Archive | —Worship and Culture

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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Desiring God Interview

Last month I had the privilege to lead a few songs at John Piper’s Gravity and Gladness seminar, and participate in a Q&A with Dr. Piper. It was somewhat of a surreal experience sitting next to John answering questions about worship. I first heard the audio of John preaching this series around 2000. As I listened to him again I realized how much his message of both knowing and treasuring the supremacy of God’s glory in Christ has affected my thinking. So grateful for the ways God has used John to magnify the glory of Jesus Christ. After the seminar was over, Jonathan Parnell, content strategist for Desiring God, asked me a few questions …

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Worshiping God Mind, Soul, and Body

When I was in Australia recently, I was asked to give a message three times called “Let the People be Glad: Worshiping God Mind, Soul, and Body.” It’s a topic that’s not only relevant to Australians but to Christians anywhere. I made it clear that while “worship” is a word that refers to our relationship to God in all of life, I was going to speak primarily about singing songs of praise when we gather. Throughout Israel’s history, God intended there to be a connection between the faithfulness, authenticity, and passion of their gatherings and the way they lived their daily lives. What the Israelites did when they met at the tabernacle or temple …

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The Functional Limits of Creativity: How Innovative Can We Be with the Gospel?

This past weekend I had the privilege of presenting a workshop at Crowder’s Fantastical Church Music Conference in Waco, TX. Through a series of email discussions, David and I came up with the title, “The Functional Limits of Creativity: How Innovative Can We Be with the Gospel?” When Crowder first contacted me about participating in the conference I wanted to make sure he knew where I was coming from in the area of creativity. I love creativity, but think God has placed limits on its use in congregational meetings. He told me that’s why he wanted me to come to the conference. Well, that made my day. I divided my workshop message into …

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The Cross and Christian Ministry

A few years ago, at the recommendation of C.J. Mahaney, I read The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson. Carson exposits select passages from 1 Corinthians, explaining how the cross affects our understanding of preaching, the Holy Spirit, factionalism, Christian leadership, and being a world Christian. I’d highly recommend it for any Christian leader who believes “Christ crucified” defines not only our message but our methods of ministry. Here are a few quotes that impacted me: Replacing The Primary with the Secondary “It is at least possible that we are the generation of believers who will destroy much of historic Christianity from …

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What About Candles in Worship?

Someone wrote me to ask a question about the use of candles in congregational worship. As we are approaching a time of year when many congregations use candles, this is a timely question. Often, however, the way we ask a question can significantly affect the answer we arrive at. I am starting to see candles used more and more in the services. Now, I know that the Bible never says not to use them, however, my concern comes in with how the world views the use of candles today…The only use of candles in the world today is for mystical and new age experiences. What is the church communicating when we turn off the lights and light candles sitting …

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A New Five Year Old

Ethan, my first grandson, turned five years old last August. Like most five year olds he’s a combination of energy, inquisitiveness, joy, and occasional mischief. Leave him alone for ten minutes and you never know what’s going to be spilled, turned over, broken, or missing when you return. Experience has taught me it’s always a good idea to keep close watch on a five year old. There’s another five year old that we might keep a close watch on. I’m referring to the iPod. This past Monday, the iPod turned 5. That’s right. It’s only been five years since the appearance of the ubiquitous machine that has now sold over 65 million units. …

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How Should We Celebrate Civil Holidays?

This question came from Greg: I would love to get your thoughts on how you address (or don’t address) civil holidays as you prepare worship services. I’m really thinking of July 4th more than anything else. That tends to be the one that stirs the pot most easily. In brief, since God’s kingdom is not of this world (Jn. 18:36), we don’t feel any obligation to draw attention to, highlight, or celebrate civil holidays as part of our Sunday gatherings. There are a number of reasons. Our country doesn’t set the agenda and priorities for the meetings of the church – God’s Word does. Also, one country’s celebration may confront another country’s …

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