Monday, November 20, 2006

Worship for Men


So my pastor Chuck Land sent me this link while I was on vacation. It really threw me for a loop and had me thinking all weekend about worship as it relates to the men in our church. The article was from a website called Church for Men and you can read it by clicking HERE. This will be the premise for the rest of my post today.

I agree with about 95% of David Murrow's article on worship leading in a way that draws the men of the church into the experience. I believe flamboyance and feminine guys leading worship have been a major turn-off to men as this new wave of "contemporary/progressive" worship movement has taken off. I think if we wanted to see Elton John we'd go to his concert and see the real thing...he's the best at flamboyance and musical excellence. Don't really find a place for it in worship leading though.


However, couple things I disagree with Mr. Murrow on...

  • If you’re looking to hire a worship pastor, consider a non-musician. Hire a person with a gift for creative communication. Let him gather musicians. I know this sounds crazy, but I believe that the definition of worship will be greatly expanded in the coming century as the church recovers more of what it means to give glory to the King.

I say you have to be very careful about this one. If you take culture into consideration, the music scene is one of the most scrutinized areas...and alongside movies and sports events, it can hold it's own when it comes to crowd appeal. And when an artist goes live now...everyone wants to see if he or she is as good as they sound on the CD (very few are...couple exceptions - Dave Matthews, Amos Lee, Norah Jones, the Corrs, and India Arie to name some.) When everything we do in church now is put up against the standard of what people hear on the radio or see in concert...the bar is pretty high. At least in suburbia where I minister, many people will first determine whether or not they listen to the message based on the package it's delivered in. Does that mean we let culture define us? No, we take culture into consideration...culture doesn't put out shoddy music. Putting a non-musician in leadership over worship in our culture could lead to a completely irrelevant worship ministry. It might work in some parts of the country, but I don't think you can use it as a general rule of thumb when hiring a worship pastor. I would modify Murrow's statement to say that you should hire a well rounded musician that can gather quality musicians and still bring a solid biblical approach to worship. This well rounded musician could actually surround him/herself with more "left-brained" guys to help bring some of these other elements out that Murrow discusses.

  • And finally, the big one: Keep songs short and non-repetitive. I know this goes against everything they say at Hillsong and the Passion Movement, but the men will love you for it.

This is totally a subjective comment...no merit. All it says is "the men will love you for it." I'm not an advocate for beating a song to death until people respond the way you want them to either. However, man or woman, repetition allows someone to own a song. I do prefer to repeat a song over a couple weeks to allow people to get it as opposed to doing it 16 times in one service. Usually by the third week, the people know it and can "own the lyrics" as they sing them. There may be a fundamental difference between mine and Murrow's worship philosophy that causes a break down here. I'm ok with that...you just can't drop a line like that with nothing to back it up. Repetition is necessary for people to learn songs...and it seems that in Revelation there is quite a bit of repetition...something about "Holy, Holy, Holy..."

5 comments:

  1. Amen brotha! I love when I know the words to a song and can close my eyes and concentrate on singing those words to God. Your worship style rocks, it was a huge factor in Monty and I deciding to partner with Crossbridge.

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  2. hey tim...
    i do agree about flamboyant male worship leaders...i do think it can be a turn-off...but i also agree with your comments.. this was a great blog my friend. thanks.

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  3. The author's point is good, but he does need to be careful of the pendulum error, where we overreact to what we dislike and end up just creating new problems on the other end of the spectrum. We've seen other areas of ministry geared for men that are more chest beating than becoming like Christ. We need an accurate pictue of Jesus. Although I can always go for a Tombstone clip during the reflection song...

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  4. Great read on both accounts. Good to see that you care enough to challenge what you read. I would probably agree with less than 95% of what he said, but the concept of purposfully engaging men through worship is a good one as long as it doesn't dumb-down the message. I think CB does a great job in reaching men.. of course a little Johnny Cash helps sway that descision for me.

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  5. Not that many churches teach on worship, what it is/isn't, various forms of expression, and benefits for those who practice it. Consequently meettings seem to have attendees polarized into those fully engaged and spectators. I believe that some of those spectators would engage if they truly understood what worship was all about. The Lord inspired a book that describes worship in terms of examples and results. More at http://www.aplogansr.com

    Pastor Andrew Logan
    All Nations Word and Worship Center

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