Sunday, February 24, 2008


For those who didn't know, you can keep up to date on Kim Gentes blogs and such at :

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blog location

For those who couldn't find it, this blog has moved to :

All new posts and conversation are now online at that location..


Thursday, August 02, 2007

New Site


after a little time, we have finally updated our home site to now include all our content, including this blog. Heretofor, the ThinkJump Journal (this blog) and other such content by Kim can be found at :

All activities formerly on this blog will now move there (the blog section of the site is called the "ThinkJump Journal").


Saturday, July 21, 2007

New Direction

For several years now I have felt the Lord speaking to me about planting a new church. Over the years you realize more and more what kind of things God has put on your heart and what are more just "extra fluff" that isn't really what God has called you to. For me, finding out God's callings is as much about learning what He doesn't want you doing as what He does.

The story starts off in 1997. Late in 1997 I felt God speak to me that I was supposed to quit my job and pursue Him in the area of worship. Being a software engineer at the time, I had been working almost 10 years for a large company and had enjoyed being in fast growing career. We had just had our third son, Cody that year, and there was lots of growing responsibility for myself and Carol (my wife). Towards the end of '97 I had a dream that seemed to indicate a new direction was coming. I felt like God said he was going to converge many of the areas of my life into a more focused direction. Over the year from 1993 through 1997 I had a growing interest and involvement with the Internet. Back in 1994, I helped start a email discussion group called the Worship List, which helped worship leaders and musicians to communicate and support each other. That developed into a website called the Worship Resource Center and later more online resources (

By 1997 I was seen as somewhat of an expert on the Internet in regards to worship and the online community. During 1997 I consulted with EMI CMG to help them market an online presence for a new worship band they were helping get exposure in the US. The band was Delirious. I helped do online marketing for their website . From that relationship, I later (1998) served as a consultant to help EMI launch the website , an online resource for their entire new modern worship label.

In late 1997 I felt the Lord say that I was to start a new online presence, called to use both my worship leading gifting and my software consulting and engineering skills as a combined skill set for helping resource the church. The first part of 1998, my company I worked for was going through a set of layoffs to reduce engineering staff in some areas. Though I was protected from the layoffs as part of a critical group of engineers in my company, felt the Lord prompt me to quit my job and use the opportunity to jump out and follow what He was asking me to do. So I resigned, took out my 401k and pooled all our money with my brother (Lockley) into a small fund that would be the basis of our new venture. We began in March 1998. I spent about 6 weeks getting it up and running and it launched in April. Over the next several months the growth was slow, but sure. As our money ran dry, my wife was amazingly supportive, not worrying and upset.

After a few months it was clear that the company would be slower than we hoped at getting off the ground, at least it wouldn't be able to support me and my family quickly. So I began to look for work as a software consultant. I quickly found a contract. I worked for a few months helping to develop a database program for the Mac called Helix. But the job was short-lived, and I was looking for another contract by October.

During my search for that next set of work, in 1998, I met a man named Jean-Paul Parenteau during a job interview I was doing. JP (as he is called) was interviewing me. I found out that he was a Christian, and we immediately struck up a friendship. I also found out that he went to a Vineyard church in Tempe, a sister church of the local Vineyard fellowship I was serving at in Mesa, AZ. JP is one of those guys who is not only heartfelt about his personal pursuit of Christ, but is infectious with his passion, effecting everyone around him. Right in the first few interactions with JP, I could tell he was a person I enjoyed being around and liked working with. We worked on projects at that company and grew to become good friends. Several months later I was working at another company (Intel) and I was in the position of looking for more people to staff our development. So, I was able to help JP get hired into Intel, where we again reconnected and continued our friendship.

During this time, a mutual respect grew not only from our common interests in both professional lives, but our ministry understandings and vision. It was in that time we said that there may be a time coming where we could see we might work together in some ministry aspect. As the years past, and I found out that JP felt called to plant a church, we stayed in touch and I mentioned to him my interest in knowing how his progress would develop towards planting a church. I talked to Carol about it, and we both were encouraged, but waited for more confirmation and the sense of clarity and timing. The last few years, I felt a more clear sense that Carol and I would be going to help in a new endeavour. As we talked, we walked through various considerations, but kept coming back to the possibility of working with JP and Margaret in a church plant. A couple years ago Carol encouraged me that she felt good about moving forward with talking more seriously to the Parenteau's about a church plant. By this time, JP and Margaret were well along in the process of moving towards church planting.

In the last year, we made a commitment to work towards being a part of a church plant with JP and Margaret for a new Vineyard church plant in the SanTan corridor (along the 202/SanTan freeway area). In the last few months, a clearer time frame for a release from our current churches (us from the Gilbert Vineyard, and them from the Tempe Vineyard) has been established. We will be leaving for the church plant in the month of January 2008. Our plan right now is to begin meeting in small group settings sometime around October/November, and to be released to our own "church plant status" in Jan 2008.

While we are excited about this, there are still lots of cautions and things to consider. Leaving our current church will not be easy, as we have many great relationships with folks there. While those won't dissolve immediately, living and serving in a local church community is one of the things that draws people together, and we know that being apart of another fellowship on a weekly basis means we will not have the guaranteed times of seeing some of our friends that we now have on (at least) a weekly basis.

As a creative person, I am very excited about the church plant. I love new things, new challenges, new opportunities to try something different. I like change too, when there is the possibility of seeing a fresh wind from God's creativity blow through our lives. On the other side of things, having been a part of a church plant before, I think there is plenty of things gleaned from the experience (both good and not so good). I look forward to leaning more towards the good on this church plant :). I suppose we will see how that works out!

On the personal side of things, one thing that I am excited about is that my family is excited. Myself, Carol, Jordan and Cody all are excited at the chance to be going on this new adventure. Jared seems to be somewhat hesitant about it, and as a rule is the kind of person who just doesn't like any change all that much. Overall, what we are all looking for is God's will and God's provision and blessing as we embark on this new chapter.

We seriously desire your prayers and insights as you think of us. Should you have the inclination to do so, please pray for us and the new church plant. If you feel God has given you a specific reflection to share with us, we'd love to hear it.

May His Kingdom come,

Friday, July 20, 2007

Technology & Worship - a resource roundup

I recently taught a session on technology and worship and found that a lot of people are looking for good resources in that area. To help with getting some good information out there, I wanted to post a summation of a good list of resources for folks interested in this area. This is a list that is compiled by me, but includes my personal favorites as well as those of some of my staff at I hope it is helpful.





I especially like the writings by Quentin Schultze and would encourage you to read any of this writings and articles on technology and the church. Such as follows:

This is a good opinion blog on Worship and media-


Many of you asked about image sites. I will be frank. I feel that a lot of Christian image/photo places are filled with predictable, or even cheesy images. Still there are some good collections that do have quality image and video collections. But regardless of that, every site will have its strong and weak images. And it will vary greatly on the type and artistic bent of your church.Here are some of the higher quality sites I use occasionally-

Here's another source of interesting content:
Nooma is the creation of Rob Bell at Mars Hills Church in Michigan. Each Nooma (there are now 17) are bite-sized 10-12 minute multimedia sermonettes. They could be used for small group discussion, on a Sunday morning, whatever.


What I will list here are some products that I have recommended and/or use personally. Again, I am listing the URLs of the products to my company for simplicity sake. You could use this just as a reference for the product information and look around if you want to price shop. My hope is that you will find this list helpful and some of it may pertain to your local church.

  • PlusDeck2c - (hardware) A computer device that actually plugs into your computer (Windows/PC) and lets you convert all those old sermon tapes and music library tapes to MP3 files (or CDs) directly on your computer. It's a great technology device for churches wondering how they are going to get their history of teaching and sermon tapes on to the web or mp3 disc or such. You can see an online review of it at or you can look at it directly on our site at (be sure to watch the demo video online- page down to half way down the page to view it).
  • Transposer - (software download) Transposer 2.0 allows you to raise or lower the pitch of any MP3 song without changing the tempo. You can also change the tempo of an MP3 song without changing the pitch. The quality of the recording remains the same, within reasonable limits (pitch changes of 3 semitones higher or lower, and tempo changes of less than 25%). The good thing is, you can try out the software for free to see if it works for you before you ever buy it.
  • Sweetly Broken Video - (digital download) modern worship song with an example of a wonderfully Cross-centered theme, but with humanized video images. . Go down to the sub-section for video of this song in the right-middle of the page and choose the video format best suited for your church (there are online samples for each).
  • Mediashout - (software) In my opinion, the best video display program for Windows computers.
  • ProPresenter - (software) In my opinion, the best video display program for Mac computers.
  • EasyWorship - (software) the video display software that is the easiest to learn and get up and running in your local church quickly. But has some important high-end limitations. Good for churches who want basic video support, but aren't wanting to tax it with extensive live video, compressed video files and running direct from DVD (all things EasyWorship does not do, or does poorly)
  • God Songs - (book) a great book and resource for songwriters. I know its not exactly technology specific, but its an amazing resource for your worship and music people
  • Finale Music software - (software) the best music software for notation, in my opinion.
  • - (website) a free online resource with discussion forum for worship leaders and worshipers.
  • - (website) my online company that is specifically meant for equipping churches in worship, music, technology and tools that encourage and bless worship.
  • - (website) a new online web service for weekly worship planning. (this is what I have been working on for the last 4 years :) ) This is a legal, authorized online service that brings a complete suite of tools into a single solution environment to meet the needs of local church worship leaders, ministries and their team members. This complete tool set includes scheduling, personnel, document mgt, communication, songs, and order of service/list development all within a unique "workspace" that integrates this for your team. This service is in BETA test mode right now, and any one can check it out for free.
I hope this is some help to you.
In Christ
Kim Gentes

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Learning in Community

From October 29 through November 11, I had the priviledge of spending time with about 18 other worship leaders from around the world (Canada, US, Brazil, and UK). By "spending time" I mean that we all lived, ate, prayed, talked, laughed, and learned together for two weeks at the Dominion Hill Leadership Center. This is a beautiful remote retreat location affiliated with the St. Stephen's University out of St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada. The Institute of Contemporary & Emerging Worship Studies (ICEWS) is a new branch of St. Stephen's University, and is directed by Dan Wilt.

The two week intensive (in which myself and the other 17 worship leaders participated in) was the inaugural run of the ICEWS Certificate In Worship Leadership & Spiritual Formation (you can check out more on their programs here).

How do I go about explaining the impact or learning that went on? Wow. That is tough. But one thing I learned most importantly, didn't have to do with the content of the course. Rather, it was the form of the learning environment. We learned as community. Sure there were great professors and staff, and we had lots of excellent instruction. This was no junior effort. Scholars like Dr. Peter Davids, Dr. Peter Fitch, and Dr. Greg Finley provided us with some remarkable information and examination of historic, current and future Christianity spirituality and community. We learned a lot. And were challenged deeply. Dan Wilt examined the historic and recent return to a more holistic following of Christ through our living as image-bearers of Christ on earth and the details of creational theology. We also had plenty of practical application, as day by day we connected through liturgy and personal and group devotion to our Creator. We walked through the historic practices (with instructor Lorna Jones) of Ignatian prayer, the daily hours and other learnings from our fore-fathers in the faith.

But what really struck me about this extended time was that the 18 of us students, became conduits of instruction, right along with our teachers, as the Holy Spirit taught us all through lecture, Q&A and round-table discussions. There was very little lecture actually. The weight of the new knowledge acquisition was placed on our reading/viewing of the 5 books, 2 multi-media, and about a dozen handout articles that were part of the intensive course. With that as the backdrop, the instructors would come into our sessions, present a 30 minute examination of their major points, and then the learning would explode. After the initial presentation of summary thoughts by the instructor, the students would be queried for an hour or more on what they thought, or insights they had, on the topic at hand. This would sound untenable, if you were not there. But this group of learners had committed themselves to being together for 2 weeks. And it was that commitment that bore open our souls to one another. And out came the wisdom of God, as it was being expressed in each of our unique communities. Instead of each of us having our own separate "grasp" of God's heart on a topic, we all shared. And soon we all were growing and learning from one another.

I have been a part of a number of "round table" meetings and instructional contexts. But none worked as powerfully as this. The reason? I believe it was commitment. All of us knew we were going to be spending a lengthy time together and we needed to be committed to each other, even living with one another, for the two weeks. It's quite a unique thing. I believe the commitment meant that we placed value in each other's words. That we held one another as essential. That without each person giving voice to God's wisdom in their life, that we were somehow not the complete expression of Christ's Body in that place, at that time.

Now, I am interested to investigate more this type of learning community. A symbiosis of community, commitment and valuing the voices of one another. It was remarkable how brilliant my brothers and sisters became in the light of loving them by valuing them enough to listen with a receptive heart. Perhaps they were always that brilliant. Perhaps I haven't been living, listening and valuing the voice of others as I should.

Wow. Now that is learning.

Teach me more Lord. Teach me more, brothers and sisters.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Real Food & the Recipes of Life

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) ...

...The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he." Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"

Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."

But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."

Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"

"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.

John 4:4-8, 25-34

Going through life, each of us develop little formula's and recipe's for nourishing ourselves. Often times we are able to survive and satiate the hunger in us by filling up with what seems obvious. Yet, the more we pile on the food of temporal life, the less nourishing it seems. We hunger, but we continue to eat fluff because it's what is being served. But that is not how it was meant to be. Jesus was tired and (one can assume), like his disciples, hungry and thirsty from the long journey. But it is clear that his recipe for sustenance included one main ingredient- obedience. And not just obedience to a mindless cause, but focus on the healthful food of heaven.

Jesus said it succinctly, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work". Are you hungry? Are you empty for real meaning? Are you in need of something, but don't know what it is? Are you finding what you do to be void of satisfaction, even in success? David, the psalmist, found the food of life, as he says in Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."

Nothing is as deeply fulfilling as knowing you are acting on the advice of God, according to both His nature found in His word and the Holy Spirit's inspirational direction at the moment. One of those such moments came to me a few years ago. It was in the quiet place of my own home. During a time of contemplation, I felt inclined to pray and fast for the life of Christ to grow more evident in my family. As I took that journey, one day it seemed important to me that the real purpose of this particular fast was so that I could concentrate on the needs of my family. To serve them instead of myself. Seems obvious, but quite different when you are fasting for many days so that you can prepare and serve your family. One of those days, I remember making some burgers for them and God speaking in the kindest of voice- "Kim, how does this taste?" I hadn't eaten for a very long time, but my family was enjoying a meal. I realized what He meant. It was at that point that I knew part of selfish life cannot be simply mentally confronted, it must be done away with through action. Part of the power of the Christian disciplines is that you act in line with your theology to "exercise" your thoughts through obedience. You must push through the feeling of struggle in doing the discipline, and that gives a very real, very touchable understanding to the battle we are in. You begin to see that you really do play a part of this earthly conflict between the two kingdoms of light and darkness. And while we wouldn't account for anything on our own, He chooses to make us unbelievable valuable, and in fact places us in the midst of the important crucible of decision and action. If we decide and act along with Him, we confer our agreement to the kingdom of goodness and push the territory of the heavens further across this planet, as His glory covers earth.

In that journey, obedience is both thought and action. It will feel, it will hurt and it will bless. Taste and see that He is good. He really is! Kind of a fun encouragement to me was the quirky discovery while I was doing just a bit of cooking. My mom used to make burgers when I was a kid. I remembered she made a hearty combination of meatloaf type ingredients. When used in burgers, it made a plump and juicy burger. Attempting to recreate that from memory, I looked for some spices to add. In this process, I found out that spices normally meant for use on grilled chicken work quite a nice zesty flavor into juicy burgers. So, here is a fun little burger recipe that you are welcome to try, ala the accidental discovery of yours truly. It isn't the food of life, but it is tasty for the body!

Hope you like it:

Kim's Burgers
makes 10 large burger patties


  • 3lbs of ground beef (lean)
  • 1 tube of saltine crackers (crushed into semi-fine grind)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/8 onion (super finely ground/cut) - chopped dry onions are ok
  • garlic salt/powder (to taste)
  • McCormick Chicken Seasoning (4 teaspoons) -- you can substitute your own mix of salt, pepper, and paprika if you do not like the MSG that is added by the seasoning pre-made mix.
  • black pepper (1 teaspoon)
  • salt (2 teaspoons)- optional
  1. Mix crushed saltine grind with all spices
  2. Combine eggs, meat and dry mixture. Hand knead until completely mixed throughout.
  3. Form into patties
  4. Cook as desired. Medium/well burgers can be made at 18 minutes at 200F on a grill. Then let sit 5 minutes on low heat to melt real cheddar slices and settle juices in meat.