I not too long ago had the privilege of major the worship in song for a quantity of sessions at The Shepherd’s Conference. Hosted by John MacArthur and Grace Neighborhood Church, this conference has been equipping and serving pastors for decades.
Though there are some similarities to choosing and major songs for my church, I feel about conferences differently. Conferences are created up of people today from different churches, most of whom do not know each and every other. We’re only with each other for a handful of days and there are many teachings to take in and digest (at least at the conferences I’m at).
I believed it could be beneficial to share some of the principles that guide how I feel by means of the songs I lead at a conference and how I lead them. Of course, the points I’m about to make are only helpful as God empowers them by means of his Spirit.
1. Sing familiar songs.
I can be tempted at conferences to function the songs I’m most excited about, which are generally new songs. That has its added benefits (see point #two), but the downside is that people today concentrate far more on attempting to study songs and significantly less on engaging with God by means of familiar lyrics and melodies. Singing properly-recognized songs with each other is 1 manifestation of the unity God has brought to us by means of the gospel. Even though we could hail from distinct denominations, localities, and theological perspectives, we can unite about the glorious gospel, even if it is only for a handful of days.
two. Teach new songs.
But conferences are not just about undertaking what’s familiar. They’re an chance to sow new songs into churches that will allow the word of Christ to dwell in them richly. That could incorporate songs with one of a kind themes, such as “Not in Me,” a song confessing self-righteousness, or “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken,” a five verse meditation on the joy of recognizing Christ in the midst of trials and suffering. Singing a new song with each other enables people today to encounter the intended impact of the song far more than merely listening to it beneath headphones. Every time I lead a conference I’m searching for two to four songs I can introduce.
three. Make on the influence of the preached Word.
One particular of the added benefits of a conference is that attendees have the chance to meditate on God’s Word many occasions a day. When I’m organizing songs for a conference, I ask for the subject and text of each and every session. For the opening session, I’ll frequently sing by means of the gospel, following a progression of adoration, confession, assurance of pardon, and response. Soon after that, I pick out songs that support us reflect on some aspect of the message we heard in the earlier session, specifically as it relates to the gospel. Though it is feasible to create songs about the theme of the message that is going to be preached, I’ve identified it beneficial to appear back to the message we’ve currently heard and make precise application from it. Apart from the clear advantage of hearing God’s Word preached, that is why I attempt to listen to each and every message and take fantastic notes.
four. Use your Bible.
We generally separate in our minds the preaching of the Word from the singing of the Word. We assume sermons are meant to have an effect on our minds and singing songs is meant to have an effect on our hearts. But singing is meant to flow from and be filled with the word of God and the word of Christ (Ps. 119:54 Col. three:16). I come across it beneficial to open each and every session with a short Scripture to remind us that our worship in song is a response to God’s revealing himself to us. I’ll generally share one more Scripture following 1 or two songs. As a side note, reading from a physical copy of a Bible rather than an iPhone or iPad visually communicates the weightiness of God’s Word more than against the transience and distractedness of our culture.
five. Use songs to pastor souls.
I had the chance to teach on this subject at a lunch breakout at the Shepherd’s Conference. It is an location that is most relevant to a regional church context, but it is an crucial category at a conference as properly. When I pick out songs for a session, I’m asking queries like:
What truth from the final message we heard could God want us to meditate on or respond to?
Did the final message reveal struggles we need to have to see far more in the light of God’s promises and the gospel?
What one of a kind challenges could the people today at this conference be facing that God can speak to in the songs we sing?
How does the gospel relate to the unique emphasis of the final message?
Searching for to pastor people today as we sing is 1 of the causes it can be beneficial to insert spoken comments among songs, or even through songs. We’re not just singing fantastic songs and enjoying the sound of a big group praising the Lord. We’re teaching and admonishing each and every other (Col. three:16), pointing each and every other to who God is, what God has stated, and what he has carried out for us, especially in Christ’s atoning function. This has the prospective of encouraging the downcast, strengthening the weary, convicting the sinner, comforting the suffering, confronting the self-enough, and producing us all far more conscious of the greatness, glory, and goodness of the Savior. Pray to discern how God could want to use each and every song to minister to these you are major.
What does that appear like? In a future post, I’ll list the songs I led at the Shepherd’s Conference, the Scriptures I applied, and the purpose behind my alternatives.