March 7, 2011 by
This sermon by C.J. Mahaney was given at the God Exposed conference in September 2009. For other sermon videos, browse our Vimeo pages.
March 3, 2011 by
Bob Kauflin, director of worship development for Sovereign Grace Ministries, and Ken Boer, music director at Covenant Life Church, are offering internships for three men who lead or serve in music and worship in a Sovereign Grace church. The internship will span the upcoming academic year (August 2011–May 2012).
Interns will spend approximately 30 hours per week involved in ministry (working for Sovereign Grace Music and assisting with the music ministry at Covenant Life Church) and 15–20 hours per week in study. The goal is to provide practical assistance to Sovereign Grace Music and Covenant Life Church while at the same time preparing each intern for more fruitful service in their Sovereign Grace church.
If you're interested, please contact Chelsea Campbell to get an application and a detailed description of the program. Completed applications are due April 4.
March 1, 2011 by
Categories: Conferences | Music
Registration opened this week for our biennial WorshipGod conference, which will be held August 10-13 this year in Gaithersburg, Maryland. (Visit our event page for audio from past years.)
Bob Kauflin recently posted an overview of the schedule, including some details about the live album that Sovereign Grace Music will record at the conference. Read the recap below or go straight to the WorshipGod site for more detail.
Discovering what it means to build our meetings around the gospel is what we’ll be focusing on at WorshipGod11....Here’s what we have planned for the main sessions:
Wed. PM - Gathering to Behold - Ray Ortlund, Jr.
Thurs. AM - Gathering to Rehearse (the Gospel) - Bryan Chapell
Thurs. PM - Gathering to Hear - Thabiti Anyabwile
Fri. AM - Gathering to Edify - Bob Kauflin
Fri. PM - Live album recording
Sat. AM - Gathering to Commission - Craig Cabaniss
This year our musical guests will be Enfield and a band from Sojourn Church in Louisville, KY. Both groups are not only amazing musicians but demonstrate a commitment to exalting Christ in their songs and lives.
On Friday night you’ll have the opportunity to be part of a live recording, a first for a WorshipGod conference. “The Gathering” will feature new songs designed for a gospel-centered liturgy that can be used in other contexts as well. We’ll send you the songs two weeks in advance to give you time to learn them.
Another first for WorshipGod11 is the “Quiet Room.” You and your team can sign up to test out different kinds of equipment in a completely noiseless environment through the use of in-ear monitors, personal digital mixers and provided instruments.
Seminars are always a highlight at WorshipGod conferences. You’ll get to pick 4 out of the 40 being offered. Topics include intermediate and advanced instrumental tracks, the benefits and limits of creativity, simplifying your spiritual life, improving your vocals, organizing your team, teaching children to worship Christ, songwriting, tech applications, and much more. Click the Seminars tab above for details. This year we’re also excited to offer a Spanish seminar track. Each of the four seminar sessions will include one seminar in Spanish and one class that’s translated.
If you want to come early, on Wednesday afternoon, 1:00-4:30, I’ll be teaching a 3 hour intensive for pianists, and Ken Boer will be rehearsing the conference choir. Be sure to register early to reserve a spot.
February 28, 2011 by
Today is the last day of our annual February sale. Some of the best deals are listed below, but it's worth checking out the full music and book lists while the deals last. Everything is marked down at least 30% and all orders in the U.S. of $15 or more still get free shipping.
February 24, 2011 by
Categories: Pastors College
This week our Pastors College is honored to have Dr. D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, teaching a course on Hebrews. Nearly 100 pastors from various Sovereign Grace churches are here for the course.
The lectures aren't being recorded, but you get some insights from the class by following Twitter updates from C.J. Mahaney's research assistant, Tony Reinke. Some excerpts:
Last October, Christian Wegert was installed as the new senior pastor of Arche Church—the Sovereign Grace church in Hamburg, Germany. You may recall Christian as the Pastors College student whom we featured in our 2008 Mission Presentation.
A week after becoming senior pastor, Christian, along with his father Wolfgang, joined Jeff Purswell to film an interview that explores the history of Arche Church, how they joined Sovereign Grace Ministries, and what they are doing to reach German-speaking Europe with the gospel. The video below is an excerpt from that interview that explains how and why Christian became the senior pastor. The whole interview was an hour long, so we broke the rest into shorter segments which you can browse using the list of links below the video.
(If you're reading this in an email or RSS reader, you may need to visit our website to see the video.)
Table of contents for Jeff Purswell's interview with Christian and Wolfgang Wegert
- Converted and preaching at age 16: how Wolfgang became a Christian and began ministry
- 1974: Wolfgang takes the reigns as senior pastor of Arche Church
- The spiritual landscape of Germany: is it still a Christian nation?
- From TV to church planting: how broadcasting sermons paved the way for new churches in Europe
- "We decided to write an email": Sovereign Grace Ministries' surprising introduction to Arche Church
- From one generation to the next: why Wolfgang changed his mind about handing over leadership of the church
- Leading through change: how the elders prepared Arche Church for a new senior pastor
- The gospel must be preached: Arche Church's future with Sovereign Grace Ministries and the mission to plant churches
- Preparing the next generation of leaders: Wolfgang's dream for pastoral training in Germany
- Watch your life and doctrine: Wolfgang's counsel for young pastors entering the ministry
February 15, 2011 by
Categories: Donor updates | International
Two pastors from Sovereign Grace churches recently traveled to Burma and South Korea in order to visit the church planters whom Sovereign Grace Ministries supports in those countries. We shared about their time in Burma last week, and today will focus on the trip to South Korea. For security reasons related to Burma, we won't share their names.
As you may recall from a recent video our churches showed, in 2009 a pastor named Kang Songhwan graduated from our Pastors College and planted Lord's Grace Church in Seoul, South Korea. It was the first Sovereign Grace church in that country. What you might not realize is that our church-planting efforts mean much more than simply getting a church started—in fact you might say that most of what we do to help our church planters succeed comes after the church launches, not before.
Because of the many challenges that newly established churches face, opportunities for us to serve them are especially numerous in their first few years of existence. And thanks to the generosity of Sovereign Grace churches, in recent years we have been able to take advantage of those opportunities with increasing frequency.
Our pastors' recent trip to Seoul illustrates this diversity of opportunities well:
- In response to Songhwan's request for help teaching on marriage, they were able to plan and lead a three-session marriage seminar attended by church members and others from the community.
- To help Lord's Grace Church build bridges in a country where Sovereign Grace Ministries is still a relative unknown, they spent time with local Christian leaders to discuss how Lord's Grace Church and Sovereign Grace Ministries could be a long-term blessing to the Christian community in Seoul.
- Because Songhwan currently serves as the only pastor at Lord's Grace Church, they also spent an extended time encouraging him and helping him to think strategically about various ministry decisions.
On behalf of Songhwan, thank you for investing in our common mission of planting churches and providing them with long-term care in the years following their launch. Trips like this visibly display your partnership and care to the people of Lord's Grace Church, even though they are several thousand miles away from the nearest Sovereign Grace church.
Would you also join us in praying for them?
- There is a possibility that they will lose access to the building they currently use for Sunday meetings. Please pray that the Lord provides for them either in their current space or somewhere new.
- Please pray for God to raise up small-group leaders to help care for and disciple the members of the church.
- Please pray that in time Lord's Grace Church will become a church-planting hub, able to reach other areas of eastern Asia and the Pacific with the gospel.
Photo of the Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul by Ziggymaster, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 license.
February 12, 2011 by
Categories: Weekly roundup
Desiring God invited Dave Harvey to write three articles on the topic of "Planting Churches That Last" for their blog. You can read them here: Study the Past, Study Mistakes, Study Others.
Want to become a better songwriter? Bob Kauflin offers some help.
Several Sovereign Grace churches are hosting marriage conferences or seminars in the weeks ahead: Covenant Life Church (Gaithersburg, MD) on February 26, Riverside Christian Fellowship (North Lauderdale, FL) on March 12, and Metro Life Church (Orlando, FL) on March 18-19.
C.J. preached this sermon at Southern Seminary's chapel service on Thursday:
(If you're reading this in an email or RSS viewer, you may need to visit the website to see the video.)
February 10, 2011 by
Among other discounts this month at our store, Sovereign Grace Music MP3 downloads are just $0.69 each. If you're new to Sovereign Grace Music and wondering where to start, below are some of our top recommendations. The list is a mash-up of bestsellers and personal favorites from some of the worship leaders in Sovereign Grace churches.
- Before the Throne of God Above
- Let Your Kingdom Come
- O Great God
- All I Have Is Christ
- The Father's Love
- Completely Done
- God Over All
- I Have a Shelter
- Jesus Thank You
- I Will Glory in My Redeemer
To learn more about Sovereign Grace Music, see the website or visit the blog of executive producer Bob Kauflin.
Two pastors from Sovereign Grace churches recently traveled to Burma and South Korea in order to visit the church planters whom Sovereign Grace Ministries supports in those countries. Today's update will focus on their time spent in Burma, and our next update will highlight their time in South Korea. For security reasons, we won't share their names.
In Burma, we have the privilege of working with a budding church-planting ministry led by a recent graduate of our Pastors College named David. In a recent visit, pastors and members from Sovereign Grace churches got to demonstrate that partnership through both practical aid (mercy ministry) and strategic training.
The mercy ministry was extended by a team consisting of members from five Sovereign Grace churches (Gaithersburg, MD; Chesapeake, VA; Fairfax, VA; Spokane, WA; and Franklin, WV) who operated a series of medical clinics over the course of a week. Quoting from the blog of Covenant Life Church (which sent several people), "The team saw approximately 1500 men, women and children in four days of clinics! Three clinics were held in rural villages, and two of those were in areas that lack a church. The hope is to eventually establish churches in both locations. Another clinic was held in a more urban setting at an orphanage."
The other priority of the trip was to help David plan strategically for long-term growth and health in the churches he leads. Given the context and resources available to him, there are several questions and challenges he needs to address:
- What theology courses should he prioritize at his ministry school, which hosts men who are both recent converts and developing leaders?
- How can he provide ongoing care and training for pastors in a network of roughly 45 churches, some of which are several days travel apart?
- How can he lead the mercy ministries of his churches (an orphanage, disaster and famine aid, and other projects) without neglecting the care and training of current and future leaders?
- Where will funding for the ministry programs come from?
Although the visit was brief, the pastors who spent time with David were able to help him think through several of these critical questions and begin making concrete plans for future leadership training. Although building the right foundations there is going to take time, it is a mission we believe has significant potential for building the Burmese church, especially given David's proximity to people groups who have never been reached with the gospel before.
If you give to the Mission Fund, we want to sincerely thank you on David's behalf for the support you've given his ministry over the last several years. He is a humble and grateful man, and would be the first to tell you that your example of service and generosity have in no small way shaped and enabled the ministry philosophy he now models in Burma.
He would also be the first one to tell you that the Burmese church needs your prayers. When you think of them, here are a few ways you can pray:
- Pray for favor with local officials, who often are the deciding in factor, humanly speaking, in whether ministry programs can function or not
- Pray for financial provision, not only for the mercy ministries but also for the critical leadership training and church-planting work that David hopes to lead
- Pray for the next generation of leaders in the Burmese church, that God would raise men who can think, lead, and teach with theological precision
Image: Pagodas and temples in Bagan (public domain).