Archive | February, 2008

More from the Text and Context Conference

It’s been a full two days here at the Text and Context Conference at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. One of the highlights was hearing my good friend, C.J. Mahaney, preach on Pastoral Care and Loving People from 1 Cor. 1:1-9. He reminded us that although the Corinthian church was filled with problems and sin, Paul didn’t start his letter by correcting them. Instead, he reminded them of God’s calling, God’s grace, and God’s faithfulness. Along the way, CJ provided practical illustrations of how we can follow Paul’s example by highlighting, celebrating, and communicating evidences of grace in the people we lead, rather than simply being …

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Text and Context Conference in Seattle

I’m in Seattle, Washington right now with my good friends Eric Simmons, and C.J. Mahaney. We’re here for the Text and Context conference, sponsored by the Acts 29 network of churches, led by Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church. CJ will be speaking today on Pastoral Care and Loving People. I’ve watched CJ model Christ-exalting pastoral care for over 25 years, and can’t wait to hear his message. Other speakers include Mark, John Piper, and Jim Gilmore. This morning I went to a workshop led by Tim Smith, the lead worship pastor at Mars Hill. He spoke on Building Missional Worship Bands. Challenging stuff on what worship is, what a missionary is, …

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Does It Matter Who Writes the Songs We Sing?

Ty sent in this question: A lot of people at our church like the song “Your Grace Is Enough” which I think was co-written by Matt Maher and Chris Tomlin. I did some research on Matt Maher and found that he is a well-know Catholic artist. There are some who would say that since the song was written by somebody who is Catholic that it shouldn’t be sung. How should we think through something like this? Before I share my thoughts, I wanted to address the question, “Is it possible to be a genuine Christian and a Roman Catholic at the same time?” I think so, despite numerous doctrines of the Catholic church that conflict with Scripture, such …

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For Music

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine, Greg Gilbert, posted a blog on the 9Marks site called Against Music. The title was more an attention grabber than a statement of Greg’s attitude toward music in general. He was cautioning Christians against becoming spiritually dependent on music in their relationship with God. He wrote: The bottom line, I suppose, is that it would do every Christian well to do some honest heart-searching about what makes them feel “close to God.” Can you feel close to God just by reading or saying the words, “In Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”? Would you be able …

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Announcing the Announcements at WorshipGod08

Yesterday we had another planning meeting for WorshipGod08: Rediscovering the Psalms, to be held July 30- Aug 2 at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD, outside of Washington, D.C. This will be our 5th conference. Every one has been filled with rich biblical teaching, practical instruction, fresh encounters with God, great fellowship, and lots of laughter. Laughing helps us not take ourselves too seriously. When you’re involved in regularly leading others to magnify God’s glory in Christ, it’s good to remember that we’re the jars of clay and Jesus is the treasure (2 Cor. 4:6). Laughter helps us do that. No one makes us laugh more at …

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The Joy of Developing Song Writers

For the past few years, we’ve been trying to encourage and develop the songwriters in Sovereign Grace churches. This past week we spent three days with thirteen song writers working on songs for an upcoming Psalms project, to be released at the WorshipGod08 conference. It was one of the most encouraging annual retreats we’ve had. Songwriters sometimes think that the only model they can follow is worship leaders like Matt Redman or Chris Tomlin. I thank God for those guys and others like them. God has gifted them with the whole package of vocal, melodic, lyrical, and leadership gifts. Unfortunately, those kind of song writers are rare. We don’t …

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Keith and Kristyn Getty

This past Sunday we had the joy of hosting Keith and Kristyn Getty at our Sunday meeting. Keith and Kristyn have become dear friends since they moved to the U.S. two years ago, so I was delighted when they called and said they were going to be in the D.C. area this week and wondered if we would have any interest in having them share a couple songs on Sunday morning. After a few email exchanges, everything was a go. Having guest musicians on Sunday is a rare occurrence for us for a number of reasons. Having traveled on the road for twelve years with GLAD back in the 70s and 80s, I know that an artists often have set procedures and song lists …

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