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The goal of leading corporate song is to facilitate the joyful singing of God's people. Anything you do should tend toward their participation and full engagement. This means that your leading of the singing should be simple and predictable enough so that the congregation can jump on board, and also compelling enough that they want to jump on board.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ➔
In all this talk of excellence, many Christians fail to realize the chasm between the world’s definition of excellence and God’s definition of excellence. The two are not synonymous. In fact, worship leaders in particular often succumb to a worldly definition of excellence. In doing this, we actually misunderstand godly excellence....Read More ➔
Things are not as simple for worship leaders/church music directors as they used to be. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s certainly a more complicated thing. There are now more songs to choose from than ever, at an increasingly rapid speed, coming from big publishers, independent artists, local churches, Christian radio, social media feeds, conferences, carrier pigeons, and their distant relatives, hipsters....Read More ➔
One of the areas we must continue to grow in as church leaders is giving people vocabulary to express confession of sin, the emotional tides of suffering, and even death. The gospel is wide enough for all of our questions, and strong enough to hold us through each storm....Read More ➔
I want to ensure that we are doing the best possible job of answering your needs and equipping you to lead gospel-centered worship. I want to serve you. To help in this process, I have created the D&T 2016 Worship Leader Survey. Would you take just a few minutes and fill out the survey? In doing so, you will be helping us, others, and yourself as we strive together to be intentional with our lives, our leadership, and our worship practices. Thank you for your help ...Read More ➔
In this panel conversation from this year's T4G Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, Ligon Duncan, and Al Moher discuss the reform that is still needed in the church today. The heart of their conversation will also serve as the theme of this year's Doxology & Theology Conference. That is, we will consider how to continue to hold up our worship practices to the light of Scripture and continually reform them in the pursuit of purity and clari...Read More ➔