Paul meets them where they are. The music in your church has the same effect.
Contrary to popular sentimentalism, we are not singing for “an audience of one.” While we do sing to worship our Savior, we also sing to rehearse the truth of the Gospel together and be sanctified by it.
With people coming from different Christian traditions, or no Christian background at all, we believe it's important to explain why we do what we do on the Lord's Day.
You can't just go pick some popular cultural form and insert the Gospel message and think you have thereby come up with relevant worship.
“I worship God best when I’m singing on the stage.”
"One of the most intense times of worship I have ever experienced.” This caption came across my Instagram notifications a few weeks back. I never would have expected a picture of a young man standing in front of a mirror in his bathroom with a bewildered smirk on his face.
The cumulative effect of the gospel is affectionate worship of the one true God. The grand design of gospel proclamation, then, is gospel enthrallment, gospel enjoyment.
We want to set a table that entices our people to sit down and dig in.
What’s it like to hear the whole world sing your praise? Only God knows. But be awed by the fact that He does.
If Adam had a business card, it would have read “Gardener.” Nothing exciting there. And yet the words God used to describe his job are anything but ordinary.
We sing because we love God, not because we are the next Whitney Houston. Making a joyful noise is more about the One who makes us joyful than the squeaky noise coming from our vocal chords.
Our body naturally acts the way our hearts feel.
I took my seat as the service started, going through the mental checklist, making sure I prepared. Then my worship leader began the song, “God is Able" . . .
The songs we sing in gathered worship should present an antidote to our pharisaical hearts. We need to sing songs that help us enter into the rest of Christ’s finished work.
We want to encourage churches to sing songs that are theologically rich and coherent, gospel-centered, hope-instilling, and singable. Far too often we don’t know where to look for these songs. “What Should My Church Sing?” is a series of posts that will aim to grow your churches hymnody by pointing you to songs that we think your church should sing.
Self-denying humility ought to show up in the way we worship together.
Why in the world would we tell the One who owns the place that He’s welcome there?
Do everything out of love for the congregation that gathers as your local church, and enable them to sing and worship and see Christ clearly together.
Responsive readings not only assist in the reading and praying of Scripture, but also are of value in that they are biblical, historical, participatory, and instructional for the life of the church.
There is a right kind of worship war, a kind that every Christian -- and particularly, those who are leaders in the church -- should be engaging in on a daily basis.
A lot of worship diets are like "Oreos for breakfast."
So when you sing on Sunday, make sure you are raising your hands and heart because of the words that you are singing and not simply because of the emotions that you are feeling.
At first glance, the worship wars that once plagued the church seem to have died down. So it might be easy to chalk it all up to a problem from a bygone era. Until we walk out of a church service that didn’t meet our own standards. We have become professional critics of corporate worship.
If Luther was right that "all of life is repentance," then a non-repenter is a non-believer.
I know that the men and women around me are singing to God while they are struggling in their marriages, fighting cancer, and feeling the uncertainty of job loss. I have come to realize that worship isn’t just something we do; it does something to us.
Our attempts to improve Christian worship may, in fact, distract from it. Often, less actually is more. There can be a beauty in simplicity.
When we worship in song, we are recognizing what is already true about God. We are saying: Look at our God, behold our Savior - He is worthy of our praise! We don’t make God glorious with our praise; rather, we praise Him because He is glorious.
Ultimately, God’s glory in your selections should be more important than making someone happy
For all His love for humanity, God did not ultimately preserve a nation for the sake of sheer benevolence. He did so for His glory.
Christ died to redeem men and women from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation. When those men and women gather together, we ought to sing as only redeemed men and women can.
One of the great dangers in doing theology is the desire to do all the talking.
Sometimes shepherding the room is simply getting out of the way so that the real Shepherd can do His work.
Writing music for your people is a challenge - it is a heavy responsibility to put words and thoughts about God into people’s hearts and minds.
Ultimately, glorifying God through our songs should be our highest priority.
When we “sabbath,” we do as God did. This is the essence of godliness.
When we ponder the right things, we proceed in the right direction.
How does God reach us when our heart staggers mindlessly into the gray dusk of ‘whatever’?
The time had come for God’s justice to be laid out on the Amalekites, and King Saul was to be the mediator. But, as often is the case, a simple command gets transfigured into something more palatable between the hearing and the doing.
Pastor if your church music is missing the mark theologically, you not only have the authority to do something about it, you have the responsibility to do so.
When we are focusing on the grandeur of God’s actual glory, we are freed from superficial stimulation of our emotions. This is actually how we safeguard authenticity in our worship.
In the midst of planning songs, prayers, and moment of exhortation - what are we really trying to accomplish in a worship service?
Leaders, trade in the tricks of the trade for the all-powerful, all-surpassing glory of Jesus Christ in the gospel.
Culture is relentless in leading us to believe that all of life exists with ourselves at the center. When it comes to worshiping God, preference gives way to His worth and we are to strive for unity within the Body.
What are some common mistakes worship leaders make?
When we pick up the bread and the tiny cup with our weak and calloused hands, we remember the nails that pierced our Savior’s hands and feet wounded him, but did not defeat him.
The Father orchestrated the plan of salvation, the Son accomplished it, and the Spirit applies it. So it is in corporate worship.
If your church orients its weekend gathering around reaching seekers, it's quite possible you've adopted some working assumptions and programmatic arrangements that actually turn the biblical shape of evangelism and mission upside down.
God wants us to experience our messy community when we come together in worship. He is honored by it.