12 Reasons to Come to WorshipGod24: One with Christ

Two years ago we hosted our last WorshipGod conference in Louisville, KY, Unchanging. We reflected on the goodness of the God “with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change (James 1:17, ESV).”

But we’re more than ready for our next WorshipGod conference, coming July 24-27 to Louisville, KY. This year’s theme is One with Christ: How Our Union with Christ Changes Everything.

Years ago, I came across this quote in Jerry Bridges’ classic, The Discipline of Grace:

The New Testament concept of the believer’s union with Christ is one of the most important truths of Scripture. (p. 65)

I was surprised at the strength of his statement. Union with Christ is one of the most important truths? It seemed like a heady topic for theologians rather than something that would be relevant to daily life.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Theologian Anthony Hoekema writes:

Christ came to earth not just to pay the price for our salvation, as one might pay an overdue bill, but also to bring us into and keep us always in living union with himself. Through union with Christ we receive every spiritual blessing. Christ not only died for us on Calvary’s cross many years ago; he also lives in our hearts, now and forever. (Saved by Grace, p. 67)

At WorshipGod24, we’ll be exploring what “every spiritual blessing” looks like. We’ll see that the Christian life isn’t simply seeking to become better versions of ourselves with the Holy Spirit’s help. Christ actually lives in us, our hope of glory (Col. 1:27). And we’ll leave the conference more aware how that changes everything we do.

I’m excited now just thinking about it! But if you’re still wondering if you should make the trek to Louisville in July, I’ve got 12 reasons for you.

1. Theology, Heart, Skill

Since 2004, WorshipGod conferences have focused on three things: why God wants us to gather (theology), who we are (heart), and how we can serve God’s people more effectively (skill). Some conferences offer great biblical teaching. Others zero in on cultivating a passion for the Lord. Still others equip you in practical areas like leadership, music, communication, and technology. At WorshipGod, we aim to give you all three.

2. Less Production, More Participation

It’s great to attend a conference where the production is amazing, cues are never missed, transitions are seamless, the musicians are over the top good, the lighting is spectacular, and you feel pampered (we try to get that one right). But a conference isn’t your church. So at WorshipGod we tone down the production and polish and work on keeping it real. You can watch us rehearse. We keep the lights up when we sing. We use a lot of volunteers. Speakers and musicians are available for casual conversations. We want you to get to know us, and we want to get to know you. We definitely want the conference to be an enjoyable and edifying experience. But through it all we pray it’s the glory of Christ, not us, that shines through.

3. Main Session Speakers

I can’t wait to share some of the speakers I love with those who’ll be coming to WorshipGod this year. You probably know some of them. You might not be familiar with others. But they’re all going to show us from God’s Word how our union with Christ affects everything we do. John Piper will be talking about God’s promises. HB Charles, Jr. will be helping us see how being “in Christ” relates to our being justified. Josh Blount will help us better understand how our union with Christ affects our identity. Devon Kauflin will be focusing on how that reality changes our gatherings. Mike Bullmore will be covering our devotional life, and Jared Mellinger will close us out by helping us see the integral part the Holy Spirit plays in our union with Christ. It’s going to be fantastic!

4. Guest Musicians

Along with the musicians who participate regularly on Sovereign Grace recordings or in our churches, we have a great lineup of musical friends joining us! Ben Shive, Skye Peterson, Jonathan and Sarah Jerez, Adam Wright (The Corner Room), Caroline Cobb, and Colin Buchanan (all the way from Australia!). Whether they’re sharing songs and stories, participating in the breakouts, or helping us lead the worship in song, I know you’ll benefit from their contributions.

5. Sovereign Grace Songwriters

People often ask where Sovereign Grace songs come from. So this year one breakout will feature a number of our seasoned songwriters (David Zimmer, Lacy Condy, Jon Althoff, Nate Stiff, & Marc Willerton) talking about the philosophy and process of writing songs for Sovereign Grace. You’ll hear about the successes as well as the failures, the importance of a songwriting culture, pursuing ways to stay humble, and more!

6. You CAN Get a Free Lunch!

Not only is your lunch free lunch on Thursday and Friday, but we’ll be giving away books, gear, and gift cards throughout the conference. Paul reminds us of “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9) As an expression of the riches we have in Christ, we want to regularly find ways to bless and encourage others. And it won’t be free, but I’m happy our friends from 10ofThose will be running an amazing bookstore again.

7. Master Classes

On Wednesday from 1:00-4:30pm, you can also register to attend a master class for drummers and bass players (David Zimmer and Ryan Foglesong), guitarists (Patrick Anderson), vocalists (Lacy Condy and McKenzie Fuller), and pianists (yours truly). And for non-instrumentalists, David Mathis will be sharing principles from his outstanding book Habits of Grace that will help you experience a greater joy and consistency in your spiritual disciplines.

8. Special Rates

We try to keep the registration cost for WorshipGod low. Although rates increase April 15 and June 15, so sign up early! But for senior pastors, students (who are taking classes at any age), church planters, and people coming from outside North America, the cost is always just $99, no matter when you sign up! And if for some reason cost is still an issue, contact us!

9. You

One of the best reasons to come to WorshipGod is because a lot of people like you will be there. People who take planning, leading, and participating in the gathering of their local church seriously and want to do it all joyfully. We’ve heard countless stories of people who have connected with others at the conference for encouragement, creative ideas, prayer, and friendship.

10. Knowing God Night

Our new album, Knowing God, will come out a few weeks before the conference. On Thursday night at WorshipGod, we’ll be singing through the whole album and would love to have you join us! We were deeply encouraged as we wrote these songs from J.I. Packer’s book of the same name, and trust you’ll be encouraged as you sing them!

11. A New Schedule

A few conferences ago we started ending Thursday and Friday earlier so teams/groups could enjoy a relaxed dinner together and talk about what you’re learning. It was a hit, and also gave people the option to go to bed early (you know who you are). We’re still ending each day early, but this year the main sessions will last 2 1/2 hours. That will give us more opportunities to briefly cover topics like lyric projection, communicating big thoughts to little minds, band/sound team dynamics, and more together. We also have fewer breakouts this year, but they’re longer and categorized as Leaders, Musicians, and General. In addition, we’ll be offering a seminar for songwriters and those who serve in a multilingual context.

12. Coffee

Finally, I’m not a coffee drinker, but a member of my church, Josh Hake, will be roasting beans for the conference and assembling a team to give you drip coffee and cold brews for free, and espresso drinks for cheap. Past attendees have raved about the coffee, and my good friend David Zimmer has confirmed their assessment. And being a tea drinker, I’ll see what I can do about getting us taken care of as well!

And that’s it. We only offer the WorshipGod conference every other year so you have enough time to apply what we learned two years ago and so the focus can remain where it’s supposed to be: your local church.

Thanks in advance for praying about coming. And even if you aren’t able to make it, I pray you experience God’s pleasure as you serve your congregation with your gifts for the glory of Jesus.

You can register and get all the info you need at the WorshipGod website.

Hope to see you there!


One Response to 12 Reasons to Come to WorshipGod24: One with Christ

  1. West Breedlove March 21, 2024 at 11:47 AM #

    So grateful for you, Bob, your faithfulness, and the impact of SGM on my life and the Body of Christ!

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