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Worship

Why We Do What We Do: Call To Worship

Call To Worship

At Shepherd’s Gate Church we often begin our services with a Call to Worship. This practice of starting our gatherings with Scripture, is something that God’s people have been doing for ages and one that can have a profound impact on the gathered church today. In writing this, I hope to explain why we do this and to encourage you as you engage in this practice.

Why do a “Call to Worship”? Continue reading “Why We Do What We Do: Call To Worship”

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Why Would I Go To Church And Let Some Guy Put Ashes On My Head?

Ashes

As you travel around today, there will be many people out and about. As you continue to observe them, you may notice something is a bit off. They all have black smudges on their foreheads. This begs the question:

“Why in the world would these folks take time to go to a church and let some guy put ashes on their foreheads?”

Here’s why:

Continue reading “Why Would I Go To Church And Let Some Guy Put Ashes On My Head?”

Musician Church-Hopping Needs To Stop

MusicianChurch musicians need to commit to a local church. There I said it. I see too many musicians jumping from one playing opportunity to another, from one church to the next. I have no problem helping other churches out or filling in when there is a need, but the constant transient “church-hopping” needs to stop. It’s a detriment to the church and to the musician. At Shepherd’s Gate we ask that our musicians sign a covenant each year. One of the commitments reads as follows:

Worship
We expect all members of the band to be in church when in town regardless of whether they are serving. When we worship from the seats it sends a powerful message of authenticity and brings credibility to our platform leadership. In addition, before and after each service, team members are committed to wear their green name lanyards, talk with people after worship services, and build relationships with the people of our community. 

Continue reading “Musician Church-Hopping Needs To Stop”

Context Is Everything

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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. ”

Continue reading “Context Is Everything”

Top Songs Of 2014

Top Songs

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:

Continue reading “Top Songs Of 2014”

Deconstructing The Worship Set

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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”

Crafting Community

Crafting Community

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.

Continue reading “Crafting Community”

I Thank God For You

Merry Christmas 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”

Don’t Be A Gospel Graduate

Processed with VSCOcam with m2 presetThis 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.

In ministry

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”

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