Reformed Worship just released a new post of mine, entitled, “How Over-Explaining Worship Kills Worship.” In that post I entertain some important pastoral reflections on the nature of leading worship that educates and informs without throwing a wrench into worship’s gears. Hopefully you’ll find it helpful! Here’s a little quote: “Worship isn’t a time for parsing doxological technicalities just like driving isn’t a time to take apart your engine.” Go read the post!
Why Confession Should Be Interrupted, Not Completed
Feeling Worship Over the last two years, I’ve been thinking a lot about feeling and affect in worship. I’ve been pondering how our “emotional apprehension” in worship shapes, informs, propels our congregational gatherings. I used to think that if people just had enough instruction about what worship is and does, they would be more engaged in its elements. I still believe in that, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I can go deeper as a pastoral worship leader in pondering … Read More
Reflections on Teaching My Worship Class
Last week, I was blessed to have a packed classroom full of thoughtful, engaged students. My aim with this week-long intensive Worship course at Knox Seminary was not to solve all the problems but to place these present and future worship leaders and pastors on some healthy trajectories. We spent a LOT of time in the Scriptures, but we also needed to ask important questions about how we read the Scriptures, because ones understanding of interpretation (hermeneutics)–especially that of the … Read More
Reflections on the Calvin Symposium 2016
The Calvin Symposium simply has to be named among the best worship conferences out there. The challenge of getting so many different voices and perspectives in one place engaging in convicted yet loving dialogue is difficult, but the folks at Calvin have done a remarkable job of creating that space and setting the tone. My own experience as a conference attender, worshiper, panelist, and breakout session leader was shaped therefore not only by the content of the conference but the … Read More
Come Take a Week-Long Worship Class With Me – March 2016
Knox Seminary | AT704 | Worship Join me March 7-11 at Knox Seminary in Fort Lauderdale! This is an open invitation to worship leaders and pastors wanting to deepen their understanding of worship, liturgy, and pastoring. It’s tailor-made for people on the go who can’t commit to a semester’s worth of class but might be able to do some good reading ahead of time and then break away for a week. My hope is that pastors would see the value … Read More
The Worship Pastor – Book Update #1
(Read the initial post)(Read Update #2) Book Update #1 Thank you all for your continued interest in the content of my book, The Worship Pastor. It’s scheduled to release in October 2016 (that’s NEXT year, folks). Some of you have been asking about its progress, so here’s a brief update. My manuscript was due on October 1, and I met that deadline…thankfully. The editor has been reading through it and passing it on to a few other readers for feedback. … Read More
Should We Do Worship Songs from Churches With Bad Theology?
This is a hot-button issue. And on this one, I differ with a lot of people that I highly respect and appreciate. Over at Reformed Worship, I argue for an open-handed yet pastorally sensitive approach to incorporating worship songs from origins whose theology might be suspect. Please go read my article, “Worship Songs as Trojan Horses.”
A Theological Reason Why Worship Leaders Need to Take Naps on Sunday Afternoons
I’m Not Playing Around Maybe it sounds a bit cheeky. Perhaps it sounds like overextending an idea’s reach or, worse, a justification for sloth. However, I think there’s a very good theological reason why we worship leaders often find ourselves pillow-side on Sunday afternoons. For me, it’s very personal and autobiographical. I began thinking about all this over the last few months as our church is picking up the pieces of a major tragedy. Since the news hit our church … Read More
Making Changes to Your Worship Service in the Light of Pastoral Care…what History Teaches Us
You’re Not “Just the Music Guy” We worship leaders tend to think too lowly of ourselves. “I’m just the music guy.” If we don’t say it, we often think it. Many of us are simply unaware of just how much we shape the people we lead. In fact, the way people are formed through our leadership looks strangely like the way disciples are made under other, well, pastors. I’ve been jumping in an out of a teriffic old book called … Read More
Worship Leading, Qualifications, Compensation, Expectations…it’s complicated!
There are lots of great forums out there for online dialogue between worship leaders about important issues. But one group has always, for me, been a HUGE cut above the rest…Liturgy Fellowship. Many of the posts and conversations are thoughtful, pastoral, and move beyond the typical “What songs do you all do?” and “What’s your fav verb pedal?” Recently, my friend Wendell Kimbrough (check out his thoughtful site and great music here) offered up a provocative and powerful set of … Read More