Worship leaders, pastors, and everyone serving this weekend: know that I’m praying for you! I pray that God will bless you and stretch you and use you to grow His kingdom and expand His family.
As usual, I found lots of great links this week that I wanted to share with you but that didn’t quite fit into a post. When you get a few minutes this weekend, check them out and be encouraged and challenged. Maybe even learn something. 🙂
Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.
To be honest with you, most aren’t looking for unproven writers. Many of them already have as many songwriters as they can effectively manage. And most of them are trying to survive the continual downsizing of their industry while developing music that honors God, serves the Church and generates income for their business.
That being said, there are great new worship songs being written and recorded by relatively new writers and artists every day. And one could make the case that—in this incredibly difficult environment—excellence is an even more compelling quality.
Here are my suggestions for what you need to do before pursuing a publisher…
What I call “Tabernacle Syndrome” is a very real thing among people that love the presence of God. Like Peter, when we experience God’s presence, we want to stop time. We want to build a life in that wonderful place, as our hearts have found the very thing we’ve always longed for – the fullness of God’s presence. You can’t help that feeling; you were designed to long for God.
The result of Tabernacle Syndrome is a church that is full of God’s presence and power, but the congregation are aging, the décor tired, the songs ancient, the key roles in a church all held by older generations who never let go, or had the opportunity to. It is as though the place stood still when God moved.
Praise is a part of worship, and worship is much larger than singing songs of praise. Have you ever thought much about the relationship between the two distinct words “praise” and “worship” and why they are usually linked together in that particular order? (I have seen these words linked together as “Worship and Praise” on occasion, but very seldom.) The customary order is “Praise and Worship,” and I believe they are linked in this order for a reason. It is not because they fall this way alphabetically, but because this is the order in which these two events occur.
I’ve preached them, and if you are a preacher, you have preached them, too. They are painful, they put people to sleep, they make people decide church isn’t worth their time (and worse God isn’t worth their time), and they turn people away from the truth.
Now many pastors in an effort to not be accountable for their sermons and/or to not work hard on their sermons love to quote from Isaiah 55:11: “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” I rest in this verse as all pastors should, but this verse does not say, “Don’t work at your craft, don’t put in effort.”
So here are five ways to guarantee that your next sermon will be awful…
The way in which the hymn writers articulated themselves was probably culturally relevant for their time, but now, the times have changed.
What then do we do with old hymns? Do we throw them out? Do we change the lyrics?
I am of the personal conviction that we should simply take a moment and comprehend what we’re singing.