Archives For Dwayne Moore

Worship LeadingWe recently started a unique and needed community for worship leaders. We call it the Asaph Generation (AsaphGeneration.com). Why the name “Asaph Generation,” you might ask? Simply put, we want to be part of a generation of worship leaders who leave a godly legacy in worship ministry–like Asaph did!

The Asaph Generation is an exclusive community committed to 1) whole-life worship of God, 2) musical excellence, and 3) investing our lives in others. These three qualities really define Asaph’s life…

1. Asaph was a worshiper. Read any of the twelve psalms he was credited for writing (Psalm 50 and 73-83), and you’ll immediately know that Asaph (pronounced “aw-sawf’) was a passionate worshiper of God, who was growing in his relationship with God. He wasn’t perfect, but he really wanted to please the Lord.

Passages like the following help us see how well Asaph “got” worship:

  • “But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23. NLT).
  • “But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and…

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Cleanse

I hate to feel sweaty and dirty. In fact, anytime I come in from exercising or working out in my yard, I immediately head for the shower! I love feeling clean (and I’m sure all those around me appreciate it, too!).

In the same kind of way, we should want to always keep a clean heart before God. Our goal should be to live in a constant state of forgiveness. Notice I didn’t say a constant state of perfection. Unfortunately, we will sin on occasion. However, anytime we get “dirty,” we should confess it instantly and then trust God to cleanse us completely. Remember, neither the Lord nor the world needs to be around “stinking” Christians!

If we’re to enjoy clean living every day, we need to embrace two important habits: accountability and self-examination. Being accountable to another person or persons we respect and trust is a powerful deterrent to sin. When you know someone else will be asking you the “tough questions,” you think twice before indulging in things you shouldn’t. Also, accountability partners encourage and challenge us to grow in our faith and do the things we should do. Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us,…

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Assembly LineAt Valley View Church, our vision for the worship and creative arts ministry is to be a “sculpturing factory.” The analogy of a factory works especially well in the southwest area of Louisville, where our church is located. Many of our members work at the Ford plants or the major UPS hub nearby, so it’s easy for them to understand and relate to this simple word-picture of our vision.

Below are some particulars, which help explain our “factory” model of ministry:

Products

We have 3 “products” (or goals) that our worship ministry aims to produce:

  1. Quality worship services (based on Psalm 33:3)
  2. Quality worshipers (based on Matthew 28:18)
  3. Quality worship leaders (based on 2 Timothy 2:2)

Chief Operator

The Lord, “the Author and Finisher of our faith,” is the Chief Operator who directs the sculpturing process. He determines the speed of the conveyor belts and the pace that each “product” is produced. (After all, they’re His worship services and His worshipers!)

Conveyor Belts

We have strategies in place, which act as “conveyor belts” moving everything along. These strategic processes rarely change. We believe they are biblical, logical and effective in any situation to produce the results…

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FreshAll of us prefer food that is fresh. In much the same way, God enjoys people who are “fresh,” Christians who still have the joy of the Lord and a passion to know Him more, no matter what age they are. These are the ones who represent Him best because they demonstrate the fresh life He is inside them.

The pressures of ministry, family and life in general can wear us down and tire us out. How can we remain fresh from week to week and year to year? How can we maintain our joy and passion for serving God? Psalm 92:12-15 gives us the answer: “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon, planted in the house of the Lord; they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.’” Here, the godly life is compared to healthy, growing trees in God’s court.

There are three important ingredients in this passage that are absolutely necessary…

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PrayerThe Model Prayer that Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6 can be divided into three distinct parts. As we build a daily habit of praying “in this manner,” our prayer lives can significantly deepen and our perspective of things can radically improve.

Part 1: Vertical—Start with praise and surrender.

When we pray, we should always begin with a vertical focus on “our Father in heaven.” Never start with yourself. God is the only one worthy of our attention when we pray. We should begin with praise to our God, just as Jesus did when He said “Hallowed be Your name.” We should speak directly to the Lord, telling Him how awesome and holy and worthy He is. Take as much time as needed for your mind and heart to catch up with your words. Let the truth of His greatness sink into your soul.

Heart-felt praise should naturally lead us then to surrender our will to Him. Like Jesus, we should humbly submit to His will being done “on earth, as it is in heaven.” It’s not about our will being done. Our Father is not some magic genie granting us our…

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HeavensPraiseHave you ever felt like you’ve been wandering through life, not quite knowing what exactly God’s expecting from you? Sadly, many in God’s family spend much of their lives this way. They walk around with an I-hope-so approach to the Christian life—they hope they’re in God’s will, or hope they’re doing what is best and right. Many eventually become discouraged and quit even trying.

Other Christians seem to think the goal of their Christianity is to somehow please God through their endless strivings, as though God will only love them when they’re performing up to His expectations. Yet the Father is already pleased with us, not because of how much good we manage to do, but because we are His children.

Stop now and ask yourself this question: What should the goal of my Christian life be, as I live each day? Get an answer in your mind before moving on.

Now, look at your answer a little closer. Is your goal measurable? At the end of your day, can you look back and know for sure if or when you hit that goal? Perhaps more important, is the goal you just identified…

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20140611-072850-26930090.jpgHave you gazed at the sky lately? Have you noticed the amazing colors of an evening sunset? Have you been mesmerized by a gigantic rainbow with its backdrop of smoldering gray rain clouds? Our God is a magnificent designer! It’s as though every day provides Him a brand new canvas and He paints for us a new and original design from His endless palate of purples, reds, and blues.

Mandate

If one has ever questioned the need of visual art as a part of worship, all he or she needs to do is consider the priority our Creator placed on creativity and beauty when He made this universe and more specifically our world. His wonderful creation is awe-inspiring and breathe-taking!

Obviously, God’s creative handiwork is intentional. Look at the diversity and colors of animals, the sky with clouds and constellations, and even flowers and plants. God purposefully made what we see around and above us to be more than just functional. God designed everything, including all of nature, so that it would point us back to Him. No doubt that is what the shepherd, David, realized as he lay on a hillside night after night…

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Worship TeamBelow is a step-by-step plan to help your worship team members flourish in three fundamental areas—as worshipers, musicians and mentors. This approach can change the culture of your worship ministry and help your team grow spiritually and numerically—no matter the size of your church. I’ve seen firsthand the impact it has made in smaller congregations I’ve served in the past, and this same intentional process is making an impact in the megachurch where I’m worship pastor now.

Please note that these methodical steps may take you months to complete. Be patient, and don’t rush through them—and be sure not to skip any as you move along. Each step is crucial to your success in training your team to be ministers through music.

Step 1: Confirm your vision, values and philosophy.

  1.  Through prayer and Scripture. Your first and most important task should be to nail down what you value and what your specific convictions are for the ministry God entrusted to you. No vision, no values and no approach to ministry should be formed outside of clear scriptural confirmation and God-given direction.
  2.  Through careful research. Talk with other worship leaders and pastors in your area to learn…

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Awe Inspiring

One quiet morning a few weeks ago, I decided to take some time to pray alone in our sanctuary. But as soon as I sat down on the front row, my mind began racing about all the stuff that still needed to be done before our Easter services: “How will the lights be set?” “Where will the extra projectors be placed?” “How will we transition between the songs and videos?”

Then suddenly, a still small Voice broke through to my cluttered mind and said, “Dwayne, where’s the awe? Why can’t you simply be still and know that I am God? Here you sit in my presence; yet your attention is captivated by technical details. They’re important, but they’re secondary to your primary responsibility as worship leader. As you stand and lead all those people on Easter, the most important thing you can do is be in awe of me.”

Needless to say, I was convicted and challenged by the Lord’s gentle rebuke that morning. And it drove me to dig deeper into God’s Word about this idea of awe. Here are a few things I discovered…

1. The awe of God motivates us…

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Building Strong Worship LeadersOur goal for church musicians and worship teams should be that they become ministers through music. It isn’t enough to be good musicians or great performers. Worship teams need to minister.

Ministers through music have some excellent and unique characteristics. Imagine a worship team who’s passionate about what they’re doing, with a clear sense of their calling; they are faithful to practice, they’re full of integrity, and they clearly exhibit a servant heart toward God and others. What pastor or worship leader wouldn’t want a platform full of people like that! Sound too good to be true? It’s not! Conveniently, every one of these qualities comes along quite naturally as a result of one all-important process called spiritual growth.

The good news is it’s not up to us to change people. That’s God’s job. The powerful message of 2 Corinthians 3:18 is that we are being transformed: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes the Lord, who is the Spirit” (TNIV). According to Hebrews 12:2, Jesus is both the author and the finisher of our…

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