John Piper Speaking at WorshipGod09

Even though 2008 isn’t finished yet, I’m in the midst of planning for our next worship conference, WorshipGod09: From Generation to Generation, to be held Aug. 5-8, 2009, in Gaithersburg, MD.

The main messages will address the importance of passing on biblical values of corporate worship from one generation to the next. I was thrilled when John Piper of Desiring God Ministries agreed to come. He’ll be speaking Wednesday night and Thursday morning. I was also able to confirm my good friend, Jeff Purswell, as a main speaker. Jeff has served us well in the past by providing messages that are biblically rich, theologically insightful, and spiritually transforming.  Also, CJ Mahaney and I will be leading a main session tentatively called, “What We’ve Learned the Last Thirty Years.” Looking forward to that.

As I’m reading through the 250+ evaluation forms we received from the last conference I’m getting a lot of great ideas for improvements we can make next year. For one, we’ll be ending earlier on Saturday so people can make it back sooner to their churches. We’ll also be giving more time for group interactions and cleaning up some minor administrative issues. As usual, we’ll be giving away lots of free stuff and seeking to equip everyone who comes to serve their churches more effectively in magnifying the glory of Jesus Christ.

Right now we’re planning on starting registration on Feb. 1, 2009. Initial rates will be $85 for students (high school and college), $110 each for groups of 5 or more, and $135 for individuals.

In the mean time, if you have any specific ideas for seminar topics or speakers, please feel free to leave a comment.

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29 Responses to John Piper Speaking at WorshipGod09

  1. andi rozier December 17, 2008 at 11:39 AM #

    Great news Bob!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. Gregory Pittman December 17, 2008 at 12:32 PM #

    That’s fantastic, Bob. I’m looking forward to the conference again. Just out of curiosity, are those registration fees correct? $110 for individuals and $135 per person for groups of 5?

  3. Jordan Liggitt December 17, 2008 at 12:51 PM #

    Sounds like it will be great!

    One question… is that pricing right? Groups larger than 5 get charged more?

  4. David Eaton December 17, 2008 at 1:09 PM #

    Very exciting. On the rates you have $110 individual and $135 for groups of 5 or more, that would be $135 for the entire group? Regardless of how many come in the group? That’s a great deal if I’m reading it correctly.

    Our church has really gotten a lot out of the resources you’ve put online, it would be great if we could bring some people as a group to one of these events.

  5. Bob Kauflin December 17, 2008 at 1:28 PM #

    Guys, thanks for the correction. I could have said that we’re trying to discourage people from coming as teams so we’re charging more for groups…I fixed the post to give the right amounts. Sorry for the confusion.

  6. Kendall Ellis December 17, 2008 at 2:56 PM #

    That’s awesome news! I’ve been trying to decide whether I would attend WG09 or the Desiring God Pastors Conference next year. Obviously I’d love to attend both, but the next best thing is getting to come to Covenant Life and hear John Piper at the same conference!
    Thanks, Bob, for working so hard to equip us as leaders and worshipers.

  7. David Santistevan December 17, 2008 at 2:59 PM #

    Looking forward to it Bob! I hope I can make it out.

  8. Kathleen December 17, 2008 at 6:33 PM #

    Since I read your article about women leading worship in the congregations, “Is it Biblical for a Woman to Lead Worship?”, I wonder if there’s any reason a woman should sign up for this rather expensive conference. Since I have a gifting is in the area of music, I’m wondering if I should just stay home and let all the men attend and bring back what they learned to us women.

    I’ve led men, women and children in singing songs of praise in corporate settings in the course of my walk with the Lord over the years, and my family attends a congregation where a woman leads worship often in a family-integrated setting.

    In light of the earlier article I referenced, shouldn’t this conference be recommended to MEN worship LEADERS only? Or will there be information that’s pertinent to women in song and praise/worship ministry teamwork? Seems like a lot of money to put out to come away feeling marginialized or discouraged in a calling in my life.

  9. Bob Kauflin December 17, 2008 at 9:43 PM #


    Thanks for stopping by. Since you read my previous post on women leading worship, I won’t go into all the nuances again in this comment thread. But here are a few thoughts that might help you with a decision.

    1. The conference is designed for anyone who plays any part in leading corporate worship (pastors, worship leaders, team members, musicians, tech personnel, projectionists), or simply wants to learn more about worshiping our great God.

    2. This past year’s conference was 50% men and 50% women.

    3. The main sessions and seminars address topics related to leadership, character, theology, and musical skill.

    4. As conferences go, ours is relatively cheap. It’s three and half days and includes two lunches.

    5. My prayer is that everyone attendee will be equipped to serve the church more effectively in magnifying God’s Word and his greatness in Christ, both in meetings and in their lives. That includes those who may not agree with my understanding about who’s responsible to lead the public gatherings of the church.

    Hope that’s helpful, Kathleen. Thanks for asking.

  10. John Kuvakas December 17, 2008 at 10:12 PM #

    First, I would like to encourage Kathleen to attend next year. For the quality of teaching offered and the length of time the conference runs, it’s a really great value and only by attending can the full extent of that value be appreciated.

    As with any conference this large, there were bones to chew on and some to spit out. Praise God, they were mighty few and far between in WG2008. Having read John Piper extensively on the issue of women in ministry, I would expect the bones to be equally scarce for 2009.

    Secondly, I would like to see a seminar on exhortation of and engagement with the congregation during the set. What’s appropriate? What’s inappropriate? Why do some folks struggle in this area and why do some do so well.

    Given Kathleen’s comments and realizing that many of our congregations have talented women in the area of worship, a seminar on “Women In worship” would undoubtedly be well attended. This is certainly an area many Complimentarian churches wrestle with.

    We had a team of people attend WG2008, Bob. It was awesome? We’ll be back with more folks this year!

    • Bob Kauflin December 17, 2008 at 10:14 PM #


      Very helpful suggestions for seminars. Thanks for taking the time to think about it and make recommendations.

  11. Kelly Kuvakas December 17, 2008 at 10:28 PM #

    My pastor hubby just told me … and I just shouted via email to our worship team. John Piper!!! Woo hoo!!! I can’t wait! I’m so excited. Thanks for putting such thought and effort into making these conferences meaty and delicious for all – women and men. Your views on women in worship are wonderfully stated so as not to offend – I hope Kathleen attends and is blessed the same way I was this past year. (I lead worship and am a Pastor’s wife! and if you’ve read Bob’s book, that makes me Team C!) Smiles to all!

  12. Juan Cruz December 18, 2008 at 2:17 AM #

    Hey Bob,

    This is Juan from SRC. Looking at the Sovereign Grace website, it sounds like 09 is going to be a great year. Thank you for serving us this way. When I read your post I was thinking on the subject of this conference “From Generation to Generation” and I had a thought about a seminar. A seminar that would address young adults on our role in worship. Maybe also covering the tensions on music preferences among ages, style, and how much should we hold to them and where is our place as young people. I serve in a team where most of the people I serve with are my parent’s age. I would benefit from a seminar that would help me to serve my team better in the place that I am now. Also, ways in which I can contribute as a young person to the worship of my church, as well as ways I can position myself to learn from the mature musicians in my church. Basically, a seminar that can give direction to where is my place as a young person in my local church worship team. I hope this helps. Thank you again.

  13. Wes December 18, 2008 at 9:46 AM #

    Bob, this may be way out in left field, I’m just throwing it out there. So far I’ve had the privilege of leading worship at 2 churches. In the first one, I had plenty of musicians, always had a full band. I sort of took that for granted. At the church I’m at now, it’s me on acoustic guitar/vocals, my wife also on vocals, and an older brother on piano. I’m always looking for ways to arrange songs to make them feel fuller- it seems that if you play a song with one or two instruments the same way you hear it done with a full band it usually sounds rather hollow. So anyways I think it would be neat to have some kind of workshop where the focus was on equipping those who lead in small church settings, what kind of changes could be made to songs, which styles if any should be avoided, etc. I realize that may be too exclusive of a topic, like I said just throwing it out there. :)

  14. Wes December 18, 2008 at 9:47 AM #

    Also, cool logo. :)

  15. Jessica December 19, 2008 at 12:32 PM #

    I second Wes’ idea. In our worship band, we spend most of our practice time trying to come up with arrangements of album recordings that will work with our instruments. I think it would be helpful to have a workshop about arranging songs.

    Also, as a keyboardist, I’ve benefited much from the keyboard workshops of the last two conferences. However, I have always wanted to know how to use synth/organ sounds on a keyboard, what kinds of equipment are out there and how to use them, etc. At your conferences, I notice that your keyboard players are all busy operating synths and working with laptops! I’ve always been curious what they’re doing.

    Thanks for all your hard work putting out these awesome conferences! I’m looking forward to WG09!

    • Bob Kauflin December 19, 2008 at 1:10 PM #

      Jessica and Wes, we tried to address the issue of arranging in Band on the Run. Let me know what other ideas you’d like to see addressed. Smaller band?

  16. Aaron Campbell December 19, 2008 at 5:10 PM #

    How about “Leading a Small Band in the 21st Century With Equipment From the 20th Century.” :)

    I think our syth is quickly becoming a collector’s item! Anyone else out there play an Ensoni

  17. Aaron Campbell December 19, 2008 at 5:10 PM #

    Sorry- don’t know what just happened…

    Anyone else out there play an Ensoniq KT-88?

  18. Roy Chang December 29, 2008 at 2:36 AM #

    Roy from Singapore. Been reading Piper and Kauflin’s books this year. It will be fantastic to attend this conference. If only there’ll be more of such conferences in Singapore/Asia. :)

  19. Josh Mullins January 8, 2009 at 1:34 PM #

    When will we be able to register for the 09 conference? Looking forward to it!

    • Bob Kauflin January 8, 2009 at 2:41 PM #


      Thanks for asking. I was hoping registration would begin Feb. 1, but we may have to move it later to finalize seminars and the website. I’ll post the start of registration on Worship Matters as soon as we’ve nailed it down.

  20. Janinne January 18, 2009 at 5:27 PM #

    Will there be any child care available during the conference?
    Will there be any promotional material available to help with advertising the conference? (I’m up in Ottawa, Canada, where almost no one has heard of this conference, let alone SG music!

  21. Shannon Lewis February 13, 2009 at 11:12 AM #

    Bob, one thing that we’ve been dealing with at our church – not so much with the youth, whom I lead, but in our Sunday services – in encouraging out Body to really ENGAGE with God. Being in the South, many of our members come from some sort of religious background, even if they are not saved – many from very High Church, religious, traditional (and often liberal) backgrounds. Worship is just NOT something they seem to care a lick about. Is there something you, or one of your speakers, could pass along to encourage ENGAGEMENT in a congregation – particularly physical expression – that we as worship leaders could benefit from?

  22. Shannon Lewis February 13, 2009 at 11:13 AM #

    Sorry – I apparently type like a FISH… just flop around on the keyboard! That should read “IS encouraging OUR Body to really engage…” not “in encouraging out Body…”

    • Bob Kauflin February 13, 2009 at 11:53 AM #

      Shannon, thanks for asking. I’m going to be doing a seminar on that exact topic. Calling it “Let All the People be Glad: Corporate Worship and Expressiveness.”

  23. Shannon Lewis February 13, 2009 at 5:43 PM #

    YES! Great minds think alike … and apparently so do ours! ;-)

    I praying God makes a way for me to come again, and to bring my wife, this year!

  24. Josh June 11, 2009 at 9:02 PM #

    Any chance John Piper will be preaching at CovLife’s Sunday meeting while he’s in Gaithersburg?

    • Bob Kauflin June 11, 2009 at 10:06 PM #

      Josh, John Piper will be heading back home on Thursday afternoon so he can prepare for and preach at Bethlehem Baptist that next Sunday.

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