Bob Kauflin on song suggestions

Bob Kauflin has posted an article on song suggestions.
It is a great post (as always), but what I wanted to focus on was his paragraph on “Above All” by Paul Baloche.

Let me give you a real-life example, using the song Above All, by Paul Baloche and Lenny LeBlanc. Great song overall, but when asked to do it, I’ve said:

There are a number of things about this song I really like. The melody is enjoyable to sing and easy to remember. It does a great job emphasizing God’s sovereign rule over all, and focusing on the sacrifice of Christ. The poetic images are engaging and the harmonic progression is creative. But two parts bother me, both near the end of the song. The first is the line “you took the fall.” It seems like an understated way of describing what Jesus did. Not wrong, but not the best. The other problem is the line, “and thought of me above all.” I have no question that Jesus loved me and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20). But he didn’t think of me “above all.” Jesus went to the cross to satisfy God’s righteous judgment against a sinful humanity. He thought of his Father’s holiness, justice, and glory above all. It may seem like a theological nuance, but it’s the difference between our faith being man-centered and God-centered. I don’t think that’s what the writers intended, but I think it could cause some confusion in people’s minds. Besides, I think we have other songs that better articulate Jesus died for because he loved us and for his Father’s glory. But, thanks for suggesting it, and please let me know if you have any other thoughts!

Along the line of worship music Challies has posted the lyrics of a new All Star United..

This is the song of the year
Let the message be clear
I don’t need you to adore me
Cause it’s all about God’s glory
Something’s gone really wrong
If we’re chasing the song of the year

Testimony Testimony
Testimony Testimony
I’ll never be the same
Holy holy worthy worthy
something something something something
That rhymes with Jesus’ name

It’s the song of the year
But God’s still unimpressed
With our radio success

This is the song of the year
Let the message be clear
I don’t need you to adore me
Cause it’s all about God’s glory
Angel choirs sing along
If it’s really the song of the year.


Are you ready for Kids?

In honor of our the little boy on the way….

Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

Obtain a 55-gallon box of LEGOs (or you may substitute roofing tacks). Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream because this would wake a child at night.

Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net bag making sure that all the arms stay inside.

Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal into the mouth of the jug, while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8-12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 3:00 p.m. begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00 p.m. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10:00 p.m. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until 4:00 a. m. Set alarm for 5:00 a.m. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and pot of paint, turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet paper tube and turn it into an attractive Christmas candle. Use only scotch tape and a piece of foil. Last, take a milk carton, a Ping-Pong ball, and an empty box of Cocoa Puffs. Make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Forget the BMW and buy a station wagon. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a dime. Stick it into the cassette player. Take a family size package of chocolate chip cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There, perfect.

Obtain a large bean bag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10 of the beans.

Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store. Go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training and child’s table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run wild. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.


Wisdom on CCM

“I like Christian Rock. It’s very positive. It’s not like all those REAL musicians who think they’re so cool and hip.”-George Costanza

Another post on Youth Worship

I am posting this whole article cause it is just that good.

In previous posts, I wrote about how youth services should be Word-centered, God-focused, and how the service should involve all the young people, not just the ones who like to sing. Today, I’m writing about the use of worship bands and also the type of songs we choose to sing.

1. Worship Bands
I prefer to be cautious with worship bands, because I have seen how sometimes they can so drown out the worshippers that the congregation begins to accompany the band instead of the band accompanying the worshippers! This danger is found in many churches, regardless of worship style. (Some organists are just as guilty.) When this happens, God is used to display man’s talent instead of man’s talent used to display God.

I am also cautious about the youth themselves leading worship. This may seem strange after all I have said about the youth serving and participating in worship, but I would prefer a college student or young adult to lead worship, instead of one of the youth. There are many reasons for this, but I’ll suffice to give you just three.

First, we should not be naïve and think that a young person is sufficiently mature to be able to stand up in front of his/her peers and perform weekly without letting it go to their heads. Dare we forget how tough it was when we were teenagers and we craved so much the acceptance of others?

Second, if the youth leading worship are at odds with anyone else in the youth group, it is much more difficult for the other teenagers to get past them and truly be able to worship.

Third, most worship bands I have seen turn youth worship services into mini-concerts.

I would rather have someone who is outside the youth group and not as easily influenced by peer pressure leading the worship band. I would also want to ensure that the worship band sees themselves as a group pointing others to God, not as a group performing for themselves.

What I am saying about worship bands can also be applied to adult choirs too! This is nothing new, and I am not picking on worship bands. The Eastern Orthodox were on to something when they began having the choirs sing from behind the worshippers in the balcony, out of sight, 1500 years ago!

2. Song Choice
There are some great new songs and modern hymns coming out today in the church. I think of Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and other immensely popular singer/songwriters. The Bible commands us to sing to the Lord a new song, and I believe we should take that literally.

At the same time, I believe it is healthy for us to take a good look at new songs that are coming out and not to assume that just because it sounds good on the radio it should be sung in corporate worship. Songs teach us just as much as anything else in the worship service. Many people won’t remember one word of the sermon, but a song lyric will dance around in their heads for days after. I think we should consider carefully about what we are teaching the youth through the songs we choose.

You can check it out HERE

Youth Worship series

Here are two post on Youth Worship.

1.Word Centered
2.God as Trancendent and Immanent
3.Participation in worship
4.Music Style

You can check it out

God vs Shaft

This chart was used as a a teaching guide on the Westminster Confessions.

Thanks James Slaton!!