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May 24, 2014

Comments

It must be tough being a worship leader and feeling like they want to do their job well, but at the same time not wanting to do it too well, lest they daw undue attention to themselves.

Sing songs people know (or can learn easily). Sing them in congregational keys. Sing and celebrate the power, glory, and salvation of God. Serve your congregation. Saturate them with the word of God. Get your face off the big screen (here’s why). Use your original songs in extreme moderation (here’s why). Err on the side of including as many people as possible in what’s going on. Keep the lights up. Stop talking so much. Don’t let loops/lights/visuals become your outlet for creativity at the expense of the centrality of the gospel. Point to Jesus. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Don’t sing songs with bad lyrics or weak theology.
Maybe the best solution would be to have songs that everyone knows really well. They could all be printed out in a book. You could project the words on a screen or even lay out copies of the book for each congregant, just so they can be reminded of the words as they sing to familiar tunes. To make sure that the songs don't have bad or weak theology, and that the words are Christ centered and that the tunes appropriately accompany the word, the book of songs could be approved by theology and music experts at the seminary.

To keep the focus on Jesus during the singing of these Christ-centered songs, the worship 'leader' should just confine themselves to playing the music to accompany the congregation in singing the familiar songs, and never say anything or be on the big screen.

What a novel concept for Christ-centered worship!!!

I agree with WL. I think most of today's "music ministry" hinges on the premise that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. I remember well my early christian years in churches where they went to great lengths to get people to "accept Christ" And for the most part they preached a Christ that was very acceptable.

Much of the "worship" then, as it is today, was adrenaline driven, and people were addicted to it just as they are sports.

We need to return to the simplicity of our founders, who when they sang a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

One thing that turned me off of worship, made it intolerable, really, was that it was constant noise. We don't seem to value silence as the monks do. I find silence much more "worshipful" than rock band-style worship.

Sorry, but the whole post was ruined with the term "performer." I understand the concept under discussion, and the sad feeling that the present culture equates happiness with the amount of entertainment value in the activity. Happiness is not so derived in experiences that enriches, makes wiser, helps one develop in character. The recent newscast concerning the Kardashian doings over the weekend seems to punctuate this sentiment with triple exclamation marks.

Perry Shields,

I truly appreciate your remarks on worshipful silence, particularly in light of your theatrical background, where stage silence may produce anxiety, anticipation, or that feeling in the audience that one has missed his/her cue. We all need quiet moments to contemplate on the meaning of the message.

Thank you, DG.

I once attended a church where an associate pastor taught a great message on the topic of silence, and how important it was to value it in our loud, noisy world. He had a creative, illustrative video to accompany it and one of the points was how uncomfortable (great theatrical example, BTW) we are with silence. His sermon over, he then turned to the Worship Band to strike up a loud, cacophonous "worship song," thereby simultaneously proving and nullifying his message.

I should add, to deepen the irony, that the subject of the clangy, percussive worship song was "Finding God in the Quiet Place."

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