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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).
In a matter of years, Steele became one of the best-loved names in hymnody. Just as Watts was crowned the “father of English hymnody,” Steele has been called the “mother of the English hymn." Since her day there has not been a woman hymn-writer who has matched Steele’s ability and nuance with the doctrinal fidelity and care she demonstrates....Read More ➔
Every once in a while you stumble across a historical figure whose voice speaks—no, shouts—with all kinds of contemporary relevance. For me, that figure is Thomas Cranmer, and the more I get to know him, the more I am inspired by this theologian, pastor, artist, and worship leader. If Cranmer is remembered at all, he is often caricatured as a wishy-washy politician, flitting to and fro in the winds of the whims of the mad King Henry VIII....Read More ➔
Easter is not the "Super Bowl of the church." Easter is not the day we suit up, march onto the field and win the game for Jesus. Easter is the day we fix our eyes on the resurrected Christ. Easter is the day we gather together to remind one another that Jesus has already won for us....Read More ➔
For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship by Daniel I. Block. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014, vii + 410 pp., $34.99, hardcover. Daniel I. Block, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, writes from the conviction that “true worship involves reverential human acts of submission and homage before the divine Sovereign in response to his gracious revelation of himself and in accord with his will” (23). Block seeks to elucidate thi...Read More ➔
We must continue to preach the Gospel through song to those who already know it and rest in it. So what are some practical ways we can accomplish this as worship leaders so that our weekly planning is not mundane but done with intentionality and excellence?...Read More ➔
For the last twenty years, I have been trying to bend the English language around for the glory of God and write melodies to encourage the hearts of his people. I know the difficulty and the reward of this labor and, more than ever, I feel the need to sing to the Lord a new song....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 ESV) 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 tryin...Read More ➔
Do you want to become a more effective worship leader? This new offering from Austin Stone Worship will help you learn from leaders like Aaron Ivey, Matt Carter, Charlie Hall, Robbie Seay, Tony Merida & many others! In this free 3-video training (plus free PDF download) you will learn: 5 rhythms of healthy worship leaders that you can incorporate into your own life to help you become more effective. The roadblocks to becoming a more effective worship leade...Read More ➔