This week we will begin a week-long series looking inside the lives of those who write for this blog (including yours truly). All four of us will answer the same 15 questions and give a little insight to our ministries and personal lives to provide background of the contributors of this site.
1. Name – Rev. Dennis C. Cook
2. Family – I have a wife (of 11 years), and three kids (almost 9 year old daughter, 6 year old and 2 year old sons).
3. Years in ministry – 14.5 (ordained in 2008)
4. Names of Churches/ministries served during that time – Pond Run Baptist Church (1), Pleasant Memorial Baptist Church (1.5), The Crossmen Quartet (1), FBC Evansville (4.5), Stithton Baptist Church (2), and Hawesville Baptist Church(4.5).
5. List your current church responsibilities – I am the Minister of Music at Hawesville Baptist Church. I lead all aspects of musicand worship including: 2 worship services, adult choir, youth choir, handbells, praise band, and audio/visual needs. Moreover, I also coordinate our LifeGroups (which are small groups that are designed to assist with assimilation).
6. Favorite all-time choir anthem – This one is hard to pick…so I will go with my “go-to” anthem with my choir which is “Speak, O Lord” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, arranged through LifeWay by David Shipps (July 2007). Of the many, many, arrangements published of this song, I believe there is NONE more powerful. This songs is brilliant with just a solo voice and piano, but the arrangement adds a whole new context to the worship service.
7. Favorite modern worship song – This is a tough one, too…but, in my personal worship, the song speaking to me the most right now is a song from “Music Inspired By the Story” soundtrack called, “Who But You” about Abraham and Sarah. The cinematic score, powerful lyrics and vocalists make this an almost perfect song. It challenges me to see the world’s through God’s eyes and know His plan is much bigger than I could imagine and He will fulfill it.
8. Favorite traditional hymn – “Lord, Here Am I” by Fanny Crosby. This song is my personal testimony and I know it has changed my life.
9. Last music you purchased for yourself (CD or off of iTunes) – Not counting “The Muppets” soundtrack (because that was for the kids…cough, cough), the last music I purchased was the “Music Inspired by the Story” soundtrack and DVD. Other recent purchases are “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman and “Come to the Well” by Casting Crowns.
10. Last book (about worship/ministry) you’ve read. “Worship Matters” by Bob Kauflin.
11. Three people that have influenced your ministry in the last few years. So many have influenced my ministry (in good and bad ways) so I will share three folks that shape it on a daily basis: 1) My Pastor, Mark Williams. 2) Bob Kauflin (through his book) 3) The contributors of this blog (more than three, I know, but it’s my blog…so there).
12. List a ministry strength of yours – Planning/Organizing
13. List a ministry weakness – Delegating
14. Your “go-to” websites during the week for your ministries – I visit CCLI/SongSelect everyday…multiple times. Also, LifeWayWorship.com, and blogs like Chris from Canada, Worship Matters, and my twitter feed.
15. If you could go back and tell yourself one thing as you started ministry knowing what you know now, what would it be? Ministry leadership isn’t just you leading a minstry…it’s those in that ministry leading you as well. The most growth doesn’t come from you leading them, but just the opposite.