Even though it’s still eight months away, I’m in the middle of planning for WorshipGod11, to be held Aug. 10-13, 2011 at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD.
This year’s theme will be “The Gathering.” The idea crystalized while I was reading Bryan Chapell’s excellent book, Christ-Centered Worship. When most of us plan our meetings we tend to think in separate categories – the songs, the announcements, creative elements, the message, communion, ministry time, etc. Chapell makes a strong case for having a gospel mindedness that affects not only what we do but how we put it all together.
In other words, every time we meet a clear gospel structure should be evident. Why? Because both Scripture and history point to the centrality of God’s redemptive work as the focal point of all we do when we meet. We’re meant to rehearse it, sing about it, pray in light of it, respond to it, work out its implications, and revel in it. The conference will hopefully help us think more clearly and cohesively about how God’s saving work in Christ should both inform and fuel our meetings.
The speakers are going to be Ray Ortlund, Jr., Bryan Chapell, Thabiti Anybwile, Craig Cabaniss, and myself.
In the past we’ve used musicians from Sovereign Grace churches to lead the music for the main sessions. We’ll do that again this year. But I’ve also invited John Martin & Enfield (from Resolved) and Mike Cosper & his band from Sojourn Community Church in Louisville to join us as guest musicians. I’ve appreciated the friendships and ministries of both for years.
This year will mark a first for the WorshipGod conference. We’ll be recording a live album (as opposed to a dead album?). My original thought was to record the album in the studio and have it ready for the conference, but when I looked at my schedule and the conference theme, it seemed like a no-brainer to record it at the conference. So that’s the plan for Friday night.
If you’ve attended a WorshipGod conference in the past, you know we raise the roof when we sing, and that’s what we hope to do Friday night. We’ll be sending out MP3s in advance of the conference to everyone who registers so they’ll already know the songs when they arrive. Should be a great time.
Finally, I’m planning workshops for the conference and would like to hear from you. What themes, topics, or speakers would you like to see at WorshipGod11? The more specific, the better.
We plan to open up registration mid-February. We’d appreciate your prayers in the mean time!