BOB MARLEY / WORSHIP LEADER

Today, in 1981, Bob Marley died after a very successful & significant career.
Bob effectively introduced reggae to the world. 
Bob was also a devout rastafarian... and Bob - in the context of rastafarianism was a worship leader.

I believe in the virgin birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, & ascension of Jesus Christ. I'm a christian. I believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth, & the Life. In effort to understand Bob a bit more, I googled 'rastafarian definition' & this was the result:

adjective // of or relating to a religious movement of Jamaican origin holding that blacks are the chosen people, that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was the Messiah, and that black people will eventually return to their Africa.

noun // a member of the Rastafarian religious movement. Rastafarians have distinctive codes of behavior and dress, including the wearing of dreadlocks, the smoking of cannabis, the rejection of Western medicine, and adherence to a diet that excludes pork, shellfish, and milk.

Yep - not me... not even close.
But I believe every worship leader can & should learn a thing or two from Bob Marley.

5 UNDENIABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GREAT WORSHIP LEADER

1: HE WAS CONVICTED
Man, he believed. I've watched many interviews & performances. Let me tell you: NO ONE in Bob's camp doubted his conviction. He believed in rastafarianism. He lived it. He breathed it. He owned it. In our world, we say "Your private worship must precede your public worship." And this definitely was the case for Bob. You can't watch Bob sing a song like "Get Up Stand Up" and think that he isn't bought in. As worship leaders, we must be sold out to the core. We must be convicted. It can't just be a Sunday thing. It's a life thing.

2: HE IMPROVISED
Depending on how the audience was responding to the music & the message, he would improvise. He desperately wanted everyone connected, jammin, dancin, & singin. I can relate to that. I'm convicted & I want this crowd of people to feel the conviction too. If Bob thought they needed to sing that part again, or build it up, or take it down, or he needed to say something (yell / scream it out) in the moment to get the people going, he would definitely take the moment by the horns. There are interviews of his band members telling stories about Bob breaking into verses that he was writing on the spot. Man - I like that. And in our case as christians - with The Holy Spirit - anything is possible. Improvise. What do the people need? What does the moment need?
What is the Spirit doing?

3: HE WAS CONFIDENT
If you see old footage of Bob in a concert setting, it's obvious he knew what he was doing. He had that bold & confident vibe that tells us "Yeah. I was born for this." It drives me nuts when I see a worship leader get up in front of a room of people and NOT own it. Well Josh... be careful. We need to walk in humility... right? OF COURSE. And that is the balance that I so desperately want worship leaders to find. Humble - because of what God has done in our lives... and Confident - because of what God has done in our lives. 

4: HE WAS ABOUT THE MOVEMENT
Above all, he knew WHY he was singing. Around here, we call that the 'Overarching Why'. Bob was all about promoting his agenda: rastafarianism & love. He had a purpose that was so closely attached to the music, that he couldn't separate the two. We as worship leaders in the modern day church are here to promote an agenda as well: Love God, Love People, Make Disciples. We at Highpoint believe in & pray for revival & spiritual awakening in the teens & twenties. We believe that there are going to be songs - many songs - attached to this movement. The people of God have always sung and alway will sing. What is our movement?
'Your Kingdom come - Your Will be done.'

5: HIS ENERGY WAS CONTAGIOUS
If you claim to be a worship leader, but no one is following your lead, you're just a song singer - or at best just a worshipper. You need followers. If you claim to be a worship leader, then we better see the fruit of your leadership. We better see the fruit of your energy & your presence. Now Josh... I just like it when my worship leader just sorta fades into the background & let's Jesus be front & center... Yeah. Yeah. Me too. But see... the unfortunate problem is that Jesus isn't quite on the tip of everyone's tongues, is he? He isn't quite consuming the attention of everyone's minds, is he? He isn't quite the utmost affection overflowing out of everyone's hearts, is he? That's where we as worship leaders come in. We show them what it means to be in love and stand in awe of our Lord & Savior. Sometimes... just sometimes... it takes seeing someone unapologetically passionate about something before we can really understand what it means to be unapologetically passionate about anything. As worship leaders, we are disciple makers. We share with the world what it means to be loved by The King - & in return - love The King.


Posted by Josh Maze at Wednesday, May 11, 2016 | 3 comments

NEW PRE-ROLL

This is our 5th official Pre-Roll for Highpoint Church.
This video plays 4 minutes before every service.

It gets people out of their chairs, inspired, clapping, excited, & ready to worship.
Check it out!


Posted by Josh Maze at Tuesday, April 19, 2016 | 10 comments

GOOD FRIDAY 2016

It's all happening.

Be there.

Posted by Josh Maze at Tuesday, March 8, 2016 | 10 comments

LIFE CHOICES

I was an unplanned pregnancy. Though my scared, 19-year old mom never considered an abortion; she still needed support, help, and most of all - unconditional love. This drives everything I do at my job. 


I constantly think about Life Choices being a place that I wish my mother could have visited. The young girl or the woman who is in the midst of a crisis pregnancy, no matter the circumstance, is always on my mind. God has given me such a deep love for her. It does not matter to me how she got there or her life circumstance. All I can see is Christ’s love for her as his daughter, and also his love for her child. I do not think that any child is a mistake... Praise God my mom didn’t see me as a mistake. Praise God my dad didn’t see me as a mistake and push my mother towards as abortion. Praise God my mother’s parents didn’t see me as a mistake and threaten her to have an abortion. 

Sadly this story is not common for many women in our community. The baby is viewed as a problem or an inconvenience and either the mom has decided on termination or those around her have forced her to consider it. I love fighting for justice and for equality, and every day I am so very honored that God has clearly called me to fight for LIFE… what is more important?! 

Fast forward 30 years… my mom is my best friend. Our relationship is very special. She was even my Matron of Honor in my wedding. I have had the privilege of hearing her counsel young girls who were in an unplanned pregnancy. I love when she tells them to look at me and look at our relationship. She encourages them to think beyond their present reality, which is scary and uncertain. She encourages them to think long term and have Kingdom perspective.  They begin to think about the future and think about that baby being in their life, and the relationship they will have. It is beautiful. Life is beautiful. 

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10

- Stacie Maze

My wife, Stacie is the Director of Ministry Relations at Life Choices Memphis.
I couldn't be more proud of her, or the work she is doing in our city.
For more information, check out lcfriends.org & lifechoicesmemphis.org

Posted by Josh Maze at Friday, February 12, 2016 | 18 comments

NO LONGER SLAVES

There's so much I could say about this moment.
There's no way to capture it all on here.

The 187 salvations, the team, Clayton King, Will Tucker, our culture, the worship, the baptisms, the Brown Missionary Baptist Church choir, the vibes, the electricity, this 'touching Heaven' moment...

But I'll let the video speak for itself:


Posted by Josh Maze at Monday, September 28, 2015 | 31 comments

JIMMY FALLON

5 REASONS JIMMY FALLON IS ONE OF THE BEST WORSHIP LEADERS IN THE WORLD

No matter the guest, they're the "absolute best" on the "absolute best" TV show or film. Isn't it amazing that every. single. night... Jimmy's "favorite" person is on the show... and we believe him? I believe him. I follow him. All the way to the desk where he is absolutely enthralled by the special guest. Completely engaged. As a matter of fact, he's so engaged - I'm engaged. I'm engaged through him. All the sudden I find myself interested in the guest / the subject / the conversation. Through Jimmy's excitement & passion, I find myself involved. I never knew that I could become such a fan of some random C-list celebrity... but seeing Jimmy as such a fanatic about this person, here I am. Participating.

Here are 5 things every worship leader in the world should learn from Jimmy Fallon.

1. He's always smiling.
This may be the most important and underrated aspect of Jimmy's career. He smiles. A lot. Like... constantly. And that's really good because, he's in our living rooms and our bedrooms. And we want happy / positive people in our home. Smiles break down barriers. Smiles invite you in. Every worship leader who doesn't smile while singing about Love... Grace... Hope... Jesus... is completely missing the mark. If you're not smiling, you're not winning. If you're not smiling, you probably don't look friendly. You might even be coming across too serious, overly spiritual, or arrogant. Let's avoid that at all cost.

2. He's got great energy.
It's rarely hype. It's always excitement. He loves what he does, and it's obvious. But check this out... Jimmy Fallon has bad days too. He's a human being. But you may never know it. We don't see it. He presses through and does his job... making us feel at home. People need a confident leader to bring the energy to the room. Energy is contagious. Bad / low energy is contagious. Great / high energy is contagious. Be yourself, yes. Be vulnerable, of course. But get excited about what you're doing!

3. He's humble.
I've heard a ton of different people make comments about Jimmy. "He's awesome... He's the best... I love him... I have a crush on him... He's literally perfect..." (And those are just from my wife... ;) But I have never heard anyone say anything about his ego, his pride, or his arrogance. Yet - he's one of the biggest stars in the world. He's self-deprecating. He knows his strengths - He knows his weaknesses. He doesn't take himself too seriously. He's quick to laugh at himself. That's endearing. I like being around people like that, don't you? With his ratings up 27% in the households & up 40% in the 18-49 demographic. Yes. You do. We do.

4. He's prepared.
Monologues, singing, dancing, bits, sketches, dialogues, interviews... he does it all. And he's ready. We think we have something to get ready for on Sundays? Once a week? Imagine having to be fresh, funny, smart, & interesting 5 nights a week. He nails it. And yes, he's got a great team around him that help him prep. What can we learn from this as worship leaders? What can we take away? Very little excellence happens in life without proper preparation and planning. Let's do our part to prepare, and let God do what only He can do.

5. He's relevant.
'Relevant' isn't my favorite word ever. But let's remind ourselves... It's a real word:

Relevant
 adjective rel·e·vant \ˈre-lə-vənt\ relating to a subject in an appropriate way

If I tried doing what we do at Highpoint at the big Episcopal church down the street, it wouldn't work. I'd be dead in the water. You have to speak the language of the people you are speaking to. You have to relate. You have to know who is in the room and have an idea of where they are coming from. Jimmy's show is so relevant, it's ridiculous. The monologues are literally centered around the day's news, the day's gossip, and even the day's tragedy. The interviews are centered around the film or TV show that just premiered or is about to premier. Why do so many churches miss this? We at Highpoint have decided to teach timeless truths in a timely way.
That's a Non-negotiable. 

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So, all in all, while Jimmy is leading us in the worship of the people he adores - like Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Tom Cruise, Justin Timberlake, or Brad Pitt, we still have a lot to learn. And if we are leading people in the worship of JESUS, how much more then should we be smiling, energetic, humbled, prepared, & relevant? Jimmy, if you're out there, I for one, am inspired to be a better worship leader. Thank you.

Posted by Josh Maze at Tuesday, March 17, 2015 | 148 comments