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Posts tagged ‘Contemporary worship music’

Paying Homage To Our Father For Bringing Us Through October.

Gracious God, we thank You for the month of October, we exalt and adore You for Your divine benevolence upon us and towards us through the month of October both in our going out and coming in, we praise and worship You in Jesus Name. Amen, Amen and Amen.

O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning through this month, it is Your mercy we see, we thank You for forgiving us for our shortcomings throughout this month, we magnify You for it is Your mercy that renders every works of our enemies useless and uneffective and we praise You for it is by Your mercy that we will able to do greater things and shine in the light of Your glory throughout this month, we worship You as we pray in Jesus Name. Amen, Amen and Amen.

God of Abundance, we lift Your Name above every other names for unleashing Your abundance in an immeasurable manner like never before in every areas of our lives throughout this month to Your glory, Father, “if we are to choose in our next world between You and other gods, we will choose You over them in a million times, for in You we have all in all and in other gods, it is full of scarcity, wickedness and self imprisonment” we are more than proud of having You as our Heavenly Father and we reverence You for giving us the privilege to be Your Own, we pray in Jesus Name. Amen, Amen and Amen.

Our Proctector, we thank You for saving us from every snares of the fowler, we adore You for protecting us from every evil manipulations of the enemies, we thank You for preserving us from every forms of sickness, the enemies are attacking the world with, we praise You for opening our eyes to every lies of the enemies and to embrace Your truth, we magnify You for  vindicating us from every foms of accident throughout this month and for bring us to the end of this month in one piece, we say may all glory, honour, adoration, exaltation and thanksgiving be ascribed unto Your Holy Name in Jesus Name. Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen and Amen.

5 Ways I Prepare to Preach.

by Ron Edmondson

People often ask how I prepare to preach on Sunday mornings. Ultimately, it’s all about Jesus, but I realize I have a responsibility as a shepherd to do all I can to be prepared. Ideally I try to be completely finished with my sermon Friday, so I can take Saturday off. Sometimes I’ll spend an hour or so on Saturday doing one final edit. I try to limit my activities and get a good night’s rest Saturday night. I almost never work on my message on Sunday morning.

I do, however, have some Sunday morning routines, which help me best prepare. Here are 5 ways I prepare best on Sunday mornings:

Read something in the Bible other than the passage I’m preaching on – I want to feed myself before I try to teach others. I usually am reading through the Bible and I continue this on Sunday mornings.

Pray – I spend longer than other mornings in prayer on Sunday mornings. It prepares my heart. I pray for those who will be in attendance and those who may still be debating attending. I pray for God’s presence to be with us. I pray for other leaders in the church. I seek a sense of oneness with God’s heart to mine.

Exercise – I don’t get to every Sunday, but when I do get to exercise, I am more mentally alert and physically prepared than when I don’t.

Worship – Ideally, I love to put the Sunday morning line-up of worship music in a playlist and allow the music to lead me in worship. Either way, I find a time to worship on Sunday mornings. When I’ve made much of God before I get to church, I find I’m better able to make much of Him.

Pray – Just before I preach I have a fairly standard prayer. It goes something like this, “God, I can’t do this. You know I’m not worthy to speak on Your behalf. You know and I know that it’s only by Your grace I can be here this morning. If You don’t show up, today will be meaningless.”

That’s how I prepare on Sundays.

How do you do it, pastor?

Worship Through Relationship.

Are You Seeking God‘s Face or God’s Hand?

What does it mean to worship God? Karen Wolff of shows us that we can learn a lot about worship simply through relationship with God. In “Are You Seeking God’s Face or God’s Hand?” you’ll discover a few keys to opening God’s heart through praise and worship.

Are You Seeking God’s Face or God’s Hand?

Have you ever spent time with one of your kids, and all you did was just “hang out?” If you have grown kids, and you ask them what they remember most about their childhood, I would bet they recall a time when you spent an afternoon participating in some fun activity.

As parents, it sometimes takes a while for us to discover that the thing our kids want most from us is our time. But oh, time always seems to be the thing we find in short supply.

I remember when my son was about four years old. He attended a local preschool, but it was only a few mornings a week. So, almost constantly I had this four-year-old who wanted my time. Every day. All day.

I would play board games with him in the afternoons. I remember we would always claim to be “Champion of the World,” whoever happened to win. Of course, beating a four-year-old isn’t exactly something to brag about on my resume, but nonetheless, I always tried to be sure the title passed back and forth. Well, sometimes.

My son and I both fondly recall those days as very special times when we built a relationship. And the truth is, I had a hard time saying no to my son after building such a strong relationship. I knew my son wasn’t hanging out with me just for what he could get from me, but the relationship we built meant that when he did ask for something, my heart was more than willing to consider it.

Why is it so difficult to see that as a parent, God is no different?

Relationship is Everything

Some see God as a giant Santa Claus. Simply submit your wish list and you’ll wake up one morning to find that all is well. They fail to realize that relationship is everything. It’s the one thing God wants more than anything else. And it’s when we take the time to seek God‘s face – which is simply investing in that ongoing relationship with him – that he extends his hand because his heart is open to hear all we have to say.

A few weeks ago I read an amazing book called, Daily Inspirations for Finding Favor with the King, by Tommey Tenney. It talked about the importance and relevance of Christian praise and worship in building a relationship with God. What impressed me was the author’s insistence that praise and worship must be directed to God’s face and not his hand. If your motive is to love God, to spend time with God, to truly want to be in God’s presence, then your praise and worship will be met by God with open arms.

If, however, your motive is to try to earn a blessing, or to impress those around you, or even to fulfill some sense of obligation, you’ve missed the boat. Completely.

So how do you know if your relationship with God is centered around seeking his face instead of simply his hand? What can you do to make sure your motive is pure as you praise and worship God?

  • Spend most of your time with God in praise and worship. Letting God know how much you love and appreciate him never gets old to God. In fact, praise and worship is the key that opens God’s heart.
  • Come to God just as you are with an open heart. Letting God see all that’s in your heart, good or bad, lets God know that you value your relationship enough to let him see it all and do whatever he needs to do.
  • Look for opportunities to offer God praise and worship in things around you. All you need to do is see a beautiful sunset or one of the many other wonders of nature to offer God praise and thanksgiving for that miraculous blessing. God appreciates a grateful heart.
  • Don’t be afraid to show God how you truly feel as you worship him. There are those who don’t feel comfortable raising their hands or showing any emotion during worship services. Yet those same people can be found at sporting events or concerts whooping, clapping, and hollering as if it really mattered. I’m not saying you have to jump up and down or shout. Simply standing with open hands shows God that your heart is open and you want to feel God’s presence.And most importantly:
  • Don’t judge, look down on, or criticize someone else because they want to show emotions and energy as they worship. Just because an expression of worship is different than your own, doesn’t mean it is inappropriate or wrong. Concentrate on worshipping God yourself so your focus remains on building your own relationship with God.

Christian praise and worship can be one of the most powerful ways to help you build your relationship with God. There is nothing better than feeling the love, peace, and acceptance of God’s presence all around you.

But remember, like a parent, God is looking for that ongoing relationship. When he sees your open heart and your desire to get to know him for who he is, his heart opens to hear all you have to say.

What a concept! Seeking God’s face and then feeling the blessings from his hand.


Karen Wolff, a contributing writer for, is host to a Christian Web site for women. As founder of, she wants to provide Christian women with a place to find practical information, tips, and help with a variety of issues they face every day. For more 

3 Worship-Leading Skills for Kids’ Ministry.


Gina McClain

After the past few years of observing the worship element of our kids’ experiences, I’ve discovered three key skills that distinguish a worship leader from a worship singer. The former leads kids to engage in a worship song while the latter holds a microphone and sings. There’s a big difference between the two.

Skill No. 1: The Art of Prompting

Storytelling and worship leading share this tool in common. Yet it’s assumed in storytelling and taken for granted in worship leading. Providing prompts seems intuitive when teaching kids.

Whether it’s in the form of storytelling or simply expository teaching, when we want kids to engage with the message, we prompt them to respond to us.

We ask them a question. Have them repeat a word. Lead them to create a sound effect.

These are intentional prompts used to keep kids focused on what you’re doing. It’s active listening.

Worship leading really isn’t different. Even though kids are singing (and maybe dancing), we still want to take advantage of active listening. Prompting kids to respond to keeps them focused on what you’re doing.

It’s talking to the kids in between verses, prompting them to clap, put their hands in the air or shout out loud.

It’s making eye contact with kids individually and giving them simple encouragement.

It’s working both sides of the stage, boys vs. girls, grade vs. grade. It’s appealing to their desire to out-dance, out-sing and out-shout anyone else in the room.

Skill No. 2: Filling the Gap

Every song has gaps. Fast-paced or slow, every song has a bridge where you can lose momentum or build it. I prefer to build. Great worship leading is knowing the song well enough to know what to say in those gaps to elevate the momentum.

Filling the gap is bridging one song to the next so kids are prepared for the song they’re about to sing and why it’s relevant to their lives. It’s taking time to review a dance move used in that song or to prepare them for an expected response. This is not stopping all songs and talking to the crowd in an unenergetic way in order to review dance moves. That’s not a skill. That’s a break.

Filling the gap is knowing you have 10 seconds as one song fades out and the next song fades in. It’s using that 10 seconds to let the crowd know:

  • They’ll hear a question in the song and you want to hear them loud and clear.
  • When they see this image (pic on the screen), it’s time to shout or raise your hands and jump up and down.
  • This next song is their chance to release something unto the Lord: “Think about one thing in your life that hurts right now. The one thing you wish you could change about your life right now. Watch yourself placing that at the feet of Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is your answer … sing this with me … ”

A skill like this makes the difference between a worship song that rocks and a worship song that falls flat. It’s not rocket-science. But it’s definitely advanced preparation.

Skill No. 3: Go Big or Go Home

So cliché, I know. But it’s a classic stage skill. Whatever you want the crowd to do, you’ve got to do it twice as big. So, consider the energy level you want the kids to have, and your energy level should be twice that.

There’s nothing worse than having great momentum leading into worship only to have the worship leader tank it because they had little to no energy. Treat energy levels like a baton in a relay race. Pass the baton well, and it builds momentum. Drop the baton, and the momentum is lost. It takes more energy to recover from momentum loss. Don’t put yourself through that.

These are the worship-leading skills I will use over the next year to multiply the number of worship leaders I have in my ministry. As we continue to build up and mentor leaders, clearly defined victories like this will make the worship element of our kids’ ministry experiences something worth talking about.

Gina McClain is a speaker, writer and children’s ministry director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tenn. For the original article, visit

Written by Gina McClain

Help through hope and healing…

By Bobby Schuller, Hour of Power Pastor

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.” 
-Psalm 34:4-6

Did you know that there are a hundred and fifty psalms in the book of Psalms? Collectively, they were used as a hymnal for Jewish people. And, today, we sing psalms all the time, incorporating them into our hymns and praise music. The psalms we most often sing are the positive ones, about how everything is going great and everything is wonderful.

Nevertheless, three quarters of the psalms are those of lament, saying such things as: “Oh God, where are You?” “Oh God, why have You forgotten me?” “Why have You made me sick?” “Why have You caused our enemies to triumph?” “Oh God, why is everything falling down on me?”

Also, almost every Psalm is like a roller coaster ride. There’s this tension in what the Psalmist is saying, that everything is horrible, everyone is suffering, but still there’s hope: “I put my hope in You, God, but no, you don’t like me and you’ve forgotten about me and my enemies mock me, but still I’ll put my hope in you.”

To become a truly happy person in all things, we must be able to have faith that, in the midst of our lament, in the midst of our ups and downs, God can take anything and bring hope and healing.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the good times when all I can do is praise your name and bring you glory. But in the hard times and the ups and downs of life, you are also there. Sometimes it is in the midst of the toughest of circumstances that I feel your presence the most, encouraging me, bringing me strength. Amen.

Reflection: Do you have a favorite Psalm? What is it about this Psalm that ministers to you?.

Pioneering Composer and Hymn Writer Buryl Red Dies.

Buryl Red
Buryl Red

Buryl Red, a pioneering composer and hymn writer who influenced modern worship music leaders, died April 1 in New York City after a long battle with cancer, Associated Baptist Press reported. He was 76.

Red was the founding musical director and conductor of The CenturyMen, a men’s choir made up of Southern Baptist church music directors from around the world. Since the choir’s founding in 1969, The CenturyMen have performed across the U.S. and 11 other countries, according to

When The CenturyMen’s “Beautiful Star: A Celebration of Christmas” was nominated for a Grammy in 2000, Red told Baptist Press: “We see our work as a way to communicate the message of Christ with the secular world. I feel like our music can communicate beyond the musical language of the church.”

Red was best known for his collaborations with Ragan Courtney, including the 1970s pulpit-musical “Celebrate Life!,” which sold about a million copies in 25 years, Associated Baptist Press reported. Released in 1972, “Celebrate Life!” is still in print, and is sold by LifeWay Worship, the music division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Red and Courtney also created the “Brand New Wings” and “In Remembrance of Me” choir sheet music.

In a blog post, LifeWay Worship Director Mike Harland credited Red with introducing Baptists to the style of modern worship music that came out of the Jesus Movement in the 1970s.

Red “loved virtually every style of music, as long as the presentations of it reached a level of excellence befitting the glorious Savior we love,” Harland wrote.

Red’s musical works as a composer, conductor, producer and arranger were heard in such diverse venues as Carnegie Hall, Saturday Night Live and thousands of schools, churches and theaters around the world. He had more than 1,600 published compositions and arrangements, produced more than 2,500 recordings, and supervised and composed or arranged music for several hundred shows, documentaries and musical specials for network and cable television, Associated Baptist Press reported.

Red is survived by his wife, Virginia; son, Eric; and grandson, Adrian. A private funeral will be held April 9 in Manhattan, N.Y.


Shekinah Glory Releases Fourth Album.

Shekinah Glory
Shekinah Glory

A dozen years in, the Chicago-based ensemble known as Shekinah Glory Ministry (SGM) continues to be a forerunner for urban praise and worship music. They’ve made chants such as “Praise Is What I Do” and “Jesus” well-known tunes sung by choirs around the country every Sunday morning.

With five RIAA gold and platinum records and video certifications behind them, this coterie of psalmists, minstrels and banner-wavers is poised to strike gold again with the group’s fourth original CDSurrender, which released late last month.

Recorded in April at the ministry’s home church, Valley Kingdom Ministry International near Chicago, SGM delivered another set of soul-stirring original songs that kept the capacity audience on its feet most of the night with hands lifted toward heaven. The closing tune, “Surrender,” summed up the night’s and the album’s theme.

SGM’s leader, Phil Tarver, with a heartfelt plea, prayed openly for God to break his spirit and give him a contrite heart right before he launched into a majestic declaration. “Lord, break me again until the tears pour out,” he crooned softly. Challenging listeners “not to throw in the white towel, but wave the white flag” and to “tell [God] I surrender to your purpose, to your plan, to your way.”

All 13 tracks center on conceding to God’s will. Whether it’s by turning one’s trials and tribulations over to God, a concept exclaimed in the Afro-Cuban up-tempo song “By Faith,” or by yielding to a call to worship, emphasized in the dance-flavored track “Come On,” SGM encourages believers to trust God in all circumstances.

Aside from Tarver, who leads three songs, there are several new SGM voices such as Brandon Alsberry, Joan Olander and Danielle Nightingale Cargo, who leads the new radio single “Champion.” There is a guest appearance by veteran vocalist Kim Stratton on the riveting “Broken,” and the late Pepe Epting’s tenor soars on “Peace for My World.”

SGM is not only a choir, but rather a dynamic ensemble of psalmists, minstrels and banner-bearers, and this latest album is sure not to disappoint.


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