Tag Archives | Stuart Townend

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Songs from WorshipGod West

Ever since reading Bryan Chapell’s excellent book, Christ-Centered Worship, I’ve been more intentional about structuring songs and meetings to reflect the story of the gospel and our response to it. At WorshipGod11: The Gathering we recorded an album based on those thoughts. More fruit from that study came at WorshipGod West. At each meeting we sought to rehearse, remember, revel in, and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ as our only hope and the means by which we’ve come to know God as our Father. Below I’ve listed the songs we sang, along with a few comments. Click on the title of the song titles to access charts and/or original sources. THURSDAY …

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Holy Spirit, Breath of God – Getty/Townend Hymn

During the charismatic outpouring of the 1970s many churches became more aware of the Holy Spirit than they had ever been. That awareness then, and in subsequent years, resulted in songs to and about the Holy Spirit which weren’t always as theologically precise as one would hope. Given the number of times we repeated some of those songs, it seemed as though the Holy Spirit was either hard of hearing or resistant to our requests to have him move among us, fill us, empower us, or be with us. That’s why I’m so grateful for writers like Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, writers of In Christ Alone, The Power of the Cross, and many more modern hymns …

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Top Ten Ways to Write Bad Worship Songs

In my eleven years as director of worship development for Sovereign Grace Ministries, I’ve reviewed hundreds of worship songs and written a few of my own. Not all of them have been stellar. Actually, very few of them have been. I’ve noticed recurring tendencies that keep weak songs from becoming good or great songs. I’m intimately acquainted with those tendencies in my own songs and I’ve listed my top ten below. While these thoughts are meant for songwriters, most of them apply to leading worship as well. So if you want to write bad worship songs, follow these simple tips: 1. Aim to write the next worldwide worship hit. It’s already been …

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What’s the Best Worship Song You’ve Learned Recently?

Just when I start thinking all the best worship songs have already been written (which I don’t really believe), I hear a new song that affects me profoundly. A friend recently sent me an email letting me know that he just taught his church My Soul Finds Rest (Ps 62) by Aaron Keyes and Stuart Townend. I have four categories for congregational worship songs. Must Use, Could Use, Personally Use, and Don’t Use. This is one that I’d put in my Must Use file. There are a number of reasons. It’s based on the Word of God (always a plus) The melody is memorable. The melody is creative. The harmonic progression is fresh. The meter is unique. …

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Songs from New Attitude

Life has been wonderfully full lately. Got back late (read VERY late) Tuesday night from the New Attitude conference, where about 3200 singles and young married couples gathered to sing God’s praise, hear the Word of God preached, experience meaningful fellowship, and exhaust themselves doing it all. You can read more about it at the New Attitude site. It was a real privilege to participate in the conference. My son, Devon, led the corporate worship with the Na Band. We sang a number of songs from their new CD, Looked Upon. One that seemed to have a significant impact was All I Have is Christ, written by my other son, Jordan, who plays drums …

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Apostles_creed

New CD – The Apostles Creed

Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. If you don’t know those names, you should. They are the co-writers of In Christ Alone, and as far as I can tell, are among the most gifted songwriters for congregational worship alive today. Stuart has been a friend for a number of years and I met Keith and his wife Kristyn this past year. My church had the joy of hosting all three of them for an event last September. I was challenged and inspired by Keith’s passion to equip the church through theologically rich songs. What makes his focus so impressive is that he doesn’t write the lyrics for the songs he composes with Stuart – he writes the melodies. …

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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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Songs for the Hard Times, Pt. 2

What do we sing when evil seems to be rampant and ongoing? This past Sunday Christians across the world observed a Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Over 200 million Christians daily face oppression, discrimination, torture, or worse, simply because they own the name of Jesus. In addition to taking time to pray for persecuted Christians, oppressive rulers, and the rest of the church, we expressed our prayers using Stuart Townend’s song, “How Long.” Those words echo the Psalmist’s struggle with God’s seeming unresponsiveness to the present prosperity and triumph of the wicked. How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile …

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