Blog Archives

Our Top 5 Most Read, Most Interesting and Most Debated Posts of the Year

It is hard to believe that August is fast approaching, and that 2011 is more than half in the tank already.   We have had some very interesting debates and discussions here at Not For Itching Ears.  In case you missed them (how is that even possible) I have posted their links here.

Our Top 5 Most Read, Most Interesting and Most Debated Posts of the Year…. 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

“Calling all Worship Leaders” and Top Posts of 2010

Happy New Year to all our readers!  Today we are excited to announce a new feature to the blog.  It is called “Worship Leader Makeover.” One of my passions in life is the corporate worship meeting of the church.   Whether it was as a senior pastor (10 LONG years) or a worship leader, I have been responsible for leading every aspect of the Sunday morning meeting.  I have also studied worship in the church extensively.   All that to say, I think I have earned the right to comment on the current state of “worship” and to encourage those who lead “it”.

Our “Worship Leader Makeover” will feature a regular post for worship leaders.  It will not focus on any technical issues. Rather, I will be sharing foundational things I have learned over the years.  My hope is that one by one, I can encourage other worship leaders, and that true Christ honoring worship would be restored in His church.  It won’t matter if your congregation uses instruments or not, as the things I share will have nothing to do with that.

Disclosure:  I am a full-time musician.  A guitar player (what can I say, God loves me!)  I run my own teaching studio and have traveled… 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