One of my twitter friends @youcanknowgod Michael Le(I can’t spell his name)wkawski just wrote a post that knocked me out of my chair. Lately I have been processing thoughts on worship. It all came from stuff that has come up at Discovery and questions that have been raised about Crusade recently.
I would just link you to his post here, but many of you wouldn’t bother to click it! So here is the post in its entirity. It puts alot of stuff that I have been processing lately into words. I agree 100% – the parenthetical comments are mine.
I think it’s important for the philosophy of the worship leader to match the philosophy of the pastor and the philosophy of the church service on Sunday. Here’s something I wrote and sent to all of our worship leaders, not as a response to anything, but as a reminder.
– I like upbeat and celebration rather than intimate and thoughtful. It’s okay to do these kind of songs, but make them the spice rather than the meal.
– I like to get up right after a rockin’ song, not after some prayerful meditation. I typically start pretty light and funny and conversational, so a slow song doesn’t set that up well. (This varies week to week at Discovery… so would only apply some of the time)
– I love ending the service with something loud and memorable. either a performance tune or a rockin worhsip song. get people leaving on a high note.
– We love opening the service with a popular cover tune. That kind of stuff unfolds people’s arms. If a guest is there and he hears a popular song, he will relax and be more receptive to the message. this isn’t a stand up and sing song. (This also gives folks an opportunity to get into the worship space…)
– We need to program and pick songs with the unchurched in mind. If it would sound confusing to someone who hasn’t grown up in church, we probably shouldn’t do it.
– We like songs for dudes. not necessarily love songs to Jesus about how beautiful he is or how intimate we love him. That may be true, but most guys don’t talk like that.
– We are rock and roll, and we like it loud
– I like a mix of songs that people will sing and maybe one new or newer tune each week. If it’s all new, then we will lose people. if it’s all old, then we will become boring. (This is a must!)
– I don’t like it when worship leaders set up songs for 2-3 minutes. The little sentences during intros or quoting a verse during a guitar solo is very cool, but in general, I’ll do the talking and you do the singing. I promise not to pick up your guitar during my sermon and lead 10 extra minutes of worship if you promise not to preach a sermon setting up a song.
– A worship leaders job is to lead people in worship, not just worship personally. If a singer has his eyes closed, he’s not engaging the crowd. you’re a worship LEADER. if nobody is following, you’re not leading.
– Think of how the words would sound to unchurched men. that’s the filter. If a song has a confusing lyric, we need to explain what it means or skip it.
– It’s nice when the songs fit the theme, but we connect those dots way more than our people do. there are some awesome songs that are just awesome to sing. the song right before the message and right after the message should fit the best…some of the other songs can just be great songs. if they all fit the theme, then that’s great…but an unsingable song that fits the theme doesn’t do much for most people.
– It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s not…old hymns redone are also connecting points. People in Cartersville have some church background, so reaching back and pulling something that they remember and updating it is a great way to make a connection. (Same applies for Greenville)
I’m not trying to preach at anybody by posting this, but Michael really has put into words alot of the things I have been processing lately. Head over to Michael’s blog and give him and Oak Leaf Church some love!
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