Archive | March, 2007


Why Don’t We Ever Sing This Song?

I received this question from Evers: I’ve at times received well-intentioned “suggestions” from folks who’ve enjoyed one song or another while visiting other churches (perhaps on vacation).  While occasionally these are nice songs, I’ve often felt that many of the songs simply lack Biblical substance but are musically very catchy…How might you respond to members of a congregation (particularly small churches) who enthusiastically ask for you to play songs that you otherwise feel lacking in substance, or are perhaps even overly man-centered and poorly written? If you think God cares about what we sing in the church, then you’ll eventually …

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Sovereign Grace Website and Songbox

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on downloading music. Since then, we’ve been having discussions about how we can better serve worship leaders who’d like access to our songs but don’t want to buy the whole CD. Just wanted to let you know that Sovereign Grace offers $.99 downloads of any song we’ve ever recorded at Songbox. They’re listed there by project and individual song. Also, we’ve redesigned our website and made it more user friendly. New features include a section that categorizes many of our teachings on worship, the ability to search songs by lyric, theme, or author, and a listing of all our printed music. …

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Singing the Psalms in Worship, Pt. 2

Do the words we sing in worship matter to God? More than most of us realize. What we sing teaches us, shapes us, molds us, and affects us. So it might seem wise to only sing God’s Word, specifically the Psalms, back to him. But, while there is much we can learn from the Psalms for congregational worship, I believe God wants us to sing more than the Psalms when we meet on Sundays. I posted on this topic last week, and a couple folks left gracious comments that offered a different perspective. I started to leave a response in the comments section, but it got so long I thought I’d make it into a new post. We can’t start this discussion by …

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Book Update and Looking for Contributions

For those of you who are regular readers of Worship Matters, you know that last year I started a book on worship for Crossway. At the end of January, after I had almost finished the first draft, my very good friend, C.J. Mahaney, helped me see that I needed an editor and a more specific audience. I’m happy to report that I now have both. Crossway has hired Thomas Womack, formerly of Multnomah but now an independent editor, to help me write the new book. Thomas and I have had a number of interactions already, and he is a gift from God to me. He has given me invaluable suggestions for what I want to say and how I should say it. The target audience …

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Singing the Psalms in Worship

I started this post last Friday as a Q&A Friday, but never finished it. Oh well… Jacob sent me this question: What is your take on the exclusive use of Psalms in worship?…Since the Psalms were the only Spirit-inspired songs given to the people of God, and because instrument use in the Old Testament is tied to ceremonial law (which was done away with in the New Testament), the belief is that true corporate worship in song is comprised of Psalm singing without instrumentation. Also, it is noted that there are no commands to write uninspired songs of worship in the Bible. What do you think? The other day, Don left a comment also …

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Thoughts on Worship Hits

If you’re a worship leader or music minister there’s a good chance you’ve heard another leader talking about the new song they just introduced. They describe it as the most “incredible, life-changing, awesome, heaven-releasing, God-calling-down, what-you-haven’t-heard-it-yet” song they’ve ever done. You heart sinks as you realize that not only have you not heard the song, you didn’t even know the CD was out. When you think of the 80 CD’s on your desk you still haven’t listened to, you really feel like a loser. “How can anyone in my church even worship?” If you’ve ever had those thoughts, you’re not alone. The problem lies mainly in our sinful …

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How Do You Approach Planning for Easter?

Kendall sent me this question: I think most of us feel the pressure to “pull out all the stops” for Easter, whether that means a drama, special choir number, special communion service, hired orchestra, etc. What are some ways you have sought to make the celebration of the Resurrection special at your church? Does your congregation and/or pastoral team do anything different to make that Sunday a more focused evangelistic outreach? Many non-Christians are more likely to attend a Sunday meeting on “special” days like Christmas and Easter. Reasons vary. It may be persistent family members or neighbors. It might be the big production the church …

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Reflections on Easter (With Some Song Recommendations)

Churches throughout the world will celebrate Easter next month, following a church calendar that Christians have used for centuries. Many may also do something unique for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and/or Good Friday. It should go without saying that Jesus’ substitutionary death for our sins and his victorious triumph over the grave should be our focus not only every Easter, but every week and every day. This is the Gospel of Christ, who is our life – the Gospel that we must continue in and never shift from, the Gospel in which we stand, the Gospel that strengthens us, the Gospel that has been entrusted to us, the Gospel for which we are called …

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Is it Biblical for a Woman to Lead Worship?

I received this question from Tracy: My husband has recently become a Pastor in a small Outback Queensland (Australia) church and holds a complementarian view of women in ministry. This is a very uncommon viewpoint in the church movement my husband is Pastoring under. We have had queries as to if I will lead worship which has left both my husband and I with our own questions as we can’t see a biblical precedent for women as worship leaders…What do you see as a woman’s place in worship and is it permissible for a woman to be a worship leader? I’ve been asked this question numerous times and thought Tracy’s particular situation would give …

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