As all of us were growing up, volunteering has always been a very altruistic thing. The feeling of giving back out of your blessed fortune to others who may not have as much, or have not been given the same hand in life is a very cool thing.
That can mean something as simple as doing down to your local soup kitchen on Thanksgiving and helping serve people, to actually going all-in and working for a non-profit, trying to help them make ends meet.
Today I’d like to go into more of an opinion piece that will possibly stir up some controversy within the Lutheran community. I’d like to talk about the idea of church-associated and run businesses, and why I believe they are where churches should be headed towards in the future.
Obviously there are many opinions out there regarding the ethics of this, and whether the church should be ‘in business’. I would like to address some of those, as well as some of the advantages of the church sponsoring and helping more of these types of organizations.
In the past few decades, church membership has been gradually shrinking, and has been going on all over the Western world. Some say that young people today just don’t relate to the old and antiquated church, while others just say the world has changed. Whatever the reason, it’s starting to change.
It is indeed a high calling to be a leader and a pastor, but it is also incredibly important that pastors try to become successful office managers. When you said yes to the God’s call to ministry, you were in all probability not thinking about managing and supervising the church office. You saw yourself behind the pulpit trying your best to preach the gospel in the finest way, making disciplines, and baptizing people. It is highly likely that trying to dig your way out of tonnes of paperwork and formalities was never part of your dream.
How God Is an Excellent Example
The Bible college students training for ministry are obliged to study all of the God’s attributes. They are taught how God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. He is faithful, holy and just. All the students are encourages pursuing righteousness, to follow God’s example and to let the Holy Spirit develop similar traits in their lives. On the other hand, there are some virtues of God that are not frequently taught and rarely discussed in classrooms. For instance, the fact that God is very organized and efficient can change a pastor’s perspective on his responsibilities. He keeps brilliant records, thus, He is an amazing example for you of how you can manage your church office. God plans for the future, and above all, He communicates all of His plans to everybody involved beforehand. He observes devotion and adherence to prearranged procedures and policies. The planets rotate perfectly on course in their exact places. The sun always rises in the east and sets at specific times. Historical record, scriptures and science prove that He doesn’t waste any resources or time. He has always carried out his work efficiently.
Managing the church office: Essential components
There are countless aspects of a church office that are radically unique and different from what they used to be a few years back. The church offices are no longer storage rooms for Sunday school materials and lost Bibles. It is, in fact, a business-oriented, fast paced, bustling area. You must be wondering how a pastor can handle all the management details. Here are some of the vital components involved in the management of a church office:
2. People abilities
3. Processing paperwork
4. Acquiring an efficient staff
5. Disciplining the staff
6. Office setup and layout
7. Procedures and Policies
9. Church office equipment
When it comes to church office equipment, paper shredders are of utmost importance, since it is essential to get rid of extra, unnecessary papers safely in order to keep the office clean. You can hire an efficient and reliable mobile paper shredding service if you do not believe in investing money in paper shredding equipment. If you’re looking for a company that offers every service you’ll need to get rid of all that unwanted documents lying around in your church office check this site out here. They offer impeccable mobile paper shredding service (find out more) that is ideal for churches. Apart from reliable equipment, church office management requires time, determinations, energy, and above all, prayer.
With the homeless and poverty rates soaring throughout the globe, many children are left without gifts when it comes to the holidays. Throughout the years, many have come together in hopes to supply those in need with Christmas cheer. This is truly a noble and joyous cause and will hopefully brighten the lives of many. You might be thinking of getting your church involved in one of these drives and really it’s not too difficult if you have some proper guidelines.
Getting Set Up
First things first, you are going to need a committee, you can put this through your church bulletin that you are looking for volunteers to help for the toy drive, this will give you the extra hands you need to handle anything that is thrown your way. You’re going to need people to help manage, as well as, sort out and distribute the goods once they have been received.
Get the Word Out
One crucial thing you are going to need in order for your drive to be a success is exposure. If no one knows of the drive, consequently, no one will donate. Social Media is a very valuable tool to use on getting the word out and can reach masses in a matter of minutes. Another great way to go about doing so is to try to partner up with the police or fire fighters. They already have a well established name, “Toys for Tots”, that has tons of media exposure that is bound to bring in more traffic to your churches drive.
Receiving the Goods
You can either set up one central location in your church parking lot where people can stop by and drop off their donations, or you can try to set up multiple drop off points throughout your town. There are even some places that are often willing to set up donation points to help out, such as, the Salvation Army, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Shelters, and other organizations. It’s as simple as one phone call to see whether or not they will be willing to help your church organization out.
This is very important because, with no place to store the gifts, you could find yourself in a bit of a jam. My church personally uses their gym but most churches may not have a place they can use for the vast amounts of gifts that are most likely going to flow in. Here you can either use someone you know with substantial storage space, or you could resort to quick portable storage, for more information about quick portable storage, you can click here.
The two main benefactors to ensuring your drive is a success is to have volunteers at each donation location and to get the word out. Once this is accomplished it’s time to brace yourselves for the wave of gifts that are about to come in. Also, it is important to determine what types of gifts you would like to receive and whether or not they need to be age or gender specific. Without some proper guidelines, who knows what you’ll receive.
Over the years, a lot of historical sites in Canada have been demolished. Though some of the demolitions were met by protests and complaints, the courts have still voted in favor of their destruction. Among the saddest demolitions are those that include churches. Some churches have served certain states in Canada for so many years, but were still shut down due to various reasons.
For instance, the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rothesay. New Brunswick was demolished in 2008. It has been in operation for over 60 years. However, it was destroyed so that the spot can be transformed into a parking lot for vehicles of the members of new church built right across the street. It has in fact been supported by Rev. Michael LeBlanc who said that they need more parking space and so the old church has to go.
Another instance is when St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral in Nunavut was damaged due to arson in November 2005. According to engineers, the place is no longer sound and reparable. Thus, it was demolished in 2006. It was built in 1972 and has served the county for so many years. Another loss in Nunavut was St. Stephen’s Catholic Church. Due to safety reasons, this very old building was removed.
In yet another thread to Canadian faith, more churches are up for demolition this year. The most controversial of them all is the demolition order for St. Alphonsus Church in Nova Scotia. This beautiful and old church might be gone due to structural safety. It has been serving the people for almost a hundred years now. The decline in the number of churchgoers in the area is also another reason why it is up for closure. However, in recent news, the church demolition order was given a halt. There might be a chance for it to be saved after all. Last year, the estimated cost for its restoration is over $600,000. Though it would take a lot to have it restored, at least it is safe from demolition for now. The strong opposition of the Stone Church Restoration Society has paid off.
When Should a Building be Demolished?
There are a lot of things to be considered before deciding to demolish a certain structure. First of all, it has to be deemed economically irreparable. This means that it would be way more expensive to have the structure restored instead of creating a new one. It should also be deemed as structurally unsafe. In this case, there is really no other choice but to let it go.
Though demolition seems like a viable option, a lot of people are opposing especially if it involves historical sites. This is why there should be a clear study to be made first before putting a structure down. However, if it has been decided by the courts, the only thing to do is to hire a reliable demolition company to help in the process. Rest assured, companies like the prodemolitioncompany.com knows exactly what to do in handling the situation. When they take a building down, safety measures are in place. They also make sure that there is a court order before agreeing to demolish a structure.
When we think about church locks, it appears appropriate that the very first depiction of a lock must be discovered on a bas-relief at Kamak in an Egyptian temple dating from about 2000BC. Even though it is not immediately familiar to modern eyes and a little cumbersome in function, it operated efficiently. The standard, that of putting up pins in order to create a shear line to enable movement, was revived in 1848 by Linus Yale Senior. It was further refined and developed by his son – Linus Junior – in four years between 1861 and 1865 in order to present the pin tumbler cylinder lock that is widely employed today.
The keyhole is basically invented by Greeks, the tip of a sickle-shaped tool being inserted via a tiny hole in a door, and closing or withdrawing, with a minor rotator movement, a large lock A Linear B tablet going down to 1300BC, exhumed in Crete, was transformed.
Keys are primarily mentioned in the Old Testament, especially in Judges Ch3 v25. It was probably written around 1170BC. The very first exhumed lock was found in the Palace of Sargon, Khorsabad, Iraq, the date going down to 700BC. It is believed that by the time Vesuvius broke out way back in 79AD, when the shop of a metal worker was inundated, locks had been made and had taken up a form that is recognizable to modern eyes.
A lot have been dug up both from various Roman site in Europe, Middle East and Pompeii. Since they were made out of different metals, majority of the ancient lock have survived. Padlocks were discovered for the very first time at York at the time when the Jorvik Viking settlement was found.
When it comes to church locks, there are a plethora of different types that can easily be found on church doors, depending on the location, age and patronage of the church. Many churches have rim locks, padlocks or even mortice locks. They are either constructed of wood or metal, such as iron. There are quite a few old churches around the world that still carry their old wooden lock.
If the church in your area has historical locks, here are a few things you must do:
1. Protect the locks from weather
2. Seek professional help in case a lock becomes temperamental or awkward
3. Call in a competent locksmith, like Locksmith Winchester to deal with damaged locks.
As Christians, it is our duty to help the poor. Simply by donating goods or money to charities which support the poor, we are doing a good thing that will benefit society at large. It doesn’t matter how much we donate to uplift the poor, what’s important is that we do so wholeheartedly. By helping the disadvantaged people do much better in life, we are doing a great thing that is in honor of God. God wants us to not be selfish when it comes to material possessions; He wants us to share our blessings to everyone who is suffering so that they may be able to live fuller lives.
Unfortunately, though, many Christians are themselves poor. Because of this, they are also unable to give donations to their fellow poor people. This is understandable. However, in this day and age, virtually everyone now has a means to actually earn a considerable amount of money. For many people, one of the best ways to earn money happens to be binary options trading. Through binary options trading, anyone can now earn enough to be able to provide for themselves as well as other people who are in need.
What exactly is binary options trading? Binary options trading happens to be one of the most popular forms of trading right now, and this is due to so many reasons. One reason why binary options trading happens to be so popular is the fact that it is actually very easy to earn money from it. This is because binary options trading generally only involves choosing between putting or calling on an option. Should a person make the correct choice, they will be rewarded with money. The best part is that the financial rewards from such trades don’t depend on how much value an asset gains or loses; the financial rewards one can get from such trades are fixed.
Of course, it goes without saying that people should only choose to work with a brokerage that offers amazing services. For most people, Banc de Binary is the best binary options brokerage in the world. By checking out the Banc de Binary website, you will see that the brokerage is regulated in Europe and has received certifications and awards from different organizations – these things go to show that the brokerage really offers high quality services to their clients.
Through the binary options trading help Banc de Binary offers to its clients, so many Christians have been able to regularly gain a sufficient amount of money for purposes of charity. Through the help of these Christians, so many people from both here in the country and abroad have been able to live much better lives. It’s really amazing how God works through us. By making efforts to honor God, we continue to make the world a better place for everyone. It doesn’t matter what religion the person we are helping subscribes to; God wants us to help out everyone who is in need of physical, emotional, and spiritual nurturance.
They say starting a business is easy but keeping the shop running is an art. Such an adage has certainly been true for a group of churches located in different cities in the US who decided to go into sales. They work with a group of hardworking Kenyan women who make beautiful handcrafted jewelry for sale as a way of breaking free from poverty.
The jewelry comes in different shapes, materials and colors and keeping track of the items imported is always a tough call to make. Some of the challenges the importers have to deal with include knowing exactly what is in their stock, especially when different pieces of jewelry are more in demand than others. Such a situation is always a major challenge not only for the churches but also for every business person. Knowing the location of any item at any given time is always a hard job unless you have a systematic way of keeping track of everything.
For the group of churches, the different items imported are made from different kinds of stones and therefore differ in quality and pricing. It is always important for them to know how much is in stock in each category. For example, there are necklaces, bracelets and rings made from beads, sea shells, gold and animal teeth among other materials.
The churches struggled for almost a year before finally getting their hands on a reliable inventory control software which helps them keep track of everything include orders they have made, items imported, sold and those that their customers in North America have ordered. For the churches, the business flow has now become easier and they are beginning to relax in their role of business owners. Their business started as a small entrepreneurship with only a minimal investment but things have turned around for good both for the group and their suppliers in Kenya.
One of the things that I noted about the growth of the business is that it was not easy for the church groups in the beginning. They struggled, made losses and even lost potential clients owing to what could be termed as poor management. The business administrators were not always able to replenish their stock on time, would fail to deliver their orders on time, frustrating their clients who ended up pulling out and dealing with other suppliers.
However, listening to the business administrators the other day exposed another side of the business these ladies always dreamed of. Their line of supply is now fully updated not to mention that they know what is in stock, what is not and the pricing of their inventory thus making it possible for them to make profits while minimizing the amount of time and money spent tracking the items. Using inventory control software has been helpful in knowing which handcrafted jewelry is popular in different regions of North America. Such information has helped prevent cases of overstocking or under-stocking on any given product.
Different people assigned with day to day running of the business are always able to monitor their business from different parts as they can enjoy real time tracking options. Keeping different churches in different cities well coordinated has not always been easy but with time there has been a lot of changes and effectiveness which has helped prevent business mismanagement. Finances have been properly managed and all proceeds trickle back to the women in Kenya, a process which has uplifted many peoples’ lives.
Firm believers can do a lot to start enjoying a cleaner and more spiritual living space. Christian home cleansing is a great opportunity that is relatively easy to do. You should consider home cleansing several times per year, especially if you are experiencing particular problems.
When Do You Need to Do Home Cleansing?
We all know that our bodies are the “temple of the Holy Spirit.” The home that we live in could have huge positive or negative impact on our bodies. Prayer and cleansing can be used to consecrate the home and get rid of evil influences.
You should consider home cleansing if you are suffering from a chronic illness or you have been feeling unwell for a long period of time. Cleansing is also necessary in the cases of insomnia, relationship problems, restlessness in children or an overall heavy, dark atmosphere.
Learn More about the Past
You should consider Christian home cleansing if you know something bad about the previous owners of the property. Trying to learn more will provide you with essential information about the causes of problems.
Certain people can have negative energy. It is possible that the previous owners could have cursed the house, making you experience all of the negative phenomena that are currently taking place. Negative influences could have also entered the property through media like television and radio. The past could be affecting your life today – use your faith to get rid of such influences and invite light into your home.
Spiritual Home Cleansing
Spiritual cleansing is the most important part of the consecration process. You will need to use the right prayer and you will have to perform a few rituals.
Start from the outside and move to each of the rooms. Start by asking the Lord for protection. “We ask Father God for Your light and Your love to flow in this place.” Anoint the doors and the windows as you go.
Say a small prayer in each of the rooms. There are many prayers that Christians use especially for the purpose of doing home cleansing. You can ask your priest for guidance or you can do online research to pick the best prayer for each of your rooms.
Finally, you should get in the habit of chasing evil influences away. Play Christian music at home. Avoid television programs and radio shows that promote violence, aggression and anti-Christian behavior.
Get Rid of Clutter
Spiritual cleansing can be accompanied by making sure your house is free from all negative objects and influences. Call a dumpster rental company to find out more about their services like dumpster sizes (http://www.dumpsterrentalzone.com/dumpster-sizes-and-service/). Here is an excellent resource online about dumpster rental – Dumpster Rental Zone
Certain objects should be taken out of the Christian home. These include heavy necklaces, paintings that have a religious theme, occult literature, movies, dream catchers, yoga literature, visualization literature and even stuffed animals.
Home cleansing will enable you to live in calmer, much more spiritual surroundings. Use your faith to create a better living environment for yourself and your family. Ask the Lord for guidance and in your heart, you will know which steps need to be undertaken.
Organizing a church picnic in a member’s spacious backyard can be a challenging endeavor yet so adventurous. Such a picnic gives church members an opportunity to interact in sports and other outdoor activities. What is more, the excitement that comes with picnics cannot be over-emphasized. To organize one, you need to identify a church member with a spacious backyard that can comfortably accommodate the church members. Be sure to start early preparations as this will allow you adequate time to plan. It is imperative to acquaint yourself with the possible activities members can engage in, prepare them for the activities as well as avail the necessary facilities.
The backyard ought to be well maintained, spacious and conducive. As a rule of thumb, always start planning early enough to get the time needed to make any improvements on the backyard. For instance, if the grass of the one you choose does not impress you, consider having some different grass. There are many turf choices offered by local landscaping companies from which you can choose your preferred one from. Be sure to get opinion also from the landscaping companies on the turf choices. If you intend to have the picnic during summer, Sir Walter turf grass would be the best option. Apart from it being good both in shade and sun, it is easy to maintain. The other ready choices would be the Kikuyu grass and the couches. Once you identify the one you prefer, all you need is to seek services of a local landscaping company to install them.
All church members should participate in different games and activities regardless of their age and gender. Suggest a variety of games to ensure everyone participates. For children, you can try bringing in bouncing castles for them. The most ideal activity would be racing. In fact, you can just have races for all categories and a few bible quizzes or mind games and that will suffice. The shady areas with trees are only ideal for observers. The main backyard with plenty of space and grass should be an exclusive zone for activities. Try to get a bit creative by isolating the areas using a rope. Reserve a place for first aid since cases that need first aid ever occur in such events.
Members should not take their lunch from far. On such an eventful day, you are sure of how many members get tired. Even having them take their lunch from the homestead would be inappropriate. Be sure to bring some extra tables to the backyard for lunch. If the church does not have enough of them, try hiring from an events company. It is also advisable to involve a person who is experienced in organizing events in your picnic preparations to guarantee the success of the picnic. However, it is always within your reach to make such decisions. For example, you can decide to do everything on your own except the services of the landscaping company that you need to consult for turf choices as well as installation of the turf.
Many older people often have the mindset that they are too old to do some things. Yes, they may not be able to go out and start competing in a sporting event that is for those who are much younger, since their bodies may not be as strong. However, other aspects that many seniors think they are too old for, is really not an issue. One of these issues is the type of religion that you practice and are recognized as a member of this religion. Judaism is one religion that is rather strict on just who can be considered Jewish and who cannot be. This is one reason that many seniors think they are too old to convert. The process is long and hard, but a senior who wishes to do this are not going to be denied this option due to their age. They simply have to be ready to work for it, as it will take a lot of dedication.
What you Need to Prepare For
One of the major things that you need to prepare for when you are ready to convert is that the Rabbi that you see is going to try to persuade you to not join. This is their way of weeding out those who are truly not ready to be Jewish or simply have no desire to do this. You will meet with the Rabbi periodically in which time he will try to point out that you are not ready or that you truly do not believe the same was the Jewish people believe. This process can take quite a while, as many people have said that they waited up to a year to allowed to begin the actual conversion process.
There will be many lifestyle changes and rules that you are going to have to adhere to in order to become a converted Jew. These rules are something that everyone goes by and they will be told to you and taught in depth. Just a few examples though, your clothing will need to be more modest throughout the year, you cannot eat dairy with your meal, you may not be able to attend all the functions that you once attended if they are held in a place of worship other than a Jewish place of worship and the like. One of our readers just had a group of residents at a local retirement home convert to Judaism. The members of this community ended up moving to a retirement community that fit their needs when it came to their new found religious beliefs.
Putting in the Time
To become Jewish, learning all the rules and the like will take quite a bit of time. However, you will find that if you serious about this, you can make it work. Whether this is the best decision for you or not will depend on what you truly believe. Many people are interested in Judaism before they learn the ins and outs of what to expect, while others are still all for converting after learning what they need to be prepared for.
Do not let your age stop you from doing something that you are truly interested in or believe in. Just because you are older does not mean that you cannot become a converted Jew and live out your life in a way that you have always wanted to do.
Churches have always been tagged as high-risk by most insurance companies. Not only are churches easy targets for vandalism and break-ins, these are also magnets for both internal and external theft. The issue of theft and damage has even made insurance premiums to soar higher as new hi-tech gadgets and equipment come into play. From touch-screen computers to state of the art sound and audio-visual devices, churches have never been more vulnerable to risks than ever before. When thinking of applying or renewing insurance, it is imperative that person in-charge for the assessment prior to application be aware of the factors which can help lower insurance premiums for churches such as updated security system, fixed asset tracking, online and cloud protection, and other mechanisms that may portray more security and stability.
Addressing Break-Ins and Vandalism
No matter how tight a church’s security system, it must be tweaked from time to time for more efficiency and efficacy. State of the art alarm and CCTV systems must be established to reduce exposure to risks. Implementation of practical and effective security measures and access solutions such as a network of CCTV cameras, security patrols, and electronic lock-and-key access system will help manage the dilemma of facility break-ins and vandalism as well as theft. Insurance companies usually give discounts to churches who have outstanding connection with top security companies to ensure safety at all time.
Data Management – Online and Offline
Churches are also easy targets for both online and offline breach of data. Electronic keys and smart-badge systems may be implemented to address this concern. There are quite a number of innovative equipment which one can easily add to existing computer system. Online and offline security controls must also be plotted out to prevent leakage of confidential materials that can be detrimental to a church or group of churches. As today’s churches are tech-savvy in nature, fool-proof data management systems can alleviate insurance premium costs due to certain risks stipulated.
Fixed Asset Tracking and Management
Two of the most intensive and demanding tasks in managing churches are the management and documentation of fixed assets. From office computers to digital projectors, media equipment, music and sound equipment, and accounting-related documents, using equally modern asset management software offered by inventory management companies will extensively aid in fixed asset tracking and management protocols in churches. The software is intended to facilitate proper and consistent monitoring and managing on the utilization, performance and control of fixed assets. Apart from lowering insurance premiums, this system also enhance up-time, improve risk management rules, and empower strategic planning.
Implementation of access management solution, state of the art security system, and fixed asset management tracking solutions must be considered part and parcel of church management. Enforcing these systems will help establish a procedure that will lessen exposure to risk. From assets tracking and management to innovative alarm systems, access control, software and online management, and so on are just some of the methods which can be of help. This, in turn, will help save substantial amount on premiums paid for insurance.
With 2014 approaching, Christian attorney Charlie Verne decided he needed to be more than a lawyer to his clients. Knowing he was blessed with a thriving law practice, a happy, healthy family and the love of Christ, Charlie realized he was in a much better place than many of the people who came to his for legal help, guidance, advice and representation. Many of Charlie’s clients struggle with lifelong medical issues through no fault of their own. Whether being born with a genetic condition, suffering with injuries from an automobile accident caused by an impaired driver, or complications from surgeries, each of Charlie’s clients had major health issues and the bills that came along with them.
After spending hours in prayer about how to best help his clients, Charlie suddenly had an idea. While he would continue to help his clients with their legal issues and challenges, Charlie knew he could really help by holding a fundraiser to help with his client’s medical bills. With his connections and relationships, Charlie knew he could throw a fundraising event that would be successful in raising enough money to make a major difference in the lives of his clients and their families. Charlie put his idea on the top of his to do and prayer lists and decided he needed to enlist some extra help.
Charlie went to his pastor to talk about his idea and get some feedback. After praying over the idea together, both Charlie and his spiritual adviser felt good about moving forward and decided to put the plan into action. For the next three weeks, Charlie devoted all his spare time and energy into coordinating a fundraising event that would help his clients cover their medical bills and wipe their debt free.
With the help and blessing of the church, Charlie and his colleagues held a donation based attorney advice day. For a minimum donation of $50 dollars, people could have access to the advice and expertise of some of Canada’s top attorneys. Charlie and his fundraising team advertised the event on Facebook, Twitter, on local television and radio, in newspapers, in church bulletins and through word of mouth and waited with bated breath as they opened the doors to the event. Within minutes, every single attorney had a client in front of them and more eagerly awaited their turn to speak with a lawyer and get help with their legal questions, issues or problems. At the end of the day, Charlie and his colleagues had raised over $10,000 to help his clients pay off their medical expenses.
Since that October in 2013, Charlie and his team of fundraising volunteers have raised over $100,000 to help Christians with medical issues pay their bills. With help from the church and their donation space, the community’s involvement and support and the willingness of Charlie’s colleagues to donate their time, no money is spent on hosting the event and 100% of all profits go to covering the medical bills of his clients. If you are interested in volunteering, fill out this contact form.
This article is dedicated to all of the worship leaders out there! Raise your hands!
If you have been leading worship for more than a few months, you know that it sometimes has the tendency to get stale and routine, with the same people playing the same songs, with the same instruments. Worship isn’t supposed to be stale! It’s supposed to be vibrant, and engaging, and always trying to worship our Creator in the way we best know how.
He has given us these gifts for a reason, and it’s not to just go through the motions of worshipping Him. It’s to be loud, and new, and always be continuing our growth journey with Him!
But what is a practical way to do this as a worship leader? Well with any stagnation situation, it’s always good to be able to change something up, such as the environment, or situation, or something like that. For worship, this can mean the music, the musicians up there, how and where you are playing from, and the instruments that you use to play.
Some weeks, the full band with drums, bass, keys, guitar and backup singers are great, but other times it’s great to just strip it down to a very low-key, acoustic worship. Here are a couple of unique musical instruments that can help add some variety to your worship set. The only issue now is finding someone in your congregation that can play them!
The first new instrument on our list can be fairly old-school to some people, but after hearing a few worship sets with one in them, it’s amazing what kind of presence it can create. An accordion can be the perfect instrument to add a very big ‘wall’ of sound to any worship. It’s long and droning background chords, and ability to play complex melodies make it a very versatile instrument. It can either blend in well with the backing instruments, or come to the front and play much more of a lead melody role.
Once you know how to use it well, it can become as useful as a guitar!
The next instrument on our list is the classic violin. In years past, this was much more common throughout worship sets, but not as much in the last few years. It’s about time we bring back that nostalgic sound of the violin. It is important however that the violinist knows how to blend into the rest of the band. They grew up playing melodies and the leads through songs, so making sure they don’t ‘take over’ the music is important.
The third instrument on our list is the tenor saxophone. This beautiful, and rich sounding instrument can really add a large depth to your music. It’s very soothing and warm, yet can really stand out with its raspy sounds. It’s not just for sensual jazz any more!
Last but not least, the lap slide guitar is one instrument that is rarely seen in worship music today. When you say slide guitar, most people start thinking of twangy country music, or old people sounds. But with modern slide guitars, especially played with modern stylings, their sound can be very smooth and versatile. A good acoustic slide player can add a whole another dimension to music that most people haven’t really heard too much of before.
If you have ever been on a mission trip, or even just ventured into the developing world, you know how much of an issue clean drinking water can be to people living there.
Their surface water supplies that they usually do everything with from wash clothes, to bathe, to even use the bathroom, are becoming more and more contaminated. This leaves some of the water supplies alright to do certain things in, but certainly not drink from.
Thousands of people around the world are dying everyday from very preventable diseases, and as Christians who are supposed to care about the world, we should be outraged. Why should the less fortunate have to die at the hands of the inaction of the more fortunate? We’re all God’s children, and deserve the right to life!
Well we started to do some searching around for cool companies and technologies that are really making a difference in this epidemic. These simple and functional devices are not only giving people in impoverished areas a clean supply of drinking water, but a new lease on life. A life without meaningless disease.
The first, and probably most utilitarian water-purification device is called the LifeSaq. This brilliant innovation was meant to be a shipping sack for grains and supplies, and then turn into a water purification bag, using UV radiation, and a 5nm filter to eliminate almost all bacteria from the water. This bag also has very simple slits in the sides, so after filling the bag, it can be worn as a backpack for ease of transportation over longer distances.
The Lifestraw has a number of innovative systems out there for water purification in the developing world, but its flagship and initial innovation was the actual Life Straw. A small, plastic tube that looks a lot like the recorders we used to play in elementary music class, this portable device can provide instant clean water from virtually any water supply. So if someone is traveling and comes across ground water, they can safely drink it without catching any sort of disease.
The Solarball is a device that looks like a large hamster ball. It has two sides, one completely translucent, and the other black. It is meant to heat up using the solar rays, and have the evaporated water move from the dark side to the clear side. Overall, one of these balls with result in about 3 liters of clean water per day. Simple, yet effective.
Ceramic Water Filters
The last water purification device on our list is a series of ceramic water filters developed by UNICEF and the Water and Sanitation Program for use in Cambodia. These gravity filters are made from fired clay, and have very small pores that virtually remove all harmful bacteria from the water, and will produce about 1-3 liters of clean water per hour.
So if you are going on a mission trip in the foreseeable future, or just want to make a difference, I highly recommend that you look into one of these amazing technologies. They could just save a couple lives with a very easy donation.