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How should a Worship Service Begin? Does it really matter?

Every Church has to begin the corporate Sunday worship service in some way. Some churches simply start worship by playing a song, others begin with a welcome, greeting, and prayer, and the list goes on. At Redeemer, we have chosen to begin service with a formal Call to Worship. The pastor, speaking on God's behalf, calls the congregation to worship by reading a passage fro...

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Why have a Prelude before Worship? (OR: How to NOT profit from church this Sunday)

This week we begin a summer blog series explaining each element of our worship service at Redeemer. We begin by thinking about the prelude. The prelude, coming directly before the start of the worship service, is a short period of time (only 30-60 seconds) which provides an opportunity for us to quiet our hearts and prepare our minds for worship. Why have a Prelude? We l...

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The Importance of Corporate Worship

We live in a day in which the importance of the weekly worship service for Christian growth and discipleship is being undermined. There are many reasons for this. Certainly the individualism of our culture which has led to a "me and Jesus" approach to our Christianity is a big factor. After all, why do I need to go to church when I can have a personal experience with Jesus...

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Spectators or Participants? (OR Why we sing Hymns, part 2)

This is the second post on the philosophy of worship music at Redeemer Church. In the first post, I reflected on the importance of content. A song that has no biblical content, a song in which Jesus' name can be replaced with "Baby" and still make sense, is not one that we should be singing in the public worship service of the church. In this post, I want to address anoth...

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Some Monday Humor....

So funny and yet slightly depressing at the same time...this video is more accurate than the promotional video on our city website! Thanks Rob Whims for passing it along......

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I'm a Protestant. What should I think about lent?

Last week began the liturgical season of the church year known as Lent. Lent is the 40 day period beginning Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday. Traditionally, the season of lent focuses on repentance, prayer, and good works, in preparation for the celebration of Easter (much like the season of Advent is meant to prepare us for the joy of Christmas morning). The ashe...

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Should we trust 'Scientific' Prayer Studies?

In this past week's sermon, I mentioned a 2006 study published by the American Heart Journal on the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer. The study consisted of evaluatiing what effect, if any, intercessory prayer had on producing an uncomplicated recovery for cardiac bypass patients. The conclusion of the study was that there was no correlation at all between the nu...

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The Danger of Marketing the Gospel

Driving down a major highway in Phoenix, AZ, I passed a large billboard advertising for one of the mega-churches in the area. The sign was very simple. It only had the logo of the church with one sentence written on it. I cannot remember the precise wording, but it was something very similar to "Experience your best life." Upon seeing this, I had a mixed response. On the o...

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A Prayer for the Year's End

I came across the following prayer inThe Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan Prayers Devotions. What I find refreshing about it is its realness. We live in a world of superficial spirituality where we like to only talk about things that are "positive and encouraging." This prayer at year's end recognizes that "positive and encouraging" does not always describe our l...

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The Sin of King Jeroboam

King Jereboam was a wicked king. So wicked was he in God's eyes, in fact, that his sin is repeatedly referenced throughout the entire book of Kings, and he is viewed as setting the example for all of the sinful kings who followed him. When Baasha became king in Israel, for example, the narrator informs us that "He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in th...

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