Archive | March, 2010

What Do You Say When You Lead Worship? Part 3

I’m aware that for many people reading the question posed in the title of this post, their immediate and firm answer is, “Nothing!” I, too, have been the victim (and the perpetrator) of comments during corporate worship that are more distracting than helpful. That’s why I want to list ten practical aspects today that hopefully will keep a well-intentioned, zealous leader from misinterpreting what I’ve been saying. 1. Recognize that God’s words outlast ours. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions …

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What Do You Say When You Lead Worship? Part 2

Yesterday I described eight worship leader stereotypes who aren’t quite sure what to say when they’re standing in front of a group of people. Today I wanted to give four reasons why we should say anything. 1. Magnify When we’re leading corporate worship, our first responsibility is to magnify the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. We’re saying with David, “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Ps. 34:3) When I use the word “magnify” I’m not referring to the way a microscope magnifies something very small, but to the way a telescope magnifies something very big that only …

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What Do You Say When You Lead Worship? Part 1

Last year at the WorshipGod conference I had the opportunity to teach a seminar called, “What Are You Talking About? What to Say When You’re Not Singing.” I wanted to address the age-old question of what to say, if anything, when you’re leading people in congregational worship. What words can inspire people to worship God as we sing, and what words might hinder them? I began by sharing that our first focus isn’t what we say in public, but what we pursue in private. Saying the right things without having the right heart leads to hypocrisy. We shouldn’t expect the church to be affected by truths that we ourselves haven’t been affected by. I …

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Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

I’ve known Josh Harris for 12 years, but actually been a fan of his for much longer. Back in the mid-90′s he was publishing a magazine called New Attitude, which I thought was the hippest thing going for home schooling families. Today, he’s my senior pastor. His first book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, ended up selling a gazillion copies, and has blessed or disturbed (depending on your point of view) readers throughout the world. I personally found it very helpful for helping my 6 kids sort through the world’s confused, and often harmful, perspectives on relationships. Since then, Josh has written another book on relationships (Boy Meets Girl), …

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Getting Ready for Together for the Gospel

In the midst of other activities, I’ve been preparing to lead the singing for a group of 7000 mostly pastors at Together for the Gospel, to be held Apr. 13-15, 2010 in Louisville, KY. The conference emerged out of a friendship between four men – Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, and CJ Mahaney – who hail from different  backgrounds (Baptist, Presbyterian, charismatic) but who have found a profound unity in their passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This year, they’ll be joined by John Piper, John MacArthur, Thabiti Anyabwile, and R.C. Sproul. Matt Chandler has recently agreed to speak as part of CJ’s session. In addition, there will …

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I’m Writing Another Book

One of my first commitments after finishing my first book, Worship Matters, was never to write another book. As most authors I’ve spoken to will acknowledge, writing is anything but fun. It takes long hours, a commitment over a lengthy period of time, patience, and a lot of looking at what you’ve just written and saying to yourself, “I wouldn’t even read this.” But God has a way of changing desires… About six weeks ago I was talking to Justin Taylor, who works for my publisher, Crossway. Justin has been a most supportive friend, and told me that my first book has been doing well. So…he wondered if I might be interested in writing …

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Spurgeon on the Inexhaustibility of Jesus

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) has few peers when it comes to stirring up biblically informed passion for Jesus Christ. My wife made me aware of one of his quotes today from The Daily Spurgeon. It’s from a sermon called “The Fulness Of Jesus, The Treasury Of Saints,” that Spurgeon delivered February 28, 1869. Spurgeon describes how both preaching and music grow dull if they don’t magnify the greatness of the Savior in people’s minds and hearts. His words are just as relevant today as they were 140 years ago. “Brethren, there is an abiding fullness of truth in Christ; after you have heard it for fifty years, you see more of its fullness …

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