Tag Archives | worship

I Worship God by Singing. You Should, Too.

Last week Donald Miller, probably best known as the author of Blue Like Jazz, wrote a blog post called, “I Don’t Worship God by Singing. I Connect With Him Elsewhere.” It came as I was  working on a chapter for my book, True Worshipers. A chapter called “True Worshipers Sing.” I was surprised by the categorical nature of Don’s title and even more concerned after reading the post. Don seemed more committed to being honest (brutally honest at one point) and telling us about his learning style than helping us see more clearly what God might think about our singing. I’ve read some thoughtful responses to Don’s post from Mike Cosper, Denny Burk …

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Worship Without Words

Recently I posted on Twitter: The fact that Psalms doesn’t include a soundtrack or notation clues us in to what God values most in our worship songs. I find it fascinating that God gave us a “songbook” with numerous musical references, but no actual music. It’s not that music is unimportant. Badly played or written music can make great theology sound obscure or unappealing. Great music can make shallow lyrics sound profound and incredibly moving. Which is why when we’re deciding what to sing congregationally, we want to give the greatest attention to the lyrics we’re singing. In response to my tweet someone asked: @bkauflin Is it …

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WorshipGod East and West Registration Now Open

Registration for WorshipGod East and West has finally opened. And I can’t wait. This year’s theme is Called to be Faithful. A large number of past WorshipGod attendees have come from churches of 500 or less. In addition, when I posted A Salute to the Average Worship Leader a few months ago, it seemed to resonate with a lot of folks. That’s why I wanted to focus this year on being faithful. Being faithful is hard. It’s not flashy. It doesn’t make for good sound bites or Facebook status updates. Being faithful isn’t sensational, doesn’t attract big crowds, and almost never makes the headlines. And when it does, the focus is …

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Desiring God National Conference 2008

A few months ago I was shocked to receive an invitation to speak at John Piper’s National Conference, The Power of Words and the Wonder of God, at the end of September. Shocked for two reasons. First, that I was asked. Second, that it came on the last two days of my vacation with my family. I checked with my dear wife, as well as my friends, and everyone thought I should accept the invitation. Julie’s only request was that I fly back to the Outer Banks to drive home with the family on Sunday. I checked with John and he graciously accommodated my request. I’ll be speaking on the topic of “What Happens When We Sing?” Here’s the trailer for the conference. Desiring …

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Does God Sing?

At the end of September I’ll be speaking at the Desiring God National Conference, The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. To help promote the conference, they videotaped interviews with all the main speakers, which include Sinclair Ferguson, Paul Tripp, and Mark Driscoll. Scott Anderson spent about 90 minutes asking me various questions related to singing, the theme of my message at the conference. In this clip I talk briefly about how singing praise to God is partly motivated by knowing that God himself sings. Considering the cost the Savior paid to enable us to hear the triune God singing over us in eternity is a thought that never fails …

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How Does Music “Work” in Worship?

This is the third clip from a longer video in which Tim Smith, worship pastor from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA, asked me various questions related to worship. In this portion, Tim asked me about the relationship between music and worship. In it I talk about some of the factors that have made music such a volatile issue in the church today, and different ways that Christians view music. Just scratching the surface here…If you want to dig deeper, I’d highly recommend you read Harold Best’s Music Through the Eyes of Faith. I read it in the mid-90′s and haven’t found anything as insightful, helpful, and biblically faithful. …

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Why Worship Matters

Last week I asked people to answer the question, “Why does worship matter?” in 100 words or less. I said I’d pick the top 20 answers and send them a copy of Worship Matters, so that they could post a review on their blog. I received some great answers from as far away as Australia. Of course, if you live in Australia, you don’t think that’s far at all. Here are some of my favorite responses. Ryan James said worship matters because everyone worships. Worship matters because it is the inescapable activity of all people everywhere regardless of whether they are a Christian or even “religious.” All people have some sort of “god” that they orient …

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CD Review – You and You Alone by Pat and Joel Sczebel

Sovereign Grace Ministries has just released our 5th recording in the Overflow series. Overflow began because we simply weren’t able to put out enough projects to keep up with the songs that were being written by Sovereign Grace songwriters. Produced by local churches using local instrumentalists and vocalists, the Overflow highlight emerging songs that encourage passionate, biblically informed, Christ-glorifying worship. One of the aspects of the Overflow CDs I’m most excited about is seeing a greater variety in the songs that Sovereign Grace is producing. “You and You Alone” is an enhanced CD, including guitar charts and lead sheets. It …

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What About Vocal Solos on Sunday Mornings?

I appreciate those of you who have taken the time to send me a specific question related to what you’re going through. Scott wrote in to ask: Is there a place for soloist/duets during the worship time?… If someone is gifted vocally, should I allow them to minister to the body (presuming that there are guidelines from the church leadership as to biblical content and appearance)? Does it cross the line leading to human-exaltation if there are those repeatedly clamoring for a certain person(s)? Eph. 5:19 says we’re to be “addressing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” It’s normal to understand that as congregational singing. After …

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Should We Worship Jesus as the Beautiful One?

Joshua is interested in teaching his church the song, “Beautiful One,” by Tim Hughes. He wrote: As I began to think about it, I couldn’t come up with a scripture verse that refers to Jesus as ‘beautiful.’ I did a word search in the NIV and the NASB for beautiful, but it seems to always refer to other things than God. Can beautiful be a substitute word for splendor or glorious or majestic? Is it better to use only Biblical words to describe Jesus? In another part of his e-mail Joshua pointed out that other songs contain the word “beautiful,” like “O Lord You’re Beautiful” by Keith Green, “I Stand in Awe” by Mark Altrogge (You are beautiful beyond …

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What a Savior Free MP3 and Chart

I’ve received a number of e-mails asking for the new version of the hymn “Hallelujah, What a Savior,” that we taught at the New Attitude conference, music and chorus written by my son, Devon. I promised a while back that I’d post them, so here you go. The original version was by Phillip Bliss, an American hymn writer who died at the age of 37 in a train accident. Devon’s version is called “What a Savior.” It keeps the reflective sense of the verses, but adds a celebrative chorus that expands on Christ’s work and expresses our desire to offer our lives to proclaim how great our Savior is. We’ve sung it on Sunday mornings at Covenant Life, and …

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What About “Me” Songs?

Matt wrote in to ask: What do you think about singing songs that have a lot of me/we/I content. Is it wrong to sing a lot of songs that talk about us? A couple come to mind right now: “We stand and lift up our hands…” “I love you Lord…” etc…I think there’s value in having some songs with personal language as we sing/speak to God, but is there a balance that we should seek in using songs that speak of we, me, or us? Great question. Lyrics in worship songs can be generally categorized as objective, subjective, or reflective. Objective lyrics tell us something true about God that helps us know him better. Most, but not all, hymns …

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New Songs, New CD’s, and a New Website

I’m currently in the middle of moving my office from Covenant Life Church to Sovereign Grace Ministries. The two buildings are actually connected, so it’s not that big a deal. As my responsibilities at Covenant Life have been assumed by Ken Boer, it’s released me to give more time to writing, training, and overseeing music for Sovereign Grace. We’ve also needed more office space at Covenant Life, so it was the right time to make the move. Right now all my books and CD’s are boxed up in an empty office as shelves are being installed. I should be in my new office next week. There are plenty of things I’d like to be blogging about right now, but …

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New Attitude 2007 Songs

I woke up this morning (late) with the songs from the Sovereign Grace New Attitude conference flowing through my brain. What a joy it was to sing such rich truths and be reminded of the sovereignty, mercy, and goodness of the Savior. What a joy it was to hear such great biblical teaching from Josh Harris, Eric Simmons, Al Mohler, John Piper, Mark Dever, and C.J. Mahaney on the topic of discernment. All the messages are available for free at the Sovereign Grace site. I told Josh and Eric that I don’t know of any conference for singles and young couples that has a 52 year old guy in the band. But it was pure joy to be there along with five …

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Worship Leaders – How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways

This morning the Washington Post business section ran a column called, “To Me, With Love: Retailers Embrace Valentine’s Day as an Excuse for Singles to Celebrate Themselves.” Among other interesting facts, the article reports that Piperlime, an online shoe store owned by Gap, has a “Be your own Valentine” category. Sales are strong for Valentine’s Day gifts you can give to the person you love the most – yourself. You may not have the nerve to give a Valentine’s gift to yourself, but you’re probably no stranger to self-love. There is an appropriate way to humbly acknowledge that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). However that …

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