Tag Archives | CJ Mahaney

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Songlist from Next 2010

Got back yesterday from NEXT 2010. It was three and a half days of singing, preaching, and hanging out with about 2500 others who wanted to dig deeper into God and his Word. A powerful time. All the main session messages are available for download from the NEXT website. If you couldn’t make the conference, I’d encourage you to check them out. And if you did make it to NEXT, I’d download them to listen to them again. Josh Harris on foundations, Mark Dever on the work of Christ, Kevin DeYoung on Scripture and the Church, CJ Mahaney on sanctification, D.A. Carson on God, and Jeff Purswell on the end times. I’m posting the songs we sang at the …

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O Great God at Together for the Gospel

Last month, we introduced a number of songs at the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY. O Great God was one of them. I originally wrote the song for our album, Valley of Vision, a collection of songs based on The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. It comes from the prayer,  “Regeneration,” that begins: Occupy the throne of my heart, take full possession and reign supreme, lay low every rebel lust, let no vile passion resist they holy war; manifest thy mighty power, and make me thine for ever. Thou art worthy to be praised with my every breath, loved with my every faculty of soul served …

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Planning and the Holy Spirit

Here’s another video clip from WorshipGod09, where Jeff Purswell is interviewing CJ Mahaney and me about some of the things we’ve learned over three decades of leading. In this section we talk about the importance of planning as well as listening for  the Spirit’s leading during the meeting. In my experience, people tend to value one or the other. Either we trust completely in our plan and wouldn’t think of veering from it, or we minimize preparation and think God is only active when something spontaneous happens. When it comes to leading corporate worship, both planning AND spontaneity are important values. If you’re interested in …

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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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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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John Piper Speaking at WorshipGod09

Even though 2008 isn’t finished yet, I’m in the midst of planning for our next worship conference, WorshipGod09: From Generation to Generation, to be held Aug. 5-8, 2009, in Gaithersburg, MD. The main messages will address the importance of passing on biblical values of corporate worship from one generation to the next. I was thrilled when John Piper of Desiring God Ministries agreed to come. He’ll be speaking Wednesday night and Thursday morning. I was also able to confirm my good friend, Jeff Purswell, as a main speaker. Jeff has served us well in the past by providing messages that are biblically rich, theologically insightful, and spiritually …

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Together for the Gospel CD Now Available

Last April I had the joy of leading over 5000 individuals, mostly men, in times of corporate worship at the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY. Dave Mackenzie, who works for Sovereign Grace, set up mics to record the event, and I’m happy to let you know you can now buy the CD at the Sovereign Grace store. I’ll warn you. If you’re looking for incredible drum tracks, awesome guitar sounds, and a thumping bass,  you’ll have to look elsewhere. Together for the Gospel Live is just me on the piano and 5000 voices belting out 16 hymns, old and new, that magnify the gospel and glory of Christ. That’s it. Turns out that’s enough. …

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The Excellency of Christ: Quotes from John Flavel

Got back yesterday from the Straight Up conference at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, IL. I was there with CJ Mahaney, who spoke on “A Divine Perspective” from 1 Cor. 1:1-9. I’ve probably heard that message 5-6 times and never tire of being challenged to notice more of what God is doing in those around me, as Paul did with the Corinthian church. I had the privilege of leading worship and teaching a seminar on The Task of the Worship Leader. It was great meeting some folks who read this blog, and I had the opportunity to reconnect with my friends Andi Rozier, Matt Stowell, and Matthew Westerholm, who came to WorshipGod06 and WorshipGod08. Very …

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More from the Text and Context Conference

It’s been a full two days here at the Text and Context Conference at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. One of the highlights was hearing my good friend, C.J. Mahaney, preach on Pastoral Care and Loving People from 1 Cor. 1:1-9. He reminded us that although the Corinthian church was filled with problems and sin, Paul didn’t start his letter by correcting them. Instead, he reminded them of God’s calling, God’s grace, and God’s faithfulness. Along the way, CJ provided practical illustrations of how we can follow Paul’s example by highlighting, celebrating, and communicating evidences of grace in the people we lead, rather than simply being …

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Evidences of Grace in the Blogosphere

Yesterday, the blogosphere became a better, more Gospel-centered, and funnier place. That’s because my mentor, friend, and hero CJ Mahaney started a blog on the Sovereign Grace website. The by-line is “C.J. Mahaney’s View from the Cheap Seats & Other Stuff.” His co-blogger is Tony Reinke, who not only has his own blog, but has recently been hired by Sovereign Grace to capture and export much of what CJ says and does. Although CJ has authored a number of books, his greatest gifts are in the speaking arena, publicly or privately. Today’s post, “Perceiving God’s Work,” is a great example of what Tony has been assigned to do, and the content …

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Free MP3 Worship Song – The Look

Those of you who read Worship Matters through a blog aggregator won’t notice that I’ve finally changed the free song on my side bar. For a limited time (which usually turns out to be a couple months…) you can download a free MP3 of the song, The Look. For years, C.J. Mahaney referred to a John Newton hymn that began with the lines, “In evil long I took delight.” Newton imagines the Savior looking down at him twice from the cross. The first look communicates our guilt and responsibility for the death of Christ. The second look assures us that this sacrifice forever secures our forgiveness before God. The two looks together fill us with a “pleasing …

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Preparing for and Evaluating the Worship Service

I received this question a while back: Do you happen to have anything that you have given out to worship leaders as far as a check-list of items to review as they are preparing for a Sunday morning? The simple answer to this would be “no.” However, a few years ago C.J. Mahaney and I put together ten questions for evaluating corporate worship, which might serve as a memory jogger. 1. Is our Savior’s substitutionary sacrifice on the Cross clearly and repeatedly presented through song lyrics and exhortations as central to our worship and the means by which we approach God? 2. Is it evident to the church and guests that all we do is rooted …

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So Much to Thank God For

When asked how he’s doing, my friend C.J. Mahaney often answers, “Better than I deserve.” He’s been responding that way for years, and it always reminds me that my sins far outweigh my trials. Yet God has dealt with my sins by punishing his own Son in my place. I will never know His righteous wrath. I will forever know the joy of His presence. So why don’t I have a more thankful attitude? I think my perspective is comprehensive, accurate, and authoritative. I think my complaining moves God. I think I’m ultimately responsible for my destiny. I think I’m immediately responsible for my justification before God. I think I rule everything …

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Expressing Love to God

Someone coined the phrase “God is my girlfriend songs” to describe contemporary lyrics that express love to God with words that are romantic in nature. They include phrases like “embrace me,” “let me feel your touch,” etc. While this isn’t the first time in history congregational songs have been labeled as sensual (John Wesley had some problems with Charles Wesley’s lyrics at times), it’s an issue that still needs clarification. Why does someone write songs that can be sung either to God or a human lover? The reasons vary. Perhaps the writer is simply a poor lyricist and doesn’t know any better. It might be an attempt to stretch the …

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Monday Devotions – Cultivating Thankfulness

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Ps. 100:4 ESV) What does God value as we enter His presence? Gratefulness. Our culture puts a high value on being “real” as we come before God. Genuine. Vulnerable. Authentic. The Psalmists don’t hesitate to tell God when life is a mess and they’re struggling. (Check out Psalm 13, 42, and 88). But in a society where self-expression is often hailed as the ultimate virtue, I’m not sure that “being real” before God is my problem. Being thankful is. Why is God so concerned that we be grateful? There are a number of reasons. …

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