Sing Unto the Lord


Two days to go!
December 9, 2008, 6:40 pm
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Nite.EV Live is set to go online in two days time and I’m pretty excited.

I’m excited because I think that in Australia we have tons and tons of Christian CDs but few genuine Church CDs. What I mean by that is that Nite.EV Live is pretty different to many other albums in the Christian marketplace at the moment. While there are heaps of great studio albums that are polished and have heaps of great tunes, there are few that leave me feeling like they have come from an authentic expression of love and gratitude to God for Jesus.

Lots of technically savvy riffs and polished synth sections, but at times it can feel like there’s little heart.

When we first came up with the idea for Nite.Ev Live we wanted to buck that trend.

We wanted to record something that wasn’t a sweetened up studio version of our songs, but rather an authentic expression of who we are, what we live for, and some of the joy we have in singing together as a church to our Saviour and to each other.
In order to do that we decided to do something ‘live’ so that all of church could be part of the process and could own the recording as their own. There is something incredible about hearing 150 18-25 year olds belt out that Jesus is the King of the World or that he is the ‘Holy, Sovereign Lord who will reign forever. Particularly in a culture where most 18-25 yr olds think that they reign and that they are King.

We also decided that we would include everyone in each of our bands rather than a small ‘crack team’ because we wanted to reflect who we really were as a church rather than what the best of the best were.

There isn’t a group of people I love singing with more than Nite.EV and I think that if you listen to this album you will understand why.
It’s God honouring. It’s warm. It’s authentic and its ours. We would love to share it with you.
Download a copy from December 12th at www.niteev.com/live



I got ink done
November 28, 2008, 4:02 pm
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‘he asked for a thirteen but they drew a thirty-one…’

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iphone
October 30, 2008, 6:09 pm
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so… I got one. I wasn’t going to, and then vodafone called me and offered one to me on a deal ten dollars cheaper than I was already paying. Hard to resist. Any sweet bible software apps I should be aware of other than youversion?



Nitechurch live out VERY SOON
October 23, 2008, 8:54 am
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Nitechurch live is due out in less than two months. I put together this vid for Nite EV (the new name for nitechurch – don’t know what we are going to do with the cd name…)

For more info check out www.myspace.com/niteev



Passion Sydney 08
October 22, 2008, 8:51 am
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Had an awesome night last night. I actually learnt a stack about ministry. But, first… a few more humorous observations:

Chris Tomlin looks like what you would look like if Tony Abbott and Michael J fox had a baby

Chris’ drummer looks exactly like a friend of mine greg, so the whole time Chris played I was stoked because it felt like my mate was on stage.

All of that aside there was heaps to learn last night about ministry to Gen Y people. It mainly was in three different areas: Cause, Music and Preaching

Cause

Gen Y love causes. Look at Make Poverty History or the massive increase in TEAR support among uni age students as examples. We love causes that are tangible and right in front of us. Its difficult for us (generalising) to conceptualise the future so causes for the distant future are almost lost on us (Our church is having this issue now with helping Nitechurch understand the importance of giving to our building project) but we love giving to things that are instant and tangible… like building a well or buying a cow for a village in Africa.

Passion recognise this.

Lots of things last night were cause related. The way that we prayed for the city. The way that we gave to support another city. The way that we were excited by cities all over the world giving to one another. The way that we were encouraged as poor uni students to give what we could towards onemillioncan.com.

The cause of passion was clear. To spread Jesus fame and renown among uni students. Gen Y love cause and they can be captured by cause. I reckon we need to hone this and keep helping our Generation see the cause of making Jesus known.

Music

Dave Crowder is a Gen Y worship leader. His songs (generalising) have poetic, ambiguous phrases that are difficult to sing but easy to listen to, then he sings strong, anthemic choruses. I was talking to a guy who oversees a large Christian music festival and he was talking about how he was struggling to understand it but younger generation love having parts of songs being sung to them rather than with them. Increasingly Hillsong united and others are following the pattern of more popular styles with more complicated verses but with anthemic choruses. If you listen to your radio you’ll find the same.

While twenty years ago songs were good if you could sing along with them, now it doesn’t matter so much. If theres a good tag or line that we can sing, thats cool, but other than that a good song doesn’t have to have an easy melody or simple phrasing.

I’m still unsure whether this is a good, bad or cultural thing. The Bible tells us to sing to one another. There are also cases in the Old testament where people listen to others singing. Not sure…

But, a friend I was with said that if he had brought an unbelieving friend, Dave Crowder would have been the best part of the night. Maybe its a missional thing.

Preaching

In our circles I reckon preachers work hard at not allowing themselves to be emotionally vulnerable or expressive because they see the danger of emotional manipulation. I wonder though if for Gen Y, a preacher who conveys authentic personal attachment to what they are saying, carries more weight. I think our Generation appreciate people wearing their hearts on their sleeve. Not in a manipulative way, but in a genuine, authentic way. If Jesus really is your only hope do you convey it in your voice, in your body language, in your inflection as you preach it?

I wonder if thats why we love American preachers so much. There seems to be a bunch of them who can convey emotion and are obviously personally attached to what they are saying and are theologically grounded and preach biblical truth. We are used to good Bible teaching being dry in Australia (generalising) but we can see another way over the pacific. I’m obviously generalising on this point, but I found last night an encouragement to be more personal when I’m preaching because my generation appreciate testimony and authentic emotion. I think thats why we blog. We love people and so we want to love and hear how the word is shaping the one preaching to us. I think Louie Giglio is pretty good at doing that in an appropriate way.

They are just some of my thoughts from last night…. Did anyone else go and glean some other reflections?



Noisetrade and Passion
October 21, 2008, 9:38 am
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Hey all. Weekend at Bernies was off the hook.
Off to Passion tonight. should be fun.
While you are on the web… check out www.noisetrade.com
Its a site dedicated to independent musicians in the states. Its kind of Radiohead style in that you pay what you want for each album. There’s tons of good music on there including:
Derek Webb
Sandra McCracken
Sixpence none the Richer

I’m just downloading Derek Webb’s new album as we speak.



Coaster and Jesus
September 17, 2008, 11:29 am
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I wrote this for ccecnitechurch.com. It’s all about a new music festival starting this weekend on the coast. Its already sold out. I tried to win some tickets this morning from our local paper but was unlucky. Might drive past though and check the crowd.

Here’s the article:

Nitechurch is on about bringing Hope to the coast through Jesus. In particular we aim at young people living on the coast, of which there is a growing number. We want to help these people see that while the coast is a beautiful place to be, surf in, work in, study in, enjoy life – all of these things become empty without hope.
We are a culture who lives for sunshine and beer. We live for music and good times, but death and eternity make fools of us. Ultimately it is tragic if all we live for is empty promises. But this is the air we breathe. Somehow we want to show people the emptiness of the idols they are living for. They need to see that in the end they can’t satisfy. The only one who can bring hope and eternal significance and meaning is Jesus. He is the one who really died for the Young guys on the coast so that they could have life, real life. Hope can only be found in him.
As we take this message to the coast as a church we want to know the coast. We want to love the coast. We want to love the young people on the coast so that we can engage with them where they are at.
This year on September 20 the coast is hosting an event for young people that will possibly go on to be one of the biggest music events of the year. Just like ‘Splendour in the Grass’ is for Byron and ‘West Coast Blues and Roots’ is for Fremantle, ‘Coaster’ is set to be the defining music festival for the Central Coast.
Bands like Cog, The Living End, The Matches, Kisschasy, Something with Numbers, Blue King Brown plus heaps of other acts are going to be coming to Gosford Showground.
I think this is going to be huge for our culture on the Coast and it would be just like Christians to have nothing to do with it.
Imagine though if at Nitechurch we thought through ways that we could engage with the culture that we are part of. Imagine if we spent our time thinking about what the questions are that our culture is asking.
It would be mad to see a crew of Nitechurch at Coaster. Maybe in the future we can have more of a presence in events like this on the Coast. Maybe I’m just raving. But I don’t think so. I think we need to work hard at making sure we are enough in our culture so that we can engage with it.
If all we do is go to our work or uni for as little time as possible and then spend all our weekends with our Christian friends, how can we possibly move towards seeing more young people on the coast coming to know Jesus? I know that this is a huge challenge to me. I need to make sure that I get off my butt and start looking for ways to engage with the coast.
Pray for the coast and get amongst it so that you can know how to love it like Jesus does.