Church, Music & Worship — blog post RSS

Why the Church should sing about the Church

At the church which I pastor in the UK, we have been working our way through 1 Peter. What has repeatedly hit us is just how crucial it is, as God’s redeemed people, to know who we are, remember who we are, and consistently be who we are in the world. Life as strangers and exiles in the world is hard. Unless we know our value to Christ (redeemed by his precious blood), our identity in Christ (a chosen people), our calling from Christ (a holy priesthood, declaring his praises), and our certain hope in Christ (a resurrection-secured inheritance that can never perish spoil of fade), we will simply fail to stand fast in the true grace of God (1...

Continue reading

3 Reasons to Sing the Apostles’ Creed

Why should we say or sing the creeds in public worship? Surely creeds are something you keep in your back pocket—just in case. They’re a kind of yardstick to ensure our churches and their leaders stay on track. But if that’s it, why not keep them in a drawer until they’re needed? Everyone recognizes you need a set of rules to play football, but fans don’t chant those rules in the stands. So why sing the creeds? Here are three reasons. 1. The creeds celebrate the gospel. The Apostles’ Creed, for example, is in the form of a story. It begins with God and creation. It moves to the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus as well as looking forward...

Continue reading

Crown Him With Many Crowns

I can vividly remember singing Crown him with many crowns as a young child surrounded by the booming voices of a small but enthusiastic congregation (particularly my dad). With a prodigious piano player and the minister conducting us, the anthemic tune burst forth into the early Sunday morning. As a young child, I don’t think it was the lyrics so much as the melody that arrested my senses as I triumphantly sang out, trying to match my father’s volume.  Written by Matthew Bridges in 1851, the well known hymn has seen many iterations, from as short as four verses to as long as twelve, each verse speaking to a defining character or action of Jesus. In this version we have arranged three key verses...

Continue reading