[thoughts on worship]

[thoughts on worship]

This subject was on my mind for a long time already and Bill brought it up today, so I figured that this might as well be my cue 🙂

Worship and Quality. 

My mom loves hymns and that passion somehow got passed on to me. Granted, I like the more modern versions of those hymns, but you can’t deny the lyrics go way deeper than some of the more modern “Hallelujah, hallelujah… He is Lord, He is Lord.” Yes, those have a place and time, but when the entire worship consists of the same stuff… I get bored, even if I’m up front and singing those songs. *Shrug* That’s not to say that there aren’t awesome modern songs with meaningful words too that I love. They also have a way of bringing me closer to the Throne.

But my post isn’t even about the styles of worship… it’s about the quality and the very idea behind worship and worship leaders specifically.

Sometimes I get the idea that some people are content with just “making a joyful noise” without caring about the quality of what they are doing. I am not talking about the people in the congregation – I realize that not everyone has been blessed with an ear for music and it’s totally okay for people to sing off tune… if they are not up front leading others. Again, there are exceptions, but we should not just dismiss the issue of quality.

And the thing about leading the people in worship…

It’s one thing when you come to the jazz concert or something and the singer improvises, plays with inflections of his / her voice, whatever. It’s great to listen, but it’s usually impossible (or very hard to) to sing along to… which brings me to my next point.

If you are a worship LEADER whose job (ministry) is to lead other people in worship, think of them. They should be able to follow you easily without having to constantly worry that they might miss the note or whatever. Whenever someone sings and I don’t know the tune, I don’t sing at all. Perhaps it’s just the boring me (and I am aware that I may be more conservative than many)…

So, to summarize my rant…

  1. We should never disregard quality in whatever we’re doing, especially at the church. Our bosses at work don’t like bad quality stuff, so why are we lax with doing our best for God? He loves us as we are, but we should do our best for Him.
  2. Worship leaders should lead other people in worship, not just pretend they are at a concert of their own. There’s time for worship and there’s time for concerts.

I’m off the soapbox.

* * *

[Originally I wrote this at the beginning of the post and then realized that it’s not the main issue]

My own journey to where I am right now has been a long one.

When I was a teenager, a friend (who claimed to have an ear for music) said rather matter-of-factly that I have no future in singing because I can’t even sing a chosen note. At the time, I believed him.

A couple of years later, I briefly mentioned to my cousin that I’d like to play bass guitar and she and her husband bought it for me. So I began playing bass guitar and getting involved in the worship team at the church. While I played, I also started singing (which sounded more like humming at first) because it was easier to follow the notes that way (besides I rather enjoyed singing… when no one was around to hear it… I still believed the words of a friend.)

No one is sure how, but one fateful day, my bass guitar was stolen from the church and I ended up just singing with the worship team. It was a smooth transition and by this time, I had more friends who encouraged me to sing and said I’m good at it.

I still sing.

  • Love this post Zee because I am a singer and a worshipper. I sang in a choir, then begin to sing solo’s, then was in a group, then went back to solo’s. In the south we call what I did singing a special. And I am a southern gospel, country singer. I have tried singing in a worship group, I don’t do well because I also get tired of singing the same line again and again. Everyone once in a while I hear a worship song that reaching to my heart, it moves me because it makes me think about what God did for me, think about who He is. But I will always prefer gospel music because it tells a story about who
    God is, who man is and what sin is and how God took care of our sin, and the end of life. It takes one from the sinful place to Jesus dying on the cross to rising and going back to heaven to wait till the father says, go get them Son. It tells of the struggles we have on this earth, in this world you will have trials, and God walks with us through them. Those song point to our need to trust Him in everything and He is worthy to trust. I too agree there is a place for leading others in worship, one can do that singing the hymns or contemporary music. There is a place for those story songs. Thank you for writing on this subject, for your honesty, for your love of singing songs that lift Him in no matter the kind.

    • That kind of reminds me of the reason I like hymns – they are theologically deeper than the usual chorus songs that we often sing at churches.

  • I’m not much of a singer even though i sing. Not in front of others like a worship team. But I do sing from my seat. I try to tell the worship team (and remind myself of this) they are not worship leaders. To borrow from Matt Redman: they are the lead worshipers. Their/my responsibility is to worship and lead others into the presence of God. Not perform. Not draw attention. Worship. They do that by playing well. Singing with others. Playing with others. And lifting their hearts and hands in worship (if they so choose). I totally agree with you Zee in this “rant.’ I would say you should rant away more often. LOL

    • That’s an interesting thing re: worship leaders and leading worshippers.

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