Bren McLean

Archive for August, 2012

VOYAGE – Alive

by on Aug.31, 2012, under Worship

Some good friends of mine have formed a new Christian songwriting partnership. VOYAGE is:

Luke Woodhouse – Keys

Greg Cooper – Guitar

Gavin Perkins

Their first release is an uplifting song called ‘Alive’, which is available now on iTunes:

‘Alive’ was produced by Dave Nicholas and includes session muso’s Dave Hanbury, Cedric Tang and Andrew Massey. Someone likes it, because it is soaring up the iTunes ‘Inspirational’ charts – ha.

Great job fella’s. Keep the Christ honouring songs coming!


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by on Aug.31, 2012, under Church Life, Personal

Work Life Balance signpost

Do you ‘work to live’, or ‘live to work’?

The Bible says in a number of instances that we ‘live to work’:

  1. Genesis 2:15 – God says WORK the ground
  2. Exodus 20:8-11 – The concept of the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. It means that we work on the other 6 days
  3. Proverbs 31:10-31 – a good wife works to provide for the family and so she is able to give to the poor
  4. Jesus and most of the disciples had a job

We are “blessed to be a blessing”. In other words, everything that we have is given by God’s grace and sovereignty. Christian’s are to be stewards of what is His and so called to be generous with our time, talents and treasures (money). There is enough resources (financial and natural) in the world, to care for everybody in the world.

How do we balance all of the responsibilities that we have?

The problem is we allow too many things into our life. Technology and tools that are aimed to make life easier, end up consuming more of our time (how much time do you spend on social media? Email?). It takes much wisdom and skill to ‘keep all of the balls in the air’. Pray that the Spirit would guide and inform you when it comes to such important decisions.

John Gray (Senior Minister at spch) encourages all staff to take time out to “smell the roses”. Here’s just a couple of things that can help us to make time to recharge:

  1. Daily time with God – bible reading, journaling, praying
  2. Protect your days off – do something that refuels you
  3. Good friends – spend time with close friends who energise you

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

What about a holiday?

Of course we should take holidays. It is biblical to take a break, or a sabbatical, but we should never really take too long from serving God and His people. This is an extension of the sabbath concept. We are to work hard, then rest so that we are re-energised for ministry.

What about retirement?

We will all retire one day, but again, Christian’s are called to remain engaged in the mission of their local church.

God rested (Genesis 2:2); Jesus rested (Mark 1:35-38); will you?


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by on Aug.28, 2012, under Worship

“God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.

He wants you to be just like Jesus. ”

Max Lucado quote

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by on Aug.27, 2012, under Church Life, Worship

Copyright is a minefield. There are numerous websites that offer to explain and assist people in the legalities of intellectual property, but I just want to suggest a few that relate directly to churches and religious organisations:

CCLI – Christian Copyright Licencing International

This organisation is global and offers local support to all the major continents. CCLI enables churches to navigate copyright easily and legally.

CCLI also offer fantastic resources for music leaders such as SONG SELECT and CCLITV.


The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) collects and distributes licence fees for the public performance and communication of our members’ musical works.

The Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) collects and distributes mechanical royalties for the reproduction of our members’ musical works.

Note – Other countries will have similar bodies that provide similar services to APRA/AMCOS

Ultimately, our intention as Christians is to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord. Our actions should be above approach. God sets a high standard for us and so we should do our utmost to honour Him by acting with honesty and integrity.

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.”

Leviticus 19:11

Let me share 2 practical examples:

1. Purchase or download music and movies. Piracy is wrong, even though “everyone does it”

2. Only show Youtube clips in public if you have the express permission of the copyright owners. Most videos have a song embedded illegally. For high quality visual resources, use suppliers such as Sermonspice and Worshiphousemedia

What do you think? Where do YOU go for creative resources?



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by on Aug.27, 2012, under Worship

Below is the spch setlist for 26 August 2012.


1. Truly Worthy (Trevor Hodge)

2. Praise Him (Hillsong)

3. Cornerstone (Hillsong)

Reading – Deut. 6:1-9; Eph. 6:4

4. In Him We Live (spch)


1. Go (Hillsong)

2. 10,000 Reasons (Matt Redman)

3. None But Jesus (Hillsong)

Reading – Deut. 15

4. God Of This City (Bluetree/Tomlin)

This is a weekly post, as part of the Sunday Setlists initiative:

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by on Aug.23, 2012, under Church Life


More songs have been written about love, than any other topic. The Beatles wrote “all you need is love”, but why are we so captivated by it?

Because it is a deep craving of the human heart and soul. We were made to love and to be loved. Genesis 1 says that we are made in God’s image. God is relational and He wants us to be in relationship with us. WOW!

What is the origin of love?

God IS love (1 John 4:8) and love is a primary characteristic of God. We experience the outworking of this love in many ways, but most significantly in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

The word ‘love’ is complicated in the bible though. This English word is used to translate atleast 6 words from the scriptures.

Hebrew (Old Testament):

  1. Ry’ah – best friend, soul mate (Songs 5:16)
  2. A’ha’vah – sacrificial love, desire to please other first (Songs 2:4-5)
  3. Dod – passionate, sexual, intimate (Songs 1:2, 8:14). When all three flames burn as one, marriage will deepen and the couple will enjoy what God intended

Greek (New Testament):

  1. Agape’ – true love
  2. Eros – passionate, sexual, intimate
  3. Philia – between friends
  4. Storge – natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring

Nowadays, the word love has been corrupted and is often confused with infatuation.

To keep us focused on truth,  let’s look at some classic references from God’s Word and pray that the Spirit will enlighten us:

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Finally, we are called to love (God, ourself and others) unconditionally, because He loved us first (1 John 4:19).

Will you?

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by on Aug.21, 2012, under Church Life


The Bible comprises of 66 books written by 40 people, over 2,000 years in 2 languages with various writing styles.  However, there is some very basic unity to the whole Bible. It is more than a collection of holy books and contains a single story of salvation:

“God’s people – in God’s place – under God’s rule”. (Graham Goldsworthy)

And here’s another way of summarising the scriptures:


Law (Pentateuch) – Genesis to Deuteronomy
History – Joshua to Esther
Poetry – Job to Songs
Prophets – Isaiah to Malachi

Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
History – Acts
Letters – Romans to Jude
Apocalypse – Revelation

I really like the video representation that Igniter Media have created. It’s a clever way to creatively reflect on the themes and stories of the bible:

While summaries such as these are helpful, nothing can replace the regular reading of God’s Word. The bible is inerrant, it is infallible, and it has the power to inform and transform the human soul.

The writer of Hebrews says in 4:12:

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

And the Apostle Paul writing in 2 Timothy 316-17:

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

There is no better way to know the Creator than to read His Word daily. Where do you look to find purpose and hope in this fallen world?

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by on Aug.20, 2012, under Worship

Below is the spch setlist for 19 August 2012.


1. Praise Him (Hillsong)

2. For We Are Yours (spch)

3. In Christ Alone (Getty)

4. Our God (Tomlin)

Reading – Galatians 6:1-10

5. Conquered It All (spch)


1. Forever & Always (spch)

2. One Thing Remains (Bethel)

3. Cornerstone (Hillsong)

Reading – Micah 6/Ezekiel 11

4. God Of Justice (Hughes)

This is a weekly post, as part of the Sunday Setlists initiative:

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by on Aug.18, 2012, under Production, Social Media, Worship

Church and ministry IS serious stuff, but sometimes we can take life too seriously. Why not let your hair down once in a while and find ways to have a laugh at yourself.

For example, I came across these ‘parody’ worship accounts (well, I hope they are fake!) on Twitter recently and found some of their posts absolutely hilarious:

Celeb Worship Leader – I’m a rockstar. And I was born for this

“My worst fear is when the next generation actually rises and takes my place. #worship”

“Intern just asked me if I had guitar tabs for a Creed song. Fired”

Celeb Worship Guitar –  I’m sure you know me; everyone does. And Jesus is cool as well

“So glad the Lord delivered me from my beginner stage. Saw some kids in youth band this week, and let’s just say I’m praying.” #WorstToneEver

Celeb Worship Bass – This is a parody account. If you dont enjoy my tweets, feel free to unfollow

“every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings” Lame quote. I like “every time you feel the bass, the devil gets punched in the face”

Celeb Worship Drummer – I make drums cool in church. Nothing says God rocks more than a snare, kick drum and 12 toms.

“It’s true the first drummer in the bible was a woman (Miriam). But then she was playing a tambourine by herself. We call them fruit loops now.”

Worship Sound Guy – What’s a dB anyway?

“How can you usher in the presence of the Lord with bad compression?”



There’s plenty of other ministries with mock accounts, but I hope that lightens your day and reminds you to have a good chuckle every now and then.

In terms of video, the guys at North Point Church produced this satire of a church service, titled ‘Sunday’s Coming‘.

It went viral and polarised people who debated whether it was humorous or inappropriate. I’ll let you be the judge…

I was also surprised to find out there are a lot of Christian comedians around! Well, why shouldn’t there be? Check out funny men such as Ken Davis and Tim Hawkins. You’ll find them on Youtube and all the usual online locations.

Again, it’s meant to be a parody. If you’re offended by people who make light of church and/or ministry, I respect that.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


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by on Aug.16, 2012, under Production, Worship


TEAM NIGHT is on tonight at spch. It occurs about every 8 week’s and is a chance for ALL of the volunteers from the Music & Productions Teams to come together.

Every Sunday people generously serve as singers and musicians, and in areas such as sound, lights, data, video and staging. This is only a fraction of the areas of ministry at church, and I’m not saying it is the most important. But it’s a vast team of talented creatives, who benefit from the opportunity to mix and meet up with fellow team members.

There are also 4 service’s across the day and it is not often that you get to meet and share with your peers.

So, what happens at TEAM NIGHT?

1. Fellowship – creating a sense of unity and bonding. Good coffee and supper!

2. Corporate Worship – the sound of people singing exuberantly to the Lord is a taste of heaven

3. Vision Casting – where are we headed and why

4. Encouragement – building up members of the body

5. Training – equipping members of the body

6. Share – giving some an opportunity to share what’s happening in their life or area of ministry

Do your teams meet up at all? If so, how often? What does it look like?

If not, plan times for the team to get together, to be supported as vital members of God’s family.

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