to Digital Worship News, Edition 40. This issue includes four encouraging resources for you. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to download the free Christmas song (MP3 & PDFsheet music)!
blessings, Kim Gentes
The Value of Familiarity in Song Selection
This article that addresses a topic that I hear discussed by many people, worshipers, pastors and leaders. It seems particularly pertinant to this group and its constituency. I invite your discussion. Please post your comments on the blog (see link below) so that the discussion can continue there.
Two years ago, our family had recently moved to a new area, after having lived in the same city and church community for 20 years. Moving changed my perspective on how I view church. After 20 years of being a leader in a couple of church plants, pastoring, and serving as a worship leader, I found myself and my family looking from the outside in when it comes to finding and engaging in a local church family. It was a sobering thing.
In his book "The Next Christians", Gabe Lyons articulates in layman's terms the practical outworkings of creational/restorative theology for the postmodern era and a post-Christian America. Lyons is particularly well acquainted with the struggle of Protestantism to survive and thrive in the increasingly secular foundations of Western society, especially America. As a participant behind studies of the American Christian community and its efforts (and failures) at evangelism, Lyons became convinced that we were entering an era that would fully expel Christian morality as its foundational framework. He saw this in his studies and began looking at what might be done to equip the postmodern church to live powerfully in a post-Christian America.
The early words of Francis Chan are an excellent preface to what you will find in "Erasing Hell", a new book that resoundingly challenges the premise and conclusions of universalism, especially as highlighted recently in Rob Bell's "Love Wins"..
So I decided to write a book about hell. And honestly—I'm scared to death. I'm scared because so much is at stake. Think about it. If I say there is no hell, and it turns out that there is a hell, I may lead people into the very place I convinced them did not exist! If I say there is a hell, and I'm wrong, I may persuade people to spend their lives frantically warning loved ones about a terrifying place that isn't real! When it comes to hell, we can't afford to be wrong. This is not one of those doctrines where you can toss in your two cents, shrug your shoulders, and move on. Too much is at stake. Too many people are at stake. And the Bible has too much to say.
Free Song Download: from "Christmas in Ivory" (Ed Kerr)
Christmas brings out nearly everyone in the music world. Renditions here and there, all styles and all kinds of remakes of classic songs.
What comes as a respite for me is the simplicity and beauty of music played in the excellence of a grand piano. Ed Kerr is the veteran musician, songwriter and composer that has been gracing the Christian and worship music world for over 20 years.
Recently, I have been listening to eight classic Christmas songs and enjoying the sounds of the piano as crafted by Ed Kerr. His new release, "Christmas In Ivory", takes the iconic songs of the season and places them to inventive but classicly framed arrangements. Click here for the rest of the review.
Exclusive for Digital Worship News only: Free Download "The First Noel" MP3 & PDF sheet music here.