The Missing Elements of Modern Worship

I once paid a visit to one of the most mega of America’s megachurches. It’s a church whose pastor is well-known, a church known for its innovation, a church held up as a model for modern evangelicalism. I went in with as open a mind as I could muster. I left perplexed. I was perplexed not by what was said or done in the service as much as what was left unsaid and undone. Since that visit I’ve had the …

3 Quick Questions Before Quitting Your Church

We all know there are times and circumstances in which the only right course of action is to leave a church. If the church leadership has apostatized or proven themselves unqualified for ministry, if they are preaching a false gospel, if they have surrendered to the culture, we need to get out. We can leave these churches boldly and without looking back, shaking the dust from our feet. But more often than not, we leave churches for what we might consider …

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3 Errors of Musical Style that Stifle Community

It is ironic that music, an element meant to draw Christians together in mutual love and service (see Colossians 3:16) has become a force for significant division within the church. It just goes to show, I guess, that we can make a mess of pretty much anything. In their book The Compelling Community, Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop point out 3 common errors of musical style can stifle local church community: Music that’s difficult to sing corporately. If your music …

A La Carte (9/10)

John Piper Quotes – Here’s another round-up of funny quotes from John Piper. Here’s a favorite (dealing with memorizing Scripture): “Which means you’ve gotta fight to learn these [verses] and memorize these things and have these verses tumbling around in your fore-frontal lobal brain part. Whatever that is.” Why They Cheat at Harvard – It’s a classic case of unmooring ethics from an unwavering standard. “We were so concerned by the results that, for the past six years, we have …

God’s Will For Your Life

Today I am continuing this short series on knowing and doing the will of God. In the first part of the series I laid a foundation of God’s complete sovereignty over the universe and in the second part I sought to show that God is speaking to us today and how God is speaking to us today. Today I want to progress to showing that God is speaking to you today and revealing his will for your life. God Is Speaking …

A Prayer for Public Worship

This week I came upon a prayer written by the Puritan Matthew Henry. This prayer comes from his book A Method for Prayer and is meant to be used “At the entrance upon the public worship on the Lord’s day, by the master of the assemblies.” What is most notable to me is how the prayer is almost entirely Scripture; it moves from one verse to the next, all the while seeking God’s blessing upon the worshipers. It’s a beautiful …

Confessions of a Failed Worshiper

Today’s guest blog comes courtesy of Matthew Smith. Matthew is a singer-songwriter from Nashville who takes old hymn lyrics and sets them to new music. He is a founding member of the Indelible Grace community, and tours full time, playing concerts of hymns at churches. I blogged here last week about his new song “Goodnight,” from his forthcoming album Watch The Rising Day. For this article I simply asked Matthew to writes about how he came to find such joy …

Betraying God in Worship

Only on rare occasions can I bring myself to buy greeting cards. When it is Aileen’s birthday or when it is our anniversary, I either tell her how I feel (not something I’m particularly good at most of the time) or I buy a blank card and fill it with my own words. Or occasionally, to my shame, I forgo to card altogether. For some reason it just seems fake, disingenuous, to give her a card with a little poetic …

D.A. Carson on Worship

This quote comes courtesy of D.A. Carson and the book he edited entitled Worship by the Book. It seemed appropriate in light of what I posted this morning. Carson has just defined worship and is now expanding on his definition. I have bolded the section that I found most edifying. “In an age increasingly suspicious of (linear) thought, there is much more respect for the “feelings” of things – whether a film or a church service. It is disturbingly easy …

Song of the Year

The band All Star United has released some good and fun songs over the years. Unfortunately I’ve sometimes found them to toe the line a little bit with their humor. On the whole, though, they write some memorable songs and songs that tend to speak to some of the trends in the Christian world. They have an album coming out in a few weeks and one of the songs is called “Song of the Year.” Written by Ian Eskelin, who …