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The joy of the good news of Jesus outshines all other joys, making it seem like we must be dreaming, filling our mouths with laughter and our tongues with shouts of joy. So our worship services should feel joyful, right? On the whole, yes, of course, they should. But that is far from the whole story.
Our difficulty as worship pastors is that we tend to be so close to the songs we lead that we cannot see the big picture which we are forming. The people of your church are worth your spending the time to take a few steps to take theological inventory the songs you sing.
I came across this passage in my devotional early one Sunday morning. As I read these words, honest and sobering questions flooded my thoughts: “This is true for Paul, but is this true of you and your congregation? Is it? Do you long to see them? Are you using the spiritual gift God has given you to strengthen the church? Are you and your congregation mutually encouraged by each other’s faith on a weekly basis?”
If you assume that a book relating corporate worship and ethnic diversity does not affect you, then let me make the case that you must read The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World.
This sense of nothing-new-to-say is magnified by the fact that worship leaders only have a few moments in between songs to speak. Our responsibility then is not only to hold up the Truth, but also to have wisdom in our economy of words, extending beyond just the same old thing.
Our lives are combusting with expectation and anticipation, and we're groaning for answers. Jesus knew this about us, better than we do. In fact, “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink’” (John 7:37).
Our church sings original music. Not always, but sometimes we do it. Most of the time it’s awesome, but other times, it’s an exercise of patience for our congregation. Recently someone asked me to explain why our church writes original music, so I’ve been thinking about all the ways songwriting serves our local church....Read More ➔
Song and melody not only unite us with others, but also touch parts of our hearts that might surprise us. This Independence Day liturgy took a truth that wasn’t immediately at the forefront of my mind and moved me from passive forgetfulness into active gratitude....Read More ➔
In a day and age where so many distractions are fighting for our attention, one of the best ways we can help center our people’s hearts is through a specific and pointed call to worship. It urges people to turn from worldly distractions and set their minds, hearts, and attention on the glory of God....Read More ➔
1. Dividing congregations along age and affinity lines. 2. Eliminating choral expressions in worship. 3. Worship leader ageism. 4. Elevating music above Scripture, Prayer and the Lord’s Supper. 5. Making worship and music exclusively synonymous. 6. Trying to recreate worship with each new generation. 7. Ignoring the Christian Calendar and adopting the Hallmark Calendar. 8. Worshiping like inspiration stopped with the hymnal. 9. Worshiping like inspiration s...Read More ➔
The songwriters of the Church have a special responsibility. We should be writing songs that expose God’s people to more and more of His powerful, life-changing Word....Read More ➔
Whatever the ambient volume of our sanctuary, there is a more critical matter of volume and understanding at play. It is one of the most glorious truths in the universe: implicit, and seldom mentioned. That is, when we gather to worship at our local churches, behind all our prayers and all our songs, behind all our exhortations and all our encouragements: the Lord hears....Read More ➔
I recently had a conversation about the process of creating art with a friend who writes movie scripts. As we talked, I mentioned a difficulty I’ve had in writing a song that I’m actually happy with. I’m trying to write more because I want to cultivate this gift in my own life and serve the congregation I am privileged to lead. But it’s been frustrating....Read More ➔