Archive | —Defining Terms

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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Should Worship Be Fun?

More than once I’ve heard Christians claim that worship should be fun, or act like they had a responsibility to prove that Christians knew how to “party” in church. I’ve always been uncomfortable with that connection, so I started thinking about the place of “fun” in worship, if one even exists. I’d like to address this question by answering it as I posed it, and then considering two other ways it might be phrased. Should worship be fun? If we take the exhaustive testimony of Scripture, the answer would have to be a resounding NO. “Fun” doesn’t seem to characterize many of the scenes where people encounter God in the Bible. We’re told to worship …

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Are We Lying to God When We Sing?

This question was sent in by Larry: Yesterday, I was listening/singing to the song, ‘I Will Glory in my Redeemer’ [by Steve and Vikki Cook]…I was struck especially by these words: I will glory in my Redeemer, My life He bought, my love He owns. I have no longings for another, I’m satisfied in him alone. What is the place of lyrics like these in our songs?…Do you ever struggle with feeling like you are lying to God when you say things like these, even if in your heart you have a desire that they would be true? Is it hypocritical to sing them knowing that they are not a true reflection of your heart? Thanks for a great question, …

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Evaluating Worship Song Lyrics

This question came from Jeff: One of the members of my worship team is struggling with the line from one of your songs, Glory Be to God. The line is “Being’s source begins to be.” She feels that it communicates that God is not eternal, that there was a time when the second Person of the Trinity did not exist and then began to be. I have tried teach her that language always has to be interpreted in context and that the line is basically highlighting the mystery of the incarnation – that Jesus was both infinite God and somehow a finite man (or baby)…Is it acceptable to change the line of the song when we sing it to “Being’s source becomes a …

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Mohler

Al Mohler on Worship

Typically, I answer a question on the blog on Fridays. It ain’t happening today. Along with preparing for the conference next week, I’m attending my nephew’s wedding this weekend. But I have a great resource to recommend. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has posted three helpful articles on worship. You may think, "What does the president of a Southern Baptist seminary have to say about worship?" Plenty. Dr. Mohler is a brilliant thinker, a lover of God’s Word, an insightful commentator on our culture, and a man who desires to see Jesus Christ exalted in His Church. I’ve had …

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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 16

One more time, this is the definition for a congregational worship leader I’ve proposed: An effective corporate worship leader, aided and led by the Holy Spirit, skillfully combines biblical truth with music to magnify the worth of God and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, thereby motivating the gathered church to join him in proclaiming and cherishing the truth about God and seeking to live all of life for the glory of God. Today, I’m going to share a few thoughts on that last line. Worship doesn’t begin when the singing starts, nor end when the music stops. We don’t “do worship” in a meeting, nor compartmentalize …

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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 15

If you’re just joining us, I’m currently describing what I think is the biblical role of someone who leads the church in congregational worship. We’ve covered this in the first 14 posts: An effective corporate worship leader, aided and led by the Holy Spirit, skillfully combines biblical truth with music to magnify the worth of God and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, thereby motivating the gathered church… Today, I’m going to unpack the next phrase: To join him in proclaiming and cherishing the truth about God. As I mentioned last week, an effective corporate worship leader invites others to join him in what he is already …

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What About the Regulative Principle?

Richard wrote in to ask, “How do you understand the regulative principle of Worship, and do you agree with and practice it at your church?” Some of you right now are thinking, “What in the world IS the regulative principle?” The regulative principle is one of a number of ways used to describe how God’s Word governs our corporate worship. It is sometimes simplified to “Only what God has commanded in Scripture is acceptable in public worship.” It distinguishes between “elements” of public worship, which don’t change, and “circumstances,” which do. In contrast, the normative principle states that, “Whatever Scripture …

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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 14

Yesterday I talked about the issue of motivating the church to worship God. Judging from the comments yesterday, I’d guess that this is an issue for more than a few leaders. Kevin asked, “If you’re leading worship and the people don’t seem motivated to respond in worship, is that your fault?” The simple answer is no. It is every individual’s privilege and responsibility to give glory to God regardless of what they’re going through or who is leading them. But leaders can do things to hinder people praising God or refrain from doing things that could encourage them. But first, we want to be careful how we define a “successful” …

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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 13

A few weeks back, I proposed this definition for a corporate worship leader: An effective corporate worship leader, aided and led by the Holy Spirit, skillfully combines biblical truth with music to magnify the worth of God and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, thereby motivating the gathered church to join him in proclaiming and cherishing the truth about God and seeking to live all of life for the glory of God. Today I’d like to talk about “motivating the gathered church.” Ideally, as I stand in front of the church to lead them in singing God’s praise, every person is ready to sing with all their might – minds focused, hearts …

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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 12

I’m at the part of my proposed definition for worship leaders which says their task is to magnify the worth of God and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Certainly there are many aspects of God’s worth and works that we can and should dwell on as we sing His praise. He’s our Creator, our Deliverer, our Father, our Guide, our Shepherd, and Shield. But this side of the cross, we find the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6) and his substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. This is what Paul considered of first importance (1 Cor. 15:1-4), what Peter encouraged us to remember (2 Pet. 1:9), and what is to richly fill our singing …

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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 11

Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. (Rev. 4:11) One of the problems we have in worshipping God is forgetting why He is so WORTHY to be worshipped. When we do, our minds tend to shift into neutral and we end up mouthing words that we’re barely thinking about. Part of magnifying God’s worth is recounting the reasons it’s appropriate to worship Him. One way is to recount what Wayne Grudem calls God’s “summary attributes.” Those include God’s perfection, blessedness, beauty, and glory. We can also speak to each other about …

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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 10

When someone stands (or sits) in front of a congregation to lead them in worshipping God, what’s their goal? I believe it is this: To magnify the worth of God and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. David invites us in Psalm 34:3: “Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” When people walk into church service, they might be magnifying all sorts of things, from the superficial to the serious – deadlines, unpaid bills, an unkind comment from a friend, a lab test for cancer that came back positive, a “thump-thump” sound the car is making, the championship game this afternoon, a rebellious child, some besetting …

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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 9

I want to finish up thoughts today on why God wants us to use music at times to praise Him. I’ve mentioned that music, especially singing, helps us to remember and meditate on God’s word, and also enables us to proclaim truth with heartfelt passion. Finally, We sing to reflect God’s glory. How does singing reflect God’s glory? I can think of at least three ways. First, singing glorifies God by expressing the unity Christ died to bring us. Of course, gathering in the same room at one time expresses unity, as does reciting a creed together. Music both intensifies and demonstrates our appreciation of that unity. I’ve been told on …

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What Does a Worship Leader Do? Pt. 8

I’m in the middle of series on the role of a congregational worship leader, and I’ve been camping out on how music works in worshipping God. Yesterday I addressed how one of the primary functions of music is to help us remember God’s Word. Today, I’d like to share another way music serves us in worshipping God. We sing to respond to God’s grace. Colossians 3:16 tells us that we’re to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in our hearts to God. God is not interested in mere lip service. It dishonors him. But he’s not looking for raw emotionalism either, that is, seeking emotion for its own sake. We sing to express …

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