The story behind Chris Tomlin and Laura Story's 'Indescribable'

Friday, January 16, 2009

Worship Matters: Top Ten idols

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One of my Christmas presents from my wife this year was a great book by Bob Kauflin called 'Worship Matters - Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God'. As I began to read I've got stuck on the first chapter entitled 'What do I love' where Bob describes how God changed him with regard to his musical and ministry pride. For many years he had worshipped and idolised his position, his talent, and the approval of others.

By way of confession, if I did a top ten list of what I worshipped or what my top ten idols were, God would be somewhere around number 3 or 4 if I was honest. Approval from others would certainly be up there above God. Comfort, pleasure and maybe my talents would by high.

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. Exodus 20:2-17

I'm so grateful that God is both jealous and grace-filled that he's continually working on these issues.

As I read more of the book I might blog a few posts on it. Who know?

David Gate: Releasing an album without a millstone around his neck

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
On a similar point to the previous post, regarding commercialism and CCM industry, Cheltenham (UK) based worship leader David Gate has released his new album independently through a label set up by his church. Previously his first album was released through Kingsway. In an interview with CrossRhythms he describes the possibility of it becoming a 'millstone around your neck'.

Here's a few interesting quotes from the interview.

"one of my songs was then on an album called something like 'The Best Worship Songs Ever' and I was wondering who decides these songs? Has God revealed that, are they his favourites? And then are we judging them by which songs are top of the CCLI charts? And is that the value of a song? How many churches it's sung in or how many conferences it's sung at or how many albums it's on? It gets really complicated and I just felt like I wanted to keep a closer eye on my songs and what they were doing."

"Certainly everyone seems to be trying to paint these songs with broad brush strokes. I've got this theory that you can walk in to a church in Thailand or Canada or Scandinavia or Stoke and you can hear the same songs sung in the same way. One part of me thinks that can be good for some reasons but ultimately I think that it makes me a bit sad that we are doing the same thing everywhere."

Reply from Worship Central

Monday, January 12, 2009
It's not too often people leave comments on my blog (I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions why not) so when one receives a comment then it's always worth a post to celebrate and to further make comment on the 'comment'.

In October last year I went to Worship Central's Tour as it stopped in Birmingham, UK. As a result I blogged on it, here . Generally I was positive about the night but was concerned at the modern trend in worship which I summarised into three headings Commercialism, Definition of Worship and Congregational singing.

Recently Al Gordon one of the leaders from Worship Central very kindly commented on the post with a gracious reply to my criticisms:

Hey Gareth - I love these thoughts - you're right on these points: it's a real balance between the volume and engagement, and I guess sometimes things are a bit loud. In terms of expression, there's only so much we can do in one night, so we tend to go for that model, but Sundays are much broader. Also, the resources are there because people ask for them, and we're able to bring them to people cheaper than the shops, as we get a big discount. If it's any help, the revenue from the sale of resources goes towards the cost of putting the night on, and the ministry actually made a loss on putting on the events, even with selling resources. We're very passionate about encouraging worship of all expressions, so it's really helpful to see your comments - they're a blessing and help us learn.
God bless,
Al Gordon

As I've mentioned before about the event, I believe God was there and I believe Al and Tim are very anointed, humble worship leaders, songwriters and God uses them and the events they put on.