I read this over a year ago and it still stirs my soul each time I come back to it.
“Boredom is so extreme in our day that people feel they are dying. Boredom makes people feel as if their central nervous system is winding down and shutting off. People will pay any amount of money to relieve boredom for the same reason that they will pay any amount of money for a pacemaker.
People want singing that excites and develops, special music that impresses, sermons that warm the heart, testimonies that make them cry and miracles that make their skin tingle.
Worship as entertainment, defined as the ritual excitement of the central nervous system to temporarily relieve boredom, is a shortcut to the believer’s soul-deep satisfaction of serving God through vertically oriented worship. Entertainment is passive is an effect wrought upon the participant by the “worship leaders.” Worship is active and requires effort expended by a thankful congregation of believers on behalf of a holy and merciful God, initiated and led by the Holy Spirit.
If we entertain people, our church will grow. If we lead in worship, our church may shrink until it is composed of a group of people who want to worship. Then the church has a chance to grow based on the precedent of worship. The church that worships will have many visitors who never come back, and few who cannot stay away” (The Art of Pastoring by David Hansen).
I am more and more convinced that our issues aren't hymns or choruses, new songs or old song, the amount of songs, the volume of songs, etc when it come to worship. We have a leadership issue.
That leadership issue starts with pastors, not the worship leaders.
I am saddened and bothered by the blog posts out there about why no one sings anymore or worship leaders just want to be rock stars or this is how worship is supposed to be (this list could go on).
I'm just as bothered by the fact that most worship leaders are trained by Youtube watching highly produced events in arenas believing that is the ultimate achievement of worship leader success.
Our culture highlights the stage and pays little to no attention to the prayer closet or the practice room.
No one looks at the house and thinks about the foundation.
So after a number of conversations with my pastor and his encouragement that I start sharing some of my thoughts, I, with fear and trembling, begin this road of making some of my thoughts public.
I make no promises about post frequency. I am not out to build a platform. To be honest I have never had a problem saying this stuff in a conversation with someone but I avoided writing blogs and social media because that is a world of drama (especially with Christians) that I just didn't want to deal with.
What I really hope to do is not just be another voice to state the problems but help generate some conversations that hopefully points to possible solutions.