Thursday, December 2, 2010

Banquet or Concert Hall?

Bifrost Arts from josh franer on Vimeo.

"I think it is important that we urge our congregants not to think of the worship service as a concert hall, as a time that we come to receive something, but to think of our worship services as a banquet hall, where we come to participate in something together."

Music is important. Several weeks ago, I came across a cute, humorous video that was a satire on Church Planting that rang a bit too close for comfort for some of my church planting friends! In it, he especially makes the point of how important a worship leader is.... because music is important!

I like to think that music isn't that important; indeed, it is not my favorite part of church, nor would I even choose a church based on worship style, but it does make a difference. Plus, it is easy for me to say that because the church I attend provides wonderful, beautiful music that is "authentic" and draws people in to worship. (Unfortunately the music pastor is also a church planter in another city, so he's our interim worship pastor.... when he leaves, we'll miss him, as he's not only provided great new songs and arrangements, but also is a integral part of our community and we all love him and his family) Anyways, all this to say is: my worship pastor is good and so is the worship team. I'm sure if I had a bad worship team or pastor I'd realize more fully how important it is!

Too often, I go into my church not as a participant, but as an observer. I listen to the music, rarely do I sing (but that is changing!) I don't want to have a "concert hall" mindset; I want to feast on the banquet and participate in praising God instead, not just consuming beautiful music. LIkewise, I'd rather my worship team also view it that way.... not mere performance, but an entering into communion with God. It seems that when they are, I also want to be there too.

How important is music in the church? How important is it to you? What do you think of churches that hire professional musicians to come and provide a top-notch worship experience? Do you think only Christian musicians should play in church? Do you think a really good worship band is necessary to attract and keep people at a church? Do you think it will draw in outsiders who don't know Christ?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

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