Category Archives: Worship Leader
I am overjoyed to announce that my CD “Already But Not Yet” is now available! Overjoyed by the hope that God will use these songs to encourage many people and churches. Overjoyed to contribute to the hymn-renewal movement that the Spirit is using to revive the Church. Overjoyed to exalt the true Redeemer!
“Already But Not Yet” tells a story–God’s story of Redemption through King Jesus. And each song moves the story forward from Christ’s Cross, Resurrection, and Exaltation to our life of Exile and Prayer, and finally to the celebration in the New Creation. Already redemption has been accomplished. But not yet completed. We await the Return of the King!
1. He is Risen (Resurrection)
2. Look! Ye Saints (Exaltation)
3. Christ is Coming (Exile)
4. Come, Lord Jesus, to Redeem Us (Prayer)
5. Upon this Mount–Isaiah 25:6-9 (New Creation)
6. There is a Fountain (Our Theme)
CDs are now available to purchase at BullMoose Music (Windham and Portland) and will soon be available for download at ITunes.
For mail orders please mail a check to Joshua Otte |973 River Rd |Windham, ME 04062. $7ea or 2 for $10. Just add $3 shipping (up to 4 CDs). Add $0.50 for additional CDs. If you have any questions email me (eucatastrophe101 at yahoo dot com) until the website is launched! Thanks!
UPDATE. Please check out my Facebook Music Page. Listen to the tracks, leave a note, tell your friends!
Bob Kauflin, of Worship Matters, writes…
I just finished reading Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, by Geoff Colvin. Fascinating book. Giftedness is a topic that I’ve thought about a lot. Are we selling ourselves short by assuming that we’ll never be as good a keyboardist, vocalist, guitarist, drummer, or whatever, as the people we esteem?
Colvin begins the book by examining the lives of several famous “greats,” including Tiger Woods, Mozart, Jack Welch, and Jerry Rice. He says that most people think their greatness arose either from a) hard work; or b) talent. Colvin says neither, and uses scientific and anecdotal evidence to support his claim. Instead, he points us to “deliberate practice.” Not simply working hard, but working the right way. Deliberate practice, often the fruit of effective mentoring, has five elements:
- It is activity designed specifically to improve performance
- it can be repeated a lot
- feedback on results is continuously available
- it’s highly demanding mentally
- It isn’t much fun
Read the rest, here.
The latest installment of Ron Man’s Worship Notes is out, “Christmas in Context“. I find each month’s issue encouraging and thought provoking–a must read whenever it arrives in my inbox. And…just in case you missed them, here’s the whole 2008 collection.
- 3.12 (December 2008) CHRISTMAS IN CONTEXT
- 3.11 (November 2008) THE MINISTRY OF SONG
- 3.10 (October 2008) THE PASTOR AND WORSHIP
- 3.9 (September 2008) SPIRIT AND TRUTH
- 3.8 (August 2008) THE TYRANNY OF TASTE
- 3.7 (July 2008) DEFINING OUR TERMS
- 3.6 (June 2008) THEOLOGY AND DOXOLOGY
- 3.5 (May 2008) GIVING OUR BEST
- 3.4 (April 2008) THEMATIC WORSHIP
- 3.3 (March 2008) CALLED TO WORSHIP
- 3.2 (February 2008) THIRSTING FOR GOD
- 3.1 (January 2008) WORSHIP, CREATION & THE FALL
Bob Kauflin just announced the Worship God 08 Seminars are now available! There’s something here for everyone…drummers, techies, guitarists, “worship leaders”, pastors, grandmas, songwriters, Chris Tomlin,
Here’s my top 5:
Band on the Run
Leading Worship in a Small Church
The Task of a Worship Leader
Worship Team Checkup
Writing Songs People Will Want to Sing
Sovereign Grace Ministries rock with generosity! The main sessions from the Worship God ’08 conference are already available to listen or download…for free! All the messages were great, but my top 3 are “Expressing Emotion with the Psalmist” and “Enduring Hardship with the Psalmist” and “Living Life with the Psalmist.”
Listen. Be blessed!
Christians and compliments have a very odd relationship. We really don’t know how to give them or take them.
Some of us are afraid of giving compliments because we fear we might somehow inflate someone’s ego. So we feel the need to preface our encouragement with something like…”I don’t want this to give you a big head…but you did a good job today”.
But most of us just feel awkward taking compliments. Should we simply say “Thank you”? Should we give the “humble” reply “Ah shucks…it was nothing.”
Although writing primarily for leaders of gathered worship and musicians, Bob Kauflin, of Worship Matters, offers some wise, biblical counsel applies to all of us who seek to take and give compliments without robbing God of the glory that He alone deserves.
Read the whole thing, here.
Pastors need to interview churches. Most often it’s the other way around. It needs to be both.
Nope. I’m not considering another pastorate. I love my church family. I’m convinced God has called me here. I will gladly serve him here the rest of my life if that’s what he wants! However…I wish that I would have asked the kinds of questions that Matt Schmucker recommends. I believe it would have strengthened my relationship with my church and its leadership even more quickly.
So if you’re seeking to be a pastor, gathered worship leader, youth pastor, _______pastor, you’ll benefit from Schmucker’s wisdom.
A close friend recently asked me what I’d ask about if I was considering a pastoral position at a church. Good question. Young pastors are too often focused on what they’ll be asked rather than on what they should ask. If this is the flock God is calling you to shepherd, ignorance is not your friend. The list below is not complete, nor should it be used exhaustively. It is simply a list of some things you may want to consider.
1. Statement of Faith. Is it available, used, and understood? Can I affirm each section? Does the congregation live this out? Is it an adequate statement about Scripture, God, and salvation? Does it require anything that the Bible does not require of being a Christian, i.e. abstinence?
2. Church Covenant. Is it available and practiced?
3. Constitution (bylaws). Does one exist? Is it updated and used? In it you’ll learn how they choose officers, accept new members and much more. Constitutions are generally invisible until there’s a problem and then they become incredibly important. Know what it says.
4. Budget. Does a budget exist (you’d be surprised!)? How is it formed? Does the congregation vote to accept the budget? A church’s budget will tell you a lot about the vision and priorities (i.e. heart) of a church.
5. Balance sheet. Don’t just look at the church budget; look at the balance sheet. It will tell you things about debt, designated funds and valuation of buildings. These things are not as important as a statement of faith, but there not unimportant, often dictating what a church can and cannot do financially.
6. Missions. A part of the budget should be international missions. You’ll learn a lot about a church through their missions giving. Do they give? Are they going to hard-to-reach places? How do they pick who to support? Do they support a few people very well or a lot of people poorly?
7. Order of service. Ask to see several weeks’ bulletins to get a feel for what the church does when it gathers. Read the rest of this entry »
In all my short years upon this earth, I’m actually astonished how often I’ve heard these words, “Why don’t we sing the good, old hymns anymore?!”
If you’re ever blessed to hear someone voice a question like that be sure to follow up with a question like this, “What do you mean by good, old hymns? What songs do you have in mind?”
The responses I usually get are…”You know, songs like…’The Old Rugged Cross’, ‘Living for Jesus’, ‘In the Garden’, ‘Because He Lives’.”
Most often, the majority of these old songs turn out to be not quite that old after all. In my experience when people complain about the church not singing the good old songs anymore they usually are referring the songs that they grew up singing and they usually date from about 1880-1980. Hardly old.
My point in this post is not to debate the merits of the so-called “Gospel-Hymn” movement, but to just simply remind ourselves that this is not a new struggle. (I love hymns!!! I just find these not quite as God-centered, Christ-exalting, and truth saturated as some of the OLDER hymns of Watts, Newton, and Wesley.)
117 years ago, Basil Manly, argued that we can’t afford to lose the old hymns. Here’s a quote from an 1891 hymnal in which he says,
For some years it has been apparent that the rage for novelties in singing, especially in our Sunday-schools has been driving out of use the old, precious, standard hymns. They are not memorized as of old. They are scarcely sung at all. They are not even contained in the undenominational song-books which in many churches have usurped the place of our hymn books.
We cannot afford to lose these old hymns. They are full of the Gospel; they breathe the deepest emotions of pious hearts in the noblest strains of poetry; they have been tested and approved by successive generations of those that loved the Lord; they are the surviving fittest ones from thousands of inferior productions; they are hallowed by abundant usefulness and tenderest memories. But the young people of to-day are unfamiliar with them, and will seldom hear many of them, if the present tendency goes on unchecked.
Thanks to Chip Stam, over at Worship Quote of the Week for this fantastic quote yesterday. Basil is right on, “the young people of to-day are unfamiliar with [old hymns], and will seldom hear many of them, if the present tendency goes on unchecked.” But surely this generation needs to much further back than merely the hymns of the previous generation, and much further back than the songs of Bill Gaither (please!!!!). That’s why I thank God for Indelible Grace Music. If you’re not familiar with this ministry, check their website out. Their newly arranged hymns have been a great tool in reviving many old (and even unknown and forgotten) songs.
Soli Deo Gloria!
This coming April 6 New England Bible College is sponsoring a worship conference called “How Now Shall We Worship?” The outstanding Gordon-Conwell professor, Gary Parrett, is going to be teaching on “The 9.5 Theses on Worship”, a potently condensed overview of the theology and practice of worship. It’s a must read for every Christian! It’s definitely my “go-to” article for introducing people to what biblical worship looks like. And I’m incredibly honored to be teaching the second session on “The Value of Gathered Worship: Why God’s People Need to Worship Together.” Some of my thoughts about that can be read here. If you’re in the neighborhood, I hope you can make it out. Gary has been, without a doubt, the single most impactive person in my life who challenged and equipped me to think biblically and serve lovingly in the ministry of gathered worship. I hope to see you at the conference!
(In the meantime, be sure to read his article, here!)