The Childlike Awe at the Wonder of God

Davis Walker, 4-year-old grandson of Randy C. and Jeanne Davis, enjoys the beach for the first time in Florida.

I always love going home. The beauty astounds me.

I grew up on the Alabama Gulf Coast and love it. But it’s a little more than just loving it, it’s in my blood. The majority of my earliest memories are of water skiing up and down the canal, fishing off the coast of Orange Beach, shrimping in Perdido Bay, and sitting at the end of our pier drinking coffee and watching beautiful sunsets with my family.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had a beach fix in years. Like many of you, our family loves the surf and sand, so we’ve been anticipating a vacation to Blue Mountain Beach, Fla.  Continue reading “The Childlike Awe at the Wonder of God”

Keys to Worship Renewal, Pt. 2: Focus on the Word

Whenever we Baptists set out to revitalize our times of worship, we are tempted to begin by addressing musical style. Often, we do so with little consideration of worship’s content. The heart of Christianity is its message — not its style. The crux of our faith is hearing and responding to the story of the triune God of the universe. Style is, at best, a secondary issue. Style doesn’t transform hearts. The message of Jesus does. If we truly desire worship renewal, we first should solidify the subject matter of our times of worship. Continue reading “Keys to Worship Renewal, Pt. 2: Focus on the Word”

Keys to Worship Renewal – Pt. 1: What Is Worship? And How Is It Renewed?

One of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board’s five core objectives is to see at least 500 churches revitalized by the year 2024. Because I believe renewed worship fuels revitalized churches, my passion is to help the local church deepen its understanding and practice of worship. With this goal in mind, I’d like to share a brief series of articles I’ve entitled “Keys to Worship Renewal.” I pray these articles serve as a springboard to healthy worship discussions and encourage worship renewal across Tennessee.

 

We Baptists love to talk about worship. And, if we’re honest, our conversations usually focus on stylistic issues — especially musical style.

Traditional or contemporary? Choir or worship team? Pipe organ or electric guitar? Sometimes we even use these discussions to cast blame on musical style for plateaued, declining, or dying churches.

If we begin our worship chats on the topic of style, however, we are starting in the wrong place. Continue reading “Keys to Worship Renewal – Pt. 1: What Is Worship? And How Is It Renewed?”

Does Your Congregation Need a Worship Rehearsal?

Editor’s note: This article was authored by Paul Clark authored shortly before he suffered a devastating stroke in November 2015. We wanted to pass it along to honor Paul’s commitment to ministry.

161109church-worship-serviceBy Paul Clark Jr.

Have you ever thought about proposing a church worship rehearsal? Yes, I mean a rehearsal for worship that involves the entire congregation.

What is a worship rehearsal? It’s a time of practicing together those aspects of corporate worship that you do regularly.

Just think about how you do other rehearsals. You break things down into separate components and rehearse them, so that when they go back together they are executed well. Continue reading “Does Your Congregation Need a Worship Rehearsal?”

Four Ways to Connect Worship Attenders to Your Church

160907connect-chalkboardWhy do most Tennessee Baptist churches have more people in worship each Sunday than in Sunday school?

When I checked last, the average Tennessee Baptist church had approximately 75 percent of their worship attendance in a small group or in Sunday school. My assumption was that the double-digit churches would have a higher percentage but, to my surprise, they averaged around 75 percent as well. Continue reading “Four Ways to Connect Worship Attenders to Your Church”