Search results for "One More Thought on Training Children to Worship God"

One More Thought on Training Children to Worship God

After posting this earlier today, I had another thought about training our children to worship God. "Worshipping God" means different things at different ages. Younger children, who may not know God yet, may still participate enthusiastically in various external forms of worshipping God. However, we want their worship to be from the heart, and not simply a matter of conforming. They need a clear knowledge of who God is and what He has done. That includes His nature, His attributes, and His works, especially our redemption through Christ. As the Holy Spirit enables them, they will become increasingly aware of their sinfulness before …

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Defining Worship, Pt. 1

Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) once said “Every definition is dangerous.” That may explain why when we try to define a word simply and precisely we often end up missing significant aspects of the word we’re defining. Attempts at explaining worship as “love,” or “intimacy,” or “relationship” say something true, but end up leaving out more than they contribute to our understanding of worship. In spite of Erasmus’ warning, over the years I’ve come across numerous definitions of “worship” that have caused me think about worship more biblically. Harold Best, in his book Music Through the Eyes of Faith, defines worship in the broadest …

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Quality or Quantity on the Worship Team?

I recently received this question from John: We currently have four worship teams, giving 15-20 people a month a chance to lead in music, either by singing or playing an instrument. I’d guess that a quarter of these people are very skilled musically, and have been split among the four teams. We’ve discussed cutting the number of teams down to one or two that would be much more musically adept; the downside of this is that many “moderate” musicians would no longer have a chance to share their musical gifts as a part of worship. We want to be sensitive to everyone, yet provide the highest quality music possible for all of the obvious reasons. What …

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Leading Worship in Song When You’re Not a Musician

I’m often asked if it’s possible to lead worship in song if you’re not a musician. In my response I usually make the point that leading corporate worship is pastoral function before it’s a musical one. So the answer is, “yes.” Through the years I’ve had the privilege of training the men in the Pastors College of Sovereign Grace Ministries  in the area of music and worship. Most of the guys have at least one opportunity to lead the rest of the class in song, whether they’re musical or not. It helps them see what really goes in to leading, and also enables them to evaluate others in a more informed way. They learn that you …

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A Salute to the Average Worship Leader

Today I want to salute the average worship leader. Why? If YouTube videos and conference worship bands are any indicator, we’re unintentionally (I trust) cultivating an understanding of musical worship and its leaders that draws more from rock concerts and Entertainment Tonight than biblical principles. We can start thinking that the “best” corporate worship context is characterized by bright stage lights, a dimly lit congregation, Intellibeams, fog, high end musical gear, multiple screens, moving graphics, and loud volumes. We can start to think the ideal leader is good-looking, sings tenor, plays a cool instrument (usually guitar), sports …

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Reviewing Awesome God Children’s CD Reviews

Near the end of 2005, I offered to send a free copy of the Sovereign Grace children’s CD Awesome God to the first 50 people who would post a review on their blog. THANKS to all of you who responded! We read every one and were grateful for the encouragement and helpful feedback. I wanted to let you hear what others are saying about the CD, partly to give you a better feel for the CD, but more importantly to provoke your thinking in the area of songs for children. Joshua Richie at Deception in the Church picked up on the intentional progression of the songs. “The whole CD seems like one complete message that flows from creation to the culmination …

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Choirs in Worship

In an earlier post I mentioned a question left in one of the comments. Collin wrote: With my limited experience I am able to lead a full band on Sunday mornings but it stops there. Our church has many capable individuals that would be involved in a choir but my limitations keep me from taking the plunge and just going for it with some simple choir pieces. Do have any suggestions, for someone with my limited experience, how to go about leading a choir? Should I hold off and wait until I have proper training in leading a choir? I know a choir would serve our worship time so it is something I would like to see on occasion on Sunday mornings. In …

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Non-Christians on the Worship Team?

Recently a discussion developed over at the New City Church blog about a paragraph in my book. Here’s the paragraph in question: Even though musicians aren’t necessarily “elders” or “teachers” their presence in front of the congregation week after week implies that their life is worthy of emulation—not flawless, but demonstrating the fruit of the gospel. When that’s not true, the church gets the message that worship is more about music than the way we live. Likewise, when non-Christian musicians are used, we’re implying that the art of worship is more important than the heart. (p. 230) The comments focused around the topic of …

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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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How Loud the Worship Team?

Over at Christianity Today, John Stackhouse, Jr. expresses his thoughts on the volume of worship teams in an article called, “Memo to Worship Bands.” He gives five reasons why church music teams should tone down the volume. 1. Cranking up the volume is just a cheap trick to add energy to a room. 2. When your intonation is not very good, turning it up only makes it hurt worse. 3. The speakers in most church PA systems cannot take that much energy. 4. Consider that you might be marginalizing older people. 5. Musicians—every one of them, including the singers—are accompanists to the congregation’s praise. After saying that musicians “should …

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Who Turned the Lights Out?

A while back Brad sent me this question: We seem to be developing a debate at our church in regards to turning down the house lights to “set the mood” for better worship. What is your take on that? Later I received this from Jeremy: I was wondering if you could offer any commentary regarding the use of lights at any of the WorshipGod conferences. I have memories going back to the “Psalms” conference [in 2008]. In each of the conference settings, it has struck me that the lights in the house are left active during the music-worship time of gatherings. Is that intentional? Is that unintentional? Is it because no one is available to run a lights …

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Can Christian Musicians Play Secular Music for God’s Glory?

Steve left a comment on a previous post, asking about the validity of a secular music “ministry,” referencing a comment Phil Keaggy made years ago about the lack of spiritual Christians involved in the secular music field. I received an e-mail recently asking a similar question about the legitimacy of Christian musicians pursuing a career in secular pop music. How should we think about it? Is it always wrong? It is something we should encourage?Here are some thoughts I’ve shared over the years with individuals who were trying to determine God’s will for their lives in this area. The most important question to ask (and sometimes the most …

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Bruce Springsteen on Meaning and Purpose

Bruce Springsteen is on tour again. I’ve never been a Springsteen fan, but his music has affected millions. Recently, Scott Pelley interviewed Springsteen for the TV show 60 Minutes. His concert was described as “part circus, dance party, political rally, and big tent revival.” Here’s a portion of the interview, street language unedited. “You have got to be, wild guess, worth somewhere north of 100 million dollars. Why are you still touring? You don’t have to do this,” Pelley remarks. “What else would I do? You got any clues?” Springsteen asks. “Got any suggestions? I mean, am I going to garden? Why would you stop? I mean, you play the music …

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Standards for the Music Team, Pt. 2

[Sorry if you tried to post a comment today. Typepad was down most of Friday, so I couldn’t post either.] Question: Can you share your standards for those who participate “up front” on Sunday mornings? After my last post on this topic, Matt Blick wondered if a list of standards would even be helpful. He wrote, “Lists are not as helpful as developing relationships which are open to challenges on character issues no matter how small. Sometimes it’s just a comment or attitude you want to query that’s often hard to pin a commandment on! To which I say, AMEN! Rules without relationship usually results in rebellion, whether you’re leading …

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Managing Multiple Musicians

Not too long ago I received an e-mail from someone whose music team has grown, resulting in less-gifted musicians still on the team. He asks: Do you set thresholds for talent/ability that must be met in order for people to participate in the leading worship?  What about ‘good people’ who don’t meet your thresholds? As a corollary, how do you manage multiple musicians who ‘pass muster’ wanting to play the same part?  In other words, do you have 4 guitarists every Sunday, or do you rotate your players? Every growing church will eventually face the issue of too many instrumentalists and/or vocalists. Here are a few suggestions and ways we’ve …

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