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Every Christ-follower has heard the call to pray. We hear it from Jesus himself (Matt 6:9, Luke 11:2). Our worship gatherings feature regular opportunities to pray. Other Christians invite us to pray. And there’s an ever-increasing list of books, sermons, and other resources encouraging prayer. At least at a cognitive level, we know we should pray.
We want everyone not only to understand our core priorities when it comes to music, but to become equipped to bolster the singing here. After all, the singing ministry of a church primarily belongs to the whole congregation, not just the musicians or trained vocalists.
We should approach our task with an intensity of focus that produces a solid outcome. This is counterintuitive for some churches, where worship leadership is handed to a young man whose primary qualification is that he can play an instrument or sing. It counters worship leaders who do only what is needed to get through Sunday so the focus is solely on the preaching of the Word.
Some songs quote passages without their context, leaving the exegetical work to the listener--which isn’t inherently wrong but also isn’t helpful. Other songs distorts the true intent of the text by putting verses a new context, which does a tremendous disservice to the church and dishonor to God. I hope this article will challenge songwriters to write, pastors to select, and Christians to champion songs that treat passages in their original context with a renewed commitment to clarifying the biblical author’s intended meaning of a passage.
You may only have to pick four songs every week to keep your boss satisfied and your congregation singing, but there’s so much more you actually can, should, and need to do to maintain your integrity as someone who has been called to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to the people God has called to worship Him in grace and truth.
Our difficulty as worship pastors is that we tend to be so close to the songs we lead that we cannot see the big picture which we are forming. The people of your church are worth your spending the time to take a few steps to take theological inventory the songs you sing....Read More ➔
I came across this passage in my devotional early one Sunday morning. As I read these words, honest and sobering questions flooded my thoughts: “This is true for Paul, but is this true of you and your congregation? Is it? Do you long to see them? Are you using the spiritual gift God has given you to strengthen the church? Are you and your congregation mutually encouraged by each other’s faith on a weekly basis?”...Read More ➔
If you assume that a book relating corporate worship and ethnic diversity does not affect you, then let me make the case that you must read The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World....Read More ➔
This sense of nothing-new-to-say is magnified by the fact that worship leaders only have a few moments in between songs to speak. Our responsibility then is not only to hold up the Truth, but also to have wisdom in our economy of words, extending beyond just the same old thing....Read More ➔
Our lives are combusting with expectation and anticipation, and we're groaning for answers. Jesus knew this about us, better than we do. In fact, “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink’” (John 7:37)....Read More ➔
No hymnwriter since the Reformation has been as prolific in his writing and impact as Isaac Watts, called the Father of English Hymnody. His Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs provided the hymns of the post-Reformation movement of churches....Read More ➔