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Category Archives: Worship

The transforming power of congregational singing

Book Review: Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church, by Keith and Kristyn Getty

The Gettys are all about singing. Keith and Kristyn Getty are well known for writing new hymns for the church. They have now turned their attention to talking about singing. “Not about up-front singing, but whole-church singing—congregational singing…. This book is about singing together as the church in a way that impacts all of your life.”

The book has five key aims:

  1. To discover why we sing and the overwhelming joy and holy privilege that comes with singing.
  2. To consider how singing impacts our hearts and minds and all of our lives.
  3. To cultivate a culture of family singing in our daily home life.
  4. To equip our churches for wholeheartedly singing to the Lord and one another as an expression of unity.
  5. To inspire us to see congregational singing as a radical witness to the world.

If you boil the book down into one paragraph, the book

…has a very simple aim: that you would sing truth, and sing it as though it is true. As you wake each day, and as you walk through your day, we pray that the lyrics and melodies of your faith will ring around the spaces where you live your life. As you walk into church next Sunday, we pray that you will be excited about sharing in the privilege of lifting your voice with God’s people, to “sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” And as you sing, we pray that you would experience the awesome joy of knowing that you are joining in with the great song of praise that resounds through every age, that stretches throughout this world and into every inch of creation, and that is being sung, right now as you read, in the very courts of heaven.

The book itself is very short—only 101 pages. Each chapter also contains discussion questions at the end so that you can think about it personally or discuss it in a small group. The final 40+ pages are written specifically for pastors and elders; worship and song leaders; musicians, choirs, and production; and songwriters and creatives.

Taken to heart, the book will change how you think about singing in general, and especially about singing in the church.

Disclosure: I received this book free from B&H Publishing through the B&H/Lifeway Bloggers program http://www.bhbloggers.com/. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2017 in Books, Worship

 

Worshipping at the Downtown GetDown

This morning, the “Dave Krok Experience”–Dave, Jack, Ron, Jessica, Stephanie, Keli, and Lauren–one of First Central Bible Church‘s worship team played on the stage at the Chicopee Downtown GetDown. From 11:00AM – 12 Noon, they were the featured band on the stage in front of the old library. A number of FCBC folks were present to encourage and worship along with the team. Our presence led to a number of conversations during the concert and afterwards.

 

Jack Gilbert Ordination Service

On Sunday evening, June 11, First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, will hold a special evening service to formally ordain our intern, Jack Gilbert, to the ministry of the gospel. (Jack passed his ordination exam on June 2 with flying colors.) Here is the planned order of service.

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Jack Gilbert ordination service – June 11, 2017, 5PM

Welcome, Call to worship                            Pastor Mark Wheeler

Reading – Isaiah 6:1-8                                    Doug Dolbow, Elder

Song – This is Amazing Grace

Song – A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Reading – Colossians 1:24-29                             Joe Martin, Elder

Song – We’ve Overcome

Song – Before the Throne of God Above

Reading – 2 Timothy 4:1-5                          Doug McVeigh, Elder

Prayer                                            Bill Leino, SEND International

Sermon                            Pastor Mark Wheeler, 1 Timothy 4:6-16

Examination and charge to candidate                 Stan Kulig, Elder

Prayer and laying on of hands                   Elders & ordained men

Song – The Greatness of Our God

Benediction                                                  Reverend Jack Gilbert

During the Laying On of Hands, we invite the Ordination Council, Council of Elders, and all ordained men in the congregation to join in this solemn ceremony.

Everyone is cordially invited to a dinner in the 3rd floor gymnasium following this service.

 

The pros & cons of using hymnals in church

Blogger Tim Challies has written two posts on the subject of using hymnals in church.

“What we lost when we lost our hymnals” describes the downside of using projected words instead of hymnals.

“What we gained when we lost the hymnal” describes the upside of using projected words instead of hymnals.

Neither article will convince you if you hold the opposite opinion. But Tim does a good job of being objective about the challenges inherent in the topic.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Church, Music, Tim Challies, Worship

 

A Primer on Worship

essential-worshipBook Review: Essential Worship: A Handbook for Leaders, by Greg Scheer

With the credentials—composer, author, musician, and minister of worship—on your resume, you would assume the individual knows a thing or two about worship. That is certainly true of Greg Scheer in his book, Essential Worship: A Handbook for Leaders. His book is a primer on worship and covers everything from principles to practices of worship.

The author begins by laying out the basic principles and definitions of worship. He then looks backwards to examine the biblical and historical roots of worship. With this as a foundation, he then delves into the role of music and the arts in worship.

In the introduction, the author explains that he came from a charismatic background, or as he describes himself—a failed Pentecostal. He later served in a Presbyterian Church and is now serving in the Christian Reformed Church denomination. It is helpful to know his background because his views on worship reflect those perspectives and denominational practices. He emphasizes following liturgy and the use of the lectionary, as well as celebrating communion on a weekly basis.

While the book is comprehensive, I found it too detailed for my own interest. It began to feel like a textbook designed for a class for worship leaders. It felt like worship was portrayed from a worship leader’s viewpoint rather than a balanced perspective. While his perspective on music and the arts is helpful, he downplays the role and importance of preaching. As a senior pastor, I was put off by his description of a typical worship service as a “mini-concert followed by a lecture.”

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2016 in Books, Worship

 

The relationship between worship and missions

Missions exists because worship doesn’t. The ultimate issue addressed by missions is that God’s glory is dishonored among the peoples of the world. When Paul brought his indictment of his own people to a climax in Romans 2:24, he said, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” That is the ultimate problem in the world. That is the ultimate outrage.

  • The glory of God is not honored.
  • The holiness of God is not reverenced.
  • The greatness of God is not admired.
  • The power of God is not praised.
  • The truth of God is not sought.
  • The wisdom of God is not esteemed.
  • The beauty of God is not treasured.
  • The goodness of God is not savored.
  • The faithfulness of God is not trusted.
  • The commandments of God are not obeyed.
  • The justice of God is not respected.
  • The wrath of God is not feared.
  • The grace of God is not cherished.
  • The presence of God is not prized.
  • The person of God is not loved.

The infinite, all-glorious Creator of the universe, by whom and for whom all things exist—who holds every person’s life in being at every moment (Acts 17:25)—is disregarded, disbelieved, disobeyed, and dishonored among the peoples of the world. That is the ultimate reasons for missions.

The opposite of this disrespect is worship. Worship is not a gathering. It is not essentially a song service or sitting under preaching. Worship is not essentially any form of outward act. Worship is essentially an inner stirring of the heart to treasure God above all the treasures of the world—

  • a valuing of God above all else that is valuable
  • a loving of God above all else that is lovely
  • a savoring of God above all else that is sweet
  • an admiring of God above all else that is admirable
  • a fearing of God above all else that is fearful
  • a respecting of God above all else that is respectable
  • a prizing of God above all else that is precious

John Piper in Let the Nations Be Glad! The supremacy of God in missions, third edition

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Books, Missions, Quotes, Worship

 
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At the Center of All

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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in Quotes, Tim Challies, Worship