The Best CCM Debut Albums

Sometimes you heard a band’s or artist’s debut album and think, “I’ll keep an eye on them.” Sometimes you hear it and think, “I’m hooked.” There are some artists who take two or three albums to really hit their stride while others make their mark right out of the gate. I was a big fan of PFR back in their day, but if they had only ever released their debut they would soon have been forgotten; it wasn’t until Great …

How We Worshipped for Christmas

Every now and again I like to share an order of worship from Grace Fellowship Church. This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher and service leader, Josh as the lead worshipper, and Murray as the elder who led the pastoral prayer. Steve, our new associate pastor, also led a couple of elements while Thushara and Stefan each read a short passage of Scripture. Our band consisted of two guitars, piano, and drums accompanying one …

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A Church with Great Music

I heard someone say it recently: “The music at that church is great.” It didn’t take me long to understand what he meant—that the church has a great music program. They have a band composed of talented musicians who play and sing with skill and beauty. To be part of that church is to benefit from the skills of an incredible group of musicians. This is what we tend to mean when we consider a church’s music. When we say …

Services Shaped Like an Hourglass

There are some Sundays when the worship service simply unfolds around me. With the rest of the congregation, I am moved from element to element, from songs, to Scripture, to sermon, to shaking hands. But there are other Sundays when I am very mindful of our church’s order of worship. On these Sundays, I maintain a sharp awareness of how the service has been planned and is now unfolding, which is to say, I maintain a sharp awareness of our …

The Best Worship Song You Don’t Sing

There are lots of great songs we can and do sing during our worship services. But my guess is that very few of us sing this one, and I consider it a hidden treasure. Of course, I do understand that it’s written in older language and perhaps not as accessible as some more modern songs. But I think it’s unique in its expression of the joy of the gospel, from the depths of woe to the hope of eternity. It’s …

How We Worshipped: Reformation Sunday

Every now and again I like to share an order of worship from Grace Fellowship Church. This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher and service leader, Josh as the lead worshipper, and Murray as the elder who led the pastoral prayer. Our band consisted of guitar, piano, and drums accompanying one male and one female vocalist. The various elements of the service are in bold with the name of the person who led the …

How We Worshipped: A Sunday in October

Every now and again I like to share an order of worship from Grace Fellowship Church. This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher, Josh as the lead worshipper, Peter (one of our Assistant Ministers) as the service leader, Thushara (one of our deacons) as Scripture-reader, and Steve as the elder who led the Scripture-reading and pastoral prayer. Our band consisted of guitar, piano, cajon, and accordion accompanying one male and two female vocalists. The …

The Mark of the Most Successful Worship Leaders

Every week a pastor or worship leader chooses the songs his church will sing the following Sunday. Every week he combs through the possibilities to select the five or six that will best fit within the service he is planning. How can he choose well? How can he best serve his congregation in their singing? I have traveled a fair bit through the first half of this year, and just about everywhere I’ve gone I’ve had the privilege of attending …

How We Worshipped: Last Sunday of July

Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our services at Grace Fellowship Church. I do this because I believe we can benefit from seeing how other people worship in other congregations and other contexts. I hope you find it helpful! This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher, Josh as the lead worshipper, Steve (one of our Assistant Ministers) as the service leader, Thushara (one of our deacons) as Scripture-reader, …

How We Worshipped: One Sunday in July

Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our services at Grace Fellowship Church. I hope that by doing this others will follow suit! I love to learn how other churches worship and often find myself both challenged and encouraged as I see how other congregations worship God in their unique contexts and cultures. This service’s cast of characters included Steve K (one of our Assistant Ministers) as the preacher, Brian as the lead worshipper, Peter …