A Tale of Two Conferences

t4g_banner_02.jpgDuring the past few weeks I’ve been preparing song lists for two conferences. The first is Together for the Gospel (Apr. 15-17) which takes place next week in Louisville, Kentucky. I worked with Mark Dever to plan the songs we’ll be singing there. About 5200 pastors will be sitting under the teaching of John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Thabiti Anyabwile, R.C. Sproul, Ligon Duncan, and John MacArthur. It will be a diverse crowd, composed of Presbyterians, Baptists, continuationists, cessationists, paedo-Baptists, credo-Baptists, old, young, traditional, contemporary…you get the picture. We’re be gathering around the most glorious of truths, the Gospel, and seeking to magnify the Savior and be equipped to serve our churches more effectively. Rather than contribute to the “worship-music-style” wars, the music will simply be me leading hymns (old and modern) from the piano. When you add in 5000+ voices, it’s going to be pretty powerful stuff, even without electric guitars and drums.

registerhome.jpg During the past few weeks I’ve also been preparing for the New Attitude conference (May 24-27) with Eric Simmons and Devon, my son. New Attitude will be a gathering of 3000+ singles and young married couples to hear C.J. Mahaney, Eric Simmons, Josh Harris, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, and John Piper. Similar speakers, but very different music. Devon will be leading the singing with the Na Band, but I’ll be on stage as the token old guy. We’ll be singing some hymns, but they’ll sound a little different than they will at Together for the Gospel. We’ll also be doing songs by the Na Band, Starfield, Fee, Michael Gungor, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, among others.

It struck me that these conferences demonstrate how we can celebrate the Gospel in different forms musically, but aim for the same goal – to magnify the greatness of God in Jesus Christ in people’s hearts, minds, and wills. By God’s grace, the T4G conference isn’t going to be “stodgy and stifling,” and the New Attitude conference isn’t going to be “wild and shallow.” I think folks from both events will leave more in love with the Savior, and better equipped to advance the Gospel in their communities.

I thank God that we worship a Savior whose glory can’t be contained in one musical style or one conference.

19 Responses to A Tale of Two Conferences

  1. Ryan April 9, 2008 at 3:25 PM #

    Bob,

    I love how you say that NA isn’t going to be “wild and shallow.”

    After some discussion in our office about the dangers of some circles talking about “reinventing” truth I began to look online for folks that wholeheartedly embrace truth. No surprise that I ended up at the NA site and listened to Joshua Harris’ powerful “Humble Orthodoxy” message.

    I sent the link to my friend and co-worker and then threw out an email saying, “Hey, we should go to NA.” He was going to email me the same thing. Then, the very next email to him was a mutual acquaintance of ours linking to an article from NA. Wow. We’re starting to think we might be being led to go.

    So, long story short, I might get to be a part of those you will be blessed to lead in worship. Thanks for your dedication to truth.

  2. Drew April 9, 2008 at 5:21 PM #

    I’m looking forward to T4G (and WG2008!) I’m so glad you’ll be leading again. My pastor told me about your obvious sensitivity to the diverse room at the last T4G conference. As much as we love newer arrangements, such humility and pastoral care in selection only enhances the corporate experience. Thanks.

    Oh, and label the different conference set lists very carefully. I’m not sure you’ll get Lig or Mark to join in on “Dancing Generation,” even if it is an honest mistake.

  3. TimK April 9, 2008 at 6:26 PM #

    I agree with Drew. I look forward to t4g (less than a week) and purchased airline tickets for wg08 this afternoon!

  4. Brendan Beale April 9, 2008 at 7:10 PM #

    I’m looking forward with great anticipation to sitting under the richly biblical preaching of T4G, and to celebrating our Savior with all gathered there. Thank you for your humility and pastoral care in leading- you show us Christ not just in word, but in deed.

  5. Bruce McKanna April 9, 2008 at 10:26 PM #

    I won’t get to go to T4G as I did a couple of years ago, but I do hope you’ll post the song list when it’s all said and done.

  6. Kyle April 9, 2008 at 11:11 PM #

    I want to echo Bruce’s request. I was at T4G in ’06 (it’s where I was introduced to Sovereign Grace Ministries and the teaching/writings of both you and C.J. – which in itself was worth the conference’s price of admission), but won’t get to make it this year. The times of corporate singing were memorably powerful – and I was introduced to “In Christ Alone” for the first time. I’m disappointed that I won’t make it this year, but would benefit greatly from your post-conference reflections and the song list you used.

    In God’s mercy, however, I will be attending the WorshipGod conference, which I didn’t get to do in ’06, and I’m very excited for what God will do in my heart and those of my team who will be there with me.

    Kyle

  7. Bob Kauflin April 9, 2008 at 11:13 PM #

    Bruce and Kyle,

    We’ll definitely be posting the song list for T4G. Thanks for asking.

  8. Jamie Brown April 9, 2008 at 11:24 PM #

    Bob – any way this could be recorded? That would be an amazing CD.

  9. Jared April 10, 2008 at 12:25 AM #

    I was very pleased to log on to your site today and see that you were leading worship for T4G! I will be heading down to Louisville from the Pacific Northwest…I can’t wait!

    On another note I just got your new book today… I can’t wait to tear into it!

  10. Emily April 10, 2008 at 8:01 AM #

    Bob,
    I have attended the past 2 Na conferences and was richly challenged and simultaneously encouraged during the times of worship.

    God used several of the songs in the past 2 years in very specific ways that I’m still reaping the benefits from. I have on my iPod, a playlist of the worship times still from both conferences and listen to them often.

    I am looking forward to worshipping together with you in May and possibly at WG08 as well.

  11. Bob Kauflin April 10, 2008 at 10:41 AM #

    Jamie,

    Just between you and me and the people who read this blog, yes, we’re going to try to record the music at T4G and see what comes out. Don’t know if we’ll get anything usable or not. Please pray that we do!

  12. Dustin Battles April 10, 2008 at 3:39 PM #

    Bob, as one of your “conservative readers,” I am glad to hear you are holding off on the drums and electric guitars for T4G. I wish I could come, but taking a week off of college is hard…not to mention college students don’t have much money anyway!

    Also, I don’t know about the rest of the readers, but I think it would be great to post non-mixed/mastered mp3s on your website of the congregational singing. While I love professionally done CDs I love congregational singing most. Especially when the congregation is not using drums and electric guitars :)

  13. Gabriel Gagnon April 10, 2008 at 9:58 PM #

    I will not be able to attend these 2 conferences because for both these periods I have final exams with school… But anyways, I’ll be praying for the recording of the worship, but also for you because you really need to lead all these people in the right way. You seem to be on the right track and I’m very excited for everyone that will be there.
    I’m also encouraging people from Québec to attend, if you could pray on your part for that. It would be great.
    Continue looking at the cross Bob!
    Gabriel

  14. Aaron Campbell April 11, 2008 at 3:01 PM #

    I’m grateful that I’ll be attending my first T4G conference next week. As one who enjoys and implements guitars and drums while singing to the Lord, I look forward to gathering with many pastors and leaders and lifting our voices together in response to our great God- even if there will just be a piano accompanying us. :)

    Aaron Campbell

  15. Karell Frenette April 14, 2008 at 7:57 PM #

    I was recently directed to this site by a good friend, and happened to take read this post, I wanted to thank you for it. I am presently organizing a youth service for my church and in the process many talents have been discovered in terms on musicians and singers within the youth group at our church. Many of the songs we will be singing are more upbeat than what the congregation is used to and one of my concerns was that our music wouldn’t be as appreciated because of our use of drums and electric guitars. After much prayer God has convinced me that there are times for the use of such talents and that a youth service is a wonderful time, I wanted to thank you for really clearing up the fact that there are different styles of worship for different occasions but that they can both worship Christ.
    Although I will not be able to attend either conferences I will pray that God bless all the people attending and involved. I pray that people from here(Quebec) will be able to attend.

    Karell Frenette

  16. Arthur Sido April 17, 2008 at 12:16 AM #

    Bob, it has been great having you lead the music at T4G, I don’t know about what others think but I have found the music to be just the right mix of God honoring music. Thanks to you and for all the godly men of T4G.

  17. John Moody April 18, 2008 at 11:31 AM #

    Bob, thank you for leading us in such wonderful worship at T4G. It was absolutely glorious! One question – the rendition of “I Will Arise” was one I hadn’t heard before, and I think I saw that it was one of yours. Have you (or anyone else) recorded that version?

  18. Tim April 18, 2008 at 7:32 PM #

    Bob –

    The worship you lead at T4G was one of the highlights of the conference for me.

    Thanks,
    Tim
    Wellspring Church, San Leandro, CA

  19. Jeremy Damato April 19, 2008 at 1:15 AM #

    Bob,

    I thank God for the amazing times of worship during t4g this past week. I wasn’t able to go two years ago but everyone from our group who did go was very pleased that worship was kept as part of the conference this year. And we were all glad that Mark Dever expressed those same feelings in his intro to the conference. Again- thank you and praise God!!

    Anyway- I noticed that “O the Deep, Deep Love” was not on “Valley of Vision”. Any plans to have that version of the song on a future recording?

    Also, can you post your added verse(s) to “Come Thou Fount” (if possible)?

    Jeremy Damato
    Reverence Bible Church
    So. California

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