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 of truths, the Gospel, and seeking to magnify the Savior and be equipped to serve our churches more effectively. Rather than contribute to the “worship-music-style” wars, the music will simply be me leading hymns (old and modern) from the piano. When you add in 5000+ voices, it’s going to be pretty powerful stuff, even without electric guitars and drums.
During the past few weeks I’ve also been preparing for the New Attitude conference (May 24-27) with Eric Simmons and Devon, my son. New Attitude will be a gathering of 3000+ singles and young married couples to hear C.J. Mahaney, Eric Simmons, Josh Harris, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, and John Piper. Similar speakers, but very different music. Devon will be leading the singing with the Na Band, but I’ll be on stage as the token old guy. We’ll be singing some hymns, but they’ll sound a little different than they will at Together for the Gospel. We’ll also be doing songs by the Na Band, Starfield, Fee, Michael Gungor, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, among others.
It struck me that these conferences demonstrate how we can celebrate the Gospel in different forms musically, but aim for the same goal – to magnify the greatness of God in Jesus Christ in people’s hearts, minds, and wills. By God’s grace, the T4G conference isn’t going to be “stodgy and stifling,” and the New Attitude conference isn’t going to be “wild and shallow.” I think folks from both events will leave more in love with the Savior, and better equipped to advance the Gospel in their communities.
I thank God that we worship a Savior whose glory can’t be contained in one musical style or one conference.