Advancing the Church: February 22-25, 2011

Leading and serving a local church is no simple task.The challenges are exhausting. The joys are exhilarating. Both are difficult to exaggerate.

Introducing a bi-annual conference series focused on providing resources to pastors for growing healthy local churches.

We believe God’s servant-leaders need time away to recharge, to refresh, to reconnect . . . and to be reminded they are not alone in the battle.

We’ve designed our new “ATC” conference series to be strategically helpful for people like you. You love your ministry, even on the days it’s making you crazy. You just want to get better at what you do. You want your church to be spiritually healthy. Ultimately, you want a good grade at the final exam before the Chief Shepherd.

We think you’ll find ATC 2011 to be full of helpful resources to that end. Together, we’ll get our faces back into the Book, our knees back on the floor, and our hearts warmed to the One who died for the world we are sent to in His name.

Tim Jordan & Sam Harbin
ATC Conference Hosts

Preaching and Sacred Music

Haddon Robinson writes of preaching, “A preacher can proclaim anything in a stained-glass voice, at 11:30 on a Sunday morning, following the singing of hymns. Yet when a preacher fails to preach the Scriptures, he abandons his authority.”

With these words Robinson places a filter on preaching. He is not suggesting that the only acceptable words in a sermon are the actual words of Scripture. For Robinson, preaching includes the reading of Scripture, but also includes much more: explanation, application, and even illustration.  The central issue is that each of the words spoken serve the task of bringing the Scriptures to light.

I believe a similar filter can be applied to sacred music. This is not to suggest that sacred music must be limited to the songs contained in Scripture, though these songs have too long been ignored. It is, however, to suggest that a central purpose of music in the church is to communicate God’s truth.

So, sacred music must communicate the truth accurately. Not unlike preaching, if sacred music is to move beyond the transient power of sentimentality, is must fully engage the power of God’s eternal truth.

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