Are You Running On Autopilot These Days?

Are you running on autopilot these days?

You know the feeling: distracted, absent-minded, forgetful, foggy, disengaged, disconnected.

It's easy to slip into this way of living without even realizing it, especially during months like December (can't imagine why!).

But what does running on autopilot really do for us? And how can we switch back into manual mode?

Shauna Niequist, in her book, Present Over Perfect, describes the soul as our connection point - to God, to life, and to the world around us. It’s with our souls that we really feel, that we love, that we ache, and that we feel God’s presence the most.

But, like anything, if we don’t pay attention to what our souls need and crave, we slowly lose that sense of connection. We start doing things for the sake of doing them, uninspired, distracted, and numb on the inside.

We start running on autopilot.

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How to Write Your Own Children's Choir Curriculum

For some people, the word “curriculum” may denote academic rigor, standardized tests, detailed lesson plans, and lack of freedom and flexibility. Do we really need this level of planning and detail in our church choirs?

To a certain extent, yes. Here’s why: 

Curriculum can be defined a few different ways. My favorite definition is that curriculum is “the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process” (Kelly, 2009). 

Think of curriculum like a guide: a plan to help you do your best teaching and help promote meaningful learning experiences. Like I tell my students and clients, a curriculum is your basic framework for all the teaching and learning you hope will take place in your choir this year.

As a children’s choir director or leader, you wear many hats. You’re a mentor, a Christian example, a spiritual guide, a teacher, and a music educator. It’s important to be just as intentional with the overall plans and goals for your choir year as you are with your week-to-week interactions with your choir members.

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7 Things I Didn't Learn in Music School

8 a.m. theory classes, 1-credit ensembles, concerts, performances, listening exams, and 10 p.m. practice sessions.

Ah, music school.

I’ve spent my fair share of time in music school: from my undergraduate degree in Piano and Organ Performance to a Master’s and Ph.D. in Music Education, I think it all adds up to 10 years (but who’s really counting?).

And yet, despite all that schooling (and all those recitals and term papers), there were still many things I didn’t know when I started building my career; things I had to figure out on my own and learn with time and practical experience.

Life’s like that, though, isn’t it? No matter how much you try to prepare for something, there are some things that you just have to experience in order to learn. You have to go through the process of trial and error and learning how to figure things out on your own. You have to learn how to be your own teacher, your own boss, your own advocate.

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3 Small Ways to Create Better Flow in Worship

What does it mean to have good flow in worship?

For me, flow means:

  • continuity
  • cohesion
  • an uninterrupted experience
  • continuous movement in one direction without bouncing around, pausing, or redirecting partway through

In contrast, a worship experience without flow may feel:

  • disjointed or mismatched
  • inconsistent
  • confusing or disconnected
  • distracting
  • awkward
  • thrown together

The point is not to expect our Sunday services to be like a professional theatre production each week, but to do our best to create an experience that doesn’t detract or take away from God as the sole focus.

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2017 Reader Survey Results [Infographic]

Last month, I put together my first reader survey and I'm honored that so many of you took the time to respond and give feedback!

More than anything, I want to create content that's helpful to you, so I asked you to tell me more about yourself and the work you do and to share your greatest rewards and biggest challenges.

I also asked for your thoughts and ideas for the future: What would you like to read about? What would help you in your ministry or teaching? How can I serve you better?

I loved reading your responses, hearing your ideas, and gaining insight into the work you do. And I was so encouraged by your kind and thoughtful comments at the end - thank you!

I thought it might be fun to share the results of the survey with you today (in infographic form). Enjoy!

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