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February 13, 2006

A good friend recently compared the musical worship time at our church to kids in high school standing up during morning announcements saying the pledge of allegiance. Rote recitation of the words appearing on the Powerpoint screen in front of them. Not too much passion with the occasional exception. Not too much movement. Just… there.

I wonder what causes this. I think there are a few factors. Lemme know your thoughts on this.

1. The music team leading singing.

I know and love the folks on the music team. As one who plays about once a month, I know them well and enjoy playing with them. But these folks are not expressive when leading. Honestly, they appear to be more concerned with hitting the right notes than being free in their worship. Having been to practices, this is emphasized either directly or indirectly. And it’s not a matter of the music itself. Hymn, chorus, fast, slow. Don’t think it matters. Just a matter of the folks leading.

2. The folks that determine the set up in the room.

I wonder if folks would feel more free to worship in an expressive way if they weren’t packed into the room like sardines. If they had room to move around, would they? I’m one inclined to kneel down during worship. But come Sunday morning, there ain’t no room. The only room would be if I was on the aisle, and then I would be _in_ the aisle visible to all and in the way of someone walking. That sentence right there leads to the third guess.

3. The congregation.

We are lower to upper middle class suburbia with a twinge of hick. We’re just not generally given to public outward expression. That’s okay. That’s who we are. But I think we could be if we were taught how. Worship to me is a very private matter. That’s what I’ve been taught and that’s all I know how to do. And when I can make it private, even when surrounded, I can focus. But a while back I saw something that made my heart long for vibrance in the body. When a video was played of a staffer’s recent trip to Africa, and they showed a music worship time there, they had a full on conga line going around the room as they were all praising God musically. Now, I’m not calling for a conga line here in the ‘Couv, but those folks know how to worship together. We don’t.

Lord Jesus, please bring us a music worship leader who can teach us to worship You together.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2006 8:49 am

    I know where you’re coming from on this one, Hutch. Almost every church I went to since coming to Portland has tended to have a great pastor who can throw down a quality sermon, but with a worship team that makes me think “hey, they could’ve saved the money and just pumped a random Maranatha CD through the PA.” ‘Plastic’ is the word that Craig Allen used to describe it, if I recall.
    Of course, I don’t really know an answer to the problem… then again, I was kicked out of Music Ministry at MBC, so maybe I’m not the man to be talking to…. hahahahahaha

  2. February 14, 2006 12:45 pm

    Yes, Craig Allen! That guy rules! Plastic is a very good word.

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