG

At the end of the day, part of why I love the church so much and why I partner with her to create awesome experiences engaging culture is because I understand that they are led by men and women just like me. They are wounded, abandoned, selfish, prideful, and yet full of the same Awesome Truth that I am.

And because we are created to worship and because we are most satisfied when Christ is most glorified in our lives, then this is the reason why I worship today. This is the reason why I choose to submit and confess and sing songs declaring I am not my own.

You may read this and have your own story of abandonment or alienation from the church.

Welcome! You’re in some really good company!

I ask your forgiveness, because I’ve been on both sides and my heart’s desire is to move closer to the securely attached places, where I’m free to love and speak words of truth in love.

Perhaps you have one of these stories, perhaps not, but no matter where you’re coming from today, can I just say one final thing to you. The Gospel is for you. It’s big enough and awesome enough for you no matter what you’re going through.

Here’s a question for you today:

What messages or stories do you have that tell you the gospel isn’t for you?

I’d love to hear, so leave a comment below!

Posted on: July 24, 2013

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Josh Collins
Franklin, TN
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