Saturday, April 29, 2006

How to Criticize Your Worship Pastor

Certainly Worship Pastors should have an open door for receiving constructive criticism, but I wouldn’t suggest doing it in the form of voicemails. This is a voice mail left by someone who was concerned about some booty shaking on the platform. If you’ve been in music ministry for more than a few years you’ve probably gotten voicemails like this. I know I have.

Click here:

Not Another New Song!

How do we go about introducing new songs in our churches? How often should we? How soon does a song become familiar? Bob Kauflin has some interesting thoughts on the issue of introducing new songs. Below is a clip from the article… for the whole article click here.

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“Those who don't like to sing unfamiliar songs are often focusing on the wrong things. People who want to worship God are generally affected by lyrics that help us exalt the Savior with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It doesn't matter whether they know the song or not. Here at the Together for the Gospel Conference, I've had numerous conversations with guys who have been deeply affected by singing songs they had never heard before. In addition, most people can join in on a song after hearing it only once. So familiarity, while a factor to consider, isn’t the final determiner of what songs are best to sing.”

Friday, April 28, 2006

Really Wrigley

Here's the crew photo from our time at Wrigley last week. It was a good time for all.

I'm heading out to Des Moines in just a few minutes. The first wedding rehearsal is at 4 pm. Hope you all have a blessed weekend!

In the words of Tom Nesbitt, my Senior Pastor when I was in Ames, Iowa... remember that sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do it take a nap!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Going to the Wedding Chapel

One of the greatest privileges I have enjoyed over the last seven years at Parkview is the opportunity to officiate weddings. The beauty of not being the “Adult Ministry Pastor” is that most of those who request that I “marry” them have either served beside me in ministry or have been personal friends.

This weekend will be one of those special opportunities as our dear friend Steph will marry a Godly man Steve. They are both living in Dallas while he finishes his degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. Many of you may recognize Steph as a former UI student and ministry leader both in the 24-7 and High School ministry at Parkview. She met Steve as she was completing her Masters at DTS.

Since the wedding is in Des Moines, I will not be leading worship at Parkview. Thanks to Greg, the services will be in more than capable hands.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Go Cubs?

Sorry no post yesterday. A very busy day at the office that will lead up to a very busy weekend. Today I am going to see the Cubs play.... and I'm not even a baseball fan. Not to mention my brother is a die hard Sox fan. He may disown me.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Building Update

On Thursday the building committee met with BCDM, our project architect, to discuss the next step for schematic design. As you may be aware, the building campaign did not position us to build the new auditorium immediately. Despite this realty, we are working to position our self so that we will be in a prime position to, as easily as possible, add the auditorium at a later date (including possibly finishing construction of the rotunda, and finishing the phase one excavation and storm drainage work under the auditorium location). We are considering using the auditorium location for temporary parking to alleviate the immediate pressures that will be caused by the addition of future venues.

As the previous sentence eludes, the Worship Arts ministry is not going to sit on its hands regarding growth. As most churches around the nation, we are working to find ways to “grow without growing.” We are presently in the thick of developing next step strategies to make this happen (by God’s grace of course). I’ll be keeping you all posted as new developments happen! To God be the glory!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Serving It Up

Today was Parkview’s annual “Serve It Up” event. Every year the church comes together to serve our community through this event. A group of volunteers served in southeast Iowa City at “The Spot” (our IC Hope facility) doing landscaping, picking up trash, fixing and painting picnic tables, and repairing and cleaning within the facility. Another group met at the church and split off to build a picnic shelter at Forest View trailer park and help with tornado clean up at several homes in East Iowa City. There are several pictures below. You can see all the pictures by clicking here.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Letter to Wormwood

This has been posted in about every blog I read, but after reading it, I thought it would be worth throwing on my blog for those who only take the time to read mine. This was featured on Bob Kauflin's blog and is written by Ron Man. It is based off of C.S. Lewis's book "Screwtape Letters" which contains a collection of fictitious letters written from one demon to another. This entry gives us some interesting things to think about regarding corporate worship in todays culture.

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My dear Woodworm,

When human creatures first come into the world, they are notorious for their single-minded focus on their basic needs, and their effectiveness in making those needs known. They make it very clear to everyone around them that they want what they want, and they want it NOW, and they won’t rest until they get it. ---- Delightfully, many of them never seem to advance beyond this stage!

I tell you, we have certainly put that tendency to good use when it comes to their worship services. The “tyranny of taste”, I like to call it, or the “power of preference.” You see, when they first show up for worship, they may enjoy well enough mingling with others, usually chatting idly and mindlessly about things like the weather or last night’s sports scores. But the moment the service starts, “it’s every man for himself,” as they say. Any thought of community is quickly extinguished as each one prefers instead to see it as an opportunity for some “one-on-one” time with the Enemy.

This perspective causes them to evaluate everything which goes on in the service through their own individual grid. Each one comes with a whole set of personal standards, expectations, hopes, needs and desires— and they each see worship as a failure if their own agenda is not accomplished. And so we get a delightful cycle of frustration and disappointment and disillusionment which only serves to turn them even more in on themselves.

And of course, when everyone comes to the service with his or her own agenda, they are on a collision course with each other. What one likes, the other despises, and vice versa. It’s just marvelous to see that kind of dynamic! Rarely is any pleasure is taken in one another’s spiritual journey— and we’re often able to encourage rather a sort of competitive spirit which guarantees a total lack of community.

This whole area of worship has certainly been worth all of the attention and effort we have given it over the past several years. How like our Father in hell to so skillfully corrupt something so central as worship in the hearts and minds of the Enemy’s people! Would you believe it, we can so fill their minds with disapproving thoughts about the songs or the musicians or the decorations or the lighting, that sometimes they can go through an entire service with hardly a thought about the Enemy Himself! And even if they leave with a positive feeling, it’s often because of a satisfying personal experience which has stroked their ego but still largely left God out of the picture. How delicious it is that in all our work of seeking to distract them from a heavenly focus, one of our most effective tools should be the worship service itself!!

And so, my dear Woodworm, don’t fret yourself about all this attention being given to worship these days: the programs in their churches, the books, the seminars and conferences, the recordings and concerts, the sermon series-- this new fad just adds to their busy striving, and leaves them wonderfully ignorant that the worship they’re working so hard at, is to be found simply through a restful preoccupation with the Enemy Himself. As long as we keep them from learning that, we’ll be OK.

Stay the course, my dear nephew.

Affectionately yours,

Da Vinci Decoder

On Parkview's website you can download a pdf file that features a "Decoding the Da Vinci Code" article by Grant Osborne at Trinity Magazine. Check it out on our church homepage here.

Good Friday Photos Added

Hey All! I received word this week that 2,740 people attended our Easter services this last weekend. I believe this is an on site attendance record. Now, I am not a guy that feels we need to focus heavily on numbers, but I do think it is very exciting that this many people heard the good news of the gospel.

I just added a few pics from the Good Friday experience to my photo album site. If you have additional photos to add, please send them my way.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Prepared to Attack

As we approached Easter 06 there were numerous times I felt as though the enemy was lurking and ready to attack. Weather it is through discord and disunity, breaking equipment, or gossip and slander, there are times the devil can use circumstances and people in attempt to foil God’s plans. In Matthew 16 Jesus announced his death and suffering to his disciples. When hearing this Peter rebuked Jesus saying, “Never, Lord… this shall never happen to you.” At this point Jesus said in verse 23, “Get behind me, Satan!” Yes, God is sovereign, but he does warn us against our vulnerability to the attacks of the enemy.

Here are some ways that Satan and demons act out in the gospels:

Lying, John 8:44
Murdering, John 8:44
Tempting, Matthew 4:1
Sifting, Luke 22:31
Binding, causing disease, Luke 13:16
Snatching away the Word, Matthew 13:19
Enticing into moral and sexual impurity, Luke 4:33, 36
Causing mental disorders, Luke 8:26-35
Indwelling people and animals, Luke 8:2, Mark 5:8-14

One of the first ways we can be ready for the battle is to be aware of our enemy. Not to meditate or obsess about the enemy, but be aware. Mainstream evangelicals resist this reality to a fault, but we mustn’t fall into this area of naivety. Ephesians 6:10-12 reminds us “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

In closing, Pastor Jeff will be preaching a message on May 13th & 14th that is entitled “Jesus the Healer and Exorcist.” In this message he will address the lessons we can learn from how Jesus dealt with the Devil and demons. Also, in case you were wondering, the photo of the shark and kayaker is a true photo taken from a September 2005 article in "Africa Geographic".

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Bach Rocks!

In college one of my Theory professors used to always say that if Bach were alive today, he would be a jazz musician. Bach was a genius at harpsichord improvisations, and of course, most known for his brilliant compositions. Even more inspirational was Bach’s love for God.

“As one scholar put it, Bach the musician was indeed "a Christian who lived with the Bible." Besides being the baroque era's greatest organist and composer, and one of the most productive geniuses in the history of Western music, Bach was also a theologian who just happened to work with a keyboard.” (Christianity

If you’d like to read more about the life of Bach, "Christianity Today" has a concise article about his music and faith located here in their Christian History and Biography section.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Fashion And Following The Savior

Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters have been featuring a series on thier blog called "Fashion and Following the Savior." It looks like a good read for all the women out there. Especially as we head full steam into Spring. Just click the underlined title above to go to the site.

It's So Worth All the Work!

Thanks to all of you for helping make Easter 06 at Parkview one of the more enjoyable ministry experiences I have had in my seven years at Parkview. It has been a difficult last year with increased ministry demands and a lot of staffing changes. I suppose this reality makes it all the sweeter to experience everyone pulling together and giving their best to honor God in such an excellent way.

An “unchurched” friend, who attended one of the services with my wife Carrie, said that she really enjoyed the music. She commented that it was so much better than the music she experienced the few times she attended church as a child. Of course, because she is not a follower of Christ, she couldn’t “worship” Him as we do; however, our conversation with her confirmed to us that, in your spirit of worship and commitment to excellence, she saw something that was attractive to her... something that “redefined” for her what it is that church and God can mean in her life. She was also intrigued by the "Da Vinci" series and quoted several lines from the message during our meal. I am hopeful all of these realities will give her an easy next step in her spiritual journey.

Though I don’t know if she will return to Parkview in the near future, I do know that God may use continued prayers, the work of the Holy Spirit, and my family’s continuing investment in the relationship to water, cultivate, and possibly one day harvest the seed that was planted this Easter at Parkview.

It is this reality that makes it worth working so hard to skillfully and relevantly worship our God in spirit and truth. Thanks for helping make this happen with your commitment to God’s vision being fulfilled through the ministry of Parkview Church!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter 06 Pics

Here are some pictures from our recent Easter 06 services at Parkview. This is a small sampling of the 80+ pictures I’ve posted here on a photo-sharing site I am registered to use (click on “here” and it will link you to the photo site). Note that some of these photos were lifted off of the DVD, so they are not as crisp as a normal digital photo. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 15, 2006


I thought I would include one more entry regarding the recent tornados that hit this area. Click here to read the article that quotes Pastor Andy Kampman and several others, of the 45 college ministry volunteers, who hit the streets on Friday to help clean up from all the storm wreckage. I’ve also tacked on some more photos of the storm devastation.

Friday, April 14, 2006


This pic was just sent to me by my co-worker John Carlson. He took it from the deck of his house in Tiffin. It shows the two funnel clouds over Iowa City.



Last night I spent about 45 minutes with my family in our basement listening to the sirens roar almost continually in Tiffin. Outside of some quarter-sized hail, we were spared from most of the destruction of the storm. Unfortunately our downtown Iowa City area was not so fortunate. I pray that God will use this devastation to glorify himself both through the serving arm of the church helping those in need, as well as the identification people can have with suffering Christ experienced on the cross. Ultimately I pray that the hope of the resurrection would become real to many people through this time.

For more specifics you can check-out these links. I’ll warn you that the sites are presently swamped with web traffic.

Press Citizen
Iowa City Gazette

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Some updates...

1. The Visual Arts team showed up in force on Sunday night to install our Easter set. With a projector re-mount, we should have a very engaging visual presentation.

2. Julie and the crew preparing for our Good Friday experience have been working feaverishly. I think it is going to be a really engaging experience for all who attend. I really look forward to walking my children through and teaching them about the road to the cross.

3. Wow, we just had a great rehearsal tonight with the band and vocal team. John Carlson just said "I've never had a rehearsal go this smooth." This says a lot coming from him. Praise God!

4. Phil, Bill, Don, Greg, and John have all been working hard getting the technology running. Some video editing and programming still needs to be done, but everything is on track. Thankfully, our new digital Yamaha board came in and we've got about all 48 channels filled and sounding great. Just in the nick of time!!!

5. With a strong choir rehearsal tomorrow, it should make for an exciting weekend of Easter worship.

6. A mom and her son who we have gotten to know through my son’s class at school has agreed to meet Carrie and attend the Saturday evening worship service at 6:30 pm. This is a great answer to prayer. I am sure it will blow her socks off. I pray God would be made very big to her and others like her through our services.

7. Keep praying that God would use the Easter weekend to win many for Him! Do your part by inviting a friend to come!


Below is the "comprehensive" schedule for the rest of the week. Since this is comprehensive, please do not read this like it is your personal schedule. Use your individual schedule to monitor which events impact you. I will update this if any changes come up in the near future.



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Paper Tech: 9:30 am
Stage Set: Day
VTeam Rehearsal: 7:00-8:15 pm
Band / VTeam Rehearsal: 8:00-9:30 pm


Choir / VTeam Rehearsal: 6:15-8:00 pm

Prayer, Paper Tech (final review): 9:30 am
Stage Line Check: 10:15 am (approx)
Cue-To-Cue Rehearsal: 11:00 am (approx)
Good Friday Experience: 6:00-9:00 pm


Comprehensive Tech/Music Rehearsal: 3:00-4:45 pm
Service 1: 5:00 pm
Service 2: 6:30 pm
* Refreshments provided

Sound Check: 6:45-7:00 am
Service 3: 7:15 am (Atrium Overflow)
Service 4: 8:45 am (Atrium Overflow)
Service 5: 10:15 am (Atrium Overflow)
* Refreshments provided

Monday, April 10, 2006


Just to forewarn you all, my posts may be fewer, shorter, and less imaginative in general over the next several days. Easter is almost upon us and a rush to tie-up the last details is now on.

Quick announcement:

Every morning this week from 6:30-7:30 am, there will be organized prayer at the church. Our focus will be to pray that our unbelieving guests will come to know Jesus (and that all the details within the service will help us in this endeavor). A different pastor will be facilitating the prayer every day. Hope you can make at least one of the days this week.

All right... I've got to get back to work! Until next time!

Sunday, April 09, 2006



Thanks for your prayers for Dan’s father, Forest Van Oss. He was transferred from the University Hospital to the Hospital in Pella a few days ago. His brain is still at risk for bleeding, but doctors are hopeful that careful monitoring of his blood pressure will allow him to return to a reasonable state of life in the days ahead.


Dale is home and in recovery. Keep praying that her voice would recover from the damage caused by her hospitalization. Also, pray that her body would recover so she can get a much needed ankle replacement surgery that will allow her to enjoy life more fully.


I heard from Keri Boer yesterday. She says that Rob is continuing to make strides forward every day, but he is frustrated by his fatigue and slow to recover memory problems. They are still waiting to hear from the physicians about what the next step will be for treating his brain for any possible remaining cancer. I’ll close this update with a letter from Rob.

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Dear friends,

My language is improving each day, though yesterday I had more energy but today I was very tired all day. I need to nap twice a day – I’m not the same as I was before my brain surgery. I spent 11 days in the Duke hospital, but I don’t remember that many days; I only remember 5 days – it’s really scary. I’m unable to do as much as before the surgery; I need to focus on each day and not think of the future right now. I can’t teach at Montreat College right now, and will be on disability/leave for the rest of the semester.

I thank you all for your prayers. My life is completely different after the 70% removal of the brain tumor, and I have to kneel before Jesus to focus all of me when I have no idea what my life might be like now and the future. The tumor was tested as Grade II (weak/benign), and we have a appointment at Duke the first week of May for an MRI to see how the rest of the tumor is acting, and whether I need chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Jesus is amazing and continues to bless me. All I can do is lay before Him and dedicate my life to Him, because I can’t know what might life be as I continue to heal/recover.

May Jesus guide your life!
-Robert Boer

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Our Visual Arts ministry is displaying several art pieces in the Atrium Cafe' throughout the Easter season. The exhibit is titled "Brokeness" and will be on display for the next several weeks. Contributers include, Connie Berends, Jill Brown, Nancy Harney, Alice Swenka, Jim Heefner, and Ann McCaffrey-Elder. If you are an attender at Parkview, be sure to check these out in person in the Atrium Cafe'.