Building A Worship Team- Many Parts but One Body

WAtchOne thing that has always intrigued me as a worship leader is the ability for people from different backgrounds, personalities, music styles and life experiences to come together with multiple instruments and voices to form one song. When a worship team comes together to make music, it’s just another beautiful portrayal of what we read in Romans:

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5

In order for a group of people to function together, it takes one key ingredient: humility.  We have to let go of our own pride and natural tendency to be the “star of the show” or have something go the way we perceive it should go. Whether it’s a guitar part we really love that’s loud or a technical drum beat we love to play but is a little off time. Maybe it’s wanting a harmony part to stick out above the other voices and wanting to be heard by the people more than we want attribute glory to God. These are just a few examples. We all need to connect and work together. Look at this illustration:

The Human Body: The Bible uses the illustration of the human body a few times when describing how the church body functions. Our body is made up of many parts. They all having different functions but are all needed and created for a purpose none the less. Look at where your hand connects to your arm. Is there a big gap? Are there a bunch of parts sticking out from where it connects? No, and if there is, see a doctor. The transition from hand to arm is smooth. And the same could be said about every part of our body. This is how we should be as a band, as a team, and as a church. All different parts connected as one body with no gaps and all trusting and co-dependent on each other.

Here are two ways to get where Romans 12 is trying to lead us: The first is pray. Spend time with Jesus. Find a place to meditate on Him daily and ask God to give you ability to work as one body, one team. Ask God to bless us with humility and patience. I say patience because the second thing is to work on it. Practice is essential to becoming one as a team and the truth is we are human. In being human especially in the 21st century, we can have what we want when we want it. Want a song? Downloaded. Want a new pair of shoes? Bought online. Want some food? Drive-Thru. Have question? Google. And the list goes on. But building a worship team doesn’t work like that. it takes time. It takes prayer and patience.

May God bless you as we continue on this journey to live for Him.

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Why I Believe Pt.1- Intro To My Life

Leo

This is an intro to my life. Not too detailed, just to give you an idea of who I am and where I come from to give some credibility to this series.

Who I Am

My name is Leo Loughmiller. I am currently one of the Student Worship Pastors at First Baptist Dallas, Texas, a singer-songwriter for the Christian Rock band Bright City Lights, and a Starbucks Barista. I currently live in Dallas, Texas. I am a man who is not perfect by any standard. I have gone from someone who was totally lost in life to being found by Jesus Christ and given a life with purpose and hope.

Backstory

I was born in Jacksonville, Texas on December 7, 1987 to a recently married couple who decided to move to East Texas from the big city of Houston. My Dad a mechanic and my Mom stayed at home. I was pretty much raised my whole life in the small town of New Summerfield, Texas. Seriously, it was small town with a population of 998 people. It was there I graduated from High School in 2006. I have two younger brothers, Michael and Robert, one of which (Robert) passed away in 2007 in a plane crash. I also have an older sister, Paula, who lives in Arkansas.

From being an alley hand at a livestock auction in the country, to working in downtown Dallas amongst the skyscrapers, I have worked in many cultures. My life has taken me from the hot southern states to the beaches of Miami and to mountain skylines of the northwest. I have seen a lot. Contrary to the belief I have found with many people, I did not grow up as a Christian. I am a man who has been changed by the power of the Gospel in my life. I was 14 years old when I met the Lord for the first time at a church camp in Gary, Texas. A girl named Rebecca came up to me during an invitation service and told me “God loves you.” Even though from then on I knew that God loved me, I didn’t fully surrender to Him until after graduating High School at the age of 18 when I finally was baptized. From 14 to 18 I led a very sinful, contradictory, even hypocritical life compared to the one I knew I needed to live. I am not perfect. I’ll write about those experiences later.

The Call

At the age of 19 during my first semester at Jacksonville College, recently returning from my first ever mission trip, I surrendered to the ministry. Now, I felt the call prior to that, but my idea was always I don’t want to be that guy wearing a suit every Sunday morning preparing everyone for their afternoon nap. But God spoke to me and I heard Him say that my music will be a ministry and that ministry was more than beating on a pulpit, but going out to the people. From then I started playing guitar for a youth worship service at First Baptist in Jacksonville, Texas. That turned into me being the youth worship leader then becoming a student ministry intern. That eventually turned into me being trained in church planting and my eventual move to Washington state to church plant. From there, I moved to Dallas, Texas, released my first album, and began leading worship and working with youth at First Baptist Dallas where I currently am.

Why I Am Writing

I am writing a series of blogs that I will post to try and help you see why you and I can believe in a God, a creator of all we see and namely the God of the Bible. I used to be the biggest skeptic of the Bible and was on the brink of totally abandoning my faith all together a few times. But in this questioning I decided to truly search for the answers and in that I discovered you can actually believe in God and not throw your brain in the trash. The reason I want to share what I have found with you is so that you can live a life full of hope and joy, not in anxiety, knowing exactly who you are and why you exist. I don’t have all of the answers, but then again no one does. But there is substantial evidence to believe in the God of the Bible and His plan for our lives.

In the series of blogs to come, I will expand on my questions and doubts more, as well as my life experiences and explain what I have come up with to try and help you have a more solid belief in God and Jesus Christ.

The next Blog will be “Why I Believe: Pt. 2- Who We Are” and I hope you will read it! Here is a preview topic…. “Did you know that the #1 Google Search ever is Why Am I Here? It seems that you and I aren’t the only ones with this question.”

God Bless!

-Leo

 

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Over the Mountain

 

Favorite quiet place. Tri-Cities, WA

There are times in life when you just need to get alone, and spend sometime thinking and clearing your mind. A few days ago one evening I found myself sitting in my apartment and I had a lot on my mind. My mind felt cloudy as I was thinking about my life, careers, ministry, music, friends, family, the fact of not being able to find a job and trying my hardest to stay in Washington to help the church plant, and the fact that my car got towed from my apartment complex that morning for the second time in 4 months. Honestly, I was a little frustrated when I saw it gone and a crew of men repaving the spot where I had parked it, but then I snapped back into reality, at least I had a car to get towed. I am thankful for what I have, especially since others out there have way less. So, anyways, I was thinking about all of this stuff, feeling heavy shouldered when I realized it had been a while since I had gone outside, away from the commotion of the city, and spent time with the Lord. So I grabbed my jacket and my water bottle and headed for Badger Mountain. This is a mountain that overlooks the Tri-City area I currently live in. As I hiked to the top, I was just thinking about life and how this mountain always seems smaller than it is. The sun had already ducked down behind the mountain, and I could just the glow from the other side. When I finally reached the top, I could see the sunshine again. I sat down, and caught my breathe, and when I looked up, this picture is what I saw. Pulled out my camera phone, with no effects, and snapped this photo. Breath-takingly beautiful. Here comes the good part. While I was up there, I began to pray for clarity, and for I prayed for direction in my ministry, and began to just thank God for all He has done and rescued me from. I began to feel peace. And then, God started to reveal to me situations I had encountered on the climb, and how they applied to life. Here is what I got:

Just before the very top of the mountain, there is a flat gravel pad. I noticed when I got to that point, that there were quite a few people there. Now, I wasn’t moving that slow, but some people were running by me on the way up. All of these people would get to the pad and take a break, and turn around and run back, never going all of the way to the top. This is what I got:

– You never know what’s on the other side of the mountain, and you never will unless you make it to the top first. Sometimes we get tired, burnt out, or just forget about God’s promises on the other side of the mountains we face in life, and stop on the pad near the top, and turn around and head back down. But don’t give up. Break away from the norm and the mold, and keep pushing past until you are at the top whether there are a lot of people up there or it’s just you and God. As soon as you get to the top of your mountains, and as soon as I got to the top of mine, I saw one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. (picture) It was like God was saying “Don’t give up.” That no matter what, just like the Bible says, finish this race because there is something beautiful waiting on the other side. My entire adventure lasted about 2 1/2 hours before the sun slipped beyond the mountains in the distance. But when I went back down, even as it grew darker, I knew what was waiting on the other side.

Sometimes, you’ve got to get away. Don’t forget to spend that alone time with God, just you and Him.

 

 

NEW BLOG!

I am excited to finally get a blog going. I have been wanting to document the adventures that this life has taken me on for a long time, but being the procrastinator that I am, I never got to it, or until now I never got to it. At the young age of 23, I have had the opportunity to experience quite a bit that this world has going for it but there is still much more that I want. I hope to not only post what is going on in my up to speed, daily life, but flashback and write out some events that have taken place in the past.

Today I am in West Pasco, WA. My day started out with my roommate Will waking me up because he had a hit on an ad he placed on Craigslist, needing me to take him to Kennewick to meet a guy that would potentially be buying his broke down car. He didn’t. Spent a while today looking online at jobs in the area.

I also got a letter from my Compassion child Emmanuel, who lives in Tanzania. With the letter also came a booklet with pictures describing the area in which he lives. It broke my heart and was a sad reminder of why I sponsor a child. I hope to visit there someday and also have my band help in getting more children sponsored.

Talked to a few of my friends back home in Texas today. Being here in Washington almost feels like a dream sometimes. It’s crazy how you can wake up one morning, get on a plane, and in a few hours be in a completely different place over 2,000 miles away.