the New Liturgical: Sojourn share some in-house ‘classics’ on “New Again”

NewAgainContinuing along the theme of “the new liturgical” movement, it’s hard to deny the impact of Sojourn Community Church. It seems only right to look at this next…

 

 

Artist: Sojourn Music
CD: New Again
Label: Independent
Release Date: 2/17/2015

(Click here or the Image Above to Pre-Order)

NEW AGAIN is the 10th release from Louisville-based worship team, Sojourn Music, & in many ways is their most accessible & contains some of their most corporate songs since their 2007 release, BEFORE THE THRONE. And for good reason. Some of these songs have been around since then – standard, go-to originals, sung week-by-week at Sojourn Community Church, beloved by their people, & just hadn’t found a home yet on any of their previous releases. That’s to say, these songs have been tested, week in & week out, & found to serve their community well. And that says a LOT.
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They aren’t Coming Back (2)

Abandoned church© Photographer: Alexandre Dvihally | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Yesterday we took a glance at the rumors surrounding the church’s – supposed – impending demise, & noticed that the decline in church attendance in the USA is almost solely taking place in historically traditional or liberal-leaning denominational churches, alone. “But wait! That can’t be right!“, I imagine quite a few of you are thinking, “I read that liturgy was making a comeback!

Yeah. Sorta.

I wouldn’t be encouraging any traditional, we-wear-our-denomination-on-our-sleeves, hymns-singing, choir-led churches to be adding onto their buildings any time soon, because stats can be very deceiving.

There are 2 very healthy things, & one very unhealthy thing, taking place that are leading to those numbers.

Do everything you CAN to become a church ON MISSION, or your empty building will be purchased by a thriving church plant that is willing to do what you are not. It’s that simple.

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“Rumors of my Demise have been Greatly Exaggerated” – the Church (1)

TheChurchwillPrevailIt is a commonly accepted notion that the Christian church is in a tailspin. Almost every week a new article or blog surfaces (See HERE, HERE, and HERE, for example) which read, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!“, but at the end of the day, I’m ignoring those fearful chickens. Sure, I know of some churches that are in a decline, but I also know of many others that are flourishing. [Read more…]

KINGDOM: the Gospel of the Kingdom – it’s not about Heaven

JustWrite copyI talk about the Kingdom of God a lot. I’m there so often because I’m still unpacking it for myself, but also because it is often a missing – and central – component to Jesus’ message of Good News. When we forget that the Gospel is also the Gospel of the Kingdom, what we’re left with is what we’ve all heard a thousand times: you’re a sinner; Jesus died on the cross for your sins, & rose again from the dead, & if you only pray to receive Him into your heart – voila – you’ll go to Heaven when you die! Sounds almost trite, once you hear it often enough – “pie in the sky, by & by”. Is that the whole Good News? Simply that someday, when you die, you won’t go to Hell? What about till then? What about NOW? [Read more…]

Hey now, you’re a Rockstar!: A review of Stephen Miller’s “Worship Leaders, we are not Rockstars”

WorshipLeadersWANRIt’s hard to keep up sometimes with the deluge of new music & books, so sometimes one gets overlooked. In this case, it was my loss. Worship Pastor/Artist Stephen Miller has penned a helpful little gem with Worship Leaders, we are not Rockstars – one that will be added to my “must read” list for all beginner worship leaders, & a suggested read for anyone in worship ministry in general. Two added bonuses: it’s a speedy read, & the price is RIGHT!

As a baby believer in college, a local campus ministry realized I was 1.) a Christian & 2.) a musician, so I was given a prominent roll on the worship team. Don’t bother that I had only arguably been a Christian (that’s a long story in itself for another blog) for a few months, & had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what worship WAS (“You want me to spice up these awful songs with a few friends in front of 400 college kids, 65% of which are girls? I’M IN!” the young college me responded wholeheartedly), I was encouraging fellow students to sing along, while – quite literally – going to FISTS with others on the team in the hallway before and after our set. It was a mess. I wanted to be the next Bono, or Sting – if you gave me a platform, I’d take it. But I wasn’t a “worship leader”, at least not in any Godly sense. How I wished this book had existed back then. [Read more…]