Archive | August, 2007

Is Repetition a Help or a Hindrance?

Will sent me this question: Is there an objective standard by which to gauge the effectiveness of repetition in contemporary worship hymnody?…What are some helpful ideas to bear in mind for incorporating effectively repetitive worship songs while not neglecting great hymns and songs that are not so characterized, and when do we as…worship leaders cross the line in leading the congregation in ineffective or mindless praise (apart from their own distractions and heart idols brought into worship) via repetition? When someone has a problem with repeating lyrics, I’m reminded of my daughter’s response when I suggested she read a certain book …

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Looking for Free MP3 Messages or Sermons on Worship?

Since a few dozen bloggers have already announced that we at Sovereign Grace Ministries have decided to give away all our message MP3’s, I thought I should do the same. Especially since I work here. We decided to give away all past and future messages simply because we hope more people might benefit from their content. I always appreciate it when I go to a site and can download messages for free with no hassle. Now you can do that at the Sovereign Grace website. Free messages can be a mixed blessing. You end up with a overloaded iPod filled with sermons you never have time to listen to. I’ve been there. In fact, I still am. So, to make …

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New Look for Worship Matters

Welcome to the new look of Worship Matters, designed by my son-in-law, Kerrin Russell. Kerrin is married to my oldest daughter, Megan. Not only is he a godly husband and dad, he’s a true servant. It helps that he’s great at solving computer problems and fixing things. The most recent example is my blog site. Kerrin was the one who originally suggested I start a blog, and over the past year or so he’s been wanting me to update the look. Knowing that I’d never get to it, he did it himself. BTW, the pictures in the banner were taken by my 18 year old daughter, Brittany, who runs a design and photography business with her older sister, Megan. We’re …

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What – Me Read?

I just received this e-mail from Jon, a twenty five year old worship leader who will soon be taking on a new position at another church. One facet of your site that is always of interest is your list of books you are currently reading. In addition to your devotional Scripture reading, how much time in a week do you set aside for reading? Do you schedule reading time into your day? As I contemplate the different ministry responsibilities that I will have, my concern is that the time to read will be slim. So, any helpful suggestions from your own experience are greatly appreciated. A while back I posted on the topic of musicians and reading books. …

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Should We Use Secular Songs on Sundays?

Matt sent in this question: I recently came across a message board where folks were discussing secular songs that could be done to make “seekers” feel more comfortable at church. Some folks mentioned that they had been to church’s where song such as: “She Will be Loved” by Maroon 5, “Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayer (that Sunday’s service was about sexuality), lots of U2, etc. I’m really interested to hear your thoughts about doing songs like these. Should we seek to evangelize during our times of worshiping God through singing corporately? There are three ways I want to respond to Matt’s question. First, the idea that we should make …

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Subtitle Update

Thank you to everyone who submitted a suggestion and/or ideas for a subtitle for my book. What we finally chose was actually a combination of a number of suggestions. Matt Lowe proposed, “Leading Others to Exult in God’s Glory.” I changed “God’s glory” to “the Greatness of God,” and my friend Ken Boer suggested the word, “encounter” instead of “exult.” That led to the subtitle we’re going with, which is, “Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God.” Both Matt and Ken will be receiving a $50 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. While I could have gone with no subtitle, and I certainly don’t think a subtitle makes or …

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Baptism and Worship

How do you think about water baptism? Do you think about it as an act of worship? Baptism, along with the Lord’s Supper, is one of two actions that our Savior himself ordained that the church practice permanently until his return. That’s pretty significant. For the past two years our pastoral team has been studying the importance of these two sacraments in the life of the church. We’ve realized that we haven’t been explaining or practicing them in a way that sufficiently communicates their rich biblical meaning and importance. We share communion once a month as a church and offer baptism at least quarterly, but usually on a Sunday afternoon …

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New CD from Mark and Stephen Altrogge

"In a Little While," the newest release from Sovereign Grace Ministries is now available for download or purchase. It features the songs and vocal talents of my good friends, Mark and Stephen Altrogge (pronounced al-TROAG-ee). Most of the songs are intended for congregational worship. Mark, Stephen’s dad, is best known for his songs, "I Stand in Awe," and "Forever Grateful," but he’s written around 200 worship songs over the past two decades. I’ve had the privilege of working with him up close, and have grown to respect and appreciate him deeply. Here are a few reasons why: Mark is humble. Even though he writes …

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Glorify Conference

Last year, my good friend, Todd Twining, who is the worship pastor at Metro Life Church in Orlando, asked me if I’d be interested in having my entire family (me, Julie, our six kids, three in-laws, and four grandchildren) come down to participate in a worship conference at his church. He didn’t have to twist my arm. So next week, Aug. 9-11, my family and I will be at the Glorify conference in Orlando, Florida. Todd helps me serve the worship leaders and teams from the Sovereign Grace churches in Florida. While this event is regional in that sense, anyone is welcome to attend. The first night, I’ll be  giving a message on Worshiping the …

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