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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.
In this panel conversation from this year's T4G Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, Ligon Duncan, and Al Moher discuss the reform that is still needed in the church today. The heart of their conversation will also serve as the theme of this year's Doxology & Theology Conference. That is, we will consider how to continue to hold up our worship practices to the light of Scripture and continually reform them in the pursuit of purity and clari...Read More ➔
On May 24, 2016, one of the great Reformation scholars of the 20th century passed into glory....Read More ➔
In a matter of years, Steele became one of the best-loved names in hymnody. Just as Watts was crowned the “father of English hymnody,” Steele has been called the “mother of the English hymn." Since her day there has not been a woman hymn-writer who has matched Steele’s ability and nuance with the doctrinal fidelity and care she demonstrates....Read More ➔
Every once in a while you stumble across a historical figure whose voice speaks—no, shouts—with all kinds of contemporary relevance. For me, that figure is Thomas Cranmer, and the more I get to know him, the more I am inspired by this theologian, pastor, artist, and worship leader. If Cranmer is remembered at all, he is often caricatured as a wishy-washy politician, flitting to and fro in the winds of the whims of the mad King Henry VIII....Read More ➔
Easter is not the "Super Bowl of the church." Easter is not the day we suit up, march onto the field and win the game for Jesus. Easter is the day we fix our eyes on the resurrected Christ. Easter is the day we gather together to remind one another that Jesus has already won for us....Read More ➔