A Ready Recollection

The Mind Numbing Ponderings Of A Pulpit Preacher

Worship Leaders: Who, What and Why.

There is a term that has been floating around the brotherhood for a little over two decades now. This term is “Worship Leader”.  It is a term that implies leadership and authority but, exactly what is a worship leader?  In a nutshell, a worship leader is what the old timers used to call a song leader.  I know, I know: many will argue that he is more than that in that he organizes and collaborates with the minister and others, but, really does that constitute the implied meaning?

I will not disagree that the person who guides our heart and voices in song is not worship leader when in fact he is.  But, the title is very, very misleading. To apply such a title to an organizer and song leader belittles the others who also lead worship.  Is the song leader more important that the man who guides our minds and hearts in public prayer?  Is the song leader more important than the messenger who shares a lesson or sermon?  Of course not! But the title is a self proclaimed one; it implies that “I am the worship leader and the others must follow my lead”.

I will not venture to guess the hearts and minds of those who chose to apply such a title but I would caution them to consider the ramifications of doing so. One consequence being that many people will begin to believe that singing is the most important part of worship when it is only one of several.

The reality is this:  A worship leader, as the Bible has defined, is one who leads others in the acts of worship.  Not just a song leader, preacher or teacher, but anyone who stands before the congregation with the responsibility of leading and guiding others in the acts or worship.

A worship leader would be….

  1. One who leads singing (1st Corinthians 14:26)
  2. One who leads prayer (1st Timothy 2:8)
  3. One who leads in the area of…
  • Teacher,
  • Preacher,
  • Instruction         (1st Corinthians 14:26-27)

The label” Worship Leader” has the potential to do the opposite of what may be intended by it’s use and that is to divide. Be cautious and recognize that any given worship service may have several leaders.

May 22, 2011 Posted by | Worship | 1 Comment

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: The Controversy.

The controversy over Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John turns on the basic argument that Jesus lived His life under the Law of Moses and therefore could not have given any commands that would uniquely go into the New Testament before His death. To do so, it is thought, would create a dilemma for Jews who were told, on one hand, to keep the Law of Moses and, on the other hand, to keep Jesus’ commands (that sometimes seem to contradict the Law of Moses). For example, it is reasoned that Moses’ teaching on divorce and remarriage could not be kept up to the time of the cross, and at the same time follow Jesus’ instructions on divorce and remarriage. To keep Jesus from confusing the Jews before the cross, and to keep Him from putting Jews into a situation of “spiritual adultery,” it is reasoned that Jesus did not teach any new laws for the New Testament (NT) age before the cross. To do so would cause them to attempt to be following Moses and at the same time following Jesus’ counter commands, thus causing them to be torn between two husbands.

It is reasoned that He could not do so, He did not do so, and instead, He merely explained the law and gave the true meaning and intent of the law. To allow for the other portions of Jesus’ teachings, it is claimed that anything that looks new is merely a “prophecy” with no binding quality unless it is quoted after the event of the cross, and more specifically, after the church/kingdom began on Pentecost (recorded in Acts 2). Thus, the content of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (MML&J) will fall into just a few categories:

1) Law of Moses,

2) Prophecies that have no binding quality unless reaffirmed again after Acts 2,

3) Parables of the kingdom.

The basic argument can be summed up this way:

The thing we need to know is at what point the law of the Lord went forth. At what point did Jesus cease to teach the Law of Moses and  begin  to teach His will? I do not believe that He mingled them together, for that would be pouring new wine in old wine-skins and making spiritual adulterers of those He was expecting to obey His words. We never see a time in the Bible when two contradictory laws are being taught at the same time.

This statement encapsulates most of the major arguments put forth in defense of the position that MML&J are Old Testament books, or NT books that contain NO binding commands for us today.

Not only is the argument flawed by it’s shaky premise that the teachings of Jesus (as per the gospels), in some way, contradicted the law of Moses, there are also a number of facts that have intentionally been ignored.

1.  In Matthew 28:18-20 Christ gives what many have called “The Great Commission”.  In this “commission” Christ instructs them to teach, not only to make disciples but to teach them to obey the things which He [Christ] had already taught them. These things would, by definition, have to include the four gospels. It would be these teachings that became the doctrine taught by the apostles.

You will also notice in Acts 2:42 that the first century church (which is under the New Covenant) “continued daily in the apostles doctrine”. This is very odd if the things taught in the four gospels were not an authoritative part of the new covenant.

2. The New Covenant came into force, ie. was established as the final authority, in Acts chapter 2. This event occurred approximately 30-34 A.D. Most Biblical scholars agree that the Book of Acts is part two of a two part volume written by Luke, the first part being the Gospel of Luke.  It would be odd for such an oversight to occur by a writer who is divinely inspired.

3. Most scholars agree that the events of the crucifixion took place in 30-34 A.D.; as did the events in Acts chapter 2. That being the case, Matthew was written in 65 A.D., Mark was written in 55 A.D., Luke was written in 60 A.D. and John was written in 85 A.D.  The four gospels were written decades after the church was established. As you can see, the gospels were written after the fact and cannot be relocated as Old Testament writings.

4. There were several instances where Jesus said “A new command I give to you”…  If, indeed, it is part of the Old Testament, why use the word NEW?

The teachings of the four gospels are most certainly part of the New Covenant. If this is not the case, why did the Apostles teach others to obey them?

May 20, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

G. P. S.

This is a song that my wife, Mary, and I wrote for the children’s class.  The melody is based on the Addams Family theme.

God’s Plan of Salvation

May 18, 2011 Posted by | Sheet Music | Leave a comment

Sheet Music

I have written several song over the years so I thought it would be cool to post some sheet music

Come To Me

This is a song I wrote while I was a student at IBC (Heritage Christian University).  The lyrics have been floating around awhile and I have seen them in several in house devotional songbooks. Now you can see how it is supposed to be sung. I am working on a MIDI file to go along with it.

May 12, 2011 Posted by | Sheet Music | Leave a comment

Spring Cleaning

It was a working/cleaning day at the Flushing Pointe church of Christ

       

      

Click on the thumbnail for larger view

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Photo Album | Leave a comment

Never Stop Learning

There’s an old saying; “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.  While that may be true of our canine friends, it is not so with us. As creatures of intellect, human beings are constantly learning new things. Knowledge can come in unexpected ways and we are never to old to “learn new tricks”. Some knowledge is gained without us even recognizing that we have just learned something. Experience is great teacher if we learn from both our mistakes and success.

Enough of that: This is primarily a Bible centered blog so let’s switch gears and turn our minds in that direction.

Study of Scripture in an important aspect of Christian life.  It is not just beneficial, it is a command. When was the last time you read your Bible? No, I’m not talking about reading it for a class or while putting together a lesson or sermon.  NO! I’m talking about getting into the Book; learning the history of places and people.  Looking into the insight of the inspired writers and finding truth you never knew was there is a very fulfilling activity.

This is especially important for those of us who minister on a regular basis. Too often the preacher will find himself reading purely for professional reasons. That is to say, preparing for some study, class or sermon.  Some only read to prove themselves right and others wrong.  While a lot can be said about one’s approach to study, I want to focus on study itself.

There are many ways of study and with today’s technology the options are boundless.  There are a multitude of choices available.  You can go back to school and seek a higher degree. You can take online Bible studies in your spare time.  You can do a correspondence course to sharpen your skills. You can even look through some of those old Bible school workbooks that are just taking up space in your closet, bookcase or stored in boxes.

You can also…

  • Take a course in Greek or Hebrew.
  • Read about Biblical archaeology.
  • Study church history.
  • Learn the rudiments music to improve singing.
  • Re-acquaint yourself with basic principles.

No knowledge of God’s word and ways is “beneath” your station in life nor is it trivial and useless.

I know some “preachers”, and I use that term loosely, who (although they do not verbalize it) believe that such trivial activities are beneath their pay-grade.   You’re never too old to learn new things and you’re never too smart to not have to study.

Knowledge is the key to understanding. It is also the means of salvation.

For this is eternal life, that they KNOW You, the only true God….  John 17:3.

An Old Testament prophet once said on behalf of God. “My people PERISH because of lack of knowledge“. Knowledge is more than just fundamental, it is a necessity. If we do not KNOW God then we don’t have eternal life.  If we don’t KNOW the truth we can never be free. We can never KNOW unless we STUDY!

Keep the faith: Read THE BOOK!

May 3, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment