Archive | —Free Messages

Resources and Reflections from WorshipGod UK: Called to be Faithful

It’s been over a month ago now that we finished up our first WorshipGod UK conference, Called to Be Faithful. This has been one of my favorite themes for a WorshipGod conference because it speaks so directly to how we should approach ministering the gospel in song. We aren’t called to be amazing, or popular, or cool, or technologically savvy, or better than the church down the street. We’re called to be faithful. God has revealed the mystery of the gospel to us and he now calls us to faithfully steward the unsearchable riches of Christ. You can download the main sessions by clicking the titles below. Session 1 – Faithful To Receive (Craig …

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Resources for Your Worship Team from WorshipGod11: Instruments, General, Children

Yesterday, I posted some of the workshops from WorshipGod11 for leaders, songwriters, and tech teams. Here are a few more that focus on instrumentalists, leading kids to worship Christ, dealing with burnout, and the leader’s prayer life. Donald Whitney shared on simplifying your spiritual life and using Scripture as a basis for your prayers. There’s also a seminar for women taught by my wife that addresses facing every season of life with faith. Enjoy. Bass, Drums, Guitar Strengthening the Drum/Bass Connection, PT1 – Ryan Foglesong and David Zimmer (outline) The foundation of the worship team is the rhythm section composed of the drummer and …

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Resources for Your Worship Team from WorshipGod11: Leading, Songwriting, Tech

Last August at WorshipGod11 we offered 40 seminars for pastors, musicians, leaders, vocalists, instrumentalists, and tech teams. Today and tomorrow I’m posting the descriptions of a few that might serve you and your team in the coming year. Right clicking on the title will download the MP3, and of course, right clicking on the outline will get you the…outline. Leading Putting Songs Together – Bob Kauflin (outline) Why do you choose the songs you do? What factors go into deciding whether one song is better to use than another? What’s the difference between lyrical flow and musical flow? How can we use songs to effectively care for people’s …

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Song List from the Sovereign Grace Pastors Conference

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of leading the worship in song at the Sovereign Grace Ministries Pastors Conference. It was a wonderfully full schedule, which resulted in us singing primarily at the night sessions. On Wednesday night it was a joy to lead with my son, Devon, and the Na Band. On the last night, we were led by  Tom Fluharty, a member of Sovereign Grace Church in Minneapolis, MN, and a brilliant illustrator. Here’s what we sang: Tuesday PM We Sing (Sczebel/Sczebel/Twining) – from Sons & Daughters How Great is Your Faithfulness (Redman/Myrin) – from We Shall Not Be Shaken Psalm 62 (My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone) …

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Lessons Learned From Three Decades of Leading

On Friday night at WorshipGod09, Jeff Purswell interviewed CJ Mahaney and me about some things we had learned over thirty years of leading, much of that together. From the early 90’s I was involved in leading the music at various Sovereign Grace conferences, and then in 1997 I became the worship pastor at Covenant Life Church, where CJ was senior pastor. CJ has been the most significant influence in my life when it comes to the focus and practicals of leading congregational worship. During the interview, Jeff asked us about different topics including the role of the senior pastor in planning/leading corporate worship, encouraging your …

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Twenty-four Free MP3s from WorshipGod09 Now Available

Twenty four seminars from WorshipGod09: From Generation to Generation are now available at the Sovereign Grace Ministries website. And they’re all free. I’ve listed some of the seminars you can choose from below. Click on the title to download the MP3. You can also visit the Sovereign Grace Ministries website to download the pdfs or check out more seminars. Clean Hands and a Pure Heart – Pat Sczebel Thoughts on how we can weaken the power of indwelling sins like envy, lust, anger, and pride by pursuing greater satisfaction in Christ. Developing a Music Academy for God’s Glory – Ken and Rachael Boer Speaking from their experience …

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Messages and Books on the Holy Spirit

I had a good conversation through Skype today with Tim Smith, worship pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I met Tim a couple years ago, and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to interact with him on various topics related to worship and the church. Today one of the areas we touched on was the difference between being “charismatics with a seatbelt” and “philosophical charismatics.” The first phrase describes an attempt to exercise the more spontaneous gifts of the Spirit in a responsible way that exalts Christ and builds up the church. The second phrase describes those whose public meetings aren’t much different from those who deny that …

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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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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 2

I’ve gone back and forth over whether I should use “worship leader” in the title of this series. Among other things, using the term can communicate that: 1) the only time we worship God in a meeting is when we’re following the “worship leader” up front 2) congregational worship must be led by a musician 3) worship leaders have some special access into God’s presence that the congregation doesn’t have 4) this is a role that God has commended in His Word. I don’t believe any of the above statements are true. Anyone who seeks to encourage others to give praise and honor to God can be referred to broadly as a “worship …

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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 1

Before I start this series, I wanted to give you some background. Eight years ago, after I had served as a pastor for twelve years, C.J. Mahaney invited me to assume the new role of “Director of Worship Development” for Sovereign Grace Ministries. One of my assignments was to study and train others in the practicals of biblical worship, particularly as it relates to music. As I studied Scripture and read books like Engaging with God by David Peterson and Adoration and Action, ed. by D.A. Carson, I quickly realized that the Bible, especially the New Testament, didn’t give much space to my role as a worship leader. None, to be exact. The …

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Idolatry on Sunday Mornings, Pt. 7

I’m in the middle of a discussion on idols that can tempt us when we gather to worship God on Sunday mornings. Today, I’d like to talk about the idol of REPUTATION, especially as it’s revealed in the lives of leaders. God commends a good reputation in Proverbs: A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. Prov. 22:1 That means God wants our lives characterized by virtues such as godliness, integrity, and faithfulness. However, I’m never to seek my good name at the expense of God’s name. I must never be more concerned about my reputation than God’s. The idol of reputation is subtle. It’s masquerades …

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Idolatry on Sunday Mornings, Pt. 5

We can’t help but notice the number of times God addresses idolatry in his Word. He hates it when we pursue, serve, or are emotionally drawn to other gods, which are not really gods at all. Idols enslave us (Ps. 106:36), put us to shame (Is. 45:16), and ultimately conform us to their image (Ps. 115:8). But God’s intention is that we be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). Like the Psalmist, we should hate them and those who pay regard to them. (Ps. 31:6). Too often, though, we find ourselves to be the idolaters. Today, I want to share another idol that looms large when we worship God corporately. It particularly applies to musicians. The …

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Idolatry on Sunday Mornings, Pt. 4

I’d like to continue addressing a topic I began a couple weeks ago, that is, identifying the idols we may serve in our hearts even as we gather to worship God with His people. In previous posts we looked at music, tradition, creativity, experience, and liturgy. Here’s one more (well really, two). Biblical Knowledge I hesitate to include “biblical knowledge” as a potential idol. The reason I do is that we can wrongly pursue a knowledge of doctrine that is distinct from a knowledge of God Himself. We have to acknowledge this possibility or we easily fall into the error of the Pharisees, who took more pride in their “rightness” than …

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Idolatry on Sunday Mornings, Pt. 2

I tried to come up with a shocking title for these posts to alert us to the difference between a “professed” God and “functional” god. That is, the God we say we believe in, and the god that actually governs our desires and actions. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, idolatry can be active in my heart even as I’m outwardly worshipping God. That’s a sobering thought. Whenever I think I can’t worship God unless “X” is present, I’m making a profound statement. If “X” is anything other than Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, I’ve moved into idolatrous territory. Idolatry is always evil, but the idols we pursue aren’t …

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Idolatry on Sunday Mornings, Pt. 1

So these nations feared the LORD and also served their carved images. (2 Kings 17:41a ESV) What is our greatest hindrance in worshipping God? We could come up with a number of potential answers. “Our worship leader isn’t very experienced.” “The services are too planned/spontaneous.” “The songs are too complex/simple.” “The band/orchestra/organist/guitarist sounds bad.” “There are too many new/old songs.” “Our church is too big/small.” Ignoring for a moment that all these statements refer to a meeting context, they reveal a profound misconception about the hindrances to true worship. Contrary to what we might …

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