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Random thoughts about "modern worship."

1. The genre of music that we call "worship" is going to change.  And soon.  

I'm not attempting some prophetic word here, but think about it: what we call "modern" and "contemporary" worship showed up less than ten years ago.  Look at the songs you sing in church - 90% of them are less than a decade old.  This isn't a bad thing, but it scares me that people are clinging to the genre just as tightly as the last generation clung to traditional hymns.

It's not a question of if worship music will change, but when it will change.  A lot of it is purely cultural, too.  I'm sure that plenty of people in west Africa and southern Asia worship our God through music that sounds completely different than American worship music, but that doesn't make it any less honoring or sweet to the ears of He who is to be worshiped.

I'm not saying big choruses and dotted-eighth-note guitars and string sections and percussion loops and obligatory rhythm synth parts are bad.  But they will likely be replaced.  And that's an OK thing.

2. Worshiping God can be accomplished without any music at all.

Tons of people who call themselves Christians believe that worship is a set of songs that we sing together on Sundays, and nothing more.  What does the Bible say about worship, though?  We are to "present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship" (Rom. 12:1).  Tell me where it says anything about music in that verse.
 
Wow, that sounded jumpy.  Really, though, think about it - singing songs together is just one of countless ways that worship our God.  
We worship Him by offering our finances to Him (not just a tithe, but complete control of everything). 
We worship Him by loving on others, caring less about ourselves and more about what's going on in the lives around us.  
We worship Him by serving in the ways that He's gifted us, without trying to gain recognition or congratulations from others.
We worship him by following His commands in Scripture, knowing that He has regenerated us and that we have authority to cast out the enemy as he tries to persuade us otherwise.

The more we think of what worship is outside of the church service, the more we realize that it is continuous.  Sunday is not our one chance to worship - it's the culmination of an entire week of worship.  It's the evidence of what's going on in our individual lives.

Finally,

3. Looking cool on the worship team has begun to bother me quite a bit.

I have nothing against people being artistic with the way they live.  But the worship-leader-fashion-circuit that has slammed our culture only makes me think one thing: the attention is supposed to be on the leader, not on Jesus.  Why would I want to bring any sort of distraction into the time of worship music?  Every ounce of attention, satisfaction, glory, praise, adoration, and LOVE should be aimed at Jesus!  And shame on me if I try to gain acceptance by my outward appearance.  

The concept of the clay pots that carry the treasure of Him (2 Cor. 4:7) is the best way to explain it: the pot isn't what's worth anything...it's what is in the pot that's the treasure.  "...To show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us."

Leaders, please do your absolute best to blend in, get out of the way, and allow for there to be a wide path that aims straight at the One who we're worshiping.  Jesus, it's about You.  Not me.

(Disclaimer: I don't believe that the worship music I write is what is going to bring change in the worship genre.  It might add to it, it might subtract from it, or it might do nothing.  That's up to Him.  I need to simply own with conviction that no music that I could ever offer would be considered worthy of His attention if it wasn't for Jesus.)



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