Fellow blogger J Abrams had this on his blog, it’s short & sweet and perfect.
Lord, I pray I will be the man that my kids see at church on Sunday
I found this at Mars Hill’s website – probably one of the most down to earth write ups on worship music and singing in the church. If it wasn’t for copyright infringement, I’d put it right on our website:
A big group of people singing together is odd. It really is. Other than a baseball game or occasional birthday party, people don’t usually stand around and sing. But we do every Sunday at church. Why? For starters it is a part of our history and tradition. We come from a long line of people who sing to and about God. From King David to Martin Luther to Bono, men and women have often expressed their faith, whether in painful cries or through gushing praise, with singing. The reasons behind this aren’t always clear, but the power of music is undeniable. It seems to tap into deeper and more honest places than words alone ever could. It has been said that music is the language of the soul. We believe it.
So when we meet together as a community of faith, it seems only natural that we would try to use this language of the soul to connect with God and each other. Sometimes the songs are directed upward in celebration of the infinite love and greatness of God. And on those days we sing at the top of our lungs to thank and praise Him for who he is and what he does and also to remind each other that we serve the King of all Kings. Other times the songs are more personal and reflective, giving us an opportunity to connect intimately with our Creator. This looks different for everybody but can involve confessing sin, inviting God to heal us or asking for wisdom and direction, any expression that naturally flows out of our experience. We want our worship to be both grounded in real life and reaching outward to the eternal.
Does music = worship? No. In spite of the fact that 99% of our “worship times” are singing, these words are not interchangeable. Music is to worship as Q-tips are to cotton swabs: one form of a bigger thing. We can sing without worshiping God, and we can worship God without singing. Ultimately, worship is an activity of the heart. Words, songs and actions are simply expressions.
“From then on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near’.” Matthew 4:17
Check out what Matthew Henry’s Commentary has to say on this verse: “This he preached first upon; he began with this. Ministers must not be ambitious of broaching new opinions, framing new schemes, or coining new expressions, but must content themselves with plain, practical things, with the word that is nigh us, even in our mouth, and in our heart. We need not go up to heaven, nor down to the deep, for matter or language in our preaching…This is preached often upon; wherever he went, this was his subject, and neither he nor his followers ever reckoned it worn threadbare, as those would have done, that have itching ears, and are fond of novelty and variety more than that which is truly edifying. Note, That which has been preached and heard before, may yet very profitably be preached and heard again; but then it should be preached and heard better, and with new affections; what Paul had said before, he said again, weeping, Phil. iii. 1, 18.”
In our endeavors to be creative, relevant, and fresh, we can never forget the most basic fundamental message of Christ: “repent and turn to God”, “for it is an unspeakable privilege that room is left for repentance.”, as Matthew Henry’s so eloquently puts it.
(Dr. Charles R. Phelps)
Many pastors struggle with stress and the lack of ministerial fulfillment. I would like to suggest that making one decision can provide the cure for both of these diseases. You must decide to delegate.
D.L. Moody said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s better to get ten men to do the work than to do the work of ten men!Ã¢â‚¬Â MoodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sage advice is filled with scriptural wisdom. Myron Rush makes this point: Ã¢â‚¬Å“A person may be in a leadership position, but if he isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t willing to delegate, he isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a leader at all ??? he is a hired handÃ¢â‚¬Â*
The Bible is filled with detailed descriptions of delegation. Solomon mastered the fine art of managing through men, and the kingdom was enlarged. The fourth chapter of I Kings introduces us to those responsible for SolomonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s armies, meals, and taxes. Our Savior was certainly willing to delegate. The first eighteen verses of Luke 10 record the sending out of seventy itinerant preachers. After the Lord gave them detailed instructions, He sent them to preach. Though these messengers were inexperienced and far less capable than the Master, their ministry was blessed by God. Eventually these messengers would Ã¢â‚¬Å“turn the world upside downÃ¢â‚¬Â (Acts 17:6)
Solomon and the Savior both knew something that we in ministry often forget. They knew that disciples are made through delegation. They knew that delegation is godly and that the failure to delegate is ungodly. They knew that when God created Adam He placed Him in Eden Ã¢â‚¬Å“to dress it and to keep itÃ¢â‚¬Â (Genesis 2:15). God brought Ã¢â‚¬Å“every beast of the fieldÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“the fowl of the airÃ¢â‚¬Â before Adam Ã¢â‚¬Å“to see what he would call themÃ¢â‚¬Â (Genesis 2:19, 20). The Psalmist explicitly reveals GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s intent to delegate in Psalm 8:4Ã¢â‚¬â€œ6, saying: Ã¢â‚¬Å“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Many in ministry need to hear the wise counsel of Jethro, who told his very capable son-in-law Moses to Ã¢â‚¬Å“divide and conquerÃ¢â‚¬Â or else be conquered by frustration (Exodus 18:18Ã¢â‚¬â€œ23). Moses listened to his father-in-law and followed his advice. Soon seventy men were recruited, trained, and commissioned. Moses discovered that Ã¢â‚¬Å“it is better to get seventy men to do the job than to do the job of seventy men.Ã¢â‚¬Â