Unbroken Praise – Song Devotional

Matt Redman

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Even though it’s the title song of the album, Unbroken Praise was the last one to be written.

The day before the recording I’d been looking through the songs selected and felt we were missing something; a simple song, one with not too many lyrics or chords, an expression of praise that talks about bringing God an offering of wor-ship.

I called Jonas Myrin who came straight from the airport, and he and I finished it at 11:30pm in Abbey Road studios.

I’d been playing around with the phrase unbroken praise and it seemed that there might be a song in there. To me it’s all about bringing God an offering of wor-ship that’s as worthy of Him as possible. So the song talks about praise unen-ding, praise unfailing, praise untainted. It talks about surrender and devotion, of bringing the overflow and outpouring an offering of our hearts and lives.

That last point is the one thing that this song really tries to hammer home; we need to back up the things we sing. My favourite line on this whole record comes from this song’s bridge: ‘let my deeds outrun my words, but let my life outweigh my songs.’

Ultimately that’s what worship is all about. It has to mean surrender, some de-gree of life change. If it doesn’t, our worship is just singing.

There’s a great example of this in Psalm 95. ‘Come let us sing for joy’ he writes before encouraging us to ‘bow down and worship’. After the joy and reverence comes the clear instruction: ‘today if only you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…’

We have to make the complete offering, to back up our songs and sounds with a life of humble obedience and full surrender to Jesus.

What’s worship without change? It’s just a game.


From WeAreWorship.com

Worship in the Joy of the Lord

Worship in the Joy of the Lord

Worship in the Joy of the Lord is a curated collection of over 300 quotations on the deep meaning and purpose of Christian public worship.

By: John D. Witvliet    
Publisher: Calvin College Press, 2016

Worship in the Joy of the Lord: Selections from Chip Stam’s Worship Quote of the Week is a curated collection of over 300 quotations on the deep meaning and purpose of Christian public worship designed to inspire, challenge, and equip worshipers and worship leaders to be transformed by the renewing gospel of Jesus Christ.

Edited by Calvin Institute for Christian Worship and John D. Witvliet.

Purchase a copy online from Amazon.

Endorsements

Chip Stam was a gift to the church. This anthology is a deep treasure chest full of Chip’s carefully assembled refl ections. It is an invaluable volume for anyone who treasures Christian worship.
Constance M. Cherry, Indiana Wesleyan University

This collection of worship quotes displays Chip’s unceasing desire to worship the Savior, proclaim the gospel that changed him, and encourage that passion in others.
Bob Kauflin, Sovereign Grace Music

From Aristotle to Wesley, and everybody in between and before and aft er, Chip Stam has done us the irreplaceable service of gathering worship quotes so that we can drink from the wisdom of the ages and ponder the saints’ insights. These extracts are gems that I will treasure and continue to apply to the Church and her worship. I love this book!
Marva J. Dawn, Christians Equipped for Ministry

Chip Stam was not only a source of much personal wisdom about worship that glorifies God, but he also had the gift of pointing us to other sources of wisdom. We miss him, but the gift lives on in his wonderful collection of gems about bringing more joy into our worshiping lives!
Richard J. Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary

What a rich resource of God-centered, biblically sound and theologically profound reflections! Our brother Chip has provided us a feast of gleanings from a wonderful variety of different authors and sources. A fountain of devotional resources for every worshiper (and, with the index, an invaluable sourcebook for the desk of the pastor or worship leader), this collection bubbles with life and wisdom and love for Christ—as did Chip himself. Drink deeply from this well and be refreshed!
Ron Man, First Evangelical Church, Memphis, Tennessee

In Memoriam: Carl (“Chip”) L. Stam (1953-2011)

ChipStamChip Stam was a frequent speaker at Symposium, attending regularly even when not presenting. He came out of his warm-hearted love and passionfor the worship and music of the church, which developed into a close relationship with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Chip had been director of choral music at Notre Dame University and pastor of worship and music at Chapel Hill Bible Church before moving to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2000, where he became the founding director of their Institute for Christian Worship. One of Chip’s best loved legacies was his “Worship Quote of the Week,” an on-line devotional (that ran from 1995-2011) that mined the wisdom of church leaders throughout Christian history in ways to challenge Christians today. His contagious joy was present even when wearing a back brace the last time he was able to be present at Symposium, during his four-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.


About the Author

John D. Witvliet

John D. Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and professor of worship, theology, & congregational and ministry studies at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary. Read more »
View other Publications or Resources by John Witvliet.

Humility Looks Good on Everyone

by Louie Giglio

REFLECTION

Jesus is the King of Kings, yet He arrived as a humble servant. Humility is not thinking you are less, it is never forgetting the fact that it is Jesus who made you more. So, how do you become like Jesus? How do you develop a spirit of humility?

Humility is the byproduct of being with Jesus. Anyone who walks intimately with Him will not think more highly of himself than he should. To be loved by Jesus and invited into a relationship with Him, is all we need to right-size ourselves and to assume His gentleness and grace.

To be humble doesn’t mean you have to be weak. God has given you all you need to live confidently as His. The proud will never truly lift up God’s name in praise. Yet He raises the humble to new heights.

MEDITATION AND PRAYER

A Private Litany of Humility

From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of comfort and ease, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being criticized, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being passed over, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being lonely, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being hurt, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering, deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, strengthen me with your Spirit.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, teach me your ways.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
help me put my self-importance aside
to learn the kind of cooperation with others
that makes possible the presence of your Abba’s household. Amen.

 

Adapted from a prayer by Rafael,
Cardinal Merry Del Val, 1865–1930


Louie Giglio is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of Passion Conferences—a global movement of college-aged people living for the fame of Jesus Christ. A dynamic and effective communicator, Louie holds a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Shelley, live in Atlanta.

Glory In The Highest

by Louie Giglio

REFLECTION

God has no equal. No rivals. No shortages. No needs. He is before all things and at the end of the day He will be the last one standing. The world is filled with “little g” gods, but our God made the heavens and the earth. No one compares to Him. No one even comes close.

So as you wait on Him today, give Him praise. Maybe your circumstances appear to be upside down, but His throne is decidedly right-side up! Praise Him in the waiting. Exalt Him in the wondering. So don’t ask for much today, just keep lifting up the Name above every name. Let that Name ground your heart and still your soul. Let your praise drown out all others who contend for your allegiance and affection. When you do, your very song will lift your thoughts to the very highest place.

MEDITATION

Glory in the Highest

You are the first
You go before
You are the last
Lord, You’re the encore
Your name’s in lights for all to see
The starry host declare Your glory

Glory in the highest
Glory in the highest
Glory in the highest

Apart from You there is no god
Light of the world
The Bright and Morning Star
Your name will shine for all to see
You are the One
You are my glory

And no one else could ever compare
To You, Lord
All the earth together declares . . .
Glory in the highest . . . to You, Lord

All the earth will sing Your praise
The moon and stars, the sun and rain
Every nation will proclaim
That You are God and You will reign

Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory to You, Lord
Glory, glory hallelujah
Hallelujah

Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, Daniel Carson, Ed Cash

PRAYER

Father, what shall I say to You? You have no equal or rival. My words and my thoughts are so small when compared to You. I have seen the starry night and it cannot hold a candle to Your glory. Expand my faith and give me words as I seek to join the anthem of Your praise.

All praise is Yours, now and forever. I will walk in that truth today. I will believe it. And act like it. And pray like it. And give like it. And praise like there is none like You. Amen!


Louie Giglio is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of Passion Conferences—a global movement of college-aged people living for the fame of Jesus Christ. A dynamic and effective communicator, Louie holds a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Shelley, live in Atlanta.

Idolatry on Sunday Mornings, Pt. 3

By Bob Kauflin

It’s helpful to remember that the world, the devil, and our flesh actively oppose our desire to give God the glory He alone deserves. The real worship wars aren’t about music styles, forms, and practices. They’re secretly waged in our hearts, as idols try to rob us of our passion to exalt God above everything. If we aren’t aware of those worship wars we’ll have a difficult time understanding or experiencing worship that honors God, no matter what we’re doing on the outside.

Speaking of experience, here are a couple more idols that can tempt us on Sunday mornings.

Experience – As I paged through a Christian magazine last year, I noticed one ad for a new worship CD mentioned “experience” six times. We all love “worship experiences” with God. Experiences aren’t evil. But the concept of worship as an “experience” is fairly foreign to Scripture. I say “fairly” because there are times when worshipping God was definitely an experience! (2 Chron. 5:11-14; Acts 4:31; 1 Cor. 14:23-25) However, the goal of gathering as God’s people is not to feel something but to see and remember something. That “something” is the Word, works, and worthiness of God, especially as He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6) If I pursue goose bumps or heightened emotion during a meeting, God becomes simply one of numerous options I can choose to seek them from. This doesn’t minimize the importance of pursuing encounters with the living God characterized by profound emotion and awareness of the Holy Spirit’s active presence. Scripture is filled with examples of longing for, pursuing, and delighting in God’s presence (Ps. 84:1-2; 1 Chron 16:11; Ps. 16:11) But I become aware of God’s nearness by dwelling on His nature, promises, and acts, not by pursuing an emotional fix.

Liturgy – Forms and practices are significant when we meet as God’s people to worship Him. Everything must be done decently and in order. (1 Cor. 14:40) However, God has been vague (painfully so) in His Word regarding what that “order” actually looks like. How many songs do we sing and when do we sing them? What words should we use when we pray? When and how often should we celebrate the Lord’s Supper? Christians throughout history have argued about and divided over such issues, claiming to offer a liturgy that was truly biblical. Of course, church splits are not always wrong, as some of the biblical truths and doctrines we treasure most were purified through the fires of conflict. However, there is no “liturgical perfectionism” we can achieve that will ever make our worship more acceptable to God than it already is in Jesus Christ. The sad fruit of this idolatrous mentality is churches that have a form of godliness but lack true spiritual power. Our goal is to do in faith what magnifies God’s glory in Christ most effectively and Scripturally. We can and should use biblical elements and proportions in corporate worship. But liturgies should serve us, not rule us. Since God has seen fit to allow freedom in form, so should we.

I’ll continue these thoughts in a later post.

By the way, my mother-in-law (see this post) is doing much better. Thanks to those of you who prayed.

Songs and Sermons from WorshipGod15: TRIUNE | Worship Matters

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of attending WorshipGOD15: TRIUNE, a worship leader’s conference put on by Bob Kauflin and Sovereign Grace Churches. Over the four days of the conference, attendees heard some great sermons, sat under some great teachers and worshiped through some great music. Last week, Bob Kauflin posted Songs and Sermons from WorshipGod15: TRIUNE on his blog, and I’d like to share them with you. Enjoy!

Songs and Sermons from WorshipGod15: TRIUNE | Worship Matters.

Do I Lead To Impress or To Serve?

by Bob Kauflin

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One of the things I’ve enjoyed about moving to Louisville two years ago and helping to plantSovereign Grace Church is the opportunity to train interns from Southern Seminary and Boyce College. I meet weekly with a group from each school to talk theology, focus on heart issues, and work on music and leadership skills. They also serve on Sundays and help out withSovereign Grace Music.

Young musicians and leaders are often overly self-conscious and nervous. While confidence comes with experience, we don’t want to overcome self by becoming more assured in ourselves. So one of  my goals for the interns is that they get to the place where they can comfortably and joyfully get up in front of people spontaneously and lead us in a song that helps us exalt Christ. To that end, a couple weeks ago when I met with the Boyce interns, we talked about 2 Corinthians 4:5:

For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Paul wanted the Corinthians to know that he and his co-laborers weren’t in ministry to draw attention to themselves, but to Jesus. And it was a specific Jesus they were drawing attention to – the Jesus who is Lord. The result was that rather than promoting themselves they humbled themselves and became servants to the Corinthians. They did all this “for Jesus’ sake” because they wanted the Corinthians to join them in treasuring and following Christ.

This verse helps clarify the choice we have to make when leading people in song on Sunday mornings. Are we going to proclaim ourselves or Jesus? Are we going to seek to impress or to serve?

Leading to Impress

Seeking to impress, or promoting ourselves, is revealed in a variety of ways. I’ve experienced all of them.

Sometimes we’re afraid we aren’t going to impress people.
Our rehearsals and preparation are tense and demanding.
We struggle with clammy hands and sweat-producing anxiety.
We obsess over whether or not people will like our leading, playing, or singing.
We battle discouragement when we do poorly.
We fight condemnation when no one notices our contribution or when we receive negative feedback, however slight.
We’re offended when a leader doesn’t give us sufficient time to prepare so that we can look our best.
We’re trying to promote ourselves and are afraid we’re not doing a very good job.

Other times, we’re confident we do impress people.
We frequently reference our contribution.
Our monitor mix gives little to no indication that we’re leading with other musicians.
We’re shocked when someone else gets scheduled more than we do.
We view the church as a platform for our ministry.
We don’t have time for pastors that want to get to know us before they let us lead.
We don’t understand why everyone else isn’t as enamored as we are with our voice, playing, leading, or songwriting.
We’re promoting ourselves and want everyone else to join in.

Leading to Serve

In contrast to that attitude, God wants us to view leading worship in song as an opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters for Jesus’ sake. You might notice that in both scenarios above, Jesus doesn’t even make it into the picture.

What does it look like when musicians seek to serve others for Jesus’ sake?
We take time to pray when we prepare because we want to know God’s heart for the people we’re leading.
We receive encouragement or criticism gladly because the first assures us God’s Spirit is working through us and the second helps us grow.
Our joy doesn’t depend on whether or not we did particularly well that morning, but on whether people encountered God and grew in their love for Christ.
We listen to other people in the band.
We practice because we don’t want to do anything that will distract people from focusing on the words we’re singing and the One we’re singing to.
We’re quick to notice and point out ways others have served well.
When God uses someone else’s gifts to exalt Christ, we’re no less happy than when he uses ours.
We participate in the menial tasks of set up and take down.
Our face and body tell people we’re more excited about what Jesus has done than the lick we just played or sang.
We make it a joy for leaders to lead us.

What does it look like when leaders seek to serve others for Jesus’ sake?
We recognize that the goal isn’t to have musical experiences dwell in people richly, but the word of Christ (Col. 3:16).
We’re more confident in God’s words than ours, both in our songs and our speech.
We choose songs that help people understand, apply, and benefit from the gospel.
We think of ways to involve others in leading and playing.
We welcome, even ask for, input from our pastor and others before and after the meeting.
We keep creativity in its most helpful place, using it to draw attention to Jesus rather than to itself or to us.
We’re relaxed as we step up to lead others because we’re aware that we’re jars of clay and Jesus is the all-surpassing treasure (2 Cor. 4:7).
We know that God loves to use the foolish things of this world to shame the wise (1 Cor. 1:27).
We make it a joy for others to follow us.

Leading others in song is always about God and what he’s done for us in Christ, not about us and what we’ve done. While God wants to use our gifts, preparation, and skills, he doesn’t need them.

For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Being the servant of others for Jesus’ sake is not only more enjoyable than proclaiming ourselves, it’s the only way the glory of the gospel will be seen through our lives and leading.

Because we weren’t saved to proclaim the excellencies of ourselves, but of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9).

PARKWAY WORSHIP MINISTRY NEWS – WEEK OF JULY 27, 2014

THIS WEEK…
It’s hard to believe that July is almost over. The first day of school is just around the corner and our Fall schedule will resume in just a couple of weeks. Again, there is no rehearsal this Wednesday. We will have sound check & rehearsal on Sunday morning at 8:00am, and our Worship Gathering at 9 and 10:30am.

WEDNESDAY REHEARSALS RESUME IN AUGUST…
Our regular Wednesday evening rehearsals will resume on August 6th at 7:30pm.  We will begin in the Choir Room for a short ‘welcome back/informational’ meeting, then we will move the platform for rehearsal. I will have charts and rehearsal CDs for August ready then.

WORSHIP MINISTRY ‘ONE-ON-ONE’…
Throughout the month of August, I will be conducting ‘one-on-one’ meetings with all Worship Ministry volunteers (like last August…and spouses can meet with me together). Online sign-up will be available soon. I’ll have more information on August 6th.

VOCAL TEAM MEMBERS…
If you are interested in serving on a Vocal Team please let me know. We especially need tenors and altos. I will be conducting interviews for new vocal team members in August. The new vocal team schedule will begin September 7th. I’ll share more information about this on August 6th.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER with THE HOPPERS…
THE HOPPERS are returning to Parkway on Friday, September 19th at 7:00pm. Tickets are $10 general admission and will go on this Sunday!

We have been invited to sing with them on five songs:

Jerusalem
Yahweh
Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Yes, I Am
Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin

I have created a playlists on YouTube and Spotify. (Click in the links to hear the songs.)

I’ll have more details later, so MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE…
Wednesday, July 23 – NO REHEARSAL
Sunday, July 27 –
   8:00am – Worship Team in Worship Center to run service music}
   9:00am & 10:30am – Sunday Morning Worship Gathering

***UPDATE*** Download the complete schedule for JULY/AUGUST 2014 here!

SCRIPTURE THIS WEEK – STAND IN HOPE: 1 PETER…
The sermon for this Sunday, July 27th is from 1 Peter 3:13-22.

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

(1 Peter 3:13-22 ESV)

SUNDAY MORNING… (7/27)
SOUND CHECK/REHEARSAL: 8am – Worship Team
SERVICE TIMES: 9 & 10:30 – Sunday Morning Worship Gathering
COLOR: Summer Colors
LINKS FOR THIS SUNDAY
   Planning Center Online
   PCO Public View
   PDF of Service Order
   Spotify
   YouTube

Jesus Son of God – PraiseCharts in A
In Christ Alone (My Hope Is Found) – PraiseCharts in D
Revelation Song – PraiseCharts in D
Man of Sorrows – PraiseCharts in E

HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A BLESSED WEEK!

Are We Headed For A Crash? Reflections On The Current State of Evangelical Worship

Worthily Magnify

1Last week I spent a couple of days attending the National Worship Leader Conference, hosted by Worship Leader Magazine, featuring many well-known speakers and worship leaders. The conference was held about 15 minutes down the road from me, so it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I’m glad I went.

I met some new people, heard some thought-provoking teaching, enjoyed some good meals and conversations with worship leader friends, and experienced in-person some of the modern worship trends that are becoming the norm in evangelicalism. It was eye-opening in many ways.

Over the last few days I’ve been processing some of what I saw and heard.

Worship Leader Magazine does a fantastic job of putting on a worship conference that will expose the attendees to a wide variety of resources, techniques, workshops, songs, new artists, approaches, teachings, and perspectives. I thought of Mark Twain’s famous quote…

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