For years, I’ve made a personal policy to not watch any TV shows or movies that contain graphic sex or nudity. Because of this choice to be pure in my thought life, I have missed out on some good shows! Has it been worth it? Of course it has. But wouldn’t it be nice to eat fresh donuts that have the nutrition contents of fresh broccoli? Well now, that is possible! No, not the donuts unfortunately, but follow the concept.
Like many, I am still staggering from the fact that the President of the United States blamed “both sides” of the recent Charlottesville white supremacy rally and subsequent attack without openly condemning the white nationalists, let alone doing anything about their actions.
Newsweek just ran an article that “White Nationalism is Now ‘State-Sanctioned’ Under Donald Trump, Experts Say,” which included this video: Continue Reading…
I did a sermon last Sunday (at bottom) that looked at how to apply the many biblical texts about oppression and injustice to a 2017 American context. At Crossroads, we are making intentional steps to become a multi-ethnic church. I’ve been immersed in the multi-ethnic and racial reconciliation conversation since 2008 (when I first read Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith). Many think there aren’t more multi-ethnic churches because of worship style, preaching style, cultural differences, and the general human inclination to clump with people who are like us. In my observation, these are not the real reasons. The primary reason there are not more multi-ethnic churches is because white Christians can’t typically be trusted with the experiences of people of color. What I mean is, church is community. The evangelical church is humorously known for overusing cliche words like “authentic” and “real” and their many synonyms. This is what community is supposed to be. But when a person of color shares their authentic and real experience–the daily racial micro-aggressions they endure, the history of our nation that created the disadvantages they face daily and have to strain to overcome, and so much more–white brothers and sisters in Christ either have no category for these things and are just confused, or at worst, deny these experiences and disadvantages all together. If you can’t be real and authentic about your life experience in your Christian community, then you aren’t going to stay in that community.
Historically, the reason we have black denominations, seminaries, and churches is because the white churches and organizations did not let black people in…so they had to go and start their own. And what we have today is the recent-byproduct. Continue Reading…
You can listen to Noah Filipiak’s “Behind the Curtain” Podcast interview with Rory Noland on the Podbean Player below or you can subscribe to all “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast episodes on iTunes. (Podcast listening tip: use the podcasts app on your smartphone and listen while driving, doing chores, or working out)
Noah Filipiak interviews longtime worship leader Rory Noland about key ways worship music leaders need to care for their souls in order to keep their motives and priorities straight. They talk about the importance of lyrics, the problem of celebrityism, and the impact the Transforming Center has had on them.
Rory Noland is the director of Heart of the Artist Ministries. He leads retreats for artists, speaks at workshops and conferences, mentors worship leaders, and consults with churches in the areas of worship and the arts. Rory currently leads worship for the Transforming Center and is Head of the Worship Department at Nebraska Christian College where he teaches courses in worship and spiritual formation for artists.
Rory previously served as the music director at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, for twenty years and most recently as Pastor of Worship for Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
Connect with Rory on Twitter @rorynoland
Rory’s books (Zondervan) :
- The Heart of the Artist: A Character-Building Guide For You and Your Ministry Team
- Thriving as an Artist in the Church: Hope and Help for You and Your Ministry Team
- The Worshiping Artist: Equipping You and Your Ministry Team to Lead Others in Worship
- Worship on Earth as It Is in Heaven: Exploring Worship as a Spiritual Discipline
Video Trailer for Worship on Earth as it is in Heaven: Exploring Worship as a Spiritual Discipline:
My latest article is up on the Covenant Eyes blog: When it Feels Like You’ve Been Irreparably Damaged by Porn