Time for new words?

Shaun Groves made a compelling comment (scroll to the end of the comments) on Ragamuffin Soul, regarding the language we use to describe worship(within the arts), worship leaders, and all the things that come with it. Los’ post is called I Love It When My Worship Leader if you want to check out the entire conversation. Here is a portion of Shaun’s comment:

Maybe it’s time for the worship leader community to invest in some new language. The old language which was once the new language unintentionally miscommunicates what “worship” is and what the role of the “worship leader” is.

I think that’s a great idea. Here are thoughts from my “back in the day” perspective…I believe worship/creative arts/music directors can definitely create environments that help point a congregation/group/audience toward God. Environments that provide an opportunity to direct our eyes off of ourselves, if even for a little while, and focus on God’s nature/God’s character/God’s words/God’s heart. And I believe that a responsibility as artists in the church is to be day-to-day faithful to that calling/vocation/serving opportunity–whatever that looks like individually. I believe we have control only on providing an opportunity to engage and that the Holy Spirit does the completing work in the midst of it all. We humans do not make people take their faith or worship to another level. We can only create an opportunity or invitation to do so.

Any Worship Leaders/Creative Directors and volunteers care to weigh in? What am I missing having been out of the leadership loop for awhile? (I get self-conscious writing these posts without the proper title or credentials!)


2 responses to this post.

  1. “We humans do not make people take their faith or worship to another level. We can only create an opportunity or invitation to do so.”

    thats so well said and true!

    im not a leader in the sense that the team or ministry falls under me…being simply a BGV i have a limited knowledge of the going ons behind the scenes. but being married to a worship pastor we certainly do have lots of discussion on “worship”…what it is, what it isnt. it definitely isn’t about us. it is a lifestyle. and it is not about music, only. whenever someone comes to me after a service to say how much they loved the worship, i always ask them what part they liked…the communion song? the 2nd point in the sermon that Pastor just nailed?

    having said that…not only are leaders to invite others into a worship experience, if they arent already in one, there needs to be more of an educating too. i just dont know how to do that.

    so my words here are prob. more distracting than helpful.

    but i love your thoughts joni!

    and i will get B over here as soon as possible!


  2. I totally agree that we probably overestimate our ability to “lead” people into worship. Let’s face it, if people haven’t been with God all week, there’s no way you’re getting them anywhere near God with your little guitar and powerpoint slides.

    Leading a very small community with some who are very “unchurched,” I have become very sensitive about worship. I now find it interesting how we as Christians are so acclimated to the whole singing thing–and how strange it can all seem to those who enter into our midst. After all, what is among the top fears of most people… speaking (or singing?) in front of people. And what does almost every style of church do to everyone who enters their doors? Hands them a lyric sheet or hymnal as if to say, “Guess what? You’re singing today!”

    Why do we think this will lead them into the presnence of God? Lead them into paralysis is more like it.

    I have a friend who runs marathons. He LOVES to run. It’s a borderline religious experience for him. Whenever I run, everything hurts. It is NOT fun. When he runs, all I can do is stare at him incomprehensively–the way some people sit and stare at their music lyrics during worship–thinking, “I don’t get it.”


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