The ‘five big boxes’ to check when choosing songs

Here’s some great advice from Jamie Brown on how to select congregational worship songs for your church’s repertoire: Biblical faithfulness, theological correctness, gospel centeredness, musical richness, and congregational accessibility are the five big boxes you should be able to check. If a new song is really popular but doesn’t check all five of those boxes, then maybe you shouldn’t use it. There’s other good points there too, […]

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Two Excerpts

Here are a couple of quotes for your Sunday reading: Those of us in ministry, whether it’s full-time, part-time, flex-time, or volunteer, are just stewards of God’s ministry. He uses us for a time, and then he moves us on and uses someone else. We don’t build dynasties – God builds His Church. – Jamie Brown   I’m starting to think that a lot of […]

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The gospel and approval

The gospel and approval

You may have read this week about the death of Broadway legend Elaine Stritch (though you might know her better as Jack’s mother on 30 Rock). My Facebook feed has certainly seen a number of tributes, but one quote in particular caught my attention: “The terrifying thing in my life is that I am just an actress. And I have to keep pushing it and getting […]

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Dan Wilt on the spiritual discipline of hiddenness

Dan Wilt recently posted something which, frankly, I needed to read. Numbers only mean what God wants them to mean. For someone, their one Alzheimer patient they care for is worth the 1000 that someone else is called to care for. And so it goes. When we cross the line, love and faithfulness is the only measure we’ll see in God’s eyes if we can […]

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Free to be wrong

Zac Hicks wrote this about Worship Leader burnout, but I find it helpful for my day job (or should that be night job?) as a performer as well: The Gospel declares that, when we hear criticism, whether it is true or not, we’re free to receive it because all the approval we need has been met in how God the Father sees us through the […]

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Good stuff from Bob Kauflin

This interview with Bob Kauflin might be short, but it’s a suckerpunch alright! Nothing is more important to communicate to people than the gospel of Jesus Christ. No song, arrangement, vocalist, riff, or technology will be more impressive than the Savior. People are starved for the glory of Christ, not the glory of our presentation. Another thing I’d impress on myself is the importance of […]

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Links worth reading #4

I ended my Facebook fast just in time to cop the fallout of Aussie Prime Minster KRudd’s appearance on QandA. It’s worth reading David Ould’s response to the PM’s understanding of the central message of the New Testament. How would you answer the question, What is the fundamental principle of the New Testament? For Rudd it’s about how we treat one another which he reduces […]

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NT Wright and the answer of the cross

Back when I lived in Toowoomba I happened to do an eschatology unit in a correspondence course, and reading Tom Wright on the physicality of the new creation was one of those really helpful ‘aha!’ moments in my own theological thinking. In fact, I’ve now lost count of the the number of times I’ve handed out the link to this interview in Time magazine. I […]

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A prayer for gospel worship

A wise prayer from Scotty Smith this morning: In a day when we seem to need more gadgets and gimmicks to create “worship experiences ” free us from needing anything more than the gospel to worship you the way you deserve and delight to be worshipped. Amen.

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Critique Criteria for songwriting

  I’m pretty excited about 7in7 this time (“how excited?” you ask? Enough to take a silly photograph of myself holding a hand-written sign!). I’ve been thinking of ideas, and I’m ready to get stuck in and see what comes out. It’s just a shame that tomorrow is one of the most solidly booked rehearsal days I’ve had in a while – I think I’ll […]

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A prayer for justice

We’ve been reading and praying through Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers. They’re basically personal prayers from Smith’s journal, sometimes very personal and explicitly relating to his context, but much of the time it’s things that we can pray as well. It turns out that he’s been blogging them (slightly edited) at TGC too. Here is yesterday’s wonderful prayer:   The Lord is near to the brokenhearted […]

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Wesley’s directions for congregational singing

Wesley’s directions for congregational singing

I’m kind in a crazy-busy place right now, putting my first Papageno together in about the space of a week, so no time to write, let alone think. So, instead, here’s something I saw over at Abstract Cathedral, which is worth sharing: Directions for Congregational Singing Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree […]

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