5 Ways to Battle the Never-Ending Worship Wars

5 Ways To Battle The Never-Ending Worship Wars

So let me guess: Someone recently complained about the music at your church.

It doesn’t matter what style of music your church features or how traditional or edgy your music is; complaining about music is almost a universal phenomenon in the church today.

Some of that is generated by church shoppers (I outlined 5 characteristics of church shoppers here), but the problem is more pervasive than hearing from a few church shoppers.

It’s endemic to human nature and to our consumer-driven culture that basically says everything revolves around me. While I think consumer Christianity will die in the future (here’s why), we’re not there yet.

Before we get started, please know this isn’t a slam against any particular style of music in the church.

In fact, I admire all churches that are innovating to become more effective in their mission.

But here’s the challenge.

Many leaders have almost spilled blood getting their church to change in the area of music (or making sure their church doesn’t change).

And yet, despite the battles fought over music, many churches are still not much further ahead in reaching people because of it.

Why is that?

There are five problems I see church leaders struggle with when navigating the sensitive and emotional issue of worship style in church.

1. You Become So Focused on Pleasing the People You Have That You Lose Sight of the People You’re Trying to Reach

To read the rest: http://churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/299638-5-ways-battle-never-ending-worship-wars.html

8 Reasons why you need regularly-scheduled testimonies in your worship service

http://chucklawless.com/2017/02/8-reasons-why-you-need-regularly-scheduled-testimonies-in-your-worship-service/

Worship Pastor, Are You a “Church Lover” First?

http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/worship-pastor-are-you-a-church-lover-first/

So, you are ready to hire a “Worship Leader”, eh?

Here are some things you might want to consider.

• Don’t waste the Lord’s money on someone (male or female) who will just be leading songs. Surely someone in the congregation can pick out some some songs and start the church singing.

• Obviously, a vocally and instrumentally talented person adds a lot and will usually be an integral part of the determination. However, it is not as important as the person’s character and understanding.

• Find someone who is a worshipper. This may be hard to determine. Most leaders may think they are a real worshipper. A real worshipper will know what real worship does for himself — and will do for people — how it enriches, challenges, humbles, strengthens, and prepares people for life. Paxson Jeancake spoke of this in how he prepares to lead people in worship. In The Art of Worship he writes: “As a worship leader, it is my priestly duty to help retell the gospel story and message. Each week, it is my job to craft, write, select, find, uncover, and borrow: prayers, themes, texts, lyrics, melodies, and images — all for the purpose of helping us experience and express the beautiful, paradoxical truth of he gospel. What an awesome privilege. What a serious responsibility. … Sharing personal testimonies in corporate worship is a powerful way to communicate the gospel. …In our congregations, as part of the liturgy, we should regularly share the present stories of faith and conversion as an important facet of the ministry of the word”. Does you candidate have any idea of the power of the gospel in his own life and how that can be translated into the congregation’s experience? If not, he is not a worshipper, let alone a worship leader. Find someone else.

• You need someone who knows the difference between singing songs and worshipping. Worship leaders are much harder to find. There is so much more to worship, we cannot develop it here, other than to mention it involves Scripture, poetry, testimonies (both personal and congregational), challenges, enthusiasm, excitement, creativity, anticipation, and more.

• Find someone who has creativity to have people come expecting to see and hear a challenge to worship. Leaders who show no creativity are not able to accurately represent a creative, active God and lead people into an ever-deepening worship experience with Him. Such leaders are robbing the people of a growing realization and awareness of God, his creativity, his holiness, his grace and his “awesomeness”. Picking songs, using a set formula to fit songs into, using some tried-true pattern is not leading worship; it is merely song leading. People should come with an expectation that they will hear something new from and about God and it will be exciting. If you don’t have a such a worship leader, you are cheating your people. Keep looking.

• Find someone who is excited about worshipping. If the leader isn’t excited about his own worship, continually expanding in his worship experience, it is unlikely he will be able to lead the congregation into an ever-enriched worship experience. Does the candidate looks excited as he leads? He doesn’t have to jump nor yell, but if doesn’t make contact with the people, smile and portray that worship is an emotionally exciting and powerful time, keep looking.

• Will visitors find your congregation excited about worship? Will they see your people enjoying and enthralled by the awesome love and grace of God that actually is touching the lives of your people? You want a leader who is leading them into that experience. Keep looking.

8 Traits I See in Good Worship Leaders

By

Chuck Lawless

As I visit churches in my various roles, I’m privileged to worship with many different congregations. The styles aren’t always the same, but I can tell you some of the common traits I find in worship leaders who catch my attention. I know these thoughts are just my opinion, but here are some of those things:

  1. The worship leader enjoys what he’s doing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched as a worship leader drudged his way through the task. When the leader loves to worship, on the other hand, I love worshiping along with him.
  2. He smiles. This trait goes along with the previous one. When you love honoring God, your face shows it.
  3. He makes the Word of God central in worship. Perhaps he reads the Word, or maybe he quotes it as a transition. The songs themselves also echo the Word of God, and the leader helps me prepare to hear the Word.
  4. He leads well, but without show. I’m not even sure how to describe this trait, but I know it when I don’t see it. Showmanship and God-centered worship are contradictory.
  5. There is more at: http://churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/299381-traits-see-good-worship-leaders-chuck-lawless.html

Spirit-Leaning Worship Leading

Early on in my experience as a worship leader, I heard someone paraphrase Jack Hayford who said something along the lines of: “My greatest fear as a pastor/worship leader is that our church services could become such a well-oiled machine that the Holy Spirit could leave altogether and we wouldn’t notice for six months.”

It’s a bit dramatic and intentionally hyperbolic, but he gets his point across. And the possibility of that scenario playing itself out is something that rattles me to this day.

Could I let something like that happen? Could I (and my worship team, or choir), and could my church, become so good at “doing church” or making good music, or sticking to our liturgy, to the point that we’re no longer asking for, expecting and depending on the empowering work of the Holy Spirit in our midst? Yes, I could.

When my worship leading becomes dominant over my Spirit-leaning, I get into dangerous territory. And you do too.

Continue at: http://churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/298859-spirit-leaning-worship-leading-jamie-brown.html

Are You Not Ready to Worship?

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I always cringe when I hear worship leaders begin a service by asking the question “are you ready to worship?” The hope is that the congregation will respond with an enthusiastic “yes!” and everything will go swimmingly. But the reality is that the answer to that question might actually be a resounding “no!”, but no one really feels comfortable admitting it.

Most people don’t come ready to worship God on Sunday mornings.

More at: https://worthilymagnify.com/2017/02/08/are-you-not-ready-to-worship/