A praise and worship leader should follow THE Leader
Maybe you already know this. But contemporary music, in church, started in the charismatic movement. And now it can be found in just about every kind of modern church in the world. More and more churches, regardless of their theology, seem to prefer praise and worship music that sounds like music of today. So that’s what a typical praise and worship leader tends to serve up each Sunday.
Should a praise and worship leader focus on trends?
Now, there’s a lot of evidence that contemporary praise and worship is directly related to the contemporary Christian music industry. That can be good…and not so good. The Bible says we’re to “not be conformed to this world”. And unfortunately a lot of Christian music (on the radio and in church) has the same look and feel as the rest of the world.
So, praise and worship music is obviously influenced by popular music of the world. But the message in modern worship music should still work to transform the world. And help renew minds to the knowledge of the one, true, living, loving Creator. And most importantly it should be based on strong, Christian theology. Not just feelings.
For example, there’s no shortage of controversy surrounding the lyrical content of a lot of contemporary worship music. The more conservative churches feel the “modern” lyrics are repetitious and lack depth and meaning. And still others say worship services seem more like concert time.
And that connects with this…
These days, contemporary worship time is lead by a “worship leader.” And choir directors are mostly a thing of the past. Typically a worship leader is a musician (often a guitarist or pianist) with passable singing ability and a love for sharing the gospel of Jesus in song. And many worship leaders also compose some of the worship songs they use for the church.
And that’s where the balancing comes in. With a good combination of classic “church music” and contemporary. Because older members won’t appreciate the absence of deeper, message-filled music. And the younger members tend to get bored if there’s no beat.
Something I worked on when I was the praise and worship leader of a small Denver area church was a “remix” of old standards. And by that I mean I’d take a hymn and give it a solid, contemporary beat. And my personal preference was (and still is) a mix of music that leaves everyone feeling refreshed and exhilerated to serve the Living God.
But it’s essential to present songs for the wide variety of emotions, personalities, and needs of the Body of Christ.
And, of course, what they need isn’t always what they want. So, the musical dilemma continues.
I know it won’t be a problem when we die
And join that praise and worship in the sweet by and by.
But I sure wish we could get along today,
And focus on the message and what the Lord would say.
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