Sunday, March 15, 2009

Worship Follow Up (1)

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. It was not only set piece sessions: "Closing the Gap between Preaching and Worship" that brought interaction, but evenings and lunchtimes with pastors, students and faculty. Many strongly agreed that preaching and worship were too often treated in separate boxes.

One surprise was the depth of anger expressed by one or two pastors. One told me of that worship had become so defined as "music in weekly church services" that some of the worship leaders he dealt with were stuffed full of pride, and very difficult to work with. Because they believed they had the key role for "worship" they gave preachers a hard time. I also know worship leaders who also might chip in with a word about preachers being stuffed full of pride and difficult to work with!

It emerged strongly that DEFINITIONS are dynamite. When "worship" becomes music in Sunday services, and "worship leaders" deem themselves in charge there is going to be a loss of God's big vision of worship that involves all of us, for all of him. And pride rears its ugly head. How can we redefine worship more appropriately? And is it ever right to use the term "worship leader" in the light of Jesus' role (Heb. 4:14-16) and the wide community scope of worship (1 Pet. 2: 9-12)? These, and many other questions will keep me busy these next weeks. Any insights are welcome.

1 comment:

AndrewG said...

Hi Michael hope you are well. Just rediscovered your blog, and have only had a chance to skim, but you might be interested in a new book called HOW WOULD JESUS LEAD WORSHIP by some friends of mine (Sam and Sara Hargreaves, BRF), which might address some of your questions. it had a nice quote from James Torrance from a recent book, which perhaps you have seen: "Jesus Christ is the leader of our worship, and leads us into the holy presence of the Father... He is the one true Priest, the one true worshipper, the leader of our worship, in whome alone the 'ordinances of worship' are perfectly fulfilled and through whom alone we can draw near to God"

Anyway, hopefully soon I will get around to reading the whole thing.

But, as you know I hope, you trained me to see the music as serving the whole service and especially the preaching of the Word, and if it's not doing that, then as far as I can see it's not worship, and whoever is leading it isn't a worship leader!!

Andrew Gosden