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We should approach our task with an intensity of focus that produces a solid outcome. This is counterintuitive for some churches, where worship leadership is handed to a young man whose primary qualification is that he can play an instrument or sing. It counters worship leaders who do only what is needed to get through Sunday so the focus is solely on the preaching of the Word.
Some songs quote passages without their context, leaving the exegetical work to the listener--which isn’t inherently wrong but also isn’t helpful. Other songs distorts the true intent of the text by putting verses a new context, which does a tremendous disservice to the church and dishonor to God. I hope this article will challenge songwriters to write, pastors to select, and Christians to champion songs that treat passages in their original context with a renewed commitment to clarifying the biblical author’s intended meaning of a passage.
You may only have to pick four songs every week to keep your boss satisfied and your congregation singing, but there’s so much more you actually can, should, and need to do to maintain your integrity as someone who has been called to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to the people God has called to worship Him in grace and truth.
In A Home and a Hunger: Songs of Kingdom Hope, singer/songwriter Caroline Cobb invites listeners to sing the story of God’s kingdom. Cobb has emerged as a unique and needed voice as she attempts to make biblical theology accessible for old and young, new believers and longtime Christians, for those who know their need and for those who think they’re doing OK. ...Read More ➔
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....Read More ➔
At the end of our lives, hopefully we’ll be forgotten and people will be marveling and worshiping the One we lived our lives for. “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2). We are here to simply run our leg of the race. I feel so passionately that today’s pastors are being crushed by the weight of trying to...Read More ➔
Congregational songs must be singable enough that unmusical people can participate and theologically understandable enough for new believers to benefit from their truth. But the biggest struggle I see when songwriters show me new congregational worship songs isn’t musical or theological. The greatest struggle in writing good congregational worship songs is structural....Read More ➔
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....Read More ➔
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?”...Read More ➔