Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Danger for Worship Leaders

I read a very good article this week by Zack Hicks, worship leader at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (Where Tullian Tchividjian pastors). The title is A Reason to Be Suspicious of Worship Bands.

Hicks begins by quoting a passage from a book from the mid-1960's by Jean-Jacques von Allmen about misuse of choirs in public worship. He points out that everything said in that passage about choirs is very relevant today if you substitute "worship band" for choir.
...You and I live in a cultural age where the faithful are "increasingly reluctant to commit themselves to liturgical life," where worship is ever in danger of becoming a commodity of branded consumer goods. The warning von Allmen gives here is that what we do "up there on stage," whether we're a choir or a worship band, can contribute to and encourage the passivity toward which many folks are already inclined to lean. "I just want to soak in the great music." "Man, she has a great voice!" "Wow, that was a ripping electric solo!"
As worship leaders, we must tune ourselves to become hyper-sensitive to anything that discourages the active participation of the people of God in the songs, prayers, and actions of the worship service, and sometimes the performancism of it all--whether lit-stage, rock-band-led or organ-and-choir-led--can be a major deterrent. Von Allmen exposes what's at stake. To put it directly, we put ourselves in the place of Jesus, the only mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim 2:5). That's what von Allmen was getting at when he said that those up front can unknowingly become the "vicarious representative" of worship for the people....
Read it all at the link.