As someone who has spent a lifetime in and around Christian music, whenever I visit a church I often make my way to the front after the service and converse with the worship team, especially when I know one or two of the musicians.
A few weeks ago I did just that, and we started talking about songs that have the possibility of two parts being sung at the same time. Then we talked about ‘call and response’ songs where the worship leader sings a line and then the congregation repeats it. Then we talked about songs that parts for men and women.
At that point someone on the team said, “We don’t do men’s and women’s parts here.”
Days later, I was sharing this story with someone who knew exactly where I had been and they made an interesting comment, “I wonder how many times in the course of a week someone at that church begins a sentence with ‘We don’t?’
So true. So sad. Some Christian institutions have policy after policy; operating guidelines carved in stone for no particular reason. My feeling is, if you don’t have worship songs that offer something where women’s voices and men’s voices can highlight their unique giftedness, then next week would be a good week to start.
I hope the place where you worship isn’t characterized by a spirit of ‘We don’t…’
Link and the world links with you… The cartoon? See item 4 below:
- First and foremost here this week: Pray for blogger Keith Brenton and family.
- Here’s an obscure 2009 blog post that proves that pastors do indeed get asked the toughest questions. Betcha never heard this one.
- So that everyone gets a fair start to the race, here’s a five minute video as to how to become a Pope.
- Peter Enns notes that the bloggers are again off and running, criticizing the Rob Bell book they haven’t read.
- Save Saeed: Over 333,000 individuals have signed the petition to save American Pastor Saeed Abedini; imprisoned in Iran. He is cut off from contact from his wife and young children; he has no voice. Yet, each time someone signs the petition for his freedom, they lend their voice to the fight for his freedom.
- Essay of the Week: Jenny Rae Armstrong — The Missionaries Brought the Bread of Life But We Choked on the Packaging.
- Not every day I click over to the religion page at Canada’s National Post and see a giant picture of Larry Norman.
- The Amish are buying power tools. Sort of. This a link to a five-minute NPR (audio) story recorded at an Amish trade show. There’s also a written report on Amish computers.
- A researcher discovers a classic 19th century hymnal with “social justice themes … reflected in hymns protesting against child labour and slavery.” And hymns lamenting “unrighteous taxes.”
- A Florida student is forced to change out of a t-shirt that encouraged abstinence into one that raised its own moral questions.
- While these articles abound online, someone reading this right now may need to look at these six warning signs of depression.
- Anabaptist theology is becoming… well… trendy. Here’s one blogger’s list of those who he considers either recent or long-term members of the Anabaptist camp. (Some of them unofficially…)
- You might never find this on an album, so enjoy Steve Bell’s song to his wife on their 30th anniversary.
- We mentioned professor John Walton here a while back, here’s a 30-minute video of him teaching on the book of Job.
- Not sure if I’ve linked to this before or not: In its third year, the online Dictionary of Christianese. Here’s an example of the detail they get into with the phrase red-letter Christian.
- BibleGateway.com has added The Voice — a translation using dramatic script style — to its list of available Bible versions. Users of the online service get instructions in how to use this unique text.
- Know a worship leader looking for ideas? You can’t do better than clicking all the links in the comments section of this week’s Sunday Setlists.
- Also worship related: A New Zealander analyzes the CCLI Top 25 list for his country to see where popular worship songs originate.
- Or how about a written response to that currently popular video on writing a worship song.
- And now, courtesy of Ron Edmondson, we pause for a word to the small town pastor.
- Got a question about Satan aka Lucifer aka The Devil? Michael Patton provides some answers that I 98% agree with. Okay 99.
- Here’s a very detailed album review of Zion, the newest from Hillsong United.
- Our cartoon is a favorite around here, Mike Morgan’s For Heaven’s Sake. If you don’t get the punchline click this.
It all begins with a design template that looks like this.
Lloyd the Llink Llist Llama crashes the party exactly one year after his first visit here
For the last couple of weeks there has been a weekend link list here. Some of the most interesting articles this month have been listed in those two editions. So be sure to check them out.
- I never know for sure when I check out new blogs if the writer is on our side or not, especially when the first post I see looks like this one at Loon Watchman.
- Deans at other schools are fighting the possibility of accreditation for what would be Canada’s first Christian law school at Trinity Western.
- Why swear an oath on one Bible when you can swear an oath on two? A writer at Think Christian notes: “What I like about these [Bible] selections is the way they point to public and private figures who influence or inspire President Obama, and whose faith probably all shape the way he approaches his faith and his work.”
- You’ve heard of the dog who shows up for daily for a church service its late owner regularly attended. If not Fr. Z blogs the story, but notes that the dog’s appearance at the altar risks affecting the church’s ‘sacral character.’
- Sometimes it’s hard to become a Christian knowing that, if you do, someone is going to starve to death. Here’s a dilemma for missiologists.
- Don’t miss this one: J. R. Briggs gets an inspiring lesson on grace when he has to ask his 6-year-old son for forgiveness.
- Tyler Braun notes that summing up the gospel as “Jesus Loves Me” is too me-centered, unless we include spreading that love as part of the gospel mandate.
- Zac Hicks has an interesting article about the role of Worship Pastor as Emotional Shepherd and the dangers of manipulating the congregation.
- A central Pennsylvania Wesleyan church officially opens a $4M expansion including a fitness center, jungle gym, café restaurant and Christian bookstore.
- So what exactly does it mean when you find a dead bird on the steps leading to your workplace? Especially when you’re looking for more than, ““A dead bird on the step means either a cat loves you and has brought you an offering of food, or it means a bird flew into the window/door and killed itself…”
- By now you’ve probably had occasion to look up a favorite TV show, movie or actor at IBDb, but did you now there’s now a Christian Film Data Base (CFDb)? The site also has a blog that’s updated daily with reviews and interviews.
- I’m writing this listening to an at least five year old song by Starfield – Reign In Us. Just clicked replay for the fourth time.
- And news last week that Jason Dunn from Hawk Nelson has a solo album releasing in May.
- Meanwhile at American Idol auditions in Chicago Curtis Finch, Jr. impresses the judges with a brief gospel performance.
- For church leaders and pastors, Dave Kraft’s website, Leadership from the Heart is must reading. Here’s a piece outlining three temptations that can undo you and your leadership.
- And here’s more good leadership advice from 9Marks on counseling people who haven’t crossed the line of faith.
- Looking for a career in ministry? Check out ChurchJobs.tv
- I suspect that Christian bands like Sidewalk Prophets love it when bloggers take one of their songs and use it as springboard for a devotional piece; like the writer at Journey of a God-Follower does with their song, He Loves Us Anyway.
- Not So 31 is the name of a blog based on a reference to “the Proverbs 31 woman.” She does a lot of book reviews and book excerpts in particular, including some recent ones by Steven Furtick and Chris and Kerry Shook.
- We linked to this picture — one of my favorite images of 2012 — late last year but never included it. Until today. It was taken by Andreas Solaro for the Getty wire service and is captioned: Pope Benedict XVI caresses a lion cub as thousands of participants in the “Pilgrimage to Rome” festival – circus professionals, carnival people, street artists, pavement artists, bands and folk groups – gather at the Vatican on Dec. 1, 2012. We think the Pope should have a few kittycats running around the Vatican the way the Queen has her Corgis at Buckingham.
Some extra graphics this week for your Facebook page or tumblr blog.
- UPDATE from yesterday’s post here concerning Two-and-a-Half Men actor Angus T. Jones: Journalist Maria Cowell has asked all the right questions in this interview posted at Christianity Today.
- Christmas songs: How soon should they start and how many should you do? For worship leaders, Jason Hatley offers a programmatic approach to building Christmas music content. (Mainline churches don’t have this problem as tradition pretty well dictates content.)
- Or you could do this song. (Nobody would ever forget it.)
- Which reminds me, our 2010 post, Should Audiences Stand for the Hallelujah Chorus still gets a lot of readers and the odd comment. (But you should probably stand for And Can It Be and All Hail The Power, too.)
- Lots of music-related stuff this week, like Rich Kirkpatrick’s list of questions about worship ministry that weekend service attenders might like answered. (Some of which I hadn’t thought of before.)
- Of course you can’t please everyone with church music; here’s a classic Perry Noble response from 2007 — five years ago — about loud music in the church. (He’s running a top ten list from each of the last seven years of blogging.)
- Or you might prefer Perry’s 2006 post on seven reasons why Jesus wouldn’t qualify as a pastor in most of our churches. (He’d certainly be under review by now.)
- Mark O. offers some great advice for the parents and youth leaders of middle-school teens on how they see themselves. (It actually does involve using a mirror.)
- I’m not sure why I made this a ‘page’ and not a ‘post’ — probably the extreme length of it — but we still get lots of hits on The Eight Things That Destroyed Our Marriage, culled from eight different blog posts by Justin and Trisha Davis. (I think Justin turns up occasionally on Pete Wilson’s Sunday service online feed.)
- Sometimes the things that turn up in a week of faith-based web-surfing are just bizarre, like this April-released movie, Seventh Gay Adventists. (I think it’s more about gay than the SDA church.)
- Greg Boyd — a major proponent of what’s called ‘open theology’ — defines the phrase in terms of ‘unrealized possibilities’ in this four minute video. (But does God know if you’re going to click on this link or not?)
- Here’s another review of a 2009 book that is proving to be the sleeper title of 2012: The Lost World of Genesis One. (Note to friends and family: Since you can’t get review copies of 3-year-old books, this one is at the top of my Christmas list.)
- A word of the week for preachers and public speakers: Fermata. (Hint: It’s a music term.) (HT: Darryl Dash‘s Saturday Link List for pastors.)
- Ken Ham responds to a website written for teens who need encouragement in living as atheists, including a section on how they can ‘come out’ to their parents. (He encourages parents to have a counter-response.)
- There’s an app for The War Cry, the Salvation Army magazine that traces its history back to 1879 enters the digital age. (Canadian readers: Ours is a different edition; not sure if it’s online.)
- Are there people at your church you try to avoid? Just asking. (Maybe I’m the guy everybody else is avoiding.)
I love this well-marked Bible; it’s my current desktop theme.
It’s Wednesday again. Did they settle that election thing last night?
- Kicking things off this week with a couple of links to the blog of Brant Hansen, formerly with WAY-FM, and now with AIR-1… First, a piece from mid-September reminding me that it’s been 15 years since singer Rich Mullins left us.
- The next is the second of Brant’s unintended car-accident-victim theme with a great quote from Mike Yaconelli’s book Messy Spirituality.
- First Person Accounts: Gateway Church of Christ is on the ground in Union Beach, NJ, helping out families impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
- Jim Henderson sits down with The Shack author Paul Young whose new title Cross Roads has a one million copy hardcover first printing.
- Yes, there is life after Willow Creek. A former teaching pastor there, Gene Appel, opened a $55M facility in Southern California on Sunday — see photo below — with plans for expansion.
- Dave Ramsey — the finance guy — offers a list of his top ten fave pastor podcasts, and earns some rather heated comments and suggestions.
- Here’s a website I hope nobody needs, but I am sure somebody might: Quivering Daughters: Offering gentle encouragement for women while addressing emotional and spiritual abuse within authoritarian families.
- Spiritual abuse isn’t confined to women. At the website Calvary Chapel Abuse we read about former NBA player Nick VanderLaan, who stood up at a conference and challenged the wisdom of inviting the somewhat controversial Ergun Caner to speak. He was later arrested by Santa Ana police. (HT: Julie at BGBC Survivors.)
- At the blog A Poor Wretch (love the name) Seth Fuller does a retake on the sometimes burdensome discipline of daily devotions, and is released into a more joy-filled daily discovery in God’s word.
- With the Christian blogosphere ever in mind, Trevin Wax takes a look at six major changes in blogging in the last six years.
- Christianity Today’s Drew Dyck does a double-header interview with Andy Stanley and Timothy Keller on the subject of church. (Allow about 15 minutes for this.)
- Memo to Rachel Held Evans from Doug Wilson: You got the verse wrong, it’s the husband who is supposed to live in the corner of the roof, not you. (Makes a good book cover, though.)
- A professor at Canada’s Redeemer University says that the more a church blends in to the surrounding culture, the less its chances of growth. “…mainline churches that pursue a strategy of accommodating themselves, and either ‘downplayed, loosened, or abandoned’ things which were in conflict with dominant culture tend to lose members.”
- Worship leader Chris Vacher in Canada has compiled a list of what he believes to be the best new modern worship songs of the year, complete with videos. Part one. Part two. Part three. A few of these songs run nearly eight minutes long. Do you agree with his choices?
- The Christian rock band Pillar is releasing their first new album in four years.
- Faithfully, month after month, Brad Lomenick continues to provide his Young Influencers List, like this one for October.
- About the opening image: If you’re keeping score, this is actually the second time this year that a drum kit has figured into the Wednesday Link List.
Pastor Gene Appel stands in the brand new auditorium at Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, California; which opened this weekend. (See item 5 above).
Bob Kauflin is somewhat of a worship guru in certain circles. His blog, Worship Matters, is probably in the top five blogs for those who lead modern worship in weekend services. He recently wrote:
What I Learned from Aristotle about Leading Congregational Worship
Specifically, I haven’t learned anything from Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) about leading congregational worship that I didn’t learn first in Scripture.
But in his day, Aristotle sought to help speakers be more persuasive by identifying three crucial areas to keep in mind. He called them logos, ethos, and pathos.
Briefly, logos is seeking to persuade through truth. Aristotle was concerned that the speakers of his day, the sophists, focused too much on flowery language and not enough on actual content.
Ethos has to do with the character of the person speaking. Aristotle recognized that listeners tend to be influenced most by people whose character they trust.
Pathos refers to the ability to stir the emotions of your listeners. Important truths are often presented with no apparent response in the hearer. Airline attendants experience that every time they review the flight safety procedures before takeoff.
When I lead people to worship God in song, I’m seeking to persuade them that Jesus is more worthy of worship than money, possessions, sex, power, relationships, or anything else we idolize. While our trust is ultimately in the Holy Spirit to do that work in people’s hearts, the Spirit uses means. And three of those means are logos, ethos, and pathos.
…there’s more to the article…continue reading (click here)…
Bob is a veteran in today’s modern worship movement; but his article applies to so much more than just worship. In preaching, in blogging, in small group ministry and even in conversation with friends, we need to have:
- solid content that informs and edifies
- a life that earns the right to be heard; authenticity, transparency
- passion, passion and more passion
Wednesday list lynx
Christianity Today magazine has found that recent articles on worship resonate with people, and that’s reflected in the first two links this week:
- People want services to be accessible, but D. H. Williams asks the question, ‘Are there limits to this strategy?’
- Why did the church embrace the pop/rock style found in today’s modern worship, but not utilize jazz or big band in its day? Lawrence Mumford looks at the diversity of worship styles.
- And over at Relevant Magazine — which we’ll return to later here — Adam Wood reminds us that worship involves the participation of both leader and congregant.
- Ever been stuck in a checkout line where the person in front of you seems to be buying out the whole store? Pete Wilson was, and he was anxious to get on his way, until he suddenly saw the person ahead of him in a different perspective.
- I understand a little of where John Shore is coming from. He’s certainly sympathetic to people who are both gay and professing Christians. [Example] But does he go too far in one direction? The blogger known as The Son He Loves thinks so and calls him on it.
- Castanea, a word meaning ‘Chestnut tree,’ is also the name of a tribal community living together in Chestnut Hill, Tenn, which serves in this USAToday story as an example of what is called The New Monasticism.
- Dan Kimball writes about Francis Chan‘s Erasing Hell with words like these: “It comes from a heart that is broken about hell. The pages themselves almost weep it is so heartfelt written. I know that sounds kind of corny, but it is true. This is written from a broken heart on the topic and that makes all the difference.”
- If you’ve got Adobe, here’s the link to the .pdf with the Committee on Bible Translation’s response to the Southern Baptist resolution regarding the updated NIV Bible translation.
- Also lining up to take a shot at the new NIV — with the accompanying fifteen minutes of fame — is the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. You can read the .pdf containing the CBT’s response to the CBMW. This best addresses the so-called ‘gender issues’ in the new translation, though it won’t satisfy people who already have their minds made up.
- Discovered a new blog this week for our “If You Want Deep, We’ll Give You Deep” department. Check out this treatment of the subject of atonement. (Full title: …Without the Theoretical Nonsense.)
- With two potential Mormon Republican presidential candidates, not to mention a Broadway play, here’s ten things you may or may not know about the faith of your LDS friends.
- And speaking of cults, Darrell at Stuff Fundies Like thinks that the proponents of the kind of faith he blogs about are actually a bit of a contradiction.
- There’s a Christian Game Development Conference. Who knew? But never underestimate the popularity of computer gaming. By the way, for bonus points, visit their site and try to find clues as to where the conference is taking place.
- Yet another CT piece; this one on how in their zeal to expand, multi-site churches with satellite campuses are now crossing state lines.
- A Pew Forum survey shows that Evangelical leaders are less concerned about Islam and more concerned about creeping secularism.
- Jon Acuff has four reasons why people ditch church in the summer. (Reasons not really good enough.)
- Finally one more from Jon Acuff and his article on Christian satire for Relevant magazine, where we find today’s closing image: