Archive | January, 2012

Have Mercy on Me – Video from The Gathering

The first song I heard that I thought would be on our most recent album, The Gathering, was Have Mercy on Me. Co-written by Dale Bischof and Pat Sczebel, it combines grief over sin with an assurance of God’s mercy in Christ. Even though as Christians all our sins are completely forgiven (Col. 2:13), we can continue to battle either ongoing condemnation or arrogant presumption. The first results in an attitude that binds us, discourages us, and makes us fearful of approaching God. The second equally dangerous mindset supposes that because our sins have been paid for by Christ’s substitutionary death, we don’t have to think about them any more. …

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Putting Songs Together – Video & Audio from WorshipGod11

At WorshipGod11 I presented this seminar I simply called “Putting Songs Together.” It was an attempt to give people a better grid for choosing what songs to sing in a gathering. Back in 2004 I gave a similar seminar, Choosing Songs Wisely, and thought it was time to update my thoughts on the topic. Despite the common liturgy of a music time followed by a preaching time, God hasn’t been ultra-clear about how we’re to use music in our meetings. We can include songs in various ways. They can be sung together consecutively, spread throughout the meeting, or at the beginning and end. In this seminar I try to allow for different practices, but …

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David Peterson on Revelation and the Songs We Sing

My top recommended book on a biblical theology of worship is David Peterson’s Engaging with God. If you’re responsible for leading in your church, either as a pastor or a musician, I think you’ll serve people more faithfully and biblically if you read it. I go through it every year with my interns and never fail to come away from our discussion times with fresh understanding and inspiration for leading corporate worship. Peterson focuses on worship as it’s understood in the Old Testament, the gospels, and various epistles. The chapters on Hebrews and Revelation by themselves are worth the price of the book. This past Wednesday we were discussing …

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As You Go – The Evolution of a Song

Here’s our latest video from The Gathering: Live from WorshipGod11. As You Go was written by Mark Altrogge, who has been writing songs for Sovereign Grace Music since the early 1980s. That’s a long time. It amazes me how he continues to write such theologically rich, relevant, singable songs. What you may not know is that even with the decades of experience Mark has, he is one of the easiest people to work with when it comes to suggesting changes to his songs. Rather than giving you a detailed explanation of why he wrote what he did, or sharing 5 reasons why no alternative could possibly be better, he typically gets back in less than …

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The Piano in Contemporary Worship, Part 3

Last month I posted two sessions from the pre-conference workshop I taught at WorshipGod11 on the Piano in Contemporary Worship (Part 1 and Part 2). We finally finished editing the third session. This one took a little more time to edit because people were regularly walking past the window of the door in the video, which is a bit distracting. My good friend Dave Mackenzie performed his video wizardry and edited the movement out. In this session I deal with many of the specific questions I’ve been asked over the years. Those include: chord coloring inversions playing hymns developing your chord vocabulary introductions transitions playing …

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What Goes On at a Sovereign Grace Songwriting Retreat?

We had our 10th songwriter retreat this past October. In a previous post I shared some details from our 2010 retreat. Since a couple guys have asked me about these recently, here’s a little more info. Sovereign Grace is a family of over 90 churches. We’ve been producing albums since around 1984. At first, we were simply getting out songs that Mark Altrogge was writing. Songs like “I Have a Destiny,” “In My Generation,” and “You Sat Down.” We started producing “Song Service Tapes” that went to Sovereign Grace churches and anyone else who was interested. Most of them were recorded in Steve and Vikki Cook’s bedroom. (thank you, Vikki…) It …

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Behold Our God (with orchestra)

A while back I held a contest asking people to send us their arrangements of songs from the Sovereign Grace album, King of Grace. Joshua Spacht won the contest with his version of Behold the Lamb. He recently sent me a version of another Sovereign Grace song, Behold our God, from Risen, written by Jonathan, Ryan, and Meghan Baird, and Stephen Altrogge. Joshua’s church sang it as part of their Christmas service. While God doesn’t need orchestras, choirs, and great arrangements to glorify his name, he can certainly use them to communicate grandeur, awe, majesty, and more. I think that’s what Joshua and his musicians accomplished through this …

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The Gathering is Coming to Southern California Jan. 28

This past August we recorded The Gathering: Live from WorshipGod11. It’s a collection of 15 songs that progressively tell the story of the gospel and our response to it. From my perspective, it’s one of the best albums we’ve done to date, both in terms of song content and creative musicianship. I’m happy to announce that we’ll be doing it all over again (at least singing the songs) in Orange County, CA on Saturday, January 28. A few of my good friends from California (Ryan and Jonathan Baird, and Eric Turbedsky, pastor of Sovereign Grace Church Orange County) emailed me about putting together an event that combined teaching in the afternoon …

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Resources for Your Worship Team from WorshipGod11: Instruments, General, Children

Yesterday, I posted some of the workshops from WorshipGod11 for leaders, songwriters, and tech teams. Here are a few more that focus on instrumentalists, leading kids to worship Christ, dealing with burnout, and the leader’s prayer life. Donald Whitney shared on simplifying your spiritual life and using Scripture as a basis for your prayers. There’s also a seminar for women taught by my wife that addresses facing every season of life with faith. Enjoy. Bass, Drums, Guitar Strengthening the Drum/Bass Connection, PT1 – Ryan Foglesong and David Zimmer (outline) The foundation of the worship team is the rhythm section composed of the drummer and …

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Resources for Your Worship Team from WorshipGod11: Leading, Songwriting, Tech

Last August at WorshipGod11 we offered 40 seminars for pastors, musicians, leaders, vocalists, instrumentalists, and tech teams. Today and tomorrow I’m posting the descriptions of a few that might serve you and your team in the coming year. Right clicking on the title will download the MP3, and of course, right clicking on the outline will get you the…outline. Leading Putting Songs Together – Bob Kauflin (outline) Why do you choose the songs you do? What factors go into deciding whether one song is better to use than another? What’s the difference between lyrical flow and musical flow? How can we use songs to effectively care for people’s …

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