Almost never these days do I experience the human emotion of genuine excitement. There’s just not that much in life worth getting excited about, or maybe that’s my skewed perspective. But this is an exception.
Allow me a moment of boasting, 2 Corinthians 11 style.
I have more training in organ, choral music, poetry, church history, liturgy, hymnody, poetry and well-written word, music theory, public performance, bla-di-bla-di-bla, than the vast majority of individuals who serve in worship in the American evangelical church these days, professionally or on a volunteer basis. (I’ve done plenty of both.)
But on “the worship wars” and on issues of style in worship I rarely open my mouth, because I find most dialogues on the subject to be completely devoid of sound, Biblical, or persuasive argument. A lot of people have a lot of opinions and I’m pretty uninterested. I serve faithfully with what I’ve been given, and if you look through my past you’ll find me both at the organ and in front of a choir and as a member of a “praise team.” It only mattered to me that I was serving the gathered worshiping church. I could’ve sat and argued with them on style, but that was not what we were gathered for and so for the most part I’ve always kept my mouth shut.
And yet passionately have my husband and I devoted our lives and energy toward serving the worshiping church, and passionately do we love the “style” we consider best suited to the purpose; so don’t get me wrong: I have opinions on this stuff, and most of them are formed by conviction and education and not subjective preference. But I keep my mouth shut because this is an area fraught with arguments of subjective preference and I don’t want to add to the noise by any attempt to be more intelligent than the next guy trying. We all try.
Rarely in my life have I heard anything terribly convincing on the issue, and never have I heard something that so thoroughly devastates the whole discussion as the message I heard this morning by a pastor from my denomination. I will not attempt to summarize it here beyond the brief quip I’ve extracted as my title, but just point you to it and say that if you have any desire to make a difference, to gain ground in the debate on issues relating to how the church should be conducting its worship, you can’t afford not to listen to what this guy has to say. It’s available in audio and in transcript.
Or if you just want to know what I think on the matter, listen to this guy. It can’t be said better.