This past weekend, while leading worship, I found myself in a bit of a quandary. I was leading the church in a song with some pretty amazing Gospel centered lyrics. They were singing it out with gusto. There was only one problem, while the words of the bridge left my mouth, I had a thought… “I bet a good amount of people in this room have no idea what we are singing about. ”
It’s the start of a new year and I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the top songs that we sang during 2014 at Shepherd’s Gate Church. To qualify for this list we had to sing a particular song at least 5 times throughout the year. If you find yourself asking, “Why would they choose that song?”, you can check out my previous post about our song selection process, here.
So, without further ado, here’s the list:
In a world that is constantly pushing us to be better people and self help books abound, I’m going to say something that’s just not that popular.
I’m not good enough and neither are you.
Not only that, but we never will be. No matter how many books we read or how hard we try, we’ll never measure up. Before we all get super depressed, let me unpack this a bit.
You’ve probably heard the term “worship set”. Someone has probably come up to you and said something like, “The worship this morning was so powerful!” or “I was so moved during worship.” We even go so far as to call our church services “worship services.” Worship does indeed happen during all of these things, but the Bible tells us that worshiping the Lord includes so much more. Vaughan Roberts writes about this in his book True Worship. This is absolutely one of my favorite quotes: Continue reading “Deconstructing The Worship Set”
You show up to rehearsal ready to go. You’ve spent hours rehearsing the intricacies of a particular part, learning vocal lines and harmonies, and preparing to play with other musicians. All of this is good and completely necessary, but there is something just as important and often easily overlooked.
If you serve at a church, volunteer or staff, I want you to hear something. Thank you. Thank you for extra rehearsals, creating rich Gospel centered music, and writing sermons. Thank you for standing in the cold to give guests a warm welcome. Thank you for spending time with our little ones and teaching them about our loving Savior. Thank you for working behind the scenes to make sure services are recorded, lighting and sound work properly, and the Gospel heard by many others. Thank you for giving up countless hours during this season to reach those who don’t know Jesus. Continue reading “I Thank God For You”
This past year, our worship leader collective read through the book True Worship by Vaughan Roberts. If you haven’t gotten the opportunity to read it, it’s a book I highly recommend. Here is one quote that challenged me in life and ministry. I hope it does the same for you.
“Some Christians delight in the early years of their Christian lives to hear of Christ and his death for them on the cross. But then, as time passes, they feel it is time to graduate from that message on to something else. They feel they need something more sophisticated. It is a dangerous mentality. Of course we need to be stretched in our thinking and seek to learn the whole counsel of God from the Scriptures. But we can never leave the basics behind. The message of God’s mercy to us is not just for non-Christians and young believers. It is for all of us.”
Roberts, Vaughan (2013-12-01). True Worship (Kindle Locations 311-315). Authentic Media. Kindle Edition.
If our church services include more obscure biblical truths than the Gospel, our people will be deprived of living in the freedom it provides. If we revolve around self-help instead of the extravagance of God’s grace, legalism may slowly take over. The Gospel and all that God has done for us must remain right at the center of our services. Continue reading “Don’t Be A Gospel Graduate”
This past year marked a milestone for me. It was crazy… I went to sleep a 20 something and woke up the next day 30 years old. I don’t know if anyone else had a hard time leaving their 20’s behind, but I did. It was as if I was leaving an era and entering the unknown. Some how being 30 just didn’t have the same appeal. I couldn’t quite put it into words but I knew I wasn’t quite comfortable with it. I needed time to process what was different and why I was so uncomfortable. However, after thinking it through, I’ve realized that my 20’s were a great place to learn many of life’s lessons and the best is still yet to come. Here’s why:
I’m 30 years old and I’m done… Continue reading “I’m 30 years old and I’m done…”
Just ask most church goers across America how many times they attend church in a given month and the answer may shock you. Then again, it may not, as I am sure that most of you have noticed a changing cultural trend. I have had many such conversations over the past few years with people who consider their church attendance “regular” and are only attending 1-2 times a month. They site reasons that range from children’s sporting events to work but the reality is that we live in a world that has devalued church attendance in exchange for increasing busyness and activity. On top of this, with the advent of social media, people have tricked themselves into believing that they are connected in real relationships with others.
Is this all just a facade? Continue reading “Why We Shouldn’t Give Up Meeting Together”