Archive | January, 2010

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Can Singing About the Gospel Become Rote?

One of the drums I will never tire of beating is this: All biblical worship is rooted in and made possible by the cross of Christ. In my experience, the contemporary church (and any church, for that matter) is always in danger of neglecting the gospel in its songs. I said it this way in my book, Worship Matters: The gospel is not merely one of many possible themes we can touch on as we come to worship God. It is the central and foundational theme. All our worship originates and is brought into focus at the cross of Jesus Christ. Glorying in Jesus Christ means glorying in his cross. That doesn’t mean looking at some icon or two pieces …

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Future Sovereign Grace Albums

In a previous post I talked about the Sovereign Grace songwriting retreat and where our songs come from. While we’d love to simply produce songs that are being written by writers in their local churches, we’re trying to steward our songwriting resources in a way we think will better serve the church at large. So we talk and pray about what gaps exist in the modern worship song repertoire, or what topics we think might serve our churches and the church at large. That means our albums are more intentional and thematic. We also asked our Sovereign Grace Music Facebook fans for their thoughts and got some great ideas. So here are some of the albums …

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Longing for His Appearing – and Singing About It

Whatever you believe about the timing of the return of Christ, orthodox Christians all agree on one thing: Jesus is coming back. Scripture tells us that when Jesus finally returns, all wrongs will be made right, the unrighteous will be judged, and those who have trusted in Christ will enter into the immediate presence of God in the new heavens and new earth. God promises that there will be no more sin, no more tears, no more death, and no more pain (2Thess. 2:8; Phil. 3:20-21; Rev. 21:4). And “when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). With those kinds of promises, you’d expect that we’d be thinking …

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To Be Like Jesus Video – Where’s Yours?

Each summer my church holds an event for 6-10 year olds called Summer Celebration, led by one of our pastors, Mike Bradshaw. It’s a week long event filled with fun, games, teaching, songs, and encouragement. The leadership team (which includes a significant number of high schoolers) invests hours of planning and preparation with the goal of directing the hearts and minds of kids to God’s character and the gift of salvation he offers us through his Son. It’s been a great opportunity to minister to kids from our church as well as guests. And make no mistake about it – it’s a high energy, exhausting week. But the fruit has been sweet. Last …

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Where Do Sovereign Grace Songs Come From?

I have a sweet job. One of my responsibilities is to oversee the production of Sovereign Grace albums. Some of you have asked where the songs for those albums come from, and what the process looks like. I’m right in the middle of a three day retreat with 18 songwriters from various Sovereign Grace churches, so I thought now would be a good time to answer that question. Last fall I worked with C.J. Mahaney and Jeff Purswell to determine what albums we wanted to produce in the coming year. That would set the course for a significant part of my job description. We determined that I’d focus on four main projects (I’ll share those details …

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Reflections on Turning 55

55. A speed limit. Five years past half a century. LV. Double nickels. And today, my age. I finally qualify for the 10% senior discount at Jiffy Lube. I remember when 55 seemed really old. Right now it feels like the prime of life.  What does a 55 year old worship leader think about? Here’s a sample… 1. The years I have left for fruitful ministry are dwindling. Used to be I never thought much about death. Now I think about it at least weekly. Life is short, and it keeps getting shorter. I estimate I have between 10-20 more years of fruitful ministry, Lord willing. Then again, I may not live to see 2011. A lot to accomplish before …

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When Things Don’t Go As Planned, Take 2

What do you do when you start leading a song in two different keys? At our WorshipGod08 conference, we had the opportunity to find out as Joseph Stigora started “Psalm 96” in one key and the rest of the band from Covenant Fellowship came in a step higher. I posted on this previously, but here’s the video again: I got an email recently from a Sovereign Grace worship leader who shared how that incident at the conference encouraged him on a recent Sunday. This is what he wrote: We are a church of about 150 or so, so when you mess up it feels really uncomfortable because everyone is so close. It had been a while since something happened. Sunday …

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