My Mary Kathryn, 9, is getting involved in competitive gymnastics this year in a gym in Lexington. I spend one evening each week watching her at work. Equipment of all aeronautical sorts covers the expansive gym floor. The gymnasts systematically work from one station to the next doing their exercises. These young men and women, with the instruction of the masters (i.e. their coaches), push the human body to infinity and beyond. Through a thousand falls and missteps and almost routine crash and burn efforts they discipline their bodies in the movements of grace. As I scan the gym floor, almost everyone is pulling an epic fail somewhere. At the same time, the place almost constantly flashes with bursts of perfection. I'm not talking about the perfection of flawless performance. Flawless performance may or may not be present. I'm talking about the brand of perfect that happens when someone goes head long, […]
From the Seedbed vault circa 2007. Renowned Author and speaker, N.T. Wright, sits down with J.D. Walt, Maxie Dunnam and Ben Witherington III to talk about his view on worship. In part three of this four part series, Wright offers encouragement and advice for worship leaders.
There are few worship songwriters that bring more artistry and creativity to their craft than the musical collective Gungor. Since their multiple Grammy-nominated album "Beautiful Things", I have been more and more taken aback by the complexity and nuance of Gungor's music, and their latest album, "Ghosts Upon the Earth," still knocks me back when I listen to it. I believe this album is a game-changer in the worship scene, and for the sake of brevity, I will only give you four reasons why: Your average worship team can't replicate it, though they will want to try. In my first listening to this album, I was first struck by how profoundly musical this album is, especially in comparison to many of the songs that the church sings today. The chordal structures are complex and colorful. The metric feels change, and have a lot of odd breaks, intersections, and juxtapositions. The musicians […]
The David Crowder Band released their final record with the imagination the Crowder band is known for. From the Trans Siberian Orchestra to Johnny Cash to Bill Gaither, the record never ceases to surprise. This is by far the most musically diverse and lyrically diverse David Crowder Band album to date. It's fitting to be their last. What’s it Doing? Context, context, context. Without understanding what Crowder is trying to accomplish on this record, you will be completely lost. For example, in the song “Sequence 1” you’ll hear the lyrics, “Day of wrath! O day of mourning! See fulfilled the prophets' warning, Heaven and earth in ashes burning!” When was the last time you heard that on a Passion album? Thank goodness they spell it out for us in the title! Here we can clearly discover the format: it’s a Requiem Mass. For those who don’t know, a Requiem Mass is a liturgical […]
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The songs we learn in church shape both our musical and theological perspectives on what worship is and what it means for us to join into it. This is especially the case for young worship leaders, and that is why it is crucial to guide those who are cutting their teeth in your worship bands into things that will enable them (and those they lead) to grow into the kind of leaders the church, even your church, will need. So here’s nine basic but solid songs your young band should know, for their sake and those they will lead: How Great is Our God - Well known, simple in chord structure, and one of the few blatantly Trinitarian songs sung in modern worship circles these days. You may see it as overdone, but this song will be sung by the church far into the future. Beautiful - Phil Wickham’s simple, hymnic song […]
Motion Prayers “God's command to ‘pray without ceasing’ is founded on the necessity we have of his grace to preserve the life of God in the soul, which can no more subsist one moment without it, than the body can without air.” ~From A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, as believed and taught by the Reverend Mr. John Wesley, from the year 1725, to the year 1777. Prayer is at the very heart of building our relationship with God. It has taken many forms throughout the centuries. Silent, group, responsive, and intercessory prayers are all varying types that Christians have practiced. Today, it is a pleasure to share with you a new type of prayer, motion prayers. These are videos set to music that allow the viewer to experience a prayer in a very unique way. Viewers can read along as the camera sweeps from phrase to phrase, expressing the journey that one’s […]
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