Sing Unto the Lord

Passion Sydney 08
October 22, 2008, 8:51 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Had an awesome night last night. I actually learnt a stack about ministry. But, first… a few more humorous observations:

Chris Tomlin looks like what you would look like if Tony Abbott and Michael J fox had a baby

Chris’ drummer looks exactly like a friend of mine greg, so the whole time Chris played I was stoked because it felt like my mate was on stage.

All of that aside there was heaps to learn last night about ministry to Gen Y people. It mainly was in three different areas: Cause, Music and Preaching


Gen Y love causes. Look at Make Poverty History or the massive increase in TEAR support among uni age students as examples. We love causes that are tangible and right in front of us. Its difficult for us (generalising) to conceptualise the future so causes for the distant future are almost lost on us (Our church is having this issue now with helping Nitechurch understand the importance of giving to our building project) but we love giving to things that are instant and tangible… like building a well or buying a cow for a village in Africa.

Passion recognise this.

Lots of things last night were cause related. The way that we prayed for the city. The way that we gave to support another city. The way that we were excited by cities all over the world giving to one another. The way that we were encouraged as poor uni students to give what we could towards

The cause of passion was clear. To spread Jesus fame and renown among uni students. Gen Y love cause and they can be captured by cause. I reckon we need to hone this and keep helping our Generation see the cause of making Jesus known.


Dave Crowder is a Gen Y worship leader. His songs (generalising) have poetic, ambiguous phrases that are difficult to sing but easy to listen to, then he sings strong, anthemic choruses. I was talking to a guy who oversees a large Christian music festival and he was talking about how he was struggling to understand it but younger generation love having parts of songs being sung to them rather than with them. Increasingly Hillsong united and others are following the pattern of more popular styles with more complicated verses but with anthemic choruses. If you listen to your radio you’ll find the same.

While twenty years ago songs were good if you could sing along with them, now it doesn’t matter so much. If theres a good tag or line that we can sing, thats cool, but other than that a good song doesn’t have to have an easy melody or simple phrasing.

I’m still unsure whether this is a good, bad or cultural thing. The Bible tells us to sing to one another. There are also cases in the Old testament where people listen to others singing. Not sure…

But, a friend I was with said that if he had brought an unbelieving friend, Dave Crowder would have been the best part of the night. Maybe its a missional thing.


In our circles I reckon preachers work hard at not allowing themselves to be emotionally vulnerable or expressive because they see the danger of emotional manipulation. I wonder though if for Gen Y, a preacher who conveys authentic personal attachment to what they are saying, carries more weight. I think our Generation appreciate people wearing their hearts on their sleeve. Not in a manipulative way, but in a genuine, authentic way. If Jesus really is your only hope do you convey it in your voice, in your body language, in your inflection as you preach it?

I wonder if thats why we love American preachers so much. There seems to be a bunch of them who can convey emotion and are obviously personally attached to what they are saying and are theologically grounded and preach biblical truth. We are used to good Bible teaching being dry in Australia (generalising) but we can see another way over the pacific. I’m obviously generalising on this point, but I found last night an encouragement to be more personal when I’m preaching because my generation appreciate testimony and authentic emotion. I think thats why we blog. We love people and so we want to love and hear how the word is shaping the one preaching to us. I think Louie Giglio is pretty good at doing that in an appropriate way.

They are just some of my thoughts from last night…. Did anyone else go and glean some other reflections?


8 Comments so far
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I agree especially on the emotion one. Jesus died, and this gives me a real joy. As I heard recently, it is a tool of the devil to make Aussie Christians say to themselves that the way to reach people is to be less excited about Jesus, or you might scare them away. CRAP!

This has completely reformed the way I preach. I now am not reserved, but try to be honestly full of real passion rather than trying to water it down for the sake of thinking that I might offend people.

Thanks for the report, glad it was a good night

Comment by Steve

What a great night!

Good observation. Instant and tangible are definitely two trademarks for this generation.

I actually found there was too much music last night. Maybe its cause I’m 25 and not 20. Hehe!

To me, Dave Crowder was awesome but completely unnecessary. Straight after Louie spoke I was clear about Passion’s purpose to make Jesus famous but after Dave’s set, I was thinking ‘what did Louie speak about again?’

The personal emotional preaching by Louie was so spot on. But I’m so glad that it was God centred.
At one point he said “If you need more inspiration than Jesus dying for us to make Jesus famous, then I’ve got nothing else to give you.
These mega rallies can easily just be a kick in the butt to be culturally relevant Christians, but Passion was centred on Christ and the cross as the only reason for mission. Awesome!

Comment by joelpj

[…] Other Coverage: Louie @ the 268 Blog (with some sweet pics); Dan makes some observations on ministering to Gen Y – Cause, Music, Preaching. […]

Pingback by dave miers dot com » Passion Sydney - Jesus

A little known fact about Chris Tomlin is he played a well known film villian from the 90s.

Comment by Luke C

I see tags aren’t allowed. Picture

Comment by Luke C

Dan (and Joel):
Awesome thoughts!!! Very true, and very observant.

I’d forgotten that Louie said “If you need more inspiration than Jesus dying for us to make Jesus famous, then I’ve got nothing else to give you.”
My favourite part of the night.

Comment by hayesy

How are you?, Give something for help those hungry people from Africa and India,
I added this blog about this subject:

Comment by cheritycall

[…] tap into that – don’t just song as a filler – but sing with purpose and passion. (See nath + dan for related […]

Pingback by Break it Down #4 | dave miers dot com

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