Archive | —Leading a Team

Pastoring and guiding your team in spiritual understanding and growth.

The Gathering: Coming to New Orleans Next Weekend

In 2011, Sovereign Grace Music recorded The Gathering, a collection of 15 songs that walk through the flow of the gospel and our response to it. Among others, the album included Greater Than We Can Imagine, Shine Into Our Night, Show Us Christ, and All I Have is Christ. The idea for the project had its origins in Bryan Chapell’s excellent book, Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice. Chapell makes the case from Scripture, history, and our personal need that, “Corporate worship is nothing more, and nothing less, than a re-presentation of the gospel in the presence of God and his people for his glory and their good.” While …

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Do I Lead To Impress or To Serve?

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about moving to Louisville two years ago and helping to plant Sovereign Grace Church is the opportunity to train interns from Southern Seminary and Boyce College. I meet weekly with a group from each school to talk theology, focus on heart issues, and work on music and leadership skills. They also serve on Sundays and help out with Sovereign Grace Music. Young musicians and leaders are often overly self-conscious and nervous. While confidence comes with experience, we don’t want to overcome self by becoming more assured in ourselves. So one of  my goals for the interns is that they get to the place where …

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Exposing Perfectionism

This semester I met with a group of interns on Friday afternoons (when I was around). Along with developing some musical skills we read selected chapters from Unceasing Worship by Harold Best. If you haven’t read it and you’re a Christian involved in congregational worship or the arts, I’d strongly encourage you to get a copy. At our last meeting someone referenced this quote from chapter 11: “Authentic worship is not perfect worship. It stands in continual need of examination, repentance, increased depth and humility as well as outpouring meekness and humility.” That led to an extended conversation on the topic of perfectionism. Most Christian …

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From the Archives: When Feet Want to be Hands

What do you do as a leader when someone wants to play a specific role on your music team but is better fit for something else? What do you do as a member if that’s you? A number of years ago I preached a message from 1 Cor. 12:12-31. Paul has been answering the Corinthians’ questions about who is “really” spiritual. They were under the mistaken assumption that certain gifts, like tongues, were a sign of true spirituality. Their attitude was dividing the church – the exact opposite of the unity the Spirit wants to bring. Paul presses his point home by using the analogy of the human body. In preparing for the message, I did a little …

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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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What I Love About Sojourn Music

This past weekend I had the joy of hanging out with Mike Cosper and the gang from Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY. Mike is one of the pastors at the church and heads up Sojourn Music. He’ll be leading a band for one of the main sessions at WorshipGod11 and also co-leading a guitar workshop on “tone, gear, and playing together.” It was a quick trip that included leading a songwriting workshop, dinner at an amazing Mexican restaurant with a bunch of the guys who lead the music for Sojourn (including Jamie Barnes and Brooks Ritter), attending one of the Sunday AM meetings, and leading the singing for the two evening meetings (5 and …

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How Do You Address Modesty?

One of the topics in the church that leaders rarely address is modesty. It’s awkward. You can be accused of legalism. People can be offended. It can seem politically incorrect. But that doesn’t mean it should never be addressed, nor that there’s not a gracious way to do it. Ideally, those who participate in a public platform on Sundays should be aware that people learn not only from what they say but what they wear. (I did another post on what we wear when we worship here.) Certain things are clear. We aren’t to treat people differently based on what people wear (James 2:1-5). That means we don’t look down self-righteously at those who dress …

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Receiving the Baton from a Previous Generation

A while back I was asked to write an article for Tabletalk magazine for their “Generation to Generation” column. My aim was to share a few words to encourage the next generation of leaders. I asked if I could repost the article and Tabletalk graciously granted me permission. You can find the original post at Ligonier’s site but if it’s too difficult to click on the link, here’s what I wrote: As I run the final laps of my race on this earth (however long the Lord allows that to be), one of my greatest joys and desires is to serve the next generation. When I was in my twenties, I assumed, somewhat arrogantly, that my friends and I had better …

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How Do I Get New Song MP3s to My Band Members Legally?

Tim wrote me to ask a question every one who works with music in the church has probably asked at least once, if not a hundred times. I was wondering how you handled the distribution of burned CDs in your music ministry. Is there anyway to do this legally? I would love to download and distribute songs on mixed CDs for two main reasons: 1) To help my musicians be familiar with new songs before rehearsal 2) To encourage Christians I am counseling to listen to songs that admonish/encourage/help them worship God in the specific area of their spiritual life that they are struggling in. I sent Tim’s question out to some of the guys who help …

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Memorizing Great Hymns

Last month my church started memorizing great hymns of the faith. We’ll be memorizing a hymn a month for ten months. Ken Boer, who oversees music at Covenant Life, explains on the church website why we’re doing this: Memorizing hymns is one of the ways we can obey Scripture’s command to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16). We’re doing this project because we want to benefit not only from the songs written in our lifetime, but also from hymns that have served the people of God …

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Why Theology Matters to Christian Musicians

This past weekend I spoke at the Christian Musician Summit on Why Theology Matters to Christian musicians. When Christian musicians get together, our tendency is to assume we all have our theology down and we can focus on honing our chops, discovering new gear, and improving our techniques and methodologies. Or maybe we think that theology isn’t that important. Whatever the reason, I wanted to make clear that even at the Christian Musicians Summit, theology matters. I started by saying that theology is literally the “study of God,” particularly as he has revealed himself in Scripture. It includes not only studying the Bible, but understanding …

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What is a Successful Christian Musician?

This past weekend I had the joy of speaking on various topics at the Christian Musician Summit in Overlake, WA, near Seattle. It was a very encouraging time, and I met quite a few people who were currently using Worship Matters with their worship team. Great hooking up with old friends and making some new ones. I mentioned to a few folks that I’d be posting my message and workshop notes on my blog. So that’s what I’ll be doing over the next few days. In the opening session I spoke on “What is a Successful Christian Musician?” I chose that topic because I know that when we attend large conferences led by highly skilled musicians, we can be …

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Listening to Music for God’s Glory

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking to the parents and youth of my home church on the topic of listening to music for the glory of God. The parent/youth ministry is currently discussing the book, Wordliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World. My message was something of an adaptation of a chapter I wrote for the book, called “God, My Heart, and Music.” I started out by saying God gave us music as a gift to direct our attention to him. In the Bible, music is connected with worship, weddings, funerals, work, play, and war. The basic elements of rhythm, melody, and harmony aren’t inherently evil or sinful. Non-Christians can …

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Worship Matters Video Vignettes

A while back I recorded four brief videos (3-4 minutes each) that serve as an introduction to the four sections of my book, Worship Matters, but can also be used as stand-alones. They deal with four areas: The Leader (what do I love the most?) The Task (what exactly is a worship leader trying to do?) Healthy Tensions (what false dichotomies do we create in corporate worship?) Right Relationships (how can I worship God in my relationships with my team, church, and pastor?) I recently was surprised to find out that the October issue of Worship Leader magazine mentioned them as a resource for worship leaders, pastors, and ministry teams. …

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Thoughts on the Desiring God National Conference

I had the privilege of speaking at the Desiring God National Conference last Saturday morning. It was a whirlwind trip that I made with my daughter (and assistant) Chelsea. We got there for dinner on Friday and caught a 7 PM flight out on Saturday. It came at the end of our two week beach vacation, and I decided not to try that again. Too distracting. Chuck Steddom, a good friend from John Piper’s church, led the singing along with a team from his church. It was encouraging to hear them introduce “Praise the Lord,” a song from our recent Psalms CD. Sinclair Ferguson gave a message the first night called “The Tongue, the Bridle, and the …

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