Its Worship, or Its Not September 13, 2013Posted by worshipconvergence in Christianity.
Tags: chris tomlin, church, discipleship, faith, hope, live, love, ministry, serve, worship
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1 kings 22 – 19… I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’
“One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’
22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.
“‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.
“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’
23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”
How many deceiving mouths open in God’s name and declare that worship for God is not worship unless it pleases the worldly senses? I’m sure mine has deceived, but no more. Worship and discipleship should never be conditional to satisfaction of your own sensory pleasure, “Everyone leaves service wanting more of what they liked and less or none of what what they didn’t, so ITS BEST TO SEGREGATE AND GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY LIKE,” from the mouth of deception. Hymnal vs. screen, hymns vs. radio hits, old vs. new, well-lit vs. darkness, acoustic vs. electric vs. organ, soloist vs. choir, brass vs. synthesizer… various requirements before things can be considered worship. If churches really sang what they meant songs would be more like,
“where You go, I’ll go (as long as its comfy,)
where You stay I’ll stay (if I’m enjoying myself,)
when You move I’ll move (if I feel like it)
I (might) follow You.”
When I started attending a church’s “contemporary service, I was approached by a man from the traditional service and he encouraged me to attend a “real worship” service, as he had deemed the new to be unworshipful. This encounter led me to believe that the contemporary service was for open minded people who believed that it was all for God and didn’t have to be a certain way. To my surprise and disappointment, a new pastor took over 18 months later, with a mindset just as narrow as that I had encountered before, only this time traditional words were deemed “bad words” and had been the focus of a “swear” jar in that pastor’s previous church which was entirely contemporary. Staff in that church had to pay to use words like sermon, sanctuary, pulpit, or bulletin. Copyright dates, not language, were said to diminish a songs worshipfulness. And the age of high visibility staff and volunteers became subject to discrimination, as well as preferred marital status, because people “needed to see someone they could relate to” involved before they would come back, and by people the focus was young adults who could help increase the statistic of christenings, i.e. they wanted more babies born into the organization than member funerals.
Pleasing senses so more people, or, the “right” people will like you… sounds a little whore-ish, does it not?
Its not contemporary, traditional, modern, classic, progressive, retro, etc. Don’t allow yourself to be a conditional disciple. Don’t fall for the deceptions. Its worship, or its not.
The Pastor and the Prostitute May 20, 2013Posted by worshipconvergence in Christianity, Church, Leadership, ministry.
Tags: Adam Hamilton, business, chris tomlin, christ, christian, faith, God, inspirational, Jesus, joyce meyer, leadership, love, management, methodist, ministry, music, parable, pastor, rick warren, shepherd, wesleyan
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A woman approached her pastor one day, concerned with theological inconsistencies in the church. After several moments explaining where her heart was and her love of learning and living the Word, the pastor, showing a slight irritation at perceived resistance to his visioning, explained that the church was a business, and that the marketing and casting lots of young adults into high profile and high visibility positions such as youth, hospitality, and music ministries was all part of the business to attract their own kind, and that sometimes it is necessary to bend lessons in order to not offend people, such as stating that the Word consistently says something but Jesus never actually said it. The woman replied, “But the Word became flesh, Jesus is the Word. It isn’t like the drinking issue, where some of the Bible says not to drink at all while parts say to not drink to the point of drunkenness, and Jesus turned water in to wine, so the latter has to be considered the Word. If you can say the Word consistently says something, Jesus’ existence is simply the period at the end of the statement.”
The pastor looked on with discontent. “But we can’t say this, modern society doesn’t see it that way. Its better for business to keep the numbers up and doing it as you say might scare people away.”
The woman, seeing the pastor’s steadfastness toward his visioning, asked the pastor, “How much do you charge for sex?”
The pastor had to contain his outrage at such a distasteful question. He responded, “That’s a little out of line. Prostitution isn’t something to talk of lightly or so brashly.”
“That doesn’t really answer the question,” the woman said, “is there a price, monetary or otherwise, that would convince you have sex with someone other than your wife?”
The pastor curtly stated through a clenched jaw, “No.”
The woman wrapped up her concern in one statement, “The Church is the Body of Christ, and the Body of Christ is a temple, and temples are not to be turned in to businesses. So, pastor, if you would not turn your body in to a business, why are you turning His in to one?”
Dig Deeper, Worship Wholly February 9, 2013Posted by worshipconvergence in Christianity, Church, Leadership, ministry.
Tags: bass, CCM, chris tomlin, christ, church, drums, God, guitar, hillsong, Jesus, leadership, love, matt redman, music, praise, sax, service, singing, trombone, trumpet, worship
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I always find myself frustrated at the lack of depth, or, the superficiality of music in worship services. While I’m not against using songs that are popular, I believe in presenting more than the best selling songs of the day. I have compiled, into 2 Amazon listmania lists, a small assortment of songs fit for use in congregational settings, yet most are rarely heard in worship -too new, too old, too obscure, too fast, too aggressive, sound more like background music. Many excuses to mask the truth: most modern churches are businesses and thus are consumer driven, therefore they use topical, superficial. “accessible” songs that occupy the Billboard Christian charts to attract “seekers,” i.e. trend-seekers..
There are more than these 80 songs, but this is a start. Not all of these fall in the categories I mentioned above.
I hope these songs bless you and your congregation.