In March 2014 I began writing monthly ministry newsletters to supporters and friends who were interested in the work Dani and I were doing for the kingdom of God. For about five years, this meant writing on my work as a campus minister at Indiana University. Then, in September 2019, we moved to Cincinnati to help with the planting of Christ Church, a work I continued raising support for and writing about. The congregation here has since taken me on as a full-time assistant pastor, which means we are no longer raising outside financial support for our ministry. However, I thought it would be a shame not to continue writing, and I’ve been mulling over what would be worth the effort. After several conversations with Joseph Bayly and with Dani, I’ve decided to write regularly on the topic of worship.I’ll be writing content and primarily sending it out through our ministry email list, but I will also publish it here on Warhorn. Incidentally, my email issues are currently several months ahead of what I’m posting on Warhorn right now. Over the next month or two, the Warhorn blog posts should catch up with the emails, but if you want the initial publication of these writings in an easy-to-read email format, please subscribe to my email list. If you find my writing helpful and think it would be good for someone else, please forward this post or send them a link to subscribe. I hope what I write will teach, convict, and encourage you as you worship the one true God.

Why Write on Worship?

I only wanted to spend time writing on something that flows directly from my work for the church, and there’s no more consistent part of my work than leading God’s people in singing praises to His name.

Of course, worship is much more than music. But it also makes sense that we use the word “worship” as shorthand for the musical worship of God’s people. It’s because sincere worship always finds its consummation in singing. Even the least musically talented among us find ourselves chanting our alma mater’s fight song at a football game. Why? Because worship tends toward musical expression.

Many of you know that I studied music at Indiana University. In the years following graduation, including my years in campus ministry, music was generally something I did on the side. Since coming to Christ Church, that has happily changed. Music now occupies a primary position in my ministry, as God has graciously granted me the privilege of leading His people in worship every single week.

Practically speaking, this means I spend a lot of time thinking, reading, and praying about what worship should be, and what it should look like, feel like, and sound like. In the past two and a half years I have planned and led more than 130 worship services at Christ Church. In those services our congregation has sung more than 120 psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. I enjoy this work, but I also depend on it for my own spiritual health.

This may sound scandalous, but I see my calling as a pastor—in part—as a function of my spiritual weakness. If I were not required to lead the church in worship, it’s hard to imagine how I would remain faithful to the Lord. There is some embarrassment for me in admitting that, but I have come to believe this is part of how God works in our lives. Many a self-aware father will tell you that unless God had given him the responsibility of a wife and children, he’s not sure how he would have avoided destroying his life and making shipwreck of his faith. It is gracious of God the Father to entrust His work to us, weak and sinful though we be, in order that we might learn and grow in faith through bearing responsibility. I see it as God’s kindness to me personally that He called me to worship ministry; it’s part of how He preserves my soul.

What to Expect

For now, I plan to follow a monthly schedule of writing. My aim is to make each month’s post focused and self-contained. I am looking forward to writing on at least the following topics:

  • Theology of worship
  • Songs and hymns, old and new, that I like, and why I like them
  • Themes in worship, especially those which are neglected today
  • Insights on leading worship

First and foremost, I aim to write the kinds of things that will edify those worshiping in my own church. If such things prove to be helpful to others outside my own congregation, then all praise and thanks be to God.

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