This past week, I had the privilege of attending my 3rd WorshipGod conference (’08, ’09, ’11). This year, I was able to take a couple of my praise band members and also a couple of ministry friends. The conference was amazing and featured the largest turnout I have witnessed. WorshipGod Conference is conducted by Sovereign Grace Ministries and is held at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Bob Kauflin (director of worship development for SGM) leads the conference. I highly recommend this conference for any worship leader, especially for those that value gospel-centered teaching, preaching, and singing.
This year’s theme was “The Gathering,” based off Hebrews 10:25.
“not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
The general sessions were fantastic. Each dealt with various aspects of what we do when we gather for corporate worship. The main sessions had a full set of corporate worship led by various groups, hilarious announcements, a powerful sermon dealing with the a specific aspect of the theme, followed by another song or two of worship . The main session sermons are all available for download here. Here’s a snapshot of what they were about…
Session 1 – Ray Ortlund, Jr “Gathering to Behold” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Session 2 – Bryan Chappell “Gathering to Rehearse (the Gospel)” (Isaiah 6:1-8)
Session 3 – Thabiti Anyabwile – “Gathering to Hear” (1 Timothy 4:11-16)
Session – 5 – Craig Cabaniss – “Gathering to Commission” (1 Peter 2:9)
The main sessions also featured some amazing musical worship. The first night was led by Bob Kauflin and the Na Band. Here are the songs from the first session.
“How Great Is Your Faithfulness” – Matt Redman, from We Will Not Be Shaken CD
“Greater Than We Can Imagine” – Mark Altrogge, from Sovereign Grace Psalms CD
“Come Thou Fount” – arr. by Bob Kauflin
“You Have Been Raised” – from Sovereign Grace Risen CD ***Really liked this song live in the context of corporate worship!
“Name Above All Names” – from Sovereign Grace Risen CD
“Psalm 62” – Stuart Townend, from CD
“Behold Our God” – from Sovereign Grace Risen CD *****FAVORITE SONG AT THE CONFERENCE. REALLY TRANSLATES WELL FOR CORPORATE WORSHIP!
Other bands at the conference included Enfield (from California) & Sojourn (from Louisville, KY). They were both unique, skilled, and most importantly gospel-centered. (I plan to do a CD review of Enfield in the near future.) I really like their arrangement of the Isaac Watts’ hymn “Jesus Shall Reign.” Nearly all of their songs are very appropriate and helpful for corporate worship in multiple contexts. I also really enjoyed Sojourn. I found myself “getting into it” as I worshiped along on the bluesy “Absent from Flesh.” Enfield & Sojourn can also be found on iTunes.
I could go on and on about the conference. I loved the “Simplify Your Spiritual Life” seminar with Dr. Don Whitney of Southern Seminary. Very very helpful, look it up when it becomes available for audio download. Sovereign Grace also recorded a live album on Friday night called “The Gathering.” Amazing songs about an incredible God! Check out www.worshipmatters.com, www.worshipgodconference.com, & www.sovereigngraceministries.org for more info.
Make plans to go in 2013….you won’t regret it!