A new year is upon us, and we often think of making resolutions–to do something better this year than in previous years. For some, it is a matter of getting in shape and losing weight. For others, it might be to spend more time with your family.

Today, I would like to propose just three resolutions that I would encourage you to make. These three resolutions can transform the times of worship in your church with God’s help.

The first resolution has to do with times of personal worship. In general, worship leaders (and other church staff) spend way too little time in prayer, Bible study, and other types of personal worship. I firmly believe that we cannot lead people to a place we have not been ourselves. I encourage you to resolve to set aside some time every day for personal worship time–just you and God. Spend time in His Word, talk with Him, sing to Him, play for Him, enjoy Him. To help us all get our minds fixed on Him and to more thoroughly see what He says about worship, I invite you to join me in working through the devotional/study book, Seven Words of Worship by Mike Harland and Stan Moser. Lifeway Worship has offered us a tremendous deal to help with this project: call LifeWay Worship at 800-436-3869 with the promo code KENNY and their phone reps will get you Seven Words of Worship for $9.99, free shipping, and a promo code good for seven free downloads (per order) at LifeWayWorship.com.

To give everyone time to acquire their books, we will begin the study on the week of January 23. Feel free to start earlier or later. Consider taking your entire praise team or choir through the study at the same time! This January 23 start date will give you time to get the book and promote it among your worship teams. As we work through the book together, I will post thoughts and quotes through Twitter and Facebook and may use a blog post to prompt discussion. It would be really awesome to have many NC worship leaders working together through this study! Please email me if you are participating. Here is a promo video for the study:

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The second resolution I would encourage is that you do all you can this year to make sure the times of corporate worship are producing participative worshippers, not spectators. If you have not been following this blog for the last several weeks, click on this link for posts related to this topic. Take time to sit down with your team and evaluate each service in light of these posts and other, similar criteria.

The third resolution is to stay fresh. None of us has arrived. I would encourage you to take part in the Minister of Music Retooling Retreat or one of the five Worship Leader Boot Camps offered in the next weeks and months across North Carolina. The time invested can pay great dividends for your worship teams and your church’s times of corporate worship. If you are not able to attend one of these events, look for other ways to improve–attend conferences, read books, acquire training DVDs, listen to teaching on worship, etc. In future blog posts this year, I hope to point you to a variety of resources to help you in your journey.

In summary, (1) join me for the 8-week study, Seven Words of Worship as you work toward spending quality time with God each day, (2) strive to steer your times of corporate worship to be times of heart-felt, participatory worship, and (3) attend one of our worship leader training events (or other self-improvement opportunity). I pray that God will greatly use these disciplines to grow each of us to be worship leaders that chase after God’s heart and lead others to do so.

I invite your comments.