24 September 2007


Worship as Evangelism
Excellent article on the current focus on worship music as evangelism in attractional churches. Just as in the film SAVED, which she also talks about, the examples in her article are uncomfortable to read as one who has bought into that idea of worship (as music) and frankly still easily slips into that world. That said I still think that music is a viable tool for engaging the church in corporate/communal worship but the most powerful thing is what that time of singing should inspire not the experience itself, however wonderful that might be. When the experience is the (primary) end desired we miss the point.

Maybe a step in the right direction would be to stop referring to the music portion of our church services as the "worship" portion. As in "Now so and so will lead us in a time worship."Its all worship whether one is in a large sanctuary listening to a wonderfully prepared and delivered sermon, sharing a meal as part of church in a home, or picking up the trash in one's own neighborhood. For the same reason that singing words together aloud is powerful, being careful in our choice of words helps us reimagine and reframe the world we live in. If we say it enough we will start to believe it.

There is plenty more to say (both good and bad) about the movement and those movements within it etc. So feel free to comment and discuss. For further reading check out Brian McLaren's excellently instructive Open Letter to Worship Songwriters.

Jesus save us from missing the point. Save us from our self-absorbed commodified version of you and your good news. Let our songs to and about you inspire us to act in the way you acted while here on earth. After all isn't that what a follower of Christ is supposed to do?

Save us. Save me.


Shawn said...

Chris, I love that last paragraph. Wow. I quoted it over at my space. That's an amazing prayer.

Rich Kirkpatrick said...

I prefer to say this is our "worship expression" as the worship leader. Really, as a musician, I can say we make too much of our singing time or not enough. This really is just prayer, or saying back to God things the community of faith needs to say, should say, or what our response to God's character and work demands us to say. We then listen and live. It is not to make us feel something or experience something, but to encounter someone.

Anyway, thanks for you post!

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