Sing Unto the Lord

The nite that was
July 22, 2008, 10:54 am
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Last nite went off. People sung their lungs out. The three bands played well and best of all Jesus was praised. Leading up to the night was really stressful. One of our main guys, Todd, got pneumonia last week and went to Hospital. We had to quickly find replacements. But then at 2:00 yesterday he sent me a message saying he had been discharged and was going to play.

I’m so glad he did. It was awesome doing something like this for our bands. They found it really encouraging and I think the people who went along had heaps of fun. The trick now is how to capture that energy and produce it on a Sunday night. I think one key is giving people permission to express themselves. I encouraged people to clap, cheer and raise their hands at the beginning of the night. Not for the great bands but as an overflow of the joy they felt as they sang about their King.

I think another way is to sing more songs together. People don’t get tired of singing. They get pumped by it. We sang twelve songs last night and people wanted more. I reckon we might try moving to four songs at the beginning of our meetings at church. We’ll see.

Awesome night though. We shouldhave the CD out by the end of September/early October.


Less than a week to go…
July 16, 2008, 10:25 am
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Lot’s of you would know that next Monday night is big in the life of our church – CCEC Nitechurch. It’s the night when we will be recording our first live CD at Avoca Beach Picture Theatre. It’s not that we are doing a cd that is the big deal… rather it is what it symbolises. A church who love their God and so because of their satisfaction in him, their joy overflows into song.

For a long time this wasn’t the case at our church. Nitechurch was seen as dry, clinical, boring and the refuse of morning church. Over the last few years we have seen something of a cultural revolution. Nitechurch has begun to own itself. To own it’s praise. To be moved and passionate about Jesus. To love the Coast.

This CD is going to be a reflection of this revolution. It’s going to be a mad celebration. Not of our abilities or coolness (as if we could celebrate that) but of Jesus. We are going to be celebrating his glory and our joy in him.

If you are not part of Nitechurch… we want you there too. You won’t know all our songs but you can clap cheer and shout as you hear the truths that are central to your own life!

The night will kick off at 7 with a set by one of our nitechurch bands ‘Purchased’. Each of our three bands will be doing four songs interspersed with some reflections on Jesus and his glory.

Please come if you are keen to see how we do stuff at Nitechurch with our music. The cost to get in on the night will be $8. This is to help us cover the cost of the CD. We are trying to do the whole project at no cost to our main church budget.

I hope we can see you there. Next Monday. 7pm. Avoca Beach Picture Theatre. $8.

Sons of Korah on the coast
July 15, 2008, 10:38 am
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The Sons of Korah are playing at Kincumber High on the 15th August. If you don’t know much about them… go check them out. They play psalms for congregational singing. My mate Mike plays for them. I’m keen to start doing some of their stuff at nitechurch. One of our bands would be well suited to their style. I love hearing guys in Australia doing congregational stuff in a genre that resonates with those who don’t know Jesus. Keep folking it up boys.

To iphone or not to iphone
July 15, 2008, 9:54 am
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So… I’m pretty into mac stuff. White is like totally the new black. The iphone just launched in Australia and so far I have been a bit… ho hum. I wasn’t desperate to get my hands on one. It would be cool but there isn’t much memory yet. I think it’s only 8GB.

That was all until I saw this!!!

That looks flipping mad. Not only can you read the Bible, search the Bible and make notes… You can also read notes others have made on a particular verse. I reckon that technology is awesome. I would love it if churches got into this and preachers posted their notes after a sermon. I don’t think there’s enough people with iphones yet but give it 6 months…

Camp music
July 14, 2008, 2:26 pm
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So it’s camp season and that means tons of people off on study camps or snow camps or boring just hanging around at the campsite type camps.

I spent last week speaking on Crusader’s Study Camp 3 at Pt. Wolstencroft. It was pretty fun.

I spent a lot of time though thinking about music on camps. It’s a tricky gig because usually there is a large proportion of kids there who don’t know Jesus. Because they don’t know Jesus they can’t possibly get excited about him. Singing is just a thing you do thats weird then rather than an opportunity for response to a gracious God.

Some would say that they would rather not sing with non-Christians at all. I have some sympathy for that view. I remember at one point last week feeling sick to my stomach as non-Christian kids were laughing and singing together ‘…it’s you I live for everyday.’ There’s a sense in which they are not only missing the point of the song but I felt like they were singing their own judgement upon themselves. No doubt when they come before the Lord of Hosts who does demand our lives that tune will be playing in the background.

There is another argument for not singing with non-Christians and that is that they find singing weird. It’s an odd thing to stand around and sing strange songs together, accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a djembe. Or so we think.

In my experience though, the people who feel weirdest about singing in those circumstances are not non-Christians… it’s actually Christians who are freaking out about what the non-Christians think of their displays of exuberence. Christian kids shut down when non-Christian kids are singing around them (generally). Either that’s because they don’t feel confident about the truths they are singing or they feel like they stand out too much.

On the study camp I just went on the non-Christian kids were the ones clapping the loudest, singing with the most gusto and generally having the best time. They didn’t even believe what they were singing. The Christian kids looked like someone had died-other than Jesus.

I don’t think that argument holds weight. Non-Christian kids might think it’s different that we sing but I don’t think its a stumbling block for them.

What I would have loved last week was to sing more songs that had simple propositional statements about what Jesus has done. That he died, that he was buried and that he rose again according to the scriptures. I would love kids to have the gospel bouncing around in their heads all day instead of subjective promises and vows to God that they have no intention of living by.

I think that there are some good songs out there for doing this.

‘Amazing Love (you are my King)’ by Chris Tomlin or ‘All the Earth will sing your praises’ by Paul Baloche are great ones that speak plainly about what Jesus has done.

Alternatively, you could turn your singing on its head and do items each day instead of congregational singing. That way people are being taught without giving blasphemous assent.

Thirdly you could run an optional singing time for Christians and not have it as part of your main time. I feel like that negates opportunities you have to teach kids through song. It’s an option though.

Singing is not only a powerful emotional tool… it’s also a powerful educational tool. Lets use all God has given us to teach people the gospel that saves.

Sermon themes
July 1, 2008, 1:55 pm
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Its getting to the end of the term which means time to do the art for next term. I loved Ben’s Jonah header for his talk series. It was seasoned with nauticalness. I’m feeling a tension between getting heaps of people to post their creative ideas, and knowing that if that happens we will all steal off each other and stop being creative.


Anyway… I did a thing for genesis in nitechurch last term that was ok.. but the thing I did for Saturday EV and Sunday Ev for Colossians was heaps better.

This term Sat EV and Sun EV are doing Genesis and Nitechurch are doing the first 4 chapters of John.

I was just going to recycle the old ideas but I had a new idea for Genesis. Let me know what you think…

For John I’m just going to use an old image and add a different font.

I’d love to see your next term series art.