Tag Archives | Sunday morning

Reflections on Leading Worship at Together for the Gospel

If you just read the comments on my last Together for the Gospel post, you might be tempted to think that things went flawlessly. Not the case. Practically every time I lead I learn something new about what I’m doing, even though I’ve been leading worship for over 30 years now. I pray that I’m always learning something. Here are some of the things I learned, put into practice, or remembered this year. You can experience and express strong emotions for God while singing hymns. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say that hymns are dry, academic, lyrically dense, and inappropriate for “passionate worship.” That may be true in some …

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For Music

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine, Greg Gilbert, posted a blog on the 9Marks site called Against Music. The title was more an attention grabber than a statement of Greg’s attitude toward music in general. He was cautioning Christians against becoming spiritually dependent on music in their relationship with God. He wrote: The bottom line, I suppose, is that it would do every Christian well to do some honest heart-searching about what makes them feel “close to God.” Can you feel close to God just by reading or saying the words, “In Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”? Would you be able …

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Another Reason to Sing About the Cross

I just finished reading Where Wrath and Mercy Meet, edited by David Peterson. It’s taken from a series of messages given at Oak Hill College in the summer of 2000. They were a response to current challenges to the view that Jesus receiving the punishment we deserved at the cross. Otherwise known as the doctrine of penal substitution. Parts of the book were a little too technical for me, but I especially appreciated the last chapter by Paul Weston, and the appendix by Alan Stibbs. Dr. Stibbs’ contribution came from a message he gave 50 years ago on the need to recover the doctrine of justification by faith in preaching. I think his words can …

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Before the Throne of God Above (music by Vikki Cook)

A few Sundays ago, I led worship at my home church. One of the songs we sang was Before the Throne of God Above. I’m posting an audio of what we did because I wanted to make a number of points with it. Feel free to listen as you read. [Audio:http://sgm.edgeboss.net/download/sgm/worshipmatters/freesong/before_the_throne_of_god_above.mp3] 1. Introducing You to the Song: Even though “Before the Throne of God Above” has been recorded by Sonic Flood, Selah, Promise Keepers, Lou Fellingham (from Phatfish), Sojourn Church, GLAD, Shane and Shane, Matt Papa, and possibly others, you might not have heard it yet. So I wanted you to hear it. The lyrics, …

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Worship Songs for the Persecuted Church

I received this question from a Worship Matters reader: We’re having a missions conference in our church in Northern Ireland towards the end of November. The theme is the persecuted church. Have you any songs or sources you could recommend on this theme? I am keen to find songs that allow us to pray for and stand with our brothers and sisters and allow us to fulfill the command of Hebrews 13:3 ‘Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.’ Here are a few that came to mind: A Mighty Fortress is Our God – “let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also, the body …

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Sin and Sunday Morning

Joel Osteen was interviewed by Byron Pitts on 60 Minutes this past Sunday. I didn’t see the program but was able to watch it at CBS News Online. I recognize that the media can distort what someone actually says. But taken at face value, the interview was concerning. Here’s one portion from the transcript: “You said ‘I like to see myself as a life coach, a motivator to help them experience the life of God that God has for them. People don’t like to be beat down and told ‘You’ve done wrong.’ What do you mean?” Pitts asks. “Well, I think that most people already know what they’re doing wrong. And for me to get in here and just beat ‘em …

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Worshiping the Triune God

Recently a Roman Catholic bishop suggested that Christians could pray to Allah. Al Mohler posted a response on his blog. He wrote: From its very starting point Islam denies what Christianity takes as its central truth claim — the fact that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father. If Allah has no Son by definition, Allah is not the God who revealed himself in the Son. How then can the use of Allah by Christians lead to anything but confusion . . .and worse? While I doubt that anyone who normally reads Worship Matters is thinking about worshiping Allah, it did remind me how important it is to identify the God we worship when we meet …

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Should We Use Secular Songs on Sundays?

Matt sent in this question: I recently came across a message board where folks were discussing secular songs that could be done to make “seekers” feel more comfortable at church. Some folks mentioned that they had been to church’s where song such as: “She Will be Loved” by Maroon 5, “Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayer (that Sunday’s service was about sexuality), lots of U2, etc. I’m really interested to hear your thoughts about doing songs like these. Should we seek to evangelize during our times of worshiping God through singing corporately? There are three ways I want to respond to Matt’s question. First, the idea that we should make …

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