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A New Look for Worship Matters

  If you’re reading this by email or an RSS feed you probably won’t notice that Worship Matters has a new look. It’s something I’ve been hoping to do for a few years now, but like many projects on my plate, they take a little longer than I expect. David Rojas has patiently helped me get this new theme up and I can’t say enough about what a joy it’s been to work with him. David was born in Jerusalem, the sixth in a family of fourteen children. Although a computer technician by trade, his heart’s desire is to serve the Lord in missions to unreached people groups. He currently resides in the State of Virginia and works as a …

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Looking for a Keyboard/Piano?

People occasionally email me asking if I have any recommendations for a keyboard, especially one with a great piano sound. Rather than respond and reveal that my knowledge of electronic keyboards dried up somewhere in the mid-90s, I immediately forward the request to my good friend, Roger Hooper. Roger used to head up the keyboard department at Washington Music Center, and now does freelance arranging, scoring, playing, and tech blogging. He’s a brilliant keyboardist and synth player, and writes some great music as well. If you have a chance, check out his latest film soundtrack, The Road We Know (also available on iTunes and Amazon) Roger …

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Sovereign Grace Music Has a New Website

Yesterday we launched the new Sovereign Grace Music website. And boy, am I excited about it. My good friend Bo Lotinsky was the one who had the foresight to launch the first Sovereign Grace Music, which has served us for a number of years. But as Sovereign Grace Music has grown so has our desire to serve the people who use our music. The new website is a huge step in that direction. Cabedge did a brilliant job designing the site and were very responsive to our wishes and desires. The back end (under the hood) was put together in-house by our master IT wizard, Dave Mays. Without him we’d just have a clean website that did nothing. My daughter/admin …

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How Can Worship Matters Serve You More Effectively?

Like many of you, I’m in the midst of reflecting on 2009 and planning for 2010. One of my goals is to make Worship Matters more effective in serving the folks who read it. That’s you. If you’re involved in leading corporate worship in your church or ministry, I’m especially interested in knowing anything I can do that would make this blog better. Some changes I want to make include: more consistent posts (duh) more music and book reviews more interviews from pastors, theologians, and musicians more analysis of current trends or events blog redesign free resources tab Could you take a moment to comment below and tell me what …

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“Psalms” CD nominated!

We just learned that Worship Leader magazine has included our Psalms CD as one of six choices for the “Best Worship Compilation CD” for 2008. Boy, were we surprised. There in the midst of Passion, CeCe Winans, and WOW Gospel, is Sovereign Grace Ministries. There are six CDs in the category, and I’d like to think you might vote for Psalms.  Please check the other great CDs listed; but if you think Psalms merits the title, your vote could mean more people becoming aware of our music.  Voting ends on December 31! In any case, we’re grateful for the opportunity to produce music that serves the church and magnifies the greatness of our Savior; …

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What a Team Likes in a Stage Manager

I’ve mentioned the blog of our tech director, Dave Wilcox, before. It’s called “Undistract,” which I think is a great name for a blog devoted to the media and technical aspects of a church. Recently Dave shared some thoughts on how a stage manager can best serve a band during rehearsal. The relationship between bands and sound team members can be tense at times, due to misunderstandings, poor communication, and sinful hearts. That’s why I so appreciate Dave highlighting how one new stage manager, Kami, recently did a great job serving the musicians. If you’re in small church, don’t be thrown off by the term “stage manager.” Dave defines …

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Christianity Today Reviews Psalms CD

Yesterday I learned that Andree Farias of Christianity Today Online reviewed our latest CD, Psalms. It’s the second Sovereign Grace CD he’s reviewed. Last month he also reviewed Looked Upon, a project that my sons Devon and Jordan were involved in. While I don’t always agree with everything in the CT reviews, I appreciate that they give specific reasons and examples for what they like and dislike about a project. Along with providing exposure, reviews also tell us something about what we’re doing right and what we can do better. Andree summarized the CD in these words: Sounds like … melodic corporate worship that recalls Matt Redman, Charlie …

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RSS Update (especially if you get Worship Matters by e-mail)

We interrupt our irregularly scheduled blogging to bring you an announcement. RSS Update isn’t the most intriguing title, but this is an important post if you get Worship Matters by e-mail. Until recently you could receive Worship Matters in your Inbox through a service called Feedblitz. Someone informed me of an inappropriate ad that accompanied one of my posts, so I upgraded to a paid subscription. At the same time I changed my e-mail RSS feed to Feedburner, which has no ads and also looks better. So in a couple months I’m going to stop the Feedblitz feed. What does this mean for you? If you receive Worship Matters through the Feedblitz …

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Introducing the New Sovereign Grace Music Website

I’ve been part of Sovereign Grace Ministries since 1981. We’re a family of churches committed to planting and supporting local churches. We support our churches personally and relationally, as well as through a variety of training opportunities and resources. One of those resources is music. That’s because for the past twenty five years we’ve written over 300 songs filled with biblical truth and gospel-saturated passion that reflect the Scriptural themes God has been teaching us – the centrality of the Christ’s substitutionary atonement, the sovereignty of God, the active presence of God’s Spirit, gratefulness, the doctrine of sin, and more. …

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Come Christians Join to Sing

Kevin Harnett is a gifted poet in my home church, who works for NASA during the day. He is a multi-gifted godly man, and a good friend. He has written thoughtful poetry for years, and we’ve set a few of his poems to music for use at Covenant Life. We sang his version of the hymn “Come Christians Join to Sing” the opening night of the WorshipoGod06 conference and heard his poem “Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment” in one of the morning sessions. To read these, or any of his other finely written poems, check out his website.

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Blogs for Music

How do you teach 8 year olds that God goes on forever? How do you explain the Trinity to them? How do you help children understand what it means that God is holy? Why not use music? Last year we at Sovereign Grace Ministries released our first CD for children, ages 7 and up. It was an attempt to teach children about God through song. We called it Awesome God. I’ve noticed for some time that children often sing songs that assume they have a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ. That’s due partly to the fact that many adult songs are simply adapted for use by children. Also, many songs written today for congregational worship tend …

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