Archive for the Worship Thoughts Category

Unquenchable Worshiper: Introduction

Posted in Worship Thoughts on January 13, 2010 by Brian Jarvis

So, Phillip (Student Pastor) has encouraged me to reread “Unquenchable Worshiper” by Matt Redman, to really go back to the heart of worship in my own life. So this has led me to write a series of blogs on the parts that really stand out to me.

So I’ll begin with the introduction. Chapter 1: Unquenchable Worshiper….

An Unquenchable Worshiper is fueled “from a heart so amazed by God and His wonders that it burns a love that will not be extinguished. It survives any situation and lives through any circumstance. It will not allow itself to be quenched, for that would heap insult on the love it lives in response to.”

“The Heart of God loves the offerings of a persevering worshiper. Though overwhelmed by many troubles, they are even more overwhelmed by the beauty of God.”

“The revelation of God is the fuel for the fire of our worship”

“Every breath we breathe is a reminder of our maker, and every hour holds the possibility of living in His presence.”

It’s important to remember that “The heart of worship is fueled by essential things, such as reading God’s Word, praying to Him, and going to church to share fellowship together.”

Isn’t it so true, that most of the time, when we find that our worshipful hearts are dried up, it is because we haven’t been fueling the fire? It’s so crucial that we set aside time to soak ourselves under the showers of God’s revelation!

I want to close with this final quote:

“But if we can find space to soak ourselves in God’s Word, His presence, His creation and spend time with other believers, then we’ll find that the revelation floods back into our lives; and our hearts will respond with a blaze of worship once more.”

Hope you find this encouraging and challenging to really go deep into the Word and spend some time soaking in all that God has done for you, before you lead, play, or participate in the next worship service. What a difference it will make!

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Talent vs. Character

Posted in Worship Thoughts on January 11, 2010 by Brian Jarvis

So, the last few months have been great but also very challenging. I find myself at a crossroads between who I am, who I’ve become, and who I need to be. The internal struggle I’ve been wrestling with is the tug-of-war between “Brian the musician” and “Brian the worship leader”.

You see, it’s very easy for the musician side to take over in this situation, because for me, before I was a worship leader, I was a musician! This situation usually is discussed in the form of post-worship sets. The question is asked, “Did the congregation really enter into the presence of God or were they influenced and manipulated by the music?”

I know personally, I am very quick to say that a set was good, because my band was tight or the transitions were smooth. But know I think God is trying to teach me that something is missing, because the fact is, the band is tight, transitions are good, but the congregation isn’t entering in.

Now, it is very possible that the band and the worship leader are doing everything possible to help lead the church into worship, but the church just isn’t going to go for it. But there is a sense of responsible on the part of the worship leader to LEAD the people, and if he is focusing more on the music or the band, then that’s his fault. Believe me, I’m speaking from first hand experience!!! This is something I still am working on from time to time.

The desire for “musical” perfection can sometimes overpower and pollute the integrity and spiritual side of a worship service.

Most of the time, it isn’t intentional, but it happens quite often! Don’t get me wrong, God deserves excellence in everything! The worship service should be the best it can be! We should go above and beyond for our God, but we MUST make sure that you are spending EQUAL time preparing your heart for GOD to move the church, not the music!

Andy Stanley said a powerful quote the other day…
“Your talent and drive has the potential to sweep you past what your character can maintain.”

Basically, I’m saying… make sure you’re spending equal time, if not more time, on preparing you and your band (or staff) spiritually, as much as the production side of your services. Students and adults can see straight through a smile and a rehearsed or profound word.

All it takes is a thanks….

Posted in Worship Thoughts on November 2, 2009 by Brian Jarvis

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Sometimes in ministry, it can get very emotionally, spiritually, and physically draining.. Especially in Student Ministry! You have those days where your just are ready to give up and question why you even try? I don’t think there is any underlining spiritual “heart” issue here.. it’s just part of being human! We all face “burnout” moments.

But the amazing thing about God, is that in those moments of complete exhaustion and self-doubt, He provides little ways to remind you that your doing a great job and He’s proud of you. at least for me, that’s what I hear Him say…

For me.. it’s a kid in the youth group that I don’t even know, coming up to me and telling me that “he’s glad I’m here and that he’s thankful for all that I do for him and the other kids at NSM.”

Holy cow! is that a punch to the gut or what!? “Pardon me, but I just have something in my eye!”

I mean, I know I’m not the only one who has those moments of being completely bewildered and blown away at the fact that God chooses to use me the way He does!!?

All I’m saying is that I’m thankful that God uses little things to make big impressions on my life..

Erwin McManus said it best in his book, “Soul Cravings”..

He writes, “There is nothing more rewarding than the overwhelming feeling of gratitude when someone you don’t know takes the time to tell you that even in the smallest ways you made a difference in their life”

Hope this is just a reminder in some way, that God is always speaking to you, if your listening…

I’m so thankful that God uses me.. THE END

Take Care!

-Brian

Music at Northwood Student Ministry

Posted in Worship Thoughts on June 18, 2009 by Brian Jarvis

3520801839_e20e98a7f5 So, I get asked a lot by other musicians and worship leaders, “What songs are you guys doing at your youth ministry? How do you know what songs will work? Are there certain worship songs that work for the different environments of your ministry?

So I thought I would save the trouble and just answer all of the questions now…

People that know me, know that I love the music coming out of Hillsong Church in Australia. So we definitely do our fair share of Hillsong United tunes. Also, Elevation Church in Charolotte, NC has a new record coming out and we have already began implementing some of their songs into our services and the kids really seem to really enjoy them.

We also do some North Point worship tunes from Steve Fee  and Kristian Stanfill. Planetshakers is another band from Australia that we get some of our music from.

As far as the question on which music hits home with the kids and what songs tank.. well… trial and error!!! Most of the time all of the songs we pick seem to work great, but then there are times where I think a song is gonna move the room, and instead the kids are just ready for the band to shut up… so.. you win some, you lose some.

I will say that I pick my songs by tempo and lyrical content. For the middle school, you want to pick fast upbeat fun songs with more of “surface level” content. Because to be honest most of your middle school students aren’t going to understand a song talking about the Trinity. Remember.. I’m speaking in general for most of the  middle school population attending our  services.

For our Wednesday night service “The Element” we try to keep the music very high energy and fun, same for our middle school service on Sunday mornings “Shift”. At The Avenue” which is our Sunday night High School service, we have more of a chance to go a little deeper and intimate.

Any more questions, I would be happy to answer!! I was just trying to keep this post brief. feel free to email me at: brian@northwoodstudents.com

Just a few thoughts… Worship verses Praise

Posted in Worship Thoughts on March 26, 2009 by Brian Jarvis

img_1992-2 So lately, I’ve felt like I have made tremendous strides forward as a worship leader, I don’t say this to sound proud, but just as to say that it’s nice to feel that I have been growing in my profession. I just feel that I’ve been communicating much better with the audience and leading them into the presence of God. Ultimately, I am nothing and God is to be given all the glory for what’s been taking place at Northwood Church. But along with growing as a musician and a worship leader, I have been really trying to stretch myself with not only the experience, but by learning from some outside sources.

Over the last little while.. I’ve been reading a book by Kathleen Chapman called “Teaching Kids Authentic Worship”, it’s truly one of the best books on worship I’ve ever read! I’m hung up on this one section of the book where she discusses the difference between worship and praise. Get ready for this!!!…..

“Much of what the church practices as worship is not even close to what God spells out in Scripture. How many of the songs we sing and call worship are all about us? Read the words to the onslaught of new choruses and see how many pay homage to God ALONE. It’s a chilling reality that most of our time before God is spent focused on us. Worship must point to Him alone. Praise is more about us and our response to what God has done for us. Worship is about God alone – all adoration, adulation, awe, devotion, homage, honor, reverence, and wonder for who God is and what He has done. Worship comes first. It is, by direct order from God, the most important thing a Christian is to do. God created worship for Himself alone. Included may be elements of praise, tribute, thankfulness for who He is. But first and foremost we should sing worship to God alone without even mentioning ourselves.”

When I read this, I felt so guilty! Now I truly believe that God cares more about the heart, and I don’t believe that Kathleen is saying that what we do isn’t worshiping God because a verse mentions “we cry out”, but I think its something to consider when picking songs as a worship leader. I personally am going to try to pick more songs that solely focus on God, without mentioning “we” or “I”. Maybe this is a good time to start writing some new songs!!!

Anyways… just wanted to share what’s been on my mind! Please let me know what you think!

The Northwood Student Ministry Band

Posted in Worship Thoughts on March 5, 2009 by Brian Jarvis

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So, I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, these people above are the awesome musicians I have the privilege to lead worship with. Five of them are volunteers and they come every week and commit there time and talents to lead 150 to 180 students every week in worship without ever asking for anything. They do it because they love worship and they love students. Like I said, they are amazing people and musicians and I couldn’t do it without them! I wanted to share a few words about each of them… so I’ll go from left to right and top to bottom….

Austin – This is our bass player.. he also is the bass player for our side band Meet The Sky. We rag on Austin ALOT and he just keeps rolling with the punches. He is a great bass player and probably has some of the best stage presence I’ve seen! He has an enormous heart for ministry and students and I enjoy his energy on stage.

Jason – This is one of our electric guitar players. Jason’s been playing with us for about 5 months now, but as been playing at Northwood Church on and off for awhile. I really enjoy his attitude towards life and just the fun and goofy personality that he brings to the band. He’s an amazing painter and just an over all fun guy to be around.

Mikey – This is our lead guitarist and also my fellow employee at Northwood Church. He is the College ministry worship leader and our satellite campus worship leader on Sunday mornings. Mikey is an INCREDIBLE guitarist, worship leader, and one of my best friends. We hit it off immediately when I started playing at the church. Him and I share the same passion for worship and I truly feel privileged to  lead worship with him. I have learned a great deal from him from a guitar standpoint and a worship leading standpoint.

Ricky – This is our keyboard, electric guitar, and other acoustic player. He’s pretty much a triple threat! ha ha. He also leads worship for the youth when my voice is shot or whatever circumstance arise. Ricky is a great friend and musician and I enjoy every bit of the activities that we venture into. He is also the worship leader for Crosstown Community Church which is a church plant of Northwood Church where Austin and Jason play at as well. Luckily, he only has to lead on Sunday mornings, so we are able to use him for our services! He is an overall fun guy to be around!

Olivia – This is our main female vocalist. She is also the only high schooler that we use for the The Element. Olivia has an amazing heart for worship and for people. She is a middle school small group leader and has a huge impact on the girls in her group. It’s amazing to see and hear stories from the girls about how much they want to be like Olivia and how much of an influence she is in their lives. Olivia is attending Lee University next fall and it definitely is a huge hit to the team. But I know that God is going to grow and stretch her far beyond any thing she could imagine and that is really exciting to think about!! Besides, we’re praying that she listens to God’s Will and comes back after college. Ha Ha

Josh – This here is the best drummer in Charleston and I kid you not! Josh has been volunteering at Northwood for over ten years!!! Long before I was here and long before he was even a good drummer! ha ha He has such a  great attitude towards life and is so easy to work with. He only needs to hear a song once and he plays it perfectly! I love leading worship and playing in Meet The Sky with him. He is an awesome guy and is also a middle school small group leader. I really hope and pray that God keeps Josh in my life for a long time. I really see him and I playing together for a long time!

The rest of the musicians:

Brock – This is our highschool bass player. He plays for Shift (middle school environment) and The Avenue (high school environment). Brock has so much potential as a musician and It is really awesome to see him progress as a musician and a worship leader. He is a positive influence to the people around him and is always dependable. I have been so proud of him lately for the amount of devotion to learning his music and coming prepared. No matter how “stern” or “mean” I may get with him.. He keeps on keeping on and I know he knows I love em’!  I’m excited to see where God takes him musically or in his football career!

Jacoby – this is our high school lead guitarist. I see a little of myself in him when I watch him play guitar! ha ha. I am so proud and impressed about how far he’s come musically! He’s such a fun guy to be around and he is definitely one of the key worship leaders from the floor at The Element. Unfortunately he too is a senior and is going off to school so I’m really going to miss him and how he leads the students in expressing themselves in worship. He is vital part of the band!

Anna – last but certainly not least, this is our other high school female vocalist and acoustic playing. Anna has amazing stage presence and really is a great example of a worshipful heart. She has such a glow when she is on stage and he heart for worship and for life is contagious! I have really enjoyed having her in the band. She is also a senior and I look forward to seeing how God uses her in worship in the future.

I know this was a long post but I wanted to acknowledge the people who make what I do so great! Thank you guys and I love you all!

Me, God, and an ocean sunrise

Posted in Worship Thoughts on November 8, 2008 by Brian Jarvis

This morning i woke up at the extremely early hour of 5:30 and headed to the beach to spend some quality time with God and partake in some personal worship to Him. It’s funny, I lead worship ALMOST every day it seems, and I can’t honestly say that I remember the last time I had some one-on-one worship time! It was definitely refreshing and very much needed! I spent some time just praying and having a conversation with Him. I spend some time say sorry for some things and thanking Him for MANY things!

Another cool thing that happened was that for the first time in a long time I didn’t have my ipod playing ambient chill music in the background while I read. This was mainly due to the fact that I realized that by the time I had arrived at my select spot on the beach, I had left my headphones in the car! I think God wanted it that way. 😀

I say all this to throw some advice to those reading but to worship leaders in particular. We are always leading others in worship and having to focus on the music and all the other productional aspects of what we do, that its very easy to forget that we too need to have intimate times of worship with the Father. For those near a beach, i highly recommend getting up early and watching a sunrise over the ocean. It’s little things like that, that remind you how beautiful and artistic our Creator is! I mean after all, where do you think we get it from? 🙂 

I took these pics so you could see what I saw this morning while most of you were still sleeping 😉