On this 4th Sunday of Advent, the Lectionary readings takes us to Luke 1:39-55. This year the readings do not give us the account of the visit by Gabriel to Mary, but we do read of Mary visiting Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John. Mary’s magnificat (“My soul proclaims…”) is not recorded as a direct response to the annunciation by the angel, but rather to Elizabeth’s greeting:


“Visitation” by Ghirlandaio, 1491

Continue reading

The Charles Wesley Society

For the past 3 days I’ve been attending the Charles Wesley Society annual conference, held at the Global Board of Discipleship (United Methodist Church) here in Nashville. The event was hosted by Tom Albin, (Dean of Upper Room Ministries & Ecumenical Relations) and Dean McIntyre (Director of Music Resources). From noon Thursday through noon today, it was a chance to meet with both academics and church music practitioners and focus on the music of Charles Wesley.

Continue reading

Interview from INTERNET MONK, part 2


Part 2 of my interview with Chaplin Mike at Internet Monk continues [HERE]


Interview from INTERNET MONK, part 1

Recently, I was interviewed by Chaplain Mike for Church Music Month at Internet Monk. Internet Monk is a blog that was created by the late Michael Spencer in 2000, and is one of the most widely-read Christian blogs.  Spencer was the author of the “Mere Churchianity.” Since his death in 2010, the InternetMonk blog has been continued by Jeff Dunn (his literary agent) and Chaplain Mike (a hospice chaplain, who is also my brother-in-law).  Read part 1 of the interview [HERE].

Can I Change the Lyrics to Your Song?

Can I Change the Lyrics to Your Song?.

A great post from Bob Kauflin at Sovereign Grace Music from

What I wish I’d known…

For the past two years, most Thursdays have found me at Lee University (Cleveland, TN), a 150 mile drive from Nashville, as I work on a Masters of Church Music.

Two weeks ago, I was asked by Lee University Church music instructor Randy Sheeks if I would share from my experiences as a church music director with his  undergrad Music Ministry Leadership class.  Here’s what I covered:

What I wish I had known about Music Ministry:

A Pyramid for success:


How you do ministry is as important as what you do in ministry.
• You are a pastor first; musician second.
• Know your strengths; get help with your weaknesses.
(No one has ALL the skills asked for.)
• 80%  on time is often better than 100% late.
• Learn to say no; practice it until it rolls easily off you tongue. “That’s a wonderful idea, but that’s not something I can take on right now. I’m sure you’ll find someone to help.”
• Program to the level of your current talent, not your future dream.
• Invest primarily in people, over equipment, programs, events.
• You shine when you shine a light on your volunteers.
• You can not say Thank you often enough.
Job interviews are a 2-way dialogue – you are interviewing each other. Come prepared with your questions.
• The salary offered is not the complete picture of compensation, only a portion. Look for a healthy environment, generosity, benefits, mentoring, continuing education, professional development
• Build a part of your life outside your church.

If you’re in music ministry leadership – what would you add to this list?

Call for Hymn Submission: Songs for the Book of Luke

To all hymnwriters (traditional to modern worship)

Here is information about a call for songs based on the Gospel of Luke for next year’s Gospel Coalition National Conference, April 8-10 in Orland0.

For more information:

Songs for the Book of Luke.

The deadline for submissions is August 15