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Ivy's Discussions

Any continuing education scholarships out there?

Started May 10, 2010 0 Replies

I'm hoping to go to the school in the fall for a Master in Worship Arts from Liberty's online division. But, like many out there, money is tight personally and for our church. Are there are…Continue

The Non-Expressive Congregation

Started this discussion. Last reply by jeremiah adams May 11, 2010. 38 Replies

I've been leading worship at my church since July (the same time the new minister came and modern worship made it's debut at the church). The church is old-fashioned, but one thing that really is…Continue


Ivy's Page

Profile Information

Home Church:
The Heights
Musical Gift(s):
vocalist, learning keyboard
About Me:
As our church began its transition to a more modern, more effective worship service, I joined the praise team and was soon asked to be worship leader. It's a new place for me, especially after I gave up music 10 years ago in a sad attempt to deal with the death of the man who raised me.

But God has been calling me back to music and paved the way for me to take part in the very important task of transition His church so it will grow. He's using this position to break down so many insecurities that have held me back for years. We have such a great Lord!
Favorite Music:
Rock, Punk, Ska
Favorite Bible Verses / Passages:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. -- Philippians 4:13

Pure Status Quo is a Myth -- a Church Changes

For the last few weeks, one phrase has echoed in my mind like a broken record begun only to haunt my thoughts. The phrase in itself is not really the problem, it’s the context it’s used in.

It’s a phrase I’ve heard from every person who has voiced their concerns about the small changes in the church service as we transition to a more modern, more effective style of worship. Only a handful of people have come to me to express their discomfort with the changes to the church service, but each and every one of them have said to me “You don’t understand, I was married in this church.”

I’m guessing the reasoning for choosing this phrase is to explain how long they’ve been there. I love that the church has a history, after all my husband was raised in this church, but it got me thinking about my own upbringing and the changes that have occurred to the settings of my own milestones.

I was born in a small country hospital staffed with a multitude of the sweetest Catholic nuns you could ever meet. It was about 45 minutes away from my hometown, but still the closest option for childbirth (other than your house of course). During my late teenage years, the hospital was consolidated with another hospital in the area and all labors and deliveries were moved to the partner hospital. Although I thought it was sad to not have the care of nuns anymore in the nursery, I was thrilled to learn about the improvements of services and upgrades to equipment made available by consolidating and moving all services to one location.

When I started high school, I was thrilled to get to the same building my mother and brother had told me so much about. But the stay was short-lived. During my sophomore year, the former mansion was sold and we moved to a new, state-of-the art facility outside of town. I was sad to leave the old high school, but the opportunities available to us at the new school were priceless.

I came up with dozens of examples in my own life when things have evolved to keep up with the needs of the surrounding area, but none of the memories or even experiences I still have today at those locations were affected in the slightest by any of the elements that have changed.

I guess I’ve never looked at changes for the purpose of improvement as a bad thing. I grew up knowing that change was an inevitable part of life. Without change, we would still be living in caves and rubbing sticks together to make fire. Before I continue, I know there are some of you reading this thinking this example is a little extreme. I know most of you have never lived in a cave, and it’s not fair to go that far back in time. You don’t care about anyone else changing, you just would rather not change yourself. This is actually a real conversation I’ve had before. The thing is that you change every day. You get a little older, hopefully a little smarter, and you develop a deeper character. Our outsides give in to time and what’s inside is shaped by every experience we have.

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Ivy's Blog

Tips for Leading Worship

Posted on March 3, 2010 at 4:29am 2 Comments

I'm still putting my house back together after last week's fire, but the light is glimmering at the end of the tunnel. We're home tonight, which means I have internet again!

No internet has been tough, but I have to admit it was kind of a nice break. Speedy and I spent a lot of quality time together without the distractions of the world wide web or the DVR. I even taught him how to mash potato and do the twist (and yes, sing the song).

I also had a lot of time to…


Comment Wall (9 comments)

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At 6:18pm on May 11, 2010, Andy Bartlomain said…
Hey Ivy, no I am not going to the Integrity worship conference this October. How's the education search going? Have you found any online schools? I'm not sure if this is something you would be interested in, but here are a couple of online resources (not schools) that could provide you with a ton of material and insights moving forward.

WorshipLeaderInsights.com - this site offers resourcing and coaching from the Pastor of Worship Arts in New York City, Jason Hatley. I think the Tele-Coaching program might be of interest to you. You can also find a lot of material on CDs.

TheSynergyBox.com - this is a Worship Arts Consulting business founded by Sandy Johnson (former programing director of Willow Creek). There seems to be a ton of material you can buy and download from here as well.

I hope this helps, and I hope all is well in life and ministry!
At 1:03am on March 20, 2010, Andy Bartlomain said…
Ivy, it just dawned on me where Weirton is...lol... just down rt.22 from Robinson. I was in Robinson a couple weeks ago with some guys from the worship band (we had a Guitar Center trip), and saw the Weirton signs. BTW, I had Chipotle for the first time...YUM! I know you had mentioned you and your husband, and me and my wife trying to hook up sometime in Robinson. I'm always up for meeting some new people, but right now my wife and I don't have much free time together. I work nights, she works every other weekend, and when we do have free weekends we are really starting to connect with people at our church (1700+ so you've got to be more intentional about making connections), all that to say... if we ever do get some free time to meet in Robinson I'll touch base with you. I hope everything is going well in life and with ministry. Be well.
At 3:37pm on March 3, 2010, Jennifer Bradshaw said…
Wow...no problem at all! I'm so glad everyone is okay!
At 5:51pm on February 24, 2010, Jennifer Bradshaw said…

I was so excited to read your post about directing the congregation. You and I sound like we are in very similar places - in life and in leading worship. Like you, I have no formal training and often feel as though I'm inventing as I go along. I seem to get it wrong (or at least it feels that way) at least as often as I get it right. I, too, feel God leading me toward getting some kind of formal training. I've looked at online programs and considered taking classes at a local university, but time and money are huge factors. (I have 4 young children!)

Our church is Lutheran and, like you, my husband grew up there. Our contemporary worship service has been around for 10 years or so and took the place of the traditional early morning service. Many people left because of this change. But just as many people stayed and became the backbone for the contemporary service. I've been leading for 6 or 7 years as a volunteer. The only paid staff at our church is the pastor, secretary, and Minister of Music. I find myself trying to learn about leading worship during my spare moments and, unfortunately, there aren't many of them.

And I couldn't agree more with your blog post about the need for the church to move forward. For Lutherans, celebrating the traditional liturgy is critical to their worship. Personally, it never appealed to me. I couldn't find God in that setting. I didn't grow up churched and the formality of the traditional service made me nervous and anxious and set up barriers between me and God. There are many people who have come through our doors and are non-Lutheran and appreciate the music and worship style of the contemporary service. I believe we can have a Lutheran praise and worship service. I just haven't figured it out, yet.

I hope we can bounce ideas of each other. Good luck finding your way. In my experience, God has always provided when there was a need. I can't wait to see where he leads us now!

At 1:20am on February 10, 2010, Andy Bartlomain said…
Sorry this comment is so long, but WTR wouldn't let me send you a message because you aren't my friend, but I saw your discussion in the Worship LEADER group and noted the part in your dialogue where you mentioned your desire for formal training. I don't know of any online schools, but there are many people here who are formally trained, so I hope you find a ton of great advice. Also, I would say, you do not necessarily have to attend a formal training program to learn. Get some books on leadership, take some music lessons, listen to podcasts, these are all things you can do right now from your home.

I'm sure you are a busy mom so audiobooks and podcasts from iTunes would be great for you! Download them to your computer, put them on your iPod, or burn them to a CD, and listen while you're driving to the store, working, cleaning up around the house, or whatever life has you doing. Here are some suggestions you can search for in the iTunes store...

- New Life Worship Podcast
- Worship Leader Insights (Jason Hatley)
- Worship Central Podcast
- Worship Team Training Podcast
- Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast
- Catalyst Podcast
- Practically Speaking
- Making Vision Stick by Andy Stanley
- 25 Ways to Win With People by John C. Maxwell
- Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell
- The Next Generation Leader by Andrew Stanley
At 10:52pm on February 9, 2010, Andy Bartlomain said…
I don't live in Elkins, I just have to drive there twice a week for work (from Pittsburgh). However, I would be more than willing to help in anyway I can. Let me just say that you are surrounded by thousands of people here at WTR who want to see you succeed, and who are willing to offer advice that will help you do that.
At 8:54pm on February 9, 2010, Andy Bartlomain said…
Ivy, thanks for joining the Worship LEADER group. I hope you find this group, it's members, and the discussions helpful. I see you live in WV. What part? I have to drive as far south, east as Elkins twice a week for work. Well, I hope everything is going great with your new worship leader position!
At 2:53pm on December 30, 2009, Rick Cogbill said…
Hi Ivy, thanks for the friend request...sorry I took so long to answer! How's the worship leading going for you? I love the fact that you embrace change; so many people fear it even though it's really just a part of everyday life.

May the Lord bless you in your ministry in 2010!
At 4:33pm on October 23, 2009, Junjie said…
Hi, Ivy!

Welcome to Worship the Rock! Hope to see you getting involved with the discussions here. And do check out the songs the others have uploaded, lots of great stuff! :)

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