ALEXANDER, Ark. – Arkansas Baptist worship ministers across the state recently had the opportunity to participate in a lunch and workshop led by Joe Crider, dean and professor of church music and worship at Southwestern Theological Baptist Seminary.
The training, held during the Arkansas Baptist Statewide Conference on Evangelism and Church Health (ECON), focused on scripture from Psalm 115, “Not to us, Lord, not to us,
but to your name give glory.”
“We have a propensity to steal God’s glory for ourselves. And the phrase ‘Not to us, Lord, not to us’ is like a repeated cry for help that all of us need to practice,” Crider told workshop participants. “Sometimes we use God as a way of pointing to us, making us visible to others, rather than God using us to point others to Him, making Him visible.”
He said the glory should be given to the Lord. God is glorified when He is seen.
“When that happens, our music becomes that much more important because of who we are responding to and who we are helping our people respond to,” he said. “Our hearts are not only prone to wander, they’re prone to steal God’s glory unless we pray. Unless we pray, not to us, Lord, not to us. God’s glory has to do with His visibility, not ours.”
Additionally, Crider said we resemble who or what we revere.
“May it be Jesus who we worship and revere,” he said. “In Him and only Him is everything that is good, everything that is beautiful, everything that is true and everything that is desirable.”
Crider reminded the worship ministers to place their trust in God.
“Our God is a speaking, seeing, hearing God. Trust Him. Because He is your help, and He is your shield,” Crider said.
The worship ministers’ lunch was one of several practical workshop lunches ECON attendees had the opportunity to participate in on Tuesday. Other workshops included a pastors’ lunch and workshop led by Nathan Lino, a Next Gen (children & student leaders) lunch and workshop led by Shane Pruitt, a ministers’ wives and women in ministry lunch and workshop led by Catherine Renfro, and a church administration lunch and workshop led by the Arkansas Baptist Foundation.