July 21, 2014 by
Categories: Conferences | Music | Worship
This past Wednesday through Saturday, nearly 500 people gathered at WorshipGod West in Santa Ana, California to consider what it means to worship our Triune God. Of these 500 people:
- 2 were from Singapore
- 152 came for their first WorshipGod conference
- 32 were senior pastors
- 117 came from churches of under 100 people
During this time, we sang praises to God. We fellowshipped together. We heard powerful preaching from God’s Word. And we marveled at the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God our Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14).
One story we want to highlight came from a conference giveaway. At each WorshipGod gathering, we give away an iPad. We ask attendees to nominate someone else to receive the iPad and explain why they nominate the person. Here are two responses which tell the story of the people who won the iPad:
I nominate Paige Finley and his son, Tucker, to receive the iPad. On the way to Calvary Church yesterday, our rental car started making a loud noise. We got here, but found out the bumper shield to the front of the car was dragging underneath the car. At the first class, I met Paige and asked his advice about what to do. He temporarily “fixed” it so we could get back to the airport for another rental car. He worked on it right in the Calvary Church parking lot on a hot afternoon. We appreciate him.
—Carol Jane Graves and Bertie Pimm
My son Tucker is 14 years old, the oldest of 9 children in our family. He has been a huge help in planting our church these last 4 years, manning the keynote song and sermon slides when he isn’t playing his guitar leading or helping lead our church family in song. Tucker will start his first year of public school as a freshman at Fredericksburg High School, after being homeschooled the last 9 years. He loves Jesus, baseball, music, and photography. After making the all star team this summer, he tripped and broke both bones in his right arm requiring 2 plates and 10 screws to repair, but missed the all star season. When he turned 14 in January, I told him I would take him to a conference of his choosing if he was willing to work all spring and early summer to pay for his flight. He mowed many yards, moved plants, planted grass, etc. to save enough to cover his flight and then some: $500+. When we arrived, he surprised me with a special dinner at a nearby steakhouse. (Steak doesn’t happen often in our family!) What a blessing it has been to make this trip with him. Through I am his pastor and father, so often I feel that he is leading me. I praise God for him and for this time together.
—Paige Finley, Tucker’s dad
And here are some of the great truths our speakers said:
As a Father, God must be an eternally life-giving, outflowing God.
God’s love is so potent that you can’t know him without becoming like him.
For all of eternity, God the Father has been perfectly satisfied in his beautiful Son.
As sons of God, we come before the Father just as Jesus himself does.
The Trinity makes salvation possible. And the Trinity makes salvation sweet.
The glory of God refers to the unique, incomparable, and infinitely great weightiness, worthiness, and wonder that is God’s alone.
God alone deserves unqualified and absolute glory.
Christian worship seeks to honor the Father as we worship the Son in the power of the Spirit.
Let me urge you to drink of the fullness of God through the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit brings the Divine close—within!
Desire the glory of the Son and the Father. Because if you do so, you will gladly invite and desire the role of the Holy Spirit.
We must long for the full manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
By the Spirit though the Son to the Father—that’s how we pray.
The Holy Spirit wants to dwell in you so that you know how great the Father is and how great the Son is.
We pray and sing as dearly loved sons and daughters, not just as pardoned criminals.
The Trinity is not a puzzle to figure out, but a relationship to enjoy.
Theology matters. What we think about God and what we think about ourselves in relation to God matters.
We stand firm in the grace of God by remembering who we are and by remembering whose we are.
We are elect exiles. That means we are the selected rejected.
When God adopts, he doesn’t merely do surgery or wield influence. He moves into our hearts and makes us partakers of his divine nature.
Pray that God uses the teaching and the singing and the personal interactions at this conference to save and strengthen many souls to the glory of God our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Bryan (@BryanDeWire) is the Communications Manager at Sovereign Grace.
June 18, 2014 by
Categories: Conferences | Music | Worship
“Yes, the Trinity can be presented as a fusty and irrelevant dogma, but the truth is that God is love because God is a Trinity.”
So writes Michael Reeves in his powerful book Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith (p. 9). When we more fully worship God in truth (John 4:24), we more fully understand that God is one being in three persons. While we cannot answer all our questions about this wonderful mystery, we can embrace it as truth and thus better see how the nature of God shapes all of reality.
Reeves does an excellent job of showing how the doctrine of the Trinity affects our entire lives. He writes, “To know the Trinity is to know God, an eternal and personal God of infinite beauty, interest and fascination. The Trinity is a God we can know, and forever grow to know better” (12, emphasis mine). The God of the universe has revealed himself to us, so “let us press on to know the LORD” (Hosea 6:3).
This is why we’re looking forward to having Michael Reeves as one of our speakers at this year’s WorshipGod West conference. He’s coming from Wales where he is Theologian-at-Large at Wales Evangelical School of Theology. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from King’s College, London.
Please consider joining Michael Reeves and our other speakers for WorshipGod: TRIUNE as we learn about and rejoice in our Triune God together. We’d love to see you there!
Bryan (@BryanDeWire) is the Communications Manager at Sovereign Grace.
May 29–31, 2014 is definitely a high point in the life of our church.
It had been our prayer for many years to be able to offer to others from the many riches we have received by God’s mercy, especially from our rich heritage in Sovereign Grace. God granted us that opportunity to serve a group of pastors and leaders in a concentrated and, I believe, highly effective way.
A New Conference
Last May, we invited Pastor Miguel Núñez from the Dominican Republic to come for a two-day seminar on biblical leadership. That was our testing ground for a much-needed conference directed toward pastors and leaders. We had good participation that encouraged us to make a more intentional effort. So this year, we officially started Fieles a Su Llamado which means “Faithful to His Call.” It is a conference for pastors and leaders focused on training and encouraging men from Latin America to be faithful to Christ in their holy callings as proclaimers and teachers of the gospel.
One dynamic that changed from last year’s gathering is that we joined efforts with our sister churches in El Paso, Aguascalientes, and Arandas. And with encouragement from our Executive Director, Mark Prater, we presented the conference as a Sovereign Grace Mexico Regional event. Therefore, we specifically invited all those men who have been asking us for help and training for the purpose of planting churches with Sovereign Grace or who are interested in some sort of adoption by Sovereign Grace. So men came from the cities of Chihuahua, Durango, and Torreón, México, as well as from Cartago, Costa Rica and Palmas, Canary Islands.
We also invited men from churches with whom we have been working for several years like the Oasis Churches in El Salvador, “The Church from Guadalajara” in Mexico, and “Unidos en Cristo Bible Church” from Monterrey, Mexico. Representatives from congenial church families in Latin America (like the Horizontes Churches from Queretaro, Mexico) also joined us. They are quickly becoming strong friends and partners in our gospel mission. There were also many guests from other cities in Mexico, but our most surprising ones were two pastors that we were able to sponsor from the rural jungle mountains near Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico.
By God’s grace, the members of our church in Juarez completely financed the conference. The church worked for several months beforehand to raise the necessary funds. Several held bake sales in their neighborhoods, one young single girl donated her vacation money, others donated items for a huge yard sale, one donated his airline mileage points, and so on. Thus, we were able to pay for several pastors’ airfare and housing, make the conference and workshop affordable to all, give full scholarships to low-income pastors, give away many books and study tools, and pay for investments needed to upgrade our equipment so that we could transmit the conference live on the internet.
Reaching Beyond the Conference
Even though our goal was to serve this particular group of pastors, God increased our reach. In total, we hosted about 200 people, with pastors coming from 21 different cities and 6 different countries. We also had a wide international audience through our live stream. At one point, we had 3,000 people tune in from most Latin American countries, including 6 countries from Central America, 10 from South America, and 2 from the Caribbean.
Our conference included a three-day, pre-conference Expository Preaching Workshop, which 48 pastors attended. The workshop was sponsored by The Charles Simeon Trust, and it was their first workshop in continental Latin America. They generously donated all of their expenses. For our two-day conference, we invited Pastor Sugel Michelén from the Dominican Republic, who blew us away with some of the best world-class preaching and teaching on the gospel, the church, and preaching that we have ever heard. Pastor Luis Núñez from the Dominican Republic led us in worship. He is currently part of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville as he finishes his Masters degree from Southern Seminary. We enjoyed the refreshing presence of the Holy Spirit in our gatherings as well as rich fellowship that made the whole experience memorable.
The Work of God in Changing Lives
But the most encouraging highlight for me personally was hearing the testimonies from these pastors about the effect this event had on their lives. The main comment from the pastors was that the conference shaped their whole view of ministry. A couple of men ended up in tears as they pondered their past experience in light of their newfound zeal for the gospel. Several men shared with me that even though they very much appreciated the teaching and training, they were amazed at the way the dozens of conference volunteers lived out the gospel and served us.
Robert Kinney, the Executive Director of The Charles Simeon Trust, expressed it this way: “This is the highest compliment we can give: I don’t believe we have ever been received and served in such a gracious way as we have by this church. This seals our commitment to make Mexico one of our priorities.” To which I was able to reply: “This is only the fruit of what we have received through our many years as part of Sovereign Grace.” As we have heard many times, we have nothing to share with the world if our message is not being lived out in our own congregations. I am extremely grateful to God that he is enabling us to serve others by forming in our hearts a passion for the gospel and for his church throughout the world.
This experience confirms my belief that God is willing to use Sovereign Grace as a family of churches to plant and serve churches in many parts of Latin America. I see the hand of God moving us forward 1) through the affirmation and receptivity from the men seeking our help and support, 2) through the young men being raised up in our churches, and 3) through the evident gospel mission heart in the Mexican churches, displayed in their willingness to give to and serve other pastors and churches. We plan, God willing, on following up this coming year with the current church planting and adoption opportunities that seem to be confirmed and compelled by God. We need your support and help to be able to do this.
We are already planning on “Fieles a Su Llamado 2015.” While we don’t know what the future holds for us, we know there is great need. And we are already receiving inquiries from new groups as far as Argentina. So, please pray for us that we would be faithful to his glorious calling.
To support more gospel work in Mexico, donate here and designate your gift for “Strategic Global Project - Mexico.”
June 6, 2014 by
Categories: Conferences | Music | Worship
Last year we held our first WorshipGod conference in California, Called to Be Faithful, co-hosted with Eric Turbedsky and Sovereign Grace Church of Orange. Lots of learning, lots of giveaways, lots of fellowship, lots of laughter, lots of equipping, and lots of time to encounter God together.
Due to the number of requests to come back we’ll be hosting WorshipGod: TRIUNE, July 16-19, again at Calvary Church in Santa Ana, CA.
Here’s a video recap of last year’s conference.
Because there are so many conferences you could attend, I wanted to give you 10 reasons why you should consider joining us for WorshipGod:TRIUNE this year.
1. Michael Reeves
Michael is head of Wales Evangelical School of Theology and fast becoming one of my favorite preachers and people. His superb book, Delighting in the Trinity, shows why the triune God of Christianity is not only necessary, but superior to any other god, and eminently more beautiful and desirable. Mike will be addressing us in the first two main sessions and I can’t wait for you to hear him.
2. Bruce Ware
Dr. Ware is a professor at Southern Seminary and author of the book Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance (as well as a few others). His exuberant passion for the glory of God is contagious. He’ll be teaching a main session on knowing God as Father, as well as a seminar called Getting a Grip on God’s Glory.
3. Jon Payne
Jon pastors Redemption Hill Church in Austin, TX. He has been a dear friend for years and inspired us last year with his message, Faithful to Serve, from John 13. Jon will be teaching a main session this year on the Holy Spirit and a seminar on The Faith-Filled Leader. I have no doubt we’ll be inspired again.
4. Rick Gamache
Rick serves as the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Bloomington, MN. If you haven’t heard him preach, you’re in for a treat. Rick is passionate, biblical, and pastoral as he proclaims God’s Word. He’ll be speaking on how knowing God as Trinity affects our daily lives.
John Martin and enfieldband were part of last year’s WorshipGod West conference and have played on a number of Sovereign Grace albums. They combine phenomenal musicianship with humble hearts and a passion to see Jesus glorified. They’ll be leading us Thursday night and will also be helping out with drum (David Zimmer), bass (Ryan Foglesong), and keyboard (John Martin) seminars.
6. Matt Boswell
Matt is a pastor at Providence Church in Frisco, TX. His passion to see the church singing theologically rich, gospel aware songs has led to him writing modern hymns that are beginning to get more attention. He’ll be leading us on Friday morning and participating in seminars on planning Sundays and songwriting.
7. Doug and Sheri Gould
It’s been a privilege to have Doug and Sheri participate in WorshipGod conferences since 2008. Sheri gets rave reviews as a vocal coach and Doug has an unceasing desire to serve those who work with sound in local churches. Sheri will be not only be teaching vocal seminars, but you can also sign up for “The Contemporary Choir” as a pre-conference workshop. The choir will sing in the Friday evening session.
8. Practical and Theological Training
We’ve added a boatload of new seminars this year, designed to serve you where you’re at. Craig Cabaniss on fear of man, legalism, and revival. I’ll be speaking on God’s presence and putting songs together. Jon Payne on faith-filled leadership. Don Whitney on praying through Scripture and Scripture meditation. Patrick Anderson on guitars and loops. Brock Shinen on copyrights. Steve & Vikki Cook on taking your song from good to great. A panel on planning Sundays. And plenty more. On Wednesday I’ll be teaching a three hour session called “Lessons Learned from Thirty Years of Leading.” We’ll be covering your role, relationships, pastoring through song, and a Q&A.
One of the best parts of WorshipGod conferences is the people who come. Your joyful participation, evident humility, consistent gratefulness, passionate engagement, and faithful servanthood turn a conference into a life-transforming event. I’m always encouraged by the people I meet, and I know you will be, too.
10. Registration closes July 2.
I didn’t mention the giveaways at every WorshipGod conference, the free lunches, the Sovereign Grace bands, and the beautiful location, but that would be too many points. Just know we’re serious about encouraging and equipping leaders and musicians in local churches by building them into the Word of God and the gospel. And as an incentive, the first 20 church planting pastors get in for free, and senior pastors are always just $75.
We’d love to see you there!
*This post originally appeared on the WorshipMatters blog.
Bob serves as the Director of Music and Worship for Sovereign Grace and as an elder at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. He and his wife, Julie, have six children and a ever growing number of grandchildren.
May 13, 2014 by
Categories: Conferences | Music | Worship
Registration prices for WorshipGod 2014: TRIUNE go up on May 15, so now is a great time to register! The conference will be held in Santa Ana, California July 16–19 and will focus on the Trinity. We’ll be exploring what difference God being Three-in-One makes to our songs, our prayers, our meetings, and our lives.
Bob Kauflin, Dr. Bruce Ware, Jon Payne, Mike Reeves, and Rick Gamache will teach main sessions, and numerous seminars will be available too. Enfield and Matt Boswell (with a band from his church) will be serving musically, as will Bob Kauflin and musicians from Sovereign Grace churches.
Visit the conference website to get more information and to register, and also check out Bob Kauflin's Ten Reasons Why You Should Come to WorshipGod: TRIUNE. Watch the video below, a recap of last year's conference:
One of our member churches, Iglesia Cristiana Gracia Soberana in Juarez, Mexico, is hosting a pastors conference May 29–31 called Faithful to His Call. Message topics will include the centrality of the gospel in ministry, the centrality of the church in God's purposes, and faithfulness in preaching in ministry.
Sugel Michelén, who pastors Iglesia Biblica del Señor Jesucristo in the Dominican Republic and serves on the council of The Gospel Coalition, will be the guest speaker for the event. Carlos Contreras, the senior pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Gracia Soberana, will also be speaking. There will also be a pre-conference Expository Preaching Workshop hosted by the Charles Simeon Trust.
Pastors from different cities in Mexico are attending, as well as pastors from several Southwest U.S. cities, Central America, and the Canary Islands. There will also be a live stream provided so that even more people can benefit from the conference.
If you're interested in attending, registration is available on the conference website (but please note that the Expository Preaching Workshop is already full). If you aren't able to attend, consider watching the conference on live stream. Information about the live stream will be posted on the website. Please join us in praying that the conference would be fruitful, that those there would be encouraged, and even that this conference would result in church plants in the future. If you’re interested in supporting work in Mexico like this, consider giving to our Mission Fund and designating your gift for Mexico.
Una de nuestras iglesias, Iglesia Cristiana Gracia Soberana en Juárez, México, organizará la conferencia para pastores “Fieles a Su Llamado”, del 29 al 31 de Mayo. Los temas incluyen la centralidad del evangelio en el ministerio, la centralidad de la iglesia en los propósitos de Dios, y la fidelidad en la predicación.
Sugel Michelén, pastor de la Iglesia Bíblica del Señor Jesucristo en la República Dominicana, y miembro del concilio de La Coalición por el Evangelio, será el predicador invitado del evento. Carlos Contreras, el pastor principal de Iglesia Cristiana Gracia Soberana, tambien predicará un mensaje. Además, previo a la conferencia habrá un taller sobre Predicación Expositiva por parte del Charles Simeon Trust.
Pastores de diferentes ciudades en México asistirán a esta conferencia, así como pastores de suroeste de Estados Unidos, de Centroamérica, y de las Islas Canarias. El evento será transmitido en vivo para beneficio de los que no puedan asistir.
Si le interesa asistir, puede registrarse en el sitio web de la conferencia. Tenga en cuenta que el taller de Predicación Expositiva ya está lleno. Si no puede asistir, considere la transmisión en vivo. La información sobre la transmisión en vivo será publicada en el sitio de la conferencia.
Por favor únanse a nosotros en oración para que esta conferencia dé mucho fruto, para que los que estén allí sean animados, y aun para que esta conferencia resulte en plantación de más iglesias en el futuro. Si está interesado en apoyar esta y otras obras en México, considere dar a nuestro Fondo de Misiones y especifíque que su contribución es para México.
March 11, 2014 by
Categories: Conferences | Music | Worship
WorshipGod UK: Called to Be Faithful took place in Bath, England last week. Enjoy some photos from the conference below, and follow Sovereign Grace Music on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to receive more updates.
Pre-conference intensive for worship leaders by Bob Kauflin:
Craig Cabaniss: Faithful to Receive:
Jeff Purswell: Faithful to Proclaim:
Bob Kauflin: Faithful to Engage:
Nathan Smith: Faithful to Serve:
Singing at WorshipGod UK:
February 11, 2014 by
Categories: Articles | Conferences
If you are attending the Together For the Gospel Conference this year, you may also want to consider attending the National Conference of The Council On Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which is being held immediately prior to Together For the Gospel in Louisville, Kentucky.
The conference, which is being held on Tuesday, April 8th, from 8:30 - 12:00, is entitled "A Brave New Movement: CBMW and the Gospel". The theme of the conference is as follows:
Complementarians are in a major cultural moment. We've seen our biblically-driven movement grow and spread all over the world in the last few decades. Tens of thousands of churches have reaped encouragement from CBMW, and have continued to preach the same biblical truth on sexuality and gender that Christians have believed for millennia. Today, we're seeing challenges to God's wisdom sprout like weeds all over the culture. Believers need to be equipped to handle these challenges, and to answer questions like these: How can believers respond well to these challenges? How do gender roles relate to the gospel? Where is complementarianism headed?
Although only 3 ½ hours long, the conference is packed with speakers doing 20 minute “TED Talk”-style presentations. Presenters include John Piper, David Platt, Al Mohler, Russell Moore, Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, Eric Mason, and Owen Strachan. There will also be a women’s panel.
Jeff Purswell, who is the Dean of the Sovereign Grace Pastor's College and the Sovereign Grace Director of Theology and Training, serves on CBMW's Board of Directors.
You can register for the conference here.
December 6, 2013 by
Categories: Articles | Conferences | Worship
I’m excited to let our European friends know that Sovereign Grace Music will be hosting our first WorshipGod UK conference 5th-8th March, 2014, in Bath, England. The theme is Called to be Faithful.
WorshipGod UK is designed to encourage and equip pastors, musicians, vocalists, songwriters, tech personnel, those involved in planning or leading congregational worship, and anyone who wants to grow in their understanding and practice of biblical worship.
The lineup of speakers and musicians includes Mike Reeves, Jeff Purswell,Tim Chester, Craig Cabaniss, Donald Whitney, Stuart Townend, Nathan and Lou Fellingham, Philip Percival, and more.
The idea for doing a UK conference came as a result of talking to Nathan Smith, pastor of Grace Church, a Sovereign Grace church in Bristol. He wanted to equip the musicians in his church and as we talked the vision grew. Why not seek to serve leaders and musicians in other churches? I suggested we could do something similar to what we had done this year at WorshipGod West and WorshipGod East and he agreed to do the groundwork in the UK.
My burden for this conference is to encourage and equip those who faithfully labor in their churches, week in and week out, to serve God’s people through word and song. They may not have a CD or be known outside their community. But they’re faithfully stewarding the gift of proclaiming God’s Word and the gospel through song.
But what does faithfulness look like as a leader? As a musician? As a songwriter? As a sound engineer? How do we make sure we’re keeping the main things the main things? How do we resist the world’s definitions of success and pursue what matters to God?
We’ll be discussing these questions and more at WorshipGod UK. The main sessions will address how God calls us to be faithful to receive his grace, proclaim the gospel, engage with him, serve others, grow in our knowledge and skills, and prepare people for eternal realities.
You’ll also be able to attend 4 of 26 seminars, with topics including planning your meeting, the leader’s relationships, working with other generations, songwriting, making room for the Spirit’s leading, prayer, sound applications, as well as vocal and instrumental classes.
And if the conference isn’t enough for you, you can also register for a pre-conference intensive on Wednesday afternoon (1-4:30pm) where I’ll be speaking specifically to those whose responsibility is to plan and lead corporate worship. I’ll be covering topics that include the role of the worship leader, pastoring through song, and a leader’s relationships.
Rates are available for individuals, groups of 5+, and students. Super early bird rates last through December 7! So when we say super early bird, that’s what we mean.
You can check out the WorshipGod UK website for more information.
And please help us spread the word!
November 22, 2013 by
Relate is a conference that Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, Arizona began in 2012 with a desire to create lasting, Christ-centered friendships among Christian young adults from various cities and churches through biblical teaching and intentional fellowship.
What You'll Learn at Relate
Relate 2014: A Godly Life will explore the biblical calling of godliness. If you are a Christian, the Bible calls you to live a godly life. Yet, between the influences of our sinful hearts and godless culture, our vision can easily go blurry. The Bible, however, is not blurry when it comes to describing godliness. We want to explore the depths of God’s Word and remind ourselves what it means to yearn for and seek after this wonderful yet difficult calling.
The messages from C.J. Mahaney, Bob Kauflin, Rich Richardson, and Jason Hansen will each touch on a different aspect of this biblical reality:
A Godly Life is a Gospel-Centered Life
A Godly Life is a Life of Worship
A Godly Life is a Life of Discipline
A Godly Life is a Life of a Sojourner and Pilgrim
A Godly Life is a Life of Suffering
We hope you walk away more encouraged and excited to live your life for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ as you seek to grow in godliness.
Registration is now open, so sign up now to join us for Relate 2014!
When: January 9–11, 2014
Where: Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, Arizona
Who: For singles age 18+