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If Your Church Eliminated Singing, Would You Find a New Church?


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Looking for a Cross-centered, Gospel drenched Song for Corporate Communion? Try this…


Looking for a cross-centered, gospel rich song to be used during communion?

Consider using a song I discovered a few years ago. It is called “The Gospel Song”, written by Drew Jones and Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace Ministries. It is one of the simplest, most concise wording of the gospel in song form that I know of. Let us know if you like it by taking the poll or leaving a comment.

 

 

The Gospel Song

Holy God, in love became
Perfect man to bear my blame
On the cross He took my sin
By His death I live again


The Gospel Song

You can find a free guitar chord chart by following this link to Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Cross-Centered Worship Songs: “Let Your Kingdom Come!”


I have been responsible for leading corporate singing in the church for years.  I know how frustrating it can be to find songs that are worth singing.  Many of the newer songs never mention or even allude to the most important aspect of Christianity:  The message of The Cross!  To be sure, there are songs out there, but it takes time to find them.  I often sift through 40 songs, just to find one new song.   (Worship team members have affectionately, and some times derogatorily, nick-named me “The Lyric Police”.  Call me old school if you like, but If we are going to sing in church, I think the songs we sing to our Savior should be worthy of Him and His work on the cross!

This column, “Cross-Centered Worship Songs”, was started as a way to serve my many worship leading friends.  I hope to introduce  some of the lesser known songs out there that you may not have heard.   Today’s song, “Let Your Kingdom Come”, is an Read the rest of this entry

Christ Centered Worship Songs: “What A Savior”


This column, “Cross-Centered Worship Songs”, was started as a way to serve my many worship leading friends. I hope to introduce some of the lesser known songs out there that you may not have heard. We will be posting songs from different genres: hymns, a capella, contemporary rock, etc. We will post the lyrics as well as the Mp3 along with a chord chart when possible. I hope you find it helpful. If you do, please let us know! This weeks selection “What A Savior” is a remake of the old hymn (1875) with an updated chorus.  Musically, it is very stripped down, with a lot of potential to put your congregations own touch on it.   A Gospel saturated song that calls us to rejoice in what God accomplished at Calvary.

Read the rest of this entry

Christ-Centered Worship Songs: Leading Worship at a Funeral


It was the most difficult “worship” service I have ever had the honor of planning or leading.   On a cold January morning,  the pastor called me into his office.  One of the young  ladies in our congregation had died in a horrible car crash.  She was only 20.   “Jim,” the pastor said, “we’ve been asked to lead worship for her service.   I am putting you in charge.”   Nicole had been “The Girl of The West” which was a very big deal out here in Colorado.  Because of this, her memorial service had to be moved to a much larger facility.  We expected over 500 people to attend.   I was overwhelmed by the assignment!

Leading worship at a funeral for a genuine believer is no small task.   Yes, we gather to celebrate their life, but the emotion present in those gathered is not celebratory.  It is grief, gut wrenching heartache, over the loss of someone they love. Few people feel like singing.   In addition, many who attend the service will not know the Savior.   If you are asked to lead worship in this situation, you will need songs that help people express their pain and their hope in the resurrection.  You will also need songs that call unbelievers attention to the Savior.

I don’t remember the songs we chose for Nicole’s service.   I do recall there were several drafts, and that I was not completely happy with our final choices.   I wish I had known about Read the rest of this entry

Cross-Centered Worship Song: “O Great God”


Welcome to our  “Cross-Centered Worship Songs” column.  It was started as a way to serve my many worship leading friends.  I hope to introduce  some of the lesser known songs out there that you may not have heard.    We will be posting songs from different genres:  hymns, a capella, contemporary rock, etc.   We will post the lyrics as well as the Mp3 along with a chord chart when possible. I hope you find it helpful.  If you do, please let us know!     This weeks selection “O Great God”  is a modern hymn based on a 400 year old prayer.  It was written by Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace Ministries.  It is a beautiful piano based song  that reminds us how God took the initiative to redeem us from our sin. Read the rest of this entry

Bob Kauflin: What it Takes to be a Worship Leader


If there was one gift I could give to every person responsible for leading corporate worship, it would be Bob Kauflin’s book “Worship Matters:  Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God” It is a very readable book, and dives deeply into the subject. 

Much of what I have learned about leading worship over the years has come from trial, error and a LOT of study.  How I wish that someone would have given me this book 20 years ago!

For those of you not familiar with Bob Kauflin, Read the rest of this entry

Cross-Centered Worship Songs: “The Glory of The Cross”


This column, “Cross-Centered Worship Songs”, was started as a way to serve my many worship leading friends.  I hope to introduce  some of the lesser known songs out there that you may not have heard.    We will be posting songs from different genres:  hymns, a capella, contemporary rock, etc.   We will post the lyrics as well as the Mp3 along with a chord chart when possible. I hope you find it helpful.  If you do, please let us know!     This weeks selection “The Glory of The Cross” is a medium tempo, guitar driven song written by Bob Kauflin.   A Gospel saturated song that calls us to rejoice in what God accomplished at Calvary. Read the rest of this entry

Worship Leader Make-Over: Defining the Goal of a Worship Leader


The clock on the wall says it’s 9:55.  People are hurriedly making their way into the sanctuary from classrooms, conversations, the coffee bar, or the parking lot.   If the service has a band,  the musicians are tuning up, and everyone on the team is making sure their songs are in order.  The sound team is running last-minute checks and putting a battery into the one mic that is dying, The video team is making sure everything is ready.   It’s 10:00am and the time has come.  It is time to worship.

What happens next?   All kinds of things.  It depends on your church tradition and background.  It has a LOT to do with the worship leaders themselves and what they think should happen. 

Let me phrase today’s discussion this way:  If you are a worship leader, what is your goal when you lead the congregation in worship?  Where is it you are leading the congregation?  How do you know when you get there?   Put another way:  What is the point of corporate worship?  Why have we gathered in the first place?  What does God expect from us as we gather to worship Him?

I have been to many worship services and have led some myself, where there was no lofty goal guiding the service.    Henry David Thoreau once said

“In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.”

 

We only hit what we aim at.  Isn’t that the truth!  As worship leaders, we should be aiming very high when we stand before God’s people to lead them in worshipping Him.   So, my worship leading friend, what are you aiming at when you lead the congregation?  Allow me to share what I believe the scriptures teach us we SHOULD be aiming at when we lead worship.  To understand this, we will briefly look at the three common terms used to describe worship in the Bible.  We will wrap up with a definition.  

Read the rest of this entry

Cross-Centered Worship Songs: “Oh What Grace”


I have been responsible for leading corporate singing in the church for years.   I know how frustrating it can be to find songs that are worth singing.  Many of the newer songs never mention or even allude to the most important aspect of Christianity:  The message of The Cross!  To be sure, there are songs out there, but it takes time to find them.  I often sift through 40 songs, just to find one new song.   (Worship team members have affectionately, and some times derogatorily, nick-named me “The Lyric Police”.  Call me old school if you like, but I think the songs we sing to our Savior should be worthy of Him!

This column, “Cross-Centered Worship Songs”, was started as a way to serve my many worship leading friends.  I hope to introduce  some of the lesser known songs out there that you may not have heard.    We will be posting songs from different genres:  hymns, a capella, contemporary rock, etc.   We will post the lyrics as well as the Mp3 along with a chord chart when possible. I hope you find it helpful.  If you do, please let us know!     This weeks selection is an upbeat, rock-style song off the CD “Fuse”.   It is called “Oh What Grace”  and is by Zach Jones.  Read the rest of this entry

Worship Leader Make-over: Laying the Foundation


To this day I believe I was set up!  Those who know the truth, may one day come forward and acknowledge what they did.  Until then, I will never know for certain.

I was a young Christian, and had just arrived at my second visit to what we  called “Mini-church.”  It was a home-group, but back in those days, they were very uncommon and this one had 40 people in it. 

During my first visit, someone found out I played guitar.   Ten minutes before the start of this second meeting, one of my new-found friends approached me with the con:  “Jim, our normal guitar player is not going to be here on time, would you mind playing guitar during worship tonight?”  Yeah, I would mind , I thought.  I don’t know any of the songs, and I don’t have a guitar.   Practically reading my mind, he told me that the regular guitar player had “just happened” to leave his guitar at the house we were meeting in and I could use his.  Without waiting for my answer, Mike handed me the guitar and pointed me to the back room where the singers and the flute player were running through the songs.   I was trapped with no means of escape.

How did it go?  In my opinion, it was a horrible train wreck.  I did not know any of the songs, and the charts were absolutely no help!  So I winged it.  Everybody could tell!  When the meeting was over, Cathy (the flute player) asked me if I would like to be the regular guitar player.   Now I ask, does that seem like a set up to you?

For some reason, I still don’t know why,  I said yes!   That is how I got started leading worship.   Twenty-four years later I have led worship all over the world… Read the rest of this entry

Cross-Centered Worship: “The Prodigal”


We have noticed a disturbing trend in the corporate worship songs of the church. Perhaps you have too? It seems that we sing very little about the main point of Christianity. This is due, in large part, to church leaderships desire to be more “sensitive” to those who attend the service but are not Christians.

The research tells us (we are told), that non-Christians don’t really want to hear about sin and guilt and being accountable to a holy God.  Hearing about a Savior dying on a bloody cross for their sins is not high on their priority list. To reach them,  we must eliminate these topics from our sermons and our songs. Sadly, much of the Evangelical church has mistakenly signed on to this approach. We could not disagree more strongly!

The message of a crucified and risen Savior and the reconciliation that this can bring is the only message… Read the rest of this entry

Is Worship Music a Gift or Has it Become our God?


Has the Sunday morning “Worship time” become our God?  Bob Kauflin recently discussed this topic on his blog called Worship Matters. It resonated with me and I thought those who read this blog would benefit from Bob’s observations. So…… I have included them here! Be challenged!

“Music is a very good gift. The 13,000 songs on my iTunes are testimony to that. My eyes have often welled up in tears as I’ve been affected by a lyric, a chord progression, or a musical texture. I’ve thanked God for the gift of music more times than I can remember.

Whenever I think about my love for music, I’m reminded of what Martin Luther said in a Foreword to a 1538 collection of chorale motets:

I, Doctor Martin Luther, wish all lovers of the unshackled art of music grace and peace from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ! I truly desire that all Christians would love and regard as worthy the lovely gift of music, which is a precious, worthy, and costly treasure given to mankind by God… A person who gives this some thought and yet does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God, must be a clodhopper indeed and does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs.”

While we may not want to emulate Luther’s attitude, most of us will readily agree that music is a gift from God… Read the rest of this entry

Cross-Centered Christmas Worship Song: “Glory Be to God”


As one who has been responsible for leading corporate singing for years, I can attest to how frustrating it has become to find songs that are worth singing! There are many out there, but it takes time to find them. Because of this, we have started a new feature at Not For Itching Ears. Each week, we will post one worthy (at least in our opinion) worship song for you to listen to. We will post the lyrics as well as the Mp3 along with a chord chart when possible. This weeks selection is a cross-centered Christmas song called “Glory Be To God.” It is an exuberant and lyrically rich celebration of the Incarnation miracle.  Listen to it below.   After listening to it, please rate it by taking our quick poll.  You will find the poll at the bottom of this post.

 
Glory Be To God 
 

Glory be to God on high
Let peace on earth descend
God comes down before our eyes
To Bethlehem

 God invisible appears
Endless ages wrapped in years
He has come who cannot change
And Jesus is His name
 
Emptied of His majesty
He comes in human form
Being’s source begins to be
And God is born
 

All our griefs He’ll gladly share
All our sins He’ll fully bear
He will cover our disgrace
And suffer in our place

 
Let the joyful news ring out
The Prince of Peace proclaim
Lift your heart and voice to shout
Immanuel’s name
 
God has kept His promises
What a work of grace this is
Son of Mary, chosen One
The Lamb of God has come
 
Hosanna, hosanna
The Lamb of God has come
Hosanna, hosanna
He is the promised One

Glory be to God on high
Let peace on earth descend
God comes down before our eyes
To Bethlehem
 
© 2006 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).
 
 
Words and music by Bob Kaulflin

Get the FREE  authentic chord chart Here: 

 http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/downloadFiles.aspx?key=Freef8506d24-81b1-4113-b873-257ebcfa2033

 Listen to another Cross-Centered Worship song:  Cross-Centered Worship “All I Have Is Christ”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Cross-Centered Worship: “The Greatest of All”


We have noticed a disturbing trend in the corporate worship songs of the church. Perhaps you have too? It seems that we sing very little about the main point of Christianity. This is largely because the church wants to be more “sensitive” to those who are not Christians.

With the best research in hand, we are told that non-Christians don’t really want to hear about sin and guilt and being accountable to a holy God. They also don’t want to hear about a Savior dying on a bloody cross for their sins. To reach them, we are confidently told, we must eliminate these topics from our sermons and our songs. Sadly, much of the Evangelical church has mistakenly signed on to this approach. We could not disagree more strongly!

The message of a crucified and risen Savior and the reconciliation that this can bring is the only message the church has! It is the one and only message the church has been entrusted with and that the lost so desperately needs to hear.

As one who has been responsible for leading corporate singing for years, I can attest to how frustrating it has become to find songs that are worth singing! There are many out there, but it takes time to find them. Because of this, we have started a new feature at Not For Itching Ears. Each week, we will post one worthy (at least in our opinion) worship song for you to listen to. We will post the lyrics as well as the Mp3 along with a chord chart when possible. This weeks selection is “The Greatest of All” , we hope you enjoy it.  After listening to it, please rate it by taking our quick poll.  You will find the poll at the bottom of this post.

The Greatest of All

 
The greatest of all transactions
The costliest purchase price
Father, Your Son’s atoning death
Was given in payment for mine
To buy me back from slavery
To set me free from my chains
 
Chorus
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed through Your infinite mercy
Your child forever I am
 
Now I’ll never know Your judgment
You ransomed and saved my soul
Jesus, Your death and Yours alone
Has canceled the debt that I owed
You satisfied the law’s demand
And new life’s been given to me
 

 © 2007 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP) Chorus by Fanny J. Crosby, music and additional words by Pat SczebelAs recorded on Sons & Daughters

 

 Listen to “The Greatest of All” 

Download the FREE guitar chart for this song here:  http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/productinfo.aspx?QuickAddProductID=M4220-04-57

Listen to other songs in this series:

Cross-Centered Worship Songs: “Oh What Grace”

Cross-Centered Worship: “The Gospel Song”

Cross-Centered Worship “All I Have Is Christ”

Cross-Centered Worship: “The Prodigal”

Cross-Centered Christmas Worship Song: “Glory Be to God”

Cross-Centered Worship: “The Greatest of All”

What Are You Thankful For?


Thanksgiving has arrived!  If you are like me, you are busy getting ready for the big day.   There will be lots of food, visiting family and friends,  football, pie and shopping on Friday (I need a new laptop!).   With all these activities, it is easy to forget that the whole purpose of the day is to give thanks to God for all he has done in our lives.  As Americans, we have a lot to be thankful even in these hard economic times.  Those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ have the ultimate reason to be thankful.  Not just on Thanksgiving day, but every second of every day… Read the rest of this entry

When Did “Worship” Become the Singing of a Song?


The memory is forever etched in my mind.  It was a typical Sunday, the service was over. There was a line of people who wanted to talk to me. One of them was our sound guy, who said  “Worship was great today pastor!  Your guitar solo was AWESOME!”   I remember this comment for two reasons.  It was the first time in my ministry where I realized that people were equating songs with worship.  What he meant was that he liked the songs we played.  Even then, I knew that worship was much more than singing or listening to a song.  The other troubling part for me was that I did not have any guitar solos, and the guy who thought I did was the soundman!  (He had taken too many drugs as a young man, and apparently heard things that were not there.  Not good if you are a sound guy.  I guess I should be happy he did not imagine a really bad solo, but I digress.) Read the rest of this entry

Cross-Centered Worship: “The Gospel Song”


We have noticed a disturbing trend in the corporate worship songs of the church.  Perhaps you have too? It seems that we sing very little about the main point of Christianity. This is largely because the church wants to be more “sensitive” to those who are not Christians. With the best research in hand, we are told that non-Christians don’t really want to hear about sin and guilt and being accountable to a holy God. They also don’t want to hear about a Savior dying on a bloody cross for their sins.   To reach them, we are confidently told, we must eliminate these topics from our sermons and our songs.  Sadly, much of the Evangelical church has mistakenly signed on to this approach.  Read the rest of this entry