OK, so I’m going to be aggressive here and post ALL of today. It’s 10:27pm, I’ve had 4 big cookies and 2 bottle of water, I am going to give this my level best.
Before I begin though, I need to say that I have never seen such humility as I have seen modeled in Bob Kauflin, CJ Mahaney, and the rest of the Sovereign Grace folks. After CJ spoke tonight, I went straight to the bookstore and bought his book on Humility as I obviously need some work in that department. Anybody with me?!
Worship was lead this morning by Joseph Stigora, from Covenant Fellowship Church in Philly. I had the chance to thank Joseph after the service and he is another amazing, humble servant – one who I hope to have more contact with in the future.
- He Is Jesus (Stephen Altrogge/You can get it and other tunes from Next 2009 here
- Blessed Be Your Name (Redman)
- The Father’s Love (Sons and Daughters)
- It is Well (Traditional…WOW)
- O the Deep Deep Love (Kauflin)
Shai brought a steaming hot bowl of hip-hop gospel truth to a room full of white worship leaders. I loved every second of it. Sometimes, hip-hop seems to be so much more legit for telling stories and what better story than the gospel itself. He is the real deal, passionate, smart, a powerful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’ll be getting some of his tracks very soon.
Mark Altrogge – AKA “Ticket Boy”
Mark made me laugh so hard I forgot to take a picture. Check out his blog for some great insights.
Thabiti brought me into deep conviction with a passionate, intelligent, Biblically based defense of the church itself – reminding us how much God loves his church. Why?
- It is God’s composition — Membership is a uniquely Christian idea. God arranged the members (1 Cor 12:18). The problem is that Christian’s disdain for it…it’s a constant credo that ‘God, you must not know what you are doing.’ Eph 3 says the church is a mystery – it’s God’s manifold wisdom in it’s creation and we should love it.
- We need it — We need it b/c we need to be cared for. Each member cares for every other member. This happens within the local church. It’s a dangerous Christian who has disassociated himself from the church. A great goal is to have a meaningful spiritual conversation with each and every member of your church. Are we showing equal care for each member? Individualism is dangerous, especially for a worship leader. Renounce self-reliance and pride and embrace your need for the church.
- To be equipped – Eph 4:11-16. Speaking the truth in love to grow up to Him who is the head. He gave apostles, teachers, etc to equip. We are built up by another, not ourselves. we need the local church to be mature – we cannot mature independent of the local church! “De-corpulated” cutting off the body from the head (Christ) – has the church done this? are we then decomposing without our head? (For more on this new term, check out Kevin DeYoung’s book Why We Love the Church
- We need fresh supplies of God’s grace — I need thee every hour. 1 Pet 4:10.
- We need God’s love — 1 John 4:19-21. We love b/c he first loved us. A man who doesn’t love his body, doesn’t love God. We need to know how to love others in order to love God. The church is where we learn how to do that, to reject the church is to commit spiritual suicide.
Pat and I went to the Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse for dinner. It was excellent! I took a picture of the moose outside. Don’t ask me why. At least it wasn’t my birthday and they didn’t bring the moose puppet to sing to me.
First, I can’t mention worship without mentioning the choir. There was a 130 voice choir tonight that sang – 130 men and women who attended the conference. If you’ve never heard a 130 voice choir, it’s LOUD — and when they singing loud praises to our Father – it’s enough to give you goose-bumps. THANK YOU to everyone who sang in the choir.
- Praise to the Lord Almighty (Trad)
- Praise the Lord (from Psalms)
- We Sing (from Sons and Daughters what a great tune, choir sounded great)
- Completely Done (Sons and Daughters)
- Before the Throne of God Above
- All I Have is Christ (between this and the song before it, I could barely speak, nevertheless sing Get it from Next 2009 here)
CJ and Bob
This was definitely a high-light for me. I have taken so much inspiration from CJ’s teachings. To see him live was an amazing experience for me. You can see the passion in his eyes, it’s infectious. The mutual respect and humility both men had for each other was inspiring, to say the least. CJ started by thanking Bob for all his work on the conference, which the place erupted with thunderous (well-deserved) applause. Thank you, Bob.
CJ’s words of wisdom to worship leaders were huge, but again, one can definitely take away the need for humility from this.
You must look for the audio to be posted from this, it will be a must-listen, in the meantime, here are some nuggets:
- You cannot mention the cross without reminding what it means. It means reconciliation. If you don’t mention that, it may lead to the cross being a means to an end. It’s not…it is the end.
- Constructive comments should be eagerly pursued and humbly received
- It is more difficult to give a 1-2 minute exhortation than to give a 1 hr sermon.
- Worship must be theologically driven, not musically driven
- Everyone on your worship team should be appropriately engaged in worship – for example – are they all singing? How do their faces look? Those who look to Him are radiant. (Ps. 34:5)
- Are we appropriately engaged in the songs?
- The priority is congregational singing gospel-centered songs with sound doctrine and the congregation should be transformed by it
- What we win people with is what we win them to – win them to the gospel not worship creativity
- Why should worship be cross-centered? The gospel is of first importance (1 Cor 15) and the gospel is the storyline of the Bible. We must never leave the impression in worship that we do not need a mediator – we cannot even approach the Father without one!
I have listened to hours of CJ’s teaching during my marathon daily commute to work, he inspired me to see the glory of God in the face of Christ. To see him live was an honor. I also went right to the bookstore and bought Humility and Living the Gospel Centered Life. I figured he knows a thing or two about that. In the words of Bob himself “If I could listen to his preaching or watch his life, I’d watch his life.”