Here is another bit of a conversation I had recently. He is very passionate about the subject. Very inspiring!
"It seems to me that when doing worship music, there are these boundaries on what you can and can’t play, and how it should sound, and how everyone expects it to sound. It seems we can’t use other types of music to praise God except for this worship “style” that’s been developed.
True, it’s sad that many groups in various genres have given those styles a bad name because of their self-glorification. But just because we’ve developed a new genre shouldn’t make it more acceptable for worship. It’s sad that we even had to make our own genre. It’s not about joining together to praise God, but HOW we worship. To some people, it’s the only way they’ve been shown how to worship, and that’s dangerous.
Now, it’s also a popular thing. We have hard rock bands doing worship albums because it’s “what you do.” They all sound the same. If they’re a hard rock band, they soften up.
I knew a band that started as a rock band. Eventually they decided to give up the ego that can go with it and just play worship music, which is commendable. But I saw them play later and they did the same thing as before, but now they don’t interact with the people they were leading, and they just plain seemed bored. They said they didn’t want to “perform or entertain, only worship.” But no one paid attention to them because they didn’t look like they wanted to be there. They were so focused on not performing, that they went to the other side of the spectrum and still weren’t focused on worshipping.
I’m not knocking worship music. In fact, I lead the music for a youth group. I feel very blessed that I have the freedom to try new things and be creative and even a little experimental in that environment. The group I lead has shown they enjoy more variety.
There is no music even involved in his worship experience. Just him, a spectacular sandwich, and God. I love Romans 12:1- Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. The Message version says So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering.
Nowhere in there does it mention playing music. That’s just one creative expression we humans do TO worship. This is ironic, because you'll notice my interests are all things music. Our music should be an outpouring of our worship, no matter what style that may be. We need to focus again on making our LIVES worship, and letting creativity flow from that, not focus so much on our worship music style and hope people find God in it."
Here is a bit of my response -
I agree about the worship music phenomenon. I am a little disturbed by the “worship bandwagon” being jumped on by just about every possible permutation of Christian artist or band. The motivations may be wholly pure. But, superficially, it looks like the trendy thing to do. As if the performance oriented music wasn’t a form of worship. I find that a bit narrow and embarrassing if it’s true. I hope I am wrong. I think we have different kinds of callings as ministers of the gospel. Some are specifically called to facilitate corporate worship. Some are called to minister through more performance oriented “concertizing” kinds of expression. And maybe some have both. They may change as the seasons of our lives change. Whatever the case may be, one is not more valid than the other. Just different functions in the body. But to record a bunch of standard worship covers in the style of your band seems a bit self serving and a little too easy, especially when worship music is particularly in popular Christian culture. If you really want to serve the body of Christ as a person who brings a corporate expression to the believer, why not write a song that gives us a fresh new voice and perspective. With all due respect to Paul Baloche, we really don’t need another recording/arrangement of “Open the Eyes of My Heart”; or “Breathe” or “Lord I Lift Your Name on High” or “Better is One Day”....etc.
I think this whole worship music as a style is a very temporary thing. You and I both know that worship has no “style.” Style is just the cultural language in which we express ourselves. It is going to change; sometimes gradually and sometimes sporadically. When it’s sporadic it looks more revolutionary than anything. But what’s happening is the change that had been long overdue comes dramatically as the gap between cultural change and our desires to hold on to “the good old days” (whatever era you live in) stretches to the point of breaking; like stretching a rubber band long and hard enough that it snaps. When it snaps we have a brief moment of freshness as the church manages to live in it’s own time. Unfortunately, the churches habit is to sanctify and freeze this special season and create a whole new “good ol’ days” that the next generation will have to wrestle with. Have hope! You too may be your kid’s worst cultural nightmare!
I’m kidding!........sort of.