The Future of Contemporary Worship

I think it’s time we consider abandoning the idea of Contemporary Worship in the modern church. This is probably the last thing you ever thought would come from me, especially seeing as I’ve been serving on worship teams and ministry teams to do contemporary worship since 1997 when I was but…

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The Parable of the Lifesaving Station

This was from a message I shared on June 23, 2013. I’m not sure who to credit with this story, but I know that it’s not me. While it may be an old story, it’s worth sharing and reflecting upon.  On a dangerous sea coast where shipwrecks often occur, there…

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How to Listen to a Sermon

Luke 8:18: Therefore consider carefully how you listen. In my lifetime, I’ve had a chance to listen to thousands of sermons. Growing up going to church almost every Sunday and now working in the church myself for over ten years, countless sermons have been preached for me. I’m sure they…

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Elements of Worship: Confession

John Dowden, the Bishop of Edinburgh in the 1880s said, “We lay down our burdens at the doorway before entering upon the praises of God.” When we approach our holy, mighty and perfect God, we become aware of the sin that we carry. The prophet Isaiah wrote about it in Isaiah…

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Unexpected Lessons: Swing Dancing

If you happen to follow me on Twitter (@mlstarner) or on Facebook, you probably notice that I’m often talking about swing dancing. Over the summer, a few folks at Journey and I decided to venture downtown Grand Rapids and check out the Grand Rapids Original Swing Society (or GROSS, for…

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