OK, so it’s now Tuesday. I have been trying to finish my last day recap for a few days now…but hey…I was a away for 4 days, I had lots of stuff to do. My pool was GREEN when I got home and don’t even get me started on the state of the litter box.
Day 4. Uncle Bob brings it home.
First of all, I continue to be blown away by the humility of Bob Kauflin. From the very first second he bounded up and introduced himself to me and Pat at the pre-conference seminar to hearing stories of how he did a u-turn and picked up people waiting for buses and drove them to the conference, the man oozes humility. That is one over-arching thing that I will take away from this conference: HUMILITY. As worship leaders it is vital that we be humble servants of the Lord, our people have to be able to see the Lord in us, and they can’t do that if we are blocking the view. Phil 2 makes this very clear how far we should go with being humble:
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Matt Mason, who is a pastor at Lakeview Christian Center in New Orleans lead us in worship on Saturday AM. A few things stuck me about Matt – first of all I went to his seminar on “Worship in the Valley” and it was amazing. To see his humble heart and his love for the Lord Jesus shine thru, despite all our “valleys” and how to worship God thru them. Matt’s father was a pastor, who passed away (after a heart attack while preaching no less) – and living thru Katrina definitely gives Matt the street cred as one who is well acquainted with suffering. BUT, you look at Matt’s face when he is leading worship and it just BEAMS. The word says that ‘those who look to him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame’ (Ps 34:5) – let’s just say Matt was radiating the joy of the Lord all over the stage. Oh…and he is one of the best piano players I have ever seen – you can definitely hear that New Orleans influence in his playing. Very sweet.
OK, enough preview. Here’s what Matt lead us in:
- We Sing (Sons and Daughters)
- The Fathers Love (Sons and Daughters)
- Greatest of All
- Power of the Cross
- I Will Glory
- His Name is Jesus
Bob Kauflin Wraps Things Up
As humble as Bob is, he naturally bounded on stage without a thought of getting a “proper” introduction. Jeff Purswell quickly took care of that and ordered Bob to sit down, and then gave Bob a fantastic introduction to which 1600 grateful worship leaders rose to their feet to welcome Bob and show appreciation.
Jeff mentioned that he would be looking for certain qualities in a worship leader –
- Character – humble (shocker!) and a life and family full over evidences of grace
- Certain impulses – theologically informed impulses, an appetite for doctrine with discernment
- Heart – to love worshiping God more than leading worship, a heart for people – wanting them to encounter God, and a heart of a pastor – shepherding, caring.
Needless to say, for all who attended and know Bob – he models all of these. An apparent evidence of this is in his family. His whole family was involved in the conference. To seem him onstage with his children – brought tears to my eyes (yet again) thinking of how amazing that must be…perhaps someday.
The Future of Worship
The theme of the conference was “From Generation to Generation” to that end, Bob first focused on “what do we need to keep in mind as we transfer to the next generation?”
Keep in mind the command to pass it on to the coming generation…
Think about a relay race with the passing of the baton – the race is all about the baton – if you run without it, no matter how fast – you lose, the race is in vain.
Likewise, we must run in such a way as to pass the baton to the next generation, or else we lead in vain.
Bob focused on Psalm 78:1-8, and Asaph, who I (regrettably) new little about. Asaph was a Levite at the temple of David – he started as a cymbal player – he was then promoted to chief musician. (1 Chron 16:5) Right there that speaks of being diligent in doing the job that we are assigned well! Moreover, Asaph new what it meant to faithfully pass on the baton – 100 years later with King Jehosophat, 140 years after that with Hezekiah, and even 80 years after that with Josiah – the sons of Asaph were still walking with God, serving as Levites, even until the foundation of temple as laid they were there. Asaph obviously was serious about the command to pass it on.
Psalm 78:4 says:
Are we serious about passing it on? This question also leads us to look at musical styles in worship – are we letting them have more power to divide than the Gospel to unite? Can we truly be united with our whole church body if we can’t even worship in the same room with them b/c of differences in musical style preferences? (OK, ow…stop that’s a little close to home, Bob)
Keep in mind the content – the deeds, might, and wonders of the Lord…
What is the most powerful illustration of this? The GOSPEL. The temptation is to assume the coming generation knows and understands the gospel. DON’T DO THIS. (Personal note: I attended church for 20 years as a child and did not understand the gospel, scary…but true – I’m living proof – DO NOT ASSUME THE GOSPEL!).
Isn’t this just saying the same thing over and over again? NO. The Word says that God’s greatness is unsearchable silly. (Ps 145:3)
Don’t pass on our deeds (or our past Contemporary Christian Music triumphs) to the next generation – pass on the works of the most merciful and most high Creator GOD – as most powerfully illustrated in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! We cannot exalt the deeds of the Lord and our own deeds at the same time. Any fruit we have is from the grace of the Lord.
Think about the purpose – that they may have hope in God and be obedient to God…
We aren’t looking for external conformity here – we are looking for sincere belief. A good evidence of sincere belief? HUMILITY (man…I feel like this is a ‘theme’ or something? Man…maybe God is trying to tell me something?). Bob won’t even bring someone on a worship team until he can perceive evidences of humility.
Think about the warning…
The text Bob has chosen is very clear here:
So, with that being said – how do we want to be remembered? Bob suggests, and I whole-heartedly agree:
- Intentional in pursuing the next generation – do what we can to display the glories of Christ
Psalm 78:70-72 is a great summary, as the fore-shadowing of the coming of Christ to ultimately shepherd his people:
70He(A) chose David his servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;
71from(B) following the nursing ewes he brought him
to(C) shepherd Jacob his people,
Israel his(D) inheritance.
72With(E) upright heart he shepherded them
and(F) guided them with his skillful hand.
Thru Christ we are all shepherded, reconciled to the Father. That message must be primary in our worship, that is the baton…we need to run intentionally in passing it on to the coming generation, otherwise our race is in vain…and who would we be running that race for anyway?
PS: Didn’t make WorshipGod09? That’s OK – the kind (humble) folks at Sovereign Grace always make the audio available for free!