Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Worship Music

Times, they are a-changin'. This has become obvious in our cozy little church on Sunday mornings. Some people seem to be of the "it's about time!" mindset, while others preferred things the say they were, and still others have adopted a "wait and see" attitude.

We now have an actual "band", with drums and guitars and everything. But we also have a piano and organ playing --- and this works much better than I had thought it would. We are learning "new" music and trying new things. And, in the eyes of some in the congregation, it's a mixed bag.

Part of me is a bit anxious about this. Musical preferences and ideas about what should and shouldn't be part of the Sunday morning service --- these things can run deep and highly emotional. As I have been pondering all this, it has been causing me to think much more about the entire concept of worship, especially how much we have limited ourselves in many churches by too often equating worship with the music. At the same time, we sometimes act as if we have forgotten that the object of that worship is God, not us. That seems the only explanation for complaints of, "I didn't get anything out of that worship service" or "The worship experience did nothing for me". Even worse are what some have called the "worship wars", when people argue bitterly over styles of music.

I've been listening to the song, "The Heart of Worship" and pondering the words:
When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless Your heart
I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the things I've made it
When it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath
I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the things I've made it
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I wish I could say that I now have some brilliant insights that will solve the worship dilemmas in churches throughout the land, but I don't. But I did find a lot more to ponder in Kim's post today, and would recomment it highly --- The Upward Call: A few thoughts about Christian music - Part 1

5 comments:

  1. well i do agree our focus often shifts to music...

    i went to matt redman show and coming out i just had one thing on my mind.."Jesus"
    and the music was awesome...

    i understand the problem of "too much focus on good music" rather than "Lets worship the Lord.."

    but both music and worship are strongly related ...

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  2. This is my first time here, saw your link on Mommy Life. I am a music director at a large church and have often dealt with the "style wars" in terms of music. I am thankful for your open minded post today! I hope many read it and realize that the purpose of worship is to bring something to God as an act of humility and gratitude. Anyone who serves musically in the church (organist or electric guitarist) if they are presenting an offering, is doing what delights God.

    Thanks again for your post!

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  3. This is a plug I guess... but it is also a plea... I stand in the same water as you do in terms of "the church's" lack of understanding as to what WORSHIP actually is - and is not. I write about worship, almost solely, over at my blog which is: www.commonsaints.blogspot.com. I'm going to link to this site from mine... perhaps, after reading some of my thoughts, you might feel led to cross link as well.

    Blessings to you!!! Keep on keeping on as you tread through the topsy turvy world of "church worship and music."

    -Dan McGowan, Worship Leader.

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  4. This is great. I love this song. It puts us in out place and we need to realize that it's all about Jesus!! Thanks!

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  5. Hubby had an interesting thought about Neil Postman's ideas about "the medium is the message" and the church. I hope he blogs about it soon. . .

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