Select Page
New eBook: Thinking Theologically about Racial Tensions

New eBook: Thinking Theologically about Racial Tensions

Our elders recognize that there is a need to offer biblical instruction on the topic of race. This is not because we believe that we are demonstrating sinful thoughts or attitudes on this topic as a church. Not hardly. Our purpose is not corrective but instructive. This topic—filled as it is with human beings, human history, and human conflict—deserves nothing less than our best biblical thinking in order that we might honor Christ as Lord in our conversations with one another and with our neighbors.

Here’s how pastor Kevin DeYoung put it:

As Christians, we should always be eager to reason carefully and winsomely from God’s Word. While I don’t believe every controversial issue surrounding race in this country is theological in nature, I do believe that every culture-wide conflict is bound to have a number of theological issues at its core. The issues in the early church may have looked like practical disagreements about meals and food and ceremonies, but the apostle Paul saw in them the most important issues of the gospel. Paul always brought his best theology to bear on the most intractable problems facing his people. We ought to do the same.

We concur.

With that commitment in mind, last summer DeYoung set out to help the church honor Christ as Lord on the topic of race in a series titled, Thinking Theologically about Racial Tensions. DeYoung teaches at Reformed Theological Seminary and pastors at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He’s a pastor and a scholar devoted to sound doctrine for God’s glory in the church. DeYoung and Christ Covenant Church were kind to allow us to put this material into an eBook for you as a means of instructing you in the Word.

Download the eBook with an introduction from Heritage’s elders.

 Here’s how DeYoung set up his series:

Over the coming weeks I hope to explore several theological issues related to our ongoing racial tensions. I fear that we are going about our business in the wrong order. We start with racial issues we don’t agree on and then try to sort out our theology accordingly, when we should start with our theology and then see how racial issues map onto the doctrines we hold in common. Good theology won’t clear up every issue, but we might be surprised to see some thorny issues look less complicated and more hopeful.

Lord willing—and with the caveat up front that this list could change as we go along—I’d like to write about three topics over the next month: The image of God, Sin and guilt, Life together in the church. In short, I want to explore how Christian anthropology, hamartiology, and ecclesiology might encourage, confirm, clarify, and correct our thinking.

Working from the Scriptures, DeYoung published several articles. Read these articles alone or with a friend. We wrote an introduction from our elder team and drafted some questions to help you along. The questions are provided at the end of each section. We hope they help.

If you’d prefer to read this material on the web in its original article form, here you go:  

For many of you these articles will be a tall glass of water, refreshing and clarifying your understanding with the Word of God in a way you’ve longed for. Jesus always speaks as one having authority and when we give ourselves to his Word we grow all the more to trust him. For many, these pieces might feel heavy. We’d encourage you to work through them slowly, but to work through them nevertheless. For all of us, this is a good exercise in slowing down to think God’s thoughts after him in order to live faithfully as Christians.

May this equip us all to be more faithful to our mission: to preach the gospel to any person at any time at any place. May this famously difficult subject be an entry point for us to speak the good news to a world that needs good news.

For the elders,


Our Plans for Singing on Sunday, April 11

Our Plans for Singing on Sunday, April 11

For some time now we have wanted to host a weekend workshop specifically for our Sunday musicians. We are well served by talented and church-loving musicians each Lord’s Day and this is a way of investing in them spiritually and in the practical work of leading congregational singing as a team. That’s what we’re doing the second week of April with the help of our guest song-leader, Drew Hodge, Worship Pastor at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM.

Redemption Songs in the Morning,
Hymns in the Afternoon

On Sunday morning, April 11, we will hear the Word preached from the oldest song in the Bible, the Song of Moses, from Exodus 15. This will be the first installment in a periodic series we’ll call, Redemption Songs, in which we work through the songs embedded in the Bible’s story of redemption. That morning we will be led by Drew and our musicians.

That afternoon, at 4:30 PM we will host our first Hymn Sing. Drew and our musicians will lead us in singing our faith for an hour or so. Bring the family and plan to sing out. You might hear some new arrangements and sounds.

Meet Drew Hodge

Drew Hodge is a dear friend of mine (Trent) as we served together for seven years and met weekly with our families for our Community Group during that time. I’m eager for you all to meet him and for Drew to hear you sing. In view of this visit, I asked Drew if he’d write up a little bio of himself. Here’s his story:

I’m a husband to Crissie for 15 years, father to five kids (Arabella 12, Priest 10, Kanon 9, Halliday 7, Arrow 4), and Worship Pastor at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the last eleven years.

Music and church always went together for me. My dad was a Southern Baptist Pastor for most of my life and my mother a talented musician. Growing up homeschooled by a musical mother meant that music was an expected discipline. I learned to sing and play piano as sure as read and write. By the age of 15 the Lord had placed in me a deep desire to serve the church in music and I haven’t ever pursued anything else.

Through high-school and college (Where I studied Vocal Performance) I labored to grow as a musician in order to serve the local church. Music and the church are both wonderful gifts, but one serves the other. Music is not a end in and of itself, but a means to the glorious end of God’s worship in the church.

Writing songs for the church has helped me to appreciate the church’s voice and learn the church’s heart. Letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly through singing together, as a church, has been one of my life’s greatest joys. By His grace it will continue to be for as long as He allows.

Join us on Good Friday and Easter, ’21

Join us on Good Friday and Easter, ’21

There is no happy ending for this world apart from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is a way for our sin and guilt to be removed and there is a way for you and I to be made new. Yes, we have been ransomed by Christ and raised with him.

Times and Details

  • Good Friday. We will gather at 7:30 PM on April 2 in the Fellowship Hall. Childcare is provided for nursery and preschool age children. Dan Cruver will preach from 1 Peter 1:13–19, followed by communion.
  • Easter Sunday. We will gather at 9:30 AM on April 4 in the Auditorium with video streaming to the Fellowship Hall. Pastor Trent will preach from 1 Peter 1:20–25.

For both services, rows will be spaced for social distancing and masks are welcome but not required.

Take Some Invites, Take A Seat

For Heritage members, we have two reminders.

First, pick up a stack of invitation cards. We’ve printed an abundance of wallet-sized invitations cards. Pick up a stack and use these to invite your neighbors.

Second, help ensure a seat for our guests. Come early and consider taking a seat up front in the auditorium to help us take best advantage of our available seating. You might also consider planning to take a seat in the Fellowship Hall to free up seating in the auditorium, as guests will likely head that way when they arrive.

Christ is Risen!

Pastor Trent


Recap of Our First Annual Simeon Trust Preaching Workshop

Recap of Our First Annual Simeon Trust Preaching Workshop

Preachers need encouragement, help, and a regular reminder that God accomplishes his work in the world through his Word. That’s why three of the Apostle Paul’s letters were to pastors with words like these:

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. —1 Timothy 4:13–16

It’s in this spirit of encouragement and progress that Heritage has invested in area churches and pastors in a variety of ways. It’s also why we hosted a preaching workshop for area preachers this past January through a partnership with the Charles Simeon Trust. We were joined by 54 teachers and preachers from 32 churches, including 30 lead pastors. 

Matthew Rawlings is one of the area pastors that joined us. I’ve asked him to share about himself, his church, and the workshop we just hosted.


1. Matthew, we’re glad that you could join us at the preaching workshop in January. I’ll ask you a few questions about that, but first, tell us a little about yourself, the church where you preach, and the network of churches you’re a part of.

I’m originally from Virginia. I have been married to Julie for almost 25 years and together we have six children. Our oldest is a Sophomore at Anderson University and our youngest is seven years old.

Prior to pastoral ministry, I worked for the US Government outside of Washington D.C. and then was an IT Director for Electronic Arts.

Back in 1993, I started a college ministry at George Mason University, and in 1997 the pastors in our church asked me to pursue pastoral ministry. I’ve been pastoring since 1999. I spent seven years as a bi-vocational church planter in Surrey, British Columbia, (outside Vancouver, B.C.), before moving to South Carolina in the fall of 2007 to pastor at Redeeming Grace Church.

Our mission is simple and it is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, who are growing as disciples and making disciples. I love serving as a pastor in our local church and count is a privilege to walk with others as we together seek to love the Lord and our neighbor with all that we are.

In 2012, I moved into the role of Senior Pastor and we began pursuing being a formal part of the Acts29 network of churches.

Acts29 is a diverse family of about 900, gospel-centered, church-planting churches. We’re characterized by theological clarity, cultural engagement, and missional innovation. Acts29 is committed to praying for conversions through evangelism, planting churches, pursuing holiness and humility and equipping church leaders. Our Southeast region is comprised of around 125 churches which work together to mutually encourage, equip and support each other in our shared mission. I was excited that 10 of our churches and the Acts29 Director of the Southeast region were able to attend the Simeon Trust workshop and are already planning to come back and bring more men in the future.

2. Now, for those who are unfamiliar with the Simeon Trust. What is the Charles Simeon Trust and what is a preaching workshop? Tell us a bit about the goals and the shape that a workshop takes.

The Charles Simeon Trust is a ministry that exists to strengthen local churches and further gospel proclamation through equipping pastors and teachers in expositional ministry. The Simeon Trust is guided by the conviction that the health of the Church depends on the proclamation of God’s Word.

Workshops for preachers are the heart of their work. Workshops are held in strategic geographic locations to support churches in their ministry of the Word, and consist of three things: instructional sessions, expositions, and small groups. In those small groups men will spend a total of six hours presenting their work on various texts and helping one another improve.

Workshops are a means not only of equipping and encouraging pastors and teachers, but also stirring up gospel-camaraderie and collaboration. Since the very heart of pastoral ministry is the proclamation of the Word, the goal of a workshop is to increase a preacher’s competence and confidence in their ability to apply themselves to the task of expositional preaching. Workshops seek to provide preachers with practical tools and the means to grow in the use of those tools in expositing God’s Word.

3. You’ve been to a number of these workshops before, even traveling some distance. Detail a bit of your history with these workshops and why you prioritize them personally. That will give us some insight into the importance of this kind of investment for our church and for area pastors.

I had been preaching and teaching for about 15 years when I attended my first workshop and didn’t quite know what to expect. I travelled up to Wisconsin for my first workshop at the recommendation of Mike Bullmore, who has been a trusted mentor to me in the past. I was immediately impacted by instruction that was more focused on preaching and more effective than any seminary or homiletical class I had taken up to that point. I have since made it a priority to take advantage of these workshops each year, tackling different genres of the Bible, so that I am better able to preach God’s Word to my local church.

Through these workshops, I have also formed biblical friendships with other pastors that have helped to sustain me in the ministry of the Word. I cannot think of a ministry that has impacted my preaching and improved my ability to preach God’s Word more deeply.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God for salvation and Simeon Trust enables preachers to proclaim God’s life-giving Word of hope to a dark and dying world.

4. Finally, because many of our readers will be members at Heritage Bible Church, anything you’d like to say to our church family having joined us as a guest?

As a guest of the workshop you hosted at Heritage Bible Church, I want you to hear my heartfelt thank you. Thank you for sacrificing financially to provide a comfortable place for us to hear God’s Word and grow in an undistracted way. Thank you for how you served us all in both large and small ways, from letting us use your facilities, to warmly welcoming us, checking us in, providing snacks and lunches, running the audio-visual systems that were needed, and being all-around excellent hosts.

Thank you for giving up time and supporting your pastors, specifically Trent and Abe, as they lead and served us all. In supporting and freeing up Trent and the team, you made the workshop in Greenville possible, when it wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Your kindness and generosity as a church provided a few days of respite to encourage many pastors and enabled us all to receive from God without having to plan or take care of anything that could take away from us receiving from God. You enabled me and over 54 other preachers to grow in God’s Word and the seeds of your ministry will bear much fruit, as God’s Word is proclaimed and the gospel is preached throughout all of our churches. I am convinced that your investment will result in bringing many people to Christ and in helping countless believers grow in God’s grace for years to come.  

Our Plans to Hire a Full-Time Worship Director

Our Plans to Hire a Full-Time Worship Director

Our heritage is a heritage of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which reconciles sinners to God and to one another. Proof is in the singing.

The purpose of this post is to share our thinking behind the search for a full-time Worship Director and to unite our church in those plans. We may not begin a public search for many months or perhaps another year or two—more on the budget and timing later in this post. But now is a good time to lay some groundwork for when that time comes.

If I had to boil our purpose in this search down to a sentence, I would. But I’m glad to borrow one from the Apostle Paul instead: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16).

We don’t need a full-time leader to sing together, among the other things we do—not hardly. Our joy and our unity come from our full-time gospel and it’s already good and paid for. And as we all know, we are well served by our lead musician and pianist, Deanna Moore, Pastor Abe who leads us vocally, and many other church-loving brothers and sisters. In Deanna’s words, “I love to help our church sing her faith.” That is happening. I thank the Lord often for our team and for how well you sing.

But there are some good long-term reasons to prioritize this role for our church. What follows is more than an informational update, but biblical instruction for a healthy transition when the time comes. We’ll work this out with four questions.

The Only Thing on God’s Calendar

The first question is this: What is the role of our Sunday Gathering in God’s plan? We have lots of things on our calendar as a church. But there is only one thing God put there for the new covenant community: church on Sunday. Like a ripple from a rock landing in water, the church’s repeated movement together for worship and out to the world gives evidence to the power of the resurrection (Lk. 24:1; Acts 20:7).

The gathering plays a central role in God’s plan to magnify his name among us. Gathering together is not a practical efficiency in our pursuit of personal piety. For Christians in other lands, it would be far safer to stay home and pray. For American Christians it would be more convenient to podcast sermons and listen to playlists. But there is a reason we come together: because God brings things together that would otherwise stay apart because of sin, selfishness, alienation, and every other effect of sin’s curse.

People come together for all kinds of reasons: sports, a political rally, or a good movie. The bonds in each case are as strong and as lasting as the thing that binds them. When the church comes together on the Lord’s Day, we make visible the invisible and unbreakable bond that we share in the gospel.

In this, our coming together previews the great coming together of all things in the age come. Our coming together says there is life and love in this world of death and destruction. We gather as living stones being build up into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In all of this we proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light (1Pet. 2:5, 9).

The gathering plays a central role in God’s plan to magnify his name among us, but also through us. The whole point of preaching the gospel where Christ has not been named is to establish worshiping communities. As Matthew Ellison puts it, churches that have big passion for worship have big passion for missions. Churches established for God’s worship is why we go to the nations.

Here’s what all this means: the Lord’s Day gathering isn’t just a central part of God’s plan; these meetings are the central point of God’s plan. Worshiping communities are why God sent Jesus into the world, and worshiping communities are why we send one another to the end of the earth. Everything God does flows to and from this item on our calendars.

How God Works

If the gathering is central to God’s plan, then the Word is central to the gathering. So, what is the role of the Word of God in the church’s gathering? The Word of God on the lips of his people of God is how God calls, creates, sustains, sanctifies, comforts, encourages, and preserves us to the end.

One delivery system for the Word is preaching. Paul boiled Timothy’s job down to one task: “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2Tim. 4:2). At Heritage our pulpit anchors our church to the Word and directs our ministry by the Word. We let the shape and aim of the text direct the shape and argument of our sermons. We work through books of the Bible as the wisest way to keep the Holy Spirit in the driver’s seat and our ourselves out of the way. We trust that the balance of Scripture will address the balance of our life and mission over the long-haul.

But there are other delivery systems. Paul told Timothy, “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (1Tim. 4:13). To two churches he told them to sing:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart —Ephesians 5:18, 19

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God —Colossians 3:16

Singing isn’t just for the birds. How kind is our Lord to create us as singing beings and then to give us a reason to sing! Singing is the sound of Christ’s victory over the grave. Singing is spiritual warfare. It’s the sound of hearts filled with truth in a world filled with lies. It’s the sound of thankfulness in an ungrateful age. It’s the sound of sinners who get along in a world that doesn’t know how. It’s the sound of heaven on earth. It’s an invitation to search out where this sound is coming from that leads sinners to an empty tomb.

Now, we’re ready to answer a third question: what is the role of the Worship Director in our Church?

In Search of The Right Man for Our Church

There is always the temptation at this point to start thinking about music and instruments and genre. But that is getting things in the wrong order. It’s like hiring a chef with a priority on the presentation before the substance. The texts we speak, the prayers we pray, and the songs we sing are a deeply theological and pastoral responsibility. These are the truths that set us up for the sermon and get us home to heaven. We want to start with the priorities given to us by God and trust him to bless that. At our best, this has been our desire as a church, so let’s keep it.

For most of Heritage’s history we have had two staff roles devoted to the design and leadership of our Sunday gatherings. The Pastor for Preaching and Teaching oversees the service with responsibility for what we hear and sing and say together when we meet. But a second pastor-type role is a crucial partner in this.

That second role is given to several tasks. First, he develops our readings and cultivates our song collection. Second, he designs our orders of service week-to-week, shaping our gatherings with the gospel. In addition, he develops the teams involved in executing our Sunday gatherings. That includes musicians and ensembles, tech teams, and others. When we’re led on Sunday there are a variety of individuals working in a coordinated fashion. If it looks easy, that took work. Finally, this individual also provides public leadership at our Sunday gatherings both personally and in his development of other leaders. The exact way this all looks depends on the man and how he and the Preaching Pastor complement one another. But that’s a general sketch.

For all these reasons, we are committed to looking for the right man for our church. So, who is the right man for Heritage?

A Man with The Right Doctrine and Character

He must be the right man in several respects, first in terms of his theology and his character. Both are non-negotiables for this type of role: “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1Tim. 4:16). Given the public nature of his leadership, this man must meet the qualifications for eldership found in 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–9. He must be a proven example to the flock in his character, humble, able to work under authority with joy, and a patient laborer for the church’s unity. He must love the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and his plan to manifest his grace and glory in the assembly of local churches. This role will begin as a director role but is intended, in the years ahead, to mature into an elder/pastor role. As with the rest of our director and pastor team, he will be involved in all of the normal pastoral care functions and may wear a few hats.  

A Skilled Leader of Musicians and Gatherings

The right man for our church will have a few skills. He will be able to lead us vocally on Sundays with warmth, confidence, and clarity—likely from a piano or guitar. He will be more than a musician but a developer of ensembles, arrangements, and leaders for the unique purpose of congregational worship. He will have his own musical wheelhouse, but he should be able to leverage the unique strengths of both classical and band ensembles. He will have an approach to music that is modest because we are jealous to guard the congregation’s voice in worship, enhancing so that music helps the church make melody in her heart, excellent so that we are not distracted, and expressive because we sing to a God of manifold glory and grace. He will also be selective when it comes to the tunes we sing considering the nature of the human voice and our unique voice as a church, while stretching us musically. He will have a basic proficiency in the dynamics of live sound, monitoring, and the various technical aspects involved in large gatherings like ours.

A Good Fit

He needs to be a theological fit, aligned in his understanding of the church and her gathering in God’s plan. Then, there are some obvious intangibles with a hire like this. Is he a relational and philosophical fit with our Preaching Pastor? Is he a good fit with our key musicians and leaders? Is he a good fit for a multi-staff church like ours in a region like ours? Is he a fit with our ministry ethos and emphases? This is a staff director hire and not a hire directly to an elder role and for that reason it will not involve a congregational vote. But we’ll be gathering input from you in some thoughtful ways which we’ll share when the time comes.

A Word About Music While We’re at It

As I said recently, I have made a covenant with the Lord not to answer questions about instruments. I’ll add genre to that too. But I’m glad to speak generally to the topic of music.

First, music is from God and it is good. It’s hard to imagine the world and life without music. Apparently, God didn’t want us to. We don’t only praise him for it, but we praise him with it (Ps. 150). Of course, like all things lovely in this world, we have to be vigilant. Music is great but it’s a terrible God. So, we should make music without making too much of it. God is God and music is music.

Second, music is a blessed means of instruction and expression. By it we “[address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with [our hearts]” (Eph. 5:18). By it God impresses truth on our hearts as we sing our faith to one another. And by singing we express or hearts to him. This is why we want to artfully work to match the tunes to the texts we’re singing so that they hold out the truth in ways that fit that truth. We do not want to manipulate emotions with music. We want to oxygenate our faith with melody that carries truth to the heart and from the heart to God.

Third, music is not necessary for true worship. Jesus Christ and his perfect work are all we need to worship God with reverence and awe (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 12:28). If we hear ourselves saying, “I can’t worship God without a certain kind of music,” then we understand neither God, nor worship, nor music. We should be able to ditch our instruments and unplug our sound system and get along just fine because Jesus is with us when we gather (Matt. 18:20). Music doesn’t bring us into God’s presence, Jesus does. (Heb. 10:22). Let’s exalt our gracious Lord by embracing a less spiritually charged understanding of music.

Fourth, music is a gift, but it is not a spiritual gift. We are a church with members with many skills, from music to medicine. Sometimes I’ll hear, “I need to be able to serve with my musical gift.” I can appreciate the best spirit in which this comment is made, but this is not a biblical way to think either about our musical skills, the Spirit’s gifts, or about our role in the church.

Fifth, at its best music in the context of corporate worship can be both familiar and stretching. At Heritage, we are happy for our gatherings to be culturally anchored, to feel like us and our home—we want that for foreign peoples too. Jesus will have voices of every kind around his throne in the age to come which means each church can have its own voice in the age we’re in. On the other hand, flexibility can be a sign of health. It can be a sign that we’ve embraced an expansive vision of God’s glory and mission. It can be a sign that we treasure the objective gospel over our subjective tastes. As long as we don’t make musical variety into a new law, it can be a sign that we haven’t elevated our human traditions over God’s eternal Word.

Sixth, music is great, Jesus is greater. Take heart, friends, in this process you won’t hear any strained arguments about what God deserves or what our witness demands. We do not have to be all things to all people, or any one thing for God. He would have told us. Instead, you’ll hear a lot about what Christ has done for sinners and how that makes us sing. In the absence of Apostolic teaching on musical instruments and genre, music is a judgment call for every congregation. That judgment depends a good bit on who is hanging around here, what we can do well together musically, and who is leading. A new worship director will bring his own touch to the place. Let’s look forward to that. 

The right man will share the right agenda for our church: to sing big truth with big heart.

Your Role as Members in this Process

Now, a final question: what is your role in this process? We want our Lord to smile on our church in this process. Here are four things we can do that we believe will invite his blessing.

First, Let’s Pray for The Right Man

Let’s pray for the Lord to provide the right man. The man is more important than the music. Remember Paul’s words to Timothy, “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1Tim. 4:16).

Second, Let’s Love One Another More than The Music We Like the Most

We’re getting better at this all the time. Remember that verse about letting Christ dwell in us richly by singing to one another? Here’s what Paul wrote to that church just before that: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Col. 3:12–16). That’s the kind of church we’ll want to invite our neighbors to. It’s the kind of church we’ll want to raise our kids in. And it’s the kind of church the right man for this job will want to give his life to. So, let’s love him in advance by loving one another well.

Third, Let’s Grow in Budget and Sound Doctrine

We will start a public search for this role when the budget allows. In any given year we can only budget as much as came in the previous year. This commitment protects us from making presumptuous decisions. But it also means that we have to work strategically as a whole church in a scenario like this, where we would like to do something new. So, as we shared at the Family Meeting on February 28, we are asking you to partner as a church in raising our budget by $2,000 per week from here through the end of the fiscal year, the close of September. That will allow us to launch a public search for this role. The funds that we raise in this process will be dedicated to seeing our Lord worshiped among the Riau Melayu people, our newly adopted unreached people.  

Let’s give to the budget, but let’s also grow in sound doctrine. Yes, that is a pun. Here are some suggestions for growing in your understanding of God’s purposes and instructions for our gathering. Watch or listen to Bob Kauflin’s excellent podcast Sound+Doctrine. Read Kauflin’s book for worship leaders, Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God. Read Matt Merker’s new book on a theology of the church gathered, Corporate Worship: How the Church Gathers as God’s People. For a deeper dive in how the church has worshiped down the ages, read Bryan Chappell’s volume, Christ-Centered Worship. For help in connecting the gospel to the patterns of life and our life and worship as a church, read Mike Cosper’s, Rhythms of Grace: How the Church’s Worship Tells the Story of the Gospel. Listen to a sermon on singing from Colossians 3:15–17, “Christ-Centered Community.”

Finally, Let’s Worship While We Wait

There’s nothing keeping us from singing our hearts out right now. You are proving that every Sunday. Keep showing up and keep it going.

As we wait for a more vocationally devoted leader, we want to invest in our Sunday musicians and teams. In that vein, you’re invited to join us for a Hymn Sing on Sunday evening, April 11. We’ll host a weekend workshop for our Sunday musicians, and this will bring that weekend to a conclusion. We’ll have a guest in to run this workshop and lead us in singing through that weekend. More on this in the weeks ahead.

I look forward to seeing you and hearing you this Lord’s Day.