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Posts Tagged ‘worship’

Bob Kauflin offers some good suggestions for worship songs on Easter Sunday (April 4)…

Happy Day – Tim Hughes
Uptempo celebration of Christ’s victory over the grave.
The greatest day in history
Death is beaten, you have rescued me
Sing it out, Jesus is alive

His Name is Jesus – Judah Groveman
All Hail the Power with a new chorus.
His name is Jesus, risen Lamb for sinners slain.

A Tomb So Cold – Joel Payne
Uptempo, two verses and bridge.
A tomb so cold, no fitting place
for one whom death could never hold.
You broke the chains, defeated sin,
and glorified you rose again, and you’re reigning

Resurrection Day – Matt Maher
Uptempo song of celebration.
It’s the power in your blood, breaks away sin’s embrace
And we celebrate our freedom dancing on our broken chains

Glorious – Paul Baloche
Mid-tempo song that celebrates the glory of the risen Christ.
Look inside the mystery see the empty cross
See the risen Savior victorious and strong

We Believe – Sam Hargreaves
Uptempo, three verses that explore the suffering Savior, living Savior, and coming Savior.
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

You Alone Can Rescue – Matt Redman

Mid-tempo song that emphasizes our inability to save ourselves.
You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave

Saving One – Starfield
Eminently singable song that proclaims the effects of Christ’s resurrection in our lives.
His love has made a way, the grave is overcome
Jesus is the Christ, the saving One

Christ is Risen – Jeremy Riddle
Anthemic song that celebrates Christ’s victory over the grave. May be better as a special.
Quickly now go tell the world Christ, the Lord, He is risen
The power of death could never hold Him in the grave

Come, Christians Join to Sing – Alt. lyrics vs. 3 and 4 Kevin Hartnett
A great hymn made even better by the lyrical additions of my friend, Kevin Hartnett.
Come, praise the risen Lamb, Alleluia! Amen!
He died to ransom man, Alleluia! Amen!

See What a Morning – Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
12/8 triumphant hymn filled with passionate theology.
See God’s salvation plan wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man, for He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

The Power of the Cross – Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
Destined-to-be-a-classic modern hymn that focuses on the meaning of Christ’s sufferings.
Curtain torn in two, dead are raised to life
“Finished!” the victory cry

The Risen Christ – Keith Getty and Phil Madeira
Hymn-like prayer, asking the triune God to help us know the Risen Christ.
O breath of God, come fill this place
Revive our hearts to know your grace;
And from our slumber make us rise
That we may know the risen Christ.

My Redeemer Lives – Samuel Medley
Some additional lyrics to this hymn on the Cyberhymnal site.
He lives to silence all my fears, He lives to wipe away my tears
He lives to calm my troubled heart, He lives all blessings to impart.

I Will Rise – Chris Tomlin
Chris personalizes the impact of the resurrection and ties it to Christ’s return.
I will rise when he calls my name, no more sorrow, no more pain.

Redeemer – Nicole Mullen
A great special, especially if you have a soulful vocalist and choir who can “bring it.”
The same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

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@SarcasticLuther (Nadia Bolz-Weber) tweeted:

every week I look at the texts for Sunday and think “sh*t. i have absolutely nothing to say about this. i’ve had a good run but it’s over”

I love it. Refreshingly truthful. While it might seem like having nothing to say about a Scripture text is a bad thing, it actually is very good. At the end of human understanding and wisdom, the knowledge of the Lord and the movement of the Spirit step in. Having nothing to say can allow the space for God to say what needs to be said.

I think this is something worship musicians struggle with a lot also. Every week we are faced with the equal task of ordering and supporting an environment that best supports the Word of God and the work of the Spirit. Even selecting songs can feel uninspiring and impossibly cliche. How do you consistently find ways to gather people together in a spirit of confession, adoration, praise, and humility – every 7 days. Once again, this is a good place to let go and let the Spirit do the leading.

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God’s narrative is the one true story of the world. The church’s mission is to be a witness to God’s narrative of the world (missio Dei). Theology is the church’s corporate reflection on God’s narrative. Worship sings, proclaims and enacts God’s narrative to the glory of God. Individual spirituality is the personal embodiment of God’s narrative in all of life. Collective spirituality is the church’s embodied life in the world.

Robert E. Webber, Who Gets to Narrate the World? Contending for
the Christian Story in an Age of Rivals
(Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 124.

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From Bob Kauflin

By nature, “cool” describes something that the world esteems as hip, desirable, elitist, and perhaps elusive. Biblical worship is very un-hip, hated by the world’s value system, and a gracious gift from God to those he has redeemed. It involves magnifying the glory of Christ and minimizing our own glory. It means acknowledging our sinfulness before a holy God, expressing gratefulness for the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ for our sins, and responding in humble obedience to his commands. All very uncool activities.

This is good. Jesus put it this way – “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) True discipleship is not “cool.” It’s a probable cause of hardship, pain, suffering, and sacrifice. Biblical worship lifts up these qualities as reality for those being sent into the world as disciples.

Biblical worship is the worship of the Tabernacle and Temple. Something costly was sacrificed. Something had to die. Something was offered up in it’s entirety – consumed for God’s glory. Biblical worship calls us to live our lives in this same way (Romans 12:1-2).

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Psalm 29 video

I like to present our Psalm texts in a variety of fashions in worship. We’ve used traditional chant tones, contemporary tones (“Taste and See” from This Far By Faith), unison readings, responsive readings, readers theater, Taize, and video. I wanted to use a video this week (for Baptism of Our Lord), but couldn’t find much available. So I created this video using iMovie.

Download the video for FREE here.

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Who is really leading worship during a service or gathering? I would say the Holy Spirit, the pastor, and the worship musicians (in order of priority).

The Holy Spirit is always the first and most important leader of worship. The Spirit’s preparation and work began long before the service was a twinkling in our eye. Before the first text or song is chosen, the Spirit is aligning the elements and people that will be included in the service. We need the Holy Spirit to point all the elements in a service to Jesus. The Spirit’s presence in the midst of a service is always the default leader. When the Spirit moves, we follow.

The pastor is always the second most important lead worshiper in a service or gathering. That’s right – the Holy Spirit does come before (and sometimes through!) the pastor. The pastor is the spiritual leader for the entire congregation, and this includes the congregation in worship. Just because you’ve got the guitar or mic doesn’t mean everyone is watching/following you. The pastor will always set the tone for worship in any setting. If the pastor’s heart and mind are engaged in the songs, prayers, and texts, then the people will be as well. If the pastor is shuffling through sermon notes, making small talk with the ushers, or not singing, then the people will be equally disengaged in worship.

The worship musicians are the next most important leaders in worship. Notice that “musicians” is plural. All who play instruments or sing are on equal ground. If you are on the platform in front of the people, you are just as important as anyone else in front. The lead vocalists aren’t elevated higher than the bass player. Being a worship musician requires a good dose of humility. 1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Although the spotlights may shine on the musicians, it’s important to remember that everyone is following the pastors cues, and nothing is possible without the Spirit’s work.

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  • Does your church take design seriously (architecture, worship, long range planning, etc.)?
  • Does your church offer guest-friendly “try before you buy” environments?
  • Is your church’s view of the world present in how you design worship?
  • Does your church welcome the question “Why is it like that?” around the subject of worship?
  • How much attention is paid to how people physically connect to your church?
  • Can your church fulfill it’s mission in 1 step instead of 6?
  • How much does your church talk about process (instead of product)?
  • Is the hierarchy of importance easily discernable in your church?

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