Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ligonier Pastors Conference (Day 2)

Well I have given up on using the internet connection in my room as it just does not seem to work as it should. It makes my dial-up seem like DSL in comparison.

I am just astounded by all that Ligonier provides as the meals have been very good and to top this off they gave everyone a gift certificate for merchandise, they are very generous.

The other aspect of this that has been encouraging is that while there are many different denominations here most every one holds to the Doctrines of Grace with a few working through them. Then there is the fact that every now and then there are friendly jabs between Mark Dever, who is a Southern Baptist, and Derek Thomas and RC, who are Presbyterians, over baptism.

Today’s sessions focused on the service with the first session of the day on having a God Centered Service. One question that was proposed was to ask a visitor or a member if the service was God centered or not. The issue is if the service is centered on the audience then in essence that is who we worship. So this speaks volumes to the so called seeker sensitive services. Needless to say the issue is that who is the service for the congregants or the visitor and the answer from a biblical sense is the congregants. So that is who we trying to lead in worship of God not the visitor who may or may not know God. So here are three aspects of a God Centered Worship Service:

1) God Centered worship services have preaching of God’s word at the center.
2) Every necessary element of a Christian service is commanded by God.
3) The service is to encourage God centeredness.

Session 2 was on God Centered Music and was given by Derek Thomas. HE gave what he called the Ten Commandments of Music:
1) Aim to ensure the music helps one to worship God.
2) Aim to insure the music aids the corporate worship (not individual worship).
3) Do it well
4) Be sensitive to appropriate musical forms – words and music need to be married together.
5) Be culturally different – The church ought to be different
6) Avoid crassness on the one hand elitism on the other
7) Introduce new tunes with care
8) Grow to treasure a good hymnal and use as a devotional aid.
9) Take charge of the music – The Elder/Pastor is the true worship leader
10) Evaluate what you do regularly.

All of these are good ideas to contemplate when setting up a worship service and particularly that the Pastor/Elder is ultimately in charge of what happens, even if you have Worship Minister.

Session 3 was given by RC and was titled: Surely God is in this Place. The most important question to ask when dealing with the worship service is: What pleases God. We are not to focus on what pleases us which is what usually is done at the expense of doing what pleases God. Again the point was made that we are not called by Scripture to structure worship for the ungodly.

So this was another good, if not long day. More to follow as long as I can find a way to get on line.

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