The High Priest As Worship Leader

"Thanks for leading us into God’s presence”, is a comment I’ve received throughout the years as a worship leader. It sounds good at first, and resonates with certain experiences we have during corporate worship. Upon closer reflection however, the description of corporate worship as “entering into God’s presence", or "his throne room” makes too much... Continue Reading →

Living With Fear Part 3: Surrender

Part 1 HEREPart 2 HERE Is There Anything Good in Fear? We are interesting creatures. The habits we often cultivate in our lives drive us nuts and lead to burnout, yet somehow they're also comfortable because they're familiar. We don't know of any other way to act or live unless we are shown another way.... Continue Reading →

The Last Liturgy Standing

All the American rhythms of life we're used to are now drastically different or gone altogether for the time being. The sports cycle, the news cycle, the shopping cycle, not least the daily 9-5 cycle. All of these rhythms are habit forming, and thus soul-forming rituals (read about how habits shape identity here). Our calendars... Continue Reading →

Singing is Prayer, So Your Prayer Life Isn’t that Bad!

Matthew Westerholm helpfully condenses some of John Calvin's thoughts on singing and prayer. You can read it here... First, singing our prayers helps us unite our gathered church. Second, singing our prayers helps focus our wandering thoughts. Third, singing helps inflame our withering affections. Fourth, singing our prayers helps us engage our entire bodies.  

In Defense of “Silent Night”

Five years ago, our son Silas was born on Christmas Eve. A few days after we went home, we thought he had a temperature and maybe an infection, which could be serious in a newborn, so we went to the children's hospital. The ER doc thought he was ok, but just dehydrated. However, the hospital... Continue Reading →

Can Anything Aid Our Worship?

Do we need things to help us worship? We may not say that we do, but do we act like it? In our hearts, do we believe we need certain things like specific instrumentation, arranging, or styles to aid us in worship? Here’s the biblical reality: everyone in our congregation and on our worship teams... Continue Reading →

The Surprising Holiness of God

Much has been made of the seraphim’s cry in Isaiah 6 of “Holy, Holy, Holy” is the LORD of Hosts, his glory fills the whole earth”. This is the only time in the Old Testament where a attribute of God is uttered three times over. Repetition is a Hebrew way of over-emphasizing or making something... Continue Reading →

The Dangers of Awesome Worship

Paul Tripp explains the dangers of idolatry in a talk at a worship conference a few years ago, and I found it quite compelling. You can listen to the whole thing here. He starts out with this phrase..."The danger of idolatry is never more present than in moments of supposed worship." Dang. Let that sink in... Continue Reading →

Spring 2018 Worship Collective: Role of the Spirit

0:00-26:36 Biblical references for the Spirit's work 26:36-34:10 Characteristics of Spirit-Led worship 34:10-49:31 Reflection on our ministry 49:31-1:09:00 Discussion questions followed by funny video. (sorry I screwed up the power point slide for this section!) Here is the link to the slides I used. This past week we discussed the role of the Holy Spirit in... Continue Reading →

Worship Workshop at GPBC

Here's the link to the pdf handout Here's the link to the video. This past Saturday the worship teams of HBC, GPBC, and Grace Bible Church of Pompton Plains had a great time discussing the nature of worship, the pitfalls of idolatry, and how to apply what we learned practically on stage. We broke down the following... Continue Reading →

Planning a Service

Here is a condensed outline of elements for planning a service I gleaned from Bob Kauflin's workshop on service planning. I try to keep these in mind no matter what the order or theme is for any given Sunday. I don't necessarily think each of these elements needs to have it's own specific place (like... Continue Reading →

A List of Benedictions

Why Benedictions? What exactly is a benediction? A benediction is a short, concise blessing from scripture that can be a challenge, an assurance, a promise, or principle to live by.  It can also pronounce protection, comfort, abundance, or some other word of assurance.  It represents a joyful call to unity, faith, patience in trial, and faithful practice for the church based on... Continue Reading →

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