Tim Challies introduces his live-blogging of the WorshipGod06 conference with his first impressions of Sovereign Grace and the people who are part of this group of reformed charismatics led by C. J. Mahaney.
“I have found no other group that is so dedicated to a God-Centered, Cross-Centered, and Word-Centered view of worship AND is dedicated to a passionate expression of worship through music using a wide variety of styles of music in the contemporary orb.”
David Ward from Doxologue offers a few thoughts in anticipation of attending the WorshipGod06 conference.
“What is in our mind when we use the phrase “presence of God?” Is it a mere distant wish? Is it something we need to strive to attain? Is it something we take for granted and treat with a “cool solidarity?” Tonight Jeff will bring our attention to one key idea–one biblical reality–that should inform the way we think about God and relate to God both in corporate worship and in our individual lives. It is this: God’s eternal purpose is to dwell among a people He has made His own. His purpose is not simply to create a people or to govern a people, but it is to dwell among a people He has made His own. This message will be preparatory for the entire conference as we see this truth woven through the fabric of Scripture. When we grasp this truth we can be filled with anticipation for corporate gatherings for worship, for the singing and worship we do this week. This truth can and should have a transforming effect on our singing, worship and living..”Jeff Purswell at session 1 of WG06 in a talk entitled, “A People of God’s Presence.” Tim’s notes are as full as ever as Jeff takes us through the images of a garden, a dwelling, a person, a people, and a city.
“It is true that all Christians individually are temples of the Holy Spirit, but by far the emphasis in Scripture is that the corporate body of believers, the gathered church, is the temple of God. The church is that created entity that is nearest and dearest to God’s heart. The church is where God has chosen to place His name. Here He uniquely acts. Here He uniquely dwells. As a worship leader stands before the congregation, He stands before the very presence of God on earth.”
“To get a feel for this conference I need you to close your eyes and picture 1000 worship leaders, musicians, and vocalists taken off of their stages, stages that sometimes become a burden and hindrance to worship, and placed into the congregation. They no longer have to worry about tuning guitars, mic batteries, or that last minute singer that attained the stomach flu last night. To these attendees the chord charts do not matter, the sound system does not matter, the slide show does not matter. For the next two and a half hours the only thing they have to do is focus on the majesty of God, and the exaltation of Christ, and they are in a place that gives them complete freedom to do so. ‘Come Christians Join and Sing’ begins and all 1000 men and women stand to their feet to do just that. Join and sing praises to the Father, clapping on a crisp two and four. To see a group of people excited about the doctrinal lyrics of a song is refreshing.”
Scott Hill from Fide-O reports on opening night at WG06. “Tomorrow begins with “Jesus: Our Access Into God’s Presence.”