Archive | April, 2007

Planning Songs for the Long Haul

I’m in the middle of finishing a book on worship for Crossway. The first draft is due the editor May 14. I don’t think I’ve ever worked this hard. Which either says I’ve had a very easy life, or writing a book is really hard. Maybe both are true. In any case, blogging is low on the priority list right now. But I thought I’d post a section of a chapter on "Planning Songs." This is a first draft, so any thoughts are welcome. This is the last of seven points I make about planning songs for a Sunday… Most of us breathe a sigh of contented relief when Sunday is over. The band played well, people seemed to be engaged with God, and …

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Worship Leaders – Five Things to Remember About Skill

I’m in the midst of rewriting my book for Crossway. Things didn’t go quite as smoothly as I hoped last week. But my good friend, Jeff Purswell, saw I wasn’t doing well and offered to pray for me. I realized I’ve only been thinking of what I have to do and haven’t been focused on what God can do. That changes everything. I’m happy to report my attitude is much better this week. In any case, I don’t have much time for blogging. So I thought I’d post an excerpt from an unedited chapter. It may not even make it in the final version of the book, but I thought it might be helpful. It’s from the first section on “What Matters.” Just wanting to …

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“Let’s Do a Hymn”

Normally I answer a question on Fridays, but I’m currently on a writing retreat. I came across these thoughts I wrote down a few weeks ago, and thought I’d post them today. I’ve often heard people suggest that we “do a hymn.” I usually interpret that as a good suggestion. There are many reasons we should value and take advantage of the rich hymns that history has handed down to us. Many of them contain biblically rich lyrics that develop substitutionary atonement (And Can It Be), God’s sovereignty in suffering (God Moves in a Mysterious Way), God’s attributes (Immortal, Invisible), the Trinity (Come Thou Almighty King) and countless other themes. …

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Sovereign Grace Leadership Conference Reflections

Last week I had the privilege of participating in the Sovereign Grace Leader’s Conference. What a fire hydrant of grace, encouragement, truth, conviction, and fellowship. RC. Sproul spoke on the holiness of God and the holiness of Christ, David Powlison helped us apply the doctrine of indwelling sin without getting morbidly introspective, and C.J. Mahaney spoke to us on the final night on "Trinitarian Pastoral Ministry" from 2 Cor. 13:14. You can download the messages by R.C., David, and C.J. for $8 at the Sovereign Grace website. Seminars will be available by the end of the month. This was our bi-annual leaders and wives conference …

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Keeping Busy…

For those of you who regularly read Worship Matters, it’s obvious I’ve been doing other things. But they’re all enjoyable and I pray fruitful. We had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday. I am once again astonished at the power, goodness, and mercy of God displayed in our redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This week I’ll be at the Sovereign Grace Leadership Conference. R.C. Sproul, who will be speaking on the holiness of God, and David Powlison will be guest speakers, but I’m probably most looking forward to C.J. Mahaney’s message Friday night on Trinitarian Pastoral Leadership. The longer I’m alive, the more persuaded …

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Modern Worship Song Recommendations

I’ve been encouraged by some of the modern worship songs that have been written recently. On the whole, there seems to be more emphasis on content, biblical faithfulness, and the centrality of the cross. Here are a few songs I think are worth checking out. Burn for You – Steve FeeAll Because of Jesus – A jubilant verse, chorus, and bridge exalting Jesus as our creator, sustainer, ruler, and redeemer.Grace Will Be My Song – A simple song with two verses and a bridge that focuses on Jesus as the one whose blood ransomed us from our bondage and whose grace carries us in our weakness.Beautiful the Blood – A meditation on the meaning of the death …

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