Archives for posts with tag: Contemporary Christian Music

It’s appropriate that I begin my thoughts by defining what I mean when I refer to worship. Yes, whatever we do for the glory of God is an act of worship. However, my focus will be on the use of music in worship. I want to parse my thoughts on how we express worship of God in the context of what primarily happens during Sunday services.

Music is one expression of worship. Style has no bearing on worship. Music is a means to glorify God by enjoying Him. Corporate singing is a taste of what Heaven will be like. It can be a connection to the saints of old. It strengthens the unity of the Body of Christ. Music allows us to understand deeper meaning than words alone. Worship is a means for learning and relearning theology. Worship can heal the soul.

We are called to worship through song numerous times in the Bible. Worship is an act of obedience. It is a call to repentance. Worship does not need to stir emotion to be worship. Worship reminds us of God’s past greatness and His future plan. Worship is about God’s story. Our story intersects with God’s, but it is not the focus of worship.

Worship is difficult to define. I don’t claim to have a complete definition of worship here.  I’m not sure we will fully understand worship before we stand in the presence of Almighty God.  So what have I missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve used this space for writing anything. In some ways what I am about to embark upon seems like a departure from the sorts of things I’ve written about previously. I have been thinking a lot about the theology of worship lately and I plan to use this space to work out my own beliefs on what is perhaps the most important thing a Christian can do. I won’t commit to any particular frequency or number of posts on worship, but  I suspect that will become the primary focus of this blog. I welcome any questions or challenges to my thinking and since I plan to work out my faith through writing I doubt that all my writings here will be my final thoughts on worship. I don’t intend to change anyone’s mind with this blog, simply to refine my own thoughts and theology.

A bit of background first, I grew up in churches that sang mostly hymns as well as some choruses (though only a few that could have been considered modern). I learned music from an early age and started playing guitar starting in 8th grade. Very quickly, even as a part of my early guitar training, I was tapped to help lead worship (read: worship in music). My love of modern music (in nearly every style) led to a love of modern worship music. My love of songwriting gave me a deep sense of the importance of lyrical content.

Since college I have attended churches that leaned into the contemporary style of music though not all of them exclusively sang contemporary songs. If I am honest with myself I have been attracted to the rockstar status of some worship leaders, even if they weren’t particularly famous, and desired a similar status for myself. I sense God is leading me away from that, though perhaps not from contemporary style.

Though I firmly believe everything we do for God is an act of worship, my main concern is with corporate worship in music. I am concerned with the content of the words and the aesthetics of the music. I am concerned with the ways in which we present worship music, both to local congregations and to the world at large through the “Christian” music industry. I am concerned with how music is led. I am concerned with the visual elements that invariably accompany Sunday morning services, both through stage design and architecture. I am also concerned with how we may all better live our lives out in worship to our Creator, but this point in particular I do not intend to address.

So please think with me as I consider what God would have for us as worshipers.