Archive | April, 2008

A Blog for Using Media in the Church

I recently revisited the blog of Dave Wilcox, the technical director of my home church. He’s made some changes to the layout which make it even easier to read and benefit from. For the past five years, Dave has consistently pursued using media in or meetings with excellence, humility, innovation, and effectiveness, all in a way that seeks to promote the gospel rather than distract from it. Hence the title of his blog, Undistract. He’ll often share review thoughts from a Sunday morning that are both comprehensive and thoughtful, and touch on everything from sound, to video, to lighting. He explains his motivation here: One of the ways that …

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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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Worship Matters Interview

Yesterday I did an hour long interview with Paul Edwards of station WLQV in Detroit, Michigan. We actually met each other last week at the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, Kentucky. I was able to explain a little more fully some of the topics I cover in my book, Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God. Paul is a pastor in a local church and understands first-hand how congregational worship can become a source of division and heated debate. I appreciated the depth of his questions and his obvious concern for doing more than entertaining his listeners. You can check out the interview by clicking here. …

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Na Band CD Looked Upon – Free Song

God tells us in Proverbs that “A wise son makes a glad father” (Prov. 15:20). For that reason, I’m a very happy man, because God has given me not only one, but two, wise sons – Jordan and Devon. Over the years I’ve sought to impress upon my sons that glorifying Jesus Christ for his great mercy is the reason they were created. They’re both seeking to do that as husbands, and now it’s a joy to see another expression of their response in a new CD, Looked Upon. Looked Upon (or Lu for short) is the first project of the Na Band, with Devon leading and Jordan playing drums. They’re joined by other members of my home church. The band’s purpose is to …

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Song List for Together for the Gospel Conference

This past week I had the privilege of leading worship in song for the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, Kentucky. What a joy it was to lead over 5000 attendees, mostly pastors, in worshiping our great Redeemer for his matchless work of redemption. They came from a variety of denominations and churches, mostly from the United States, but from as far away as Australia and India. (I have a story about the pastor from India at the end of this post) A number of people asked me for the song list and lyrics to the songs we sang. Most of the hymns we sang were public domain, but a few were Sovereign Grace Music and songs by Stuart …

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Shout to the Lord on American Idol

As a pastor and professional musician, I find American Idol interesting on a number of levels. It’s fascinating to see how a simple idea can capture the attention of millions, how people respond to evaluation, how people can be so misled about what they actually sound like, how ordinary people handle massive fame, the difference between gifting and hard work, and more. I also appreciate how some of the contestants have used the platform to bear witness to their faith in Christ. Melinda Doolittle, from last season, stood out for her humility, modesty, and joy. Yesterday, I had started a post on my response to Wednesday night’s program. It was …

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A Tale of Two Conferences

During the past few weeks I’ve been preparing song lists for two conferences. The first is Together for the Gospel (Apr. 15-17) which takes place next week in Louisville, Kentucky. I worked with Mark Dever to plan the songs we’ll be singing there. About 5200 pastors will be sitting under the teaching of John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Thabiti Anyabwile, R.C. Sproul, Ligon Duncan, and John MacArthur. It will be a diverse crowd, composed of Presbyterians, Baptists, continuationists, cessationists, paedo-Baptists, credo-Baptists, old, young, traditional, contemporary…you get the picture. We’re be gathering around the most glorious …

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For Future Generations

One of the reasons I wrote Worship Matters was not simply so that people would read it, which I hope they do, but so that it might serve as a training tool for future leaders. That’s why I dedicated the book this way: Ps. 71:18 has been a favorite verse of mine for years. It says, “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” God has kindly answered my prayer. (BTW, this picture comes courtesy of my oldest daughter, Megan, who posted it on her blog.) …

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