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Thursday, November 10, 2005

American Idol: Three Lessons for Worship Leaders

Americanidol Sharing a bowl of buttery popcorn, the Beauty Queen (my wife) and I joined about 32 million other Americans for the season finale of American Idol. Admittedly, I was cheering for Bo, the southern rocker, but couldn’t really be disappointed when country-sweetheart Carrie walked away with the big prize. Ultimately, having risen above a multitude of contenders, both Bo and Carrie were the crème de la crème.

From my vantage point as a couch potato, I appreciated all the fine talent and terrific production, but as a worship leader, the show gave me a thin-slice study in current pop culture. I caught three big cultural clues about how our worship might better connect with the hearts of the people around us.

First, authenticity counts. America combed through 100,000 singers to find two genuine articles. Technically, there were better singers along the way, but these last two were clearly more than vocalists; Bo and Carrie were believable representatives of their genre. We could picture Carrie Underwood touring with Rascal Flatts. We believed Bo Bice could front Lynyrd Skynyrd. One insightful moment came in the heat of the competition’s final song; Carrie’s voice broke and she began to cry. While some called it an awful performance, it was awfully honest, too. The American people are drawn to authenticity. They gave Carrie the gold.

Judge Randy says, “Keep it real,” and worship leaders – of all people – should take note. If we’re preoccupied with our licks or our mix instead of the glory of God, Jesus will know instantly, and everyone else will eventually figure it out, too. The people in our congregations are counting on the Lead Worshiper to connect with God in “spirit and in truth.” (Jn. 4:24)

Second (and related), character counts. Heartland values weighed heavily in this contest. In the end, all the big-city nuance and pseudo-hugs melted away; the play-off came down to a fascinating pair: A small town Oklahoma college girl and an Alabama boy who entered the contest on a bet with his mom. Both Bo and Carrie spoke with down-home charm; they revealed themselves as gracious, humble people. They honored their parents and they spoke well of each other. When their performances were judged harshly, they readily acknowledged that their critics had made a good point. When their hometowns honored them, they choked out words of quiet gratitude. People admire – and long for – this kind of character.

Talent can usher a worship leader into positions of great influence before his or her “heartland” has caught up. To our shame, Bo and Carrie were more gracious than many of our ranks. We are not called to be reclusive, self-obsessed artists, but faithful shepherds who gently lead God’s beloved sheep to the Living Waters (Ez. 34).

Third, quality counts. Listeners have become sophisticated and can identify a hack rather quickly. This season at Idol, a nation phoned in a half-billion votes on their area of expertise: what they liked, and what they didn’t like. For decades, our culture has freely sampled the fine delicacies of a musical smorgasbord, and this has resulted in some discerning taste buds.

These folks undoubtedly have some reasonable expectations as they enter our auditoriums. We undoubtedly have some limitations as we strike up the all-volunteer praise band. Most of all, the Spirit of God undoubtedly has some intentions for the encounter that transcends both.

Worship leaders need to champion the message that worship is not a spectator sport; a congregation is not an audience. We can underscore this by picking songs that maximize congregational involvement and minimize a spectator mentality. Musicians and singers should be discipled to release their “gig” on Sunday for the higher call of humbly supporting the praises of God’s people.

It’s important to add here that biblical convictions about the nature of worship won’t excuse a lack of preparation. We can remind the congregation that they are the choir, but this will not fix our bad notes, tighten our sloppy rhythms or upgrade our crummy sound systems. Making God’s praises glorious (Ps. 66:2) requires a bit of elbow grease, and He is eminently worthy of this.

Saints, the real Finale is coming.

On that day, every knee will bow to the true and living God, and every spotlight will be upon Him alone. There will be no contenders because every idol – American and otherwise – will fall.

As worship leaders, we have the astonishing task of preparing our hearts and our people in anticipation of that day. May God find our worship authentic, our characters transformed, and may we offer up a quality of praise that directs our congregations to gaze upon the face of God Himself.

(Phil Christensen is worship pastor at Cedar Hills Evangelical Free Church (CHEF) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is married to Mitzi, the Beauty Queen, and is father of four great kids. Phil has served as a worship development missionary in the Pacific Northwest and is co-author of two books for Kregel Publishing. You can reach him via email at philc@chefc.com.)

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November 10, 2005 in Worship | Permalink

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Comments

good post. the big issue at my church is, "Do we give everyone who thinks they can sing/play a chance on Sunday mornings?" or, "Do we protect the quality and use mostly our most talented people?" I seem to be in the minority when I think that quality matters and if that means putting your best foot forward on a Sunday than I say, do it. Not to say that people can't be trained, encouraged, and mentored. But someone who is tone deaf doesn't need to let us all know that they're tone deaf on Sunday morning. Quality, quality, quality.

Posted by: Bert | Nov 10, 2005 11:44:02 AM

I really enjoyed this post. thanks for the insight.

The important balance of authenticity and excellence is one that every worship leader should take seriously. I wonder if young worship leaders know where they can get any real training in this. when i started leading worship 5 years ago, i knew very little about it. the only thing that really prepared me was a tape set from Louie Giglio called "Into His Presence: how to become an effective Lead Worshipper." those 2 tapes taught me more of the importance of heart and quality in a worship leader. i am sure that you could get those from one of the Passion websites.

i also realize now how important it is for worship leaders who lead in non-traditional settings to pass on what they have learned about being yourself onstage, and about being the best musician you can be... all for the glory of God.

Posted by: Lee McDerment | Nov 10, 2005 12:35:25 PM

This is interesting. Last night in our Bible study at church we looked at principles of "corporate worship" from Deuteronomy 12 (we are going through a systematic study of Deut.) We found 8 principles embedded in this chapter in regard to what pleases God in the church worship setting/meeting. I'll list the first two of them:
1. Worship with First Love...v.v.1-3 command a tearing down of idolatry in our hearts and lives. We qualify as worshippers only if we come to Him completely purged of love for anything that steals His glory from our lives...This truth should always be our emphasis!
2. Worship with Propriety...v.4 and 29-31 God distinctly reveals that He does not want worship offered to Him in pagan/worldly ways. Here He says, "be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying,'How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.' You MUST NOT worship the Lord your God in their way..." This call for propriety is echoed in the N.T. in First Corinthians 11-14. The American gods are materialism and hedonism. Our culture expresses worship to these gods through rock-n-roll and rap music. I wonder when worship leaders tell us "style does'nt matter" to God. I actually believe God is offended when we offer worship to Him in worldly ways--rock-n-roll/casual shallow lyrics/man-centered-flesh-pleasing styles that fail to honor the distinction that God seems to want in our expressions and acts of worship to Him. If we are taking our cues from American Idol where does that leave God in our attempts to worship Him?

Posted by: pdl | Nov 10, 2005 1:00:03 PM

I had similar thoughts as I watched the last few episodes of the summer series "Rockstar INXS." I think, also, that Authenticity, Character, and Excellence are related and intertwined. You can't have, or at least you don't WANT, one without the other two. When I "audition" new singers, for instance, I am looking for a blend of these things, but if I have to choose, I'll put Authenticity and Character above Excellence, although I don't want tone-deaf people either. And I'm looking for someone who has the genuine energy and enthusiasm to make everybody want to worship the way they are.

No, it's not a "performance." That doesn't mean it should be mediocre, though. Instead, because it's direct worship (yeah, I know, our whole lives are worship... I remind people all the time), it should be with our whole mind heart soul and strength. Too often I hear musicians (some of them quite good ones) say something like "Well, it's only church..." after a disappointing Worship set.

Heaven help them if they say that in front of me... ;-)

Peter

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Nov 10, 2005 1:06:49 PM

pdl writes [Our culture expresses worship to these gods through rock-n-roll and rap music. I wonder when worship leaders tell us "style does'nt matter" to God. I actually believe God is offended when we offer worship to Him in worldly ways--rock-n-roll/casual shallow lyrics/man-centered-flesh-pleasing styles that fail to honor the distinction that God seems to want in our expressions and acts of worship to Him.]

As cultures have emerged over the past few hundred years, the styles of music and art that emerged have very quickly been put to "non-God pleasing" secular use. Lots of classical music has been written to celebrate very anti-christian views. Lots of folk music, jazz, even "gospel" styles have as well. Photography, when it first appeared, was IMMEDIATELY used as an avenue for pornography, the same for film.

David was pretty roundly criticized by his wife (and probably a few others) for dancing like an idiot in worship before the ark of the covenant, and we know how that panned out.

Let's be slow to judge.

Peter

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Nov 10, 2005 1:13:50 PM

What if we started with the question: "What pleases God in worship?" Would rock-n-roll emerge as the preferred style from that question. I believe the move to rock-n-roll in worship services has come from the question: "What pleases the flesh of the unregenerate person that we are trying to attract to our church?" Worship is to be directed to God and centered in His desires...it is His and worldliness doesn't please Him...it may get the crowds to come in but it leaves God out.

Posted by: pdl | Nov 10, 2005 1:42:19 PM

PDL said: "I actually believe God is offended when we offer worship to Him in worldly ways--rock-n-roll/casual shallow lyrics/man-centered-flesh-pleasing styles..."

There was a time in the not too distant past when Pianos were considered the “Devil’s Work” then they slowly became accepted, then the Organ was used by those liberal folk to lead the people astray, then they were accepted, next came the guitar, and the drums and the keyboard and the… get the point! When are we going to wake up to the point that it isn’t the sound as much as were our hearts and minds are during worship?

If you go to church because the “band” or “worship team” is good, I really don’t care, if they are lifting up Christ and the message is Christ centered, you know, before long God is going to talk to you about where you put your affection. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit knows how to do his job! I would rather have someone come to church because the music is “good” then stay home and not have their souls fed with the Word of God. What is more important here people? Keeping our “religious format” or reaching people with the Gospel? Seems like a pretty easy choice for me.

Blessings,
Pastor Al

Posted by: Pastor Al | Nov 10, 2005 1:58:45 PM

God is THE origninal creative artist. He didn't settle for one example of flora, or confine Himself to one species of fauna. Nor did he create only one sound.

Posted by: Julie | Nov 10, 2005 2:05:22 PM

pdl says [What if we started with the question: "What pleases God in worship?" Would rock-n-roll emerge as the preferred style from that question.]

Well, why not? It's a great way to worship God with your whole heart soul mind and strength in my opinion. It's a very authentic way to worship, imho...

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Nov 10, 2005 2:15:36 PM

First, we are quickly going to get off the subject & original intent of the artical which, in my hummmble opinion is not about styles but overall substance in worship.
If that happens, once again a thread will head off into the wild blue ministry yonder and Todd will be forced into "What's A Blogger To Do, Rant Vol. 2." Can we try not going there?
That being said....we know that music, in and of itself, can have a powerful infleuance(sp?)on our hearts, minds, emotions and yes, spirits. There are Christian "rock songs" that drive a message into my heart and mind like nothing else.
There are Christian rap artists who make me smile if only for their creativity in communication the message. And yet, there are some songs & artists that are labled Christian that just because they screech, howl, grunt or growl "Jesus" or "righteous" or some other "Christian" term while thrashing a guitar believes it's a positive "worshipful" thing. I don't agree with that. There is a point at which regardless of the location or lyrical content, the music can override the message.
I think, like so many other issues discussed, falls to BALANCE.
Ben E.

Posted by: Ben E. | Nov 10, 2005 3:14:25 PM

Right On! Authenticity, character, and quality allows for all to worship in spirit and truth.

Posted by: larry | Nov 10, 2005 3:39:42 PM

Ben Said: "If that happens, once again a thread will head off into the wild blue ministry yonder and Todd will be forced into "What's A Blogger To Do, Rant Vol. 2." Can we try not going there?"

LOL

Posted by: Pastor Al | Nov 10, 2005 3:41:23 PM

While we are on music let me just say I am loving Matt Redman's "Blessed Be Your Name" What a great song. Get it if you haven't already.

Sorry Todd I couldn't help it! It is such a great song! :-)

Posted by: Pastor Al | Nov 10, 2005 3:43:39 PM

Eye Yi Yi!

Just when I thought it was safe to come out and play.

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Nov 10, 2005 3:45:16 PM

Well,

I thought the post was fantastic. I'm going to agree with both Todd and Peter Hamm on their point of views. I have watched both programs and have argued this very point that the musician who is real and connects with what they are singing/playing is how you reach people with music. I was very blessed to sit under a director who has taught me that very thing. Oh, and by the way Ben E., I loved your comments. Life is always about balance. Balance in the sense that what we are giving people musically is really coming from the heart and not our desire to satisfy ourselves. For example, The blonde girl(INXS sorry forgot her name) was always challenged to a singing dual but instead of complaining about always being chosen, she rose to every performance like it was her last. Now I watched that show several times and I have to rant that she didn't win. Again, bad with names but the pretty boy didn't connect with his audience like she did and it was very unfortunate she wasn't selected. We connected with her every time she sang and she did it with style and passion. In a world of entertainment the ones who last are beyond talent but are able to connect their message(in this case usually bad) to their audiences. That's how music is supposed to be done. Not disconnected and selfish, but personal, meaningful and vunerable. How many times are we guilty of missing the point that God has given us everything we have and talent is a gift that we use for His glory. With that said, I agree that we must be excellent. Our strive for perfection should refect our desire to give God our best. Not so that we can say, We've got it goin' on in our churches. I've had the privilege to work with some incredible talent and been part of some amazing musical events. They didn't get the exposure that they deserved but none the less, it was top notch stuff. However, God would have rather taken some of our events to even farthur places but people and their big egos got in the way. It really saddens me when people try to replace God's spotlight with their own. Simply put, I believe God wants our best and we all need to give it, no matter what it is. Not for us, but for Him. Its a personal thing. We must check ourselves. Only we can know who we're doing it for. I hope this gets us back on track Todd. God bless.

Posted by: Pete King | Nov 10, 2005 4:36:49 PM

Let me ask this question: What is worship? I'm curious how people define it, because I know from personal experience how easy it is to define worship by style of music (classical/traditional, contemporary, rock, etc.), by instrument (organs are worship, guitars and drums are rock), or by activity (singing and prayer are worship; listening to a message is instruction). These parenthetical examples, by the way, are intended to be extremes.

In particular, how do those of you who are worship leaders define worship? (Define, not describe.) And if anyone is interested, I'll post my definition, admitting right up front that it is very limited in scope and may not be descriptive enough for many people.

Posted by: Randy Ehle | Nov 10, 2005 5:03:56 PM

Christian rock is a disputable topic. Personally, Christian rock, for me, has been a major element in my spiritual growth. I highly recommend it. I think a lot of it depends on what generation you come from. I'm only 43. What should it be: "Turn down that noise!" or "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!"

King David was also (unfairly) put down for his worship style:

2 Samuel 6
12 Now King David was told, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God." So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, 15 while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

16 As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.

17 They brought the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings [f] before the LORD. 18 After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD Almighty. 19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.

20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!"

21 David said to Michal, "It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD's people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor."

23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

Posted by: Bernie Dehler | Nov 10, 2005 5:04:06 PM

What I struggle with is the "authenticity, character & quality" issue here in the small church.
I started at a large church. Live TV, 100 plus voice choir, orchestra and all. We had excellent music but the overall authenticity & character of the worship at times leaned more towards the performance/show side of things.
Now, here in a small church, it's a balancing act. I want to lead with authenticity, character and quality but sometimes all you have to work with are authentic character's who HAVE voices!
I have to carefully pick & choose. At some point before Christmas, I will be using someone who's vocal capabilities aren't of the higest quality BUT, his voice will lend itself to the authenticity of worship aspect of the song. It's a nice arrangement of Joel Engles "I Bow Down" and this person can at least "carry a tune" and the choir will be supporting him. I'm intentially picking authtenticity & heart over quality because I think it will RAISE the quality.
I want folks to get a sense that this aspect of worship is for all.
The down side? I'm once again opening the door for ANYONE with a voice to request a vocal spot.
Mrs. Mary's birthyday is next Sunday and her granddaughter will be up from Wetumpka, AL and wants to sing her special solo version of "His Eye Is On the Sparrow" for Grandma.
Mrs. Mary's a delightful lady and her granddaughter's song will bless her heart and I want Mrs. Mary's heart to be blessed. Many will be touched and there will be authenticity & character in the house!
But...what if the grandchild's singing is something out of your worst American Idol nightmare?
Hey, you let ol' so and so sing? He isn't the best quality singer? How can you deny the request of someone else who has, at best, an adquate voice?
What defines authenticity, character & quality in worship is greatly effected by the circumstance of your particular church body.
I'm blessed to serve pretty good people so I haven't been hit with the scenerio...yet.
Ben E.
PS...The story of Mrs. Mary & her grandchild are COMPLETELY FICTICIOUS! I deny EVERYTHING!!!
Furthermore, I like the song "His Eye Is On the Sparrow" and have sung it as a solo myself.

Posted by: Ben E. | Nov 10, 2005 5:11:49 PM

It seems to me that one can be "real", "authentic" and WRONG!

There is a man called Saul that was "real", "authentic", "passionate", "driven", and even "commissioned". Seems to me that he was struck blind and brought to his knees (or is it the other way around?).

I have never been moved to take a cup of cold water to a thirsty person because of a song, regardless of how "real" or "authentic" the singer or song writer was.

I have been moved to take a cup of cold water to another person because of the grace and kindness that has been shown to me.

It seem like it is easy to lose sight of the purpose of any action. This becomes evident in music too.

Look at what happened with Elvis Presley or many of the "Rock and Roll greats". They left their humbleness for the bright lights and destroyed themselves and their careers. (Then were placed, in some people's minds, as gods.)

I pray that this is not what happens in your churches. (Been there, seen it happen too many times.)

Posted by: Mike | Nov 10, 2005 5:21:15 PM

People auditioned for American Idol thinking they were great singers and being told they were awful or at least unremarkable. At least they can always find a local church that will tolerate mediocrity for 3-4 minutes at a time.

Posted by: Billy | Nov 10, 2005 6:12:44 PM

Billy,
I do not want to read too deeply or mis-characterize your remarks but taken on face value, I find them somewhat unkind.
Yes, there are "local churches" who are all too willing to except mediocracy. They're fine with the unremarkable and perhaps even awful and have no desire to change it.
I've worked at one or two and they drove me nuts and they felt the same towards me. Even the most minor of efforts to raise the quality or deepen their understanding of worship had me labeled as "arrogant" and a "know it all."
And yes, there are those with those same quailities (or lack there of) who think too highly of themselves and will push to be in the spotlight at these excepting churches.
I've also tolerated some exceptionally talented people who were also the biggest pains in the butt I've ever met AND I'm sure there are a few who might say the same about me!
But at many "local churches," what you or I or American Idol might label as "unremarkable" stands above the average.
I in no way wish to promote mediocraty in worship at my church. I'm as picky as I can be with the gifts I have to work with. But if there's one thing that holds true, it's that time and again I find myself humbled by an unremarkable voice that comes from a heart that only desires to bring their best to honor God. With that criteria in mind, I will readily give them 3 or 4 minutes to share.
Again, I apologize if I've read too deeply or wrongly into your comments but I've been in the "big show" with high standards and a host of quality talents & gifts and please understand that I'm not knocking it. But right now, from where I'm honored to serve, I'll take my small local church any day.
God Bless
Ben E.
Oh and Mike, these people I speak of sing from hearts that consistantly put roofs over heads, clothes on backs and food on the tables of people who "thrist" for such "cold cups of water." Their simple songs sung with unremarkable voices touch my heart and move me to serve the same.
Once again, God Bless.

Posted by: Ben E | Nov 11, 2005 12:54:22 AM

Randy writes [In particular, how do those of you who are worship leaders define worship?]

Thanks for asking! I am a worship pastor in a medium sized church (just under 1000 weekly attendance in 3 services) and we are planning a whole series on worship for the new year. I was hoping somebody might ask this question.

The best definition of worship I've found is Romans 12:1-8, or, in fact, the entire chapter. So, it's presenting our whole selves as living sacrifices. Music isn't worship. Music isn't even a "part" of worship. It's just one expression of it. Every single thing we do is intended as worship.

But I often say that there certainly is a unique thing that happens when the people of God gather to worship together using music and song. And that act finds its best expression in the psalms. I also love the passage Bernie brought up. David dancing is my favorite Romans 12 worship experience in the Bible, even though it's OT.

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Nov 11, 2005 7:28:17 AM

Gentlemen,

You missed my point. I don't believe in "bad music" in the church (see psalm 33:1-3). It should be done skillfully, joyfully and authentically...but it should flow from what pleases God and not what pleases man. I am contending that rock-n-roll in the church starts with the notion of what attracts unregenerate man (seekers/post-moderns) into our church. My question--which nobody dealt with--is: Is that the proper starting point of what style of music should characterize our worship of God. I maintain that God desires distinction between HOW we worship Him and HOW the world "worships" its gods (see my original post on this subject). And, yes, I do know how each generation has wrangled over instrumentation and style etc. But my point is not so much about those things, but WHY does rock-n-roll rule in so many churches. What is wrong with making a clear distinction between how the world chooses to express its rebellion against God in its music and how the church chooses to express its worship to God through music. Why do we associate the Hymns with "bad" "unauthentic" expressions of praise. Again, I believe it is because our basis for our music choices in worship have flowed from our desire to please unregenerate flesh rather than to please God first...
pdl
ps. Todd, I won't post again on this if it upsets you so bad where you feel you need to mock my well-intended comments...let me know if further comment is welcomed on this subject!

Posted by: pdl | Nov 11, 2005 9:40:24 AM

pdl writes [My question--which nobody dealt with--is: Is that the proper starting point of what style of music should characterize our worship of God.]

First, pdl, I don't think that I missed the point, and I actually did deal with that question. I feel absolutely that contemporary music is THE proper starting point of worship music style. You're free to disagree, of course, and I applaud your comments, because I enjoy having my own sword sharpened, and these discussions are a great way to do that.

And as far as not flowing from what pleases man... Don't you think all good music pleases man! Bach's Concerto for two violins, Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven's 9th (I have goose bumps just thinking about it), Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo", Andrae Crouch's "Soon and Very Soon", David Crowder's "Here is Our King." The list goes on...

I believe you may be almost trying to make an argument for God's musical tastes in music being what you see as being "non-fleshly". (I sincerely apologize if I'm putting words in your mouth, I do NOT mean to do that.) In a certain sense, though, all music is fleshly, since it requires our flesh (which is FALLEN, but not inherently EVIL) to perform it.

That said, your experiences of contemporary music being used in the church may be so negative as to bear out your opinions. I'm sorry about that. A lot of us are doing music with authenticity, character, and excellence... and really ROCKING when we do it, and doing it very worshipfully. And in some cases, I think we're starting to SET the pace, rather than follow it, like the church did centuries ago with regard to the arts.

Todd, you can come out now... ;-)

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Nov 11, 2005 10:08:07 AM

Peter,

Here is my question. Should we make a distinction between HOW (style) we worship God and HOW (style) the world expresses its rebellion against God? Rock/rap is at this moment in our culture the preferred musical vehicle of rebellious expression against God and truly aids the unregenerated in his service to other gods. Thus, the style itself carries with it a message of rebellion! Should we then take this vehicle and employ it as our mode of expression of worship to God. I am saying that in that light (as seen in Scripture--see my original post on this subject) God does make a distinction on HOW (style) we must worship him. I find an unwillingness for many worship leaders to deal with this specific question. The overriding assumption is that style doesn't matter. It does! By the way, I used to lead my own worship band and even wrote a lot of songs to boot...but then conviction of the above principles began to change my approach to style and content of worship music. I actually believe that it honors God if the church's music is distinct in style and content from the world's music. Such a distinction is good, called for and in keeping with the message of the Gospel which exalts God and convicts the world of is need to repent. Also, I like different styles of music ( I play sax and happen to love jazz), but again that is not a proper style for worship of God for the reasons I have stated.

pdl

Posted by: pdl | Nov 11, 2005 10:33:42 AM

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