Life is full of light and shadows, oh the joy, oh the sorrows

It has been a while since I blogged.  I just get so busy sometimes, and sharing my thoughts falls to the bottom of the priority list.  However, I am here now, and I will share.  A lot has happened since I last blogged.  We are starting a Hispanic service at Westside Baptist Church.  I am really excited about it.  A Hispanic service is something that is really needed in our community, and I really think that God is going to use this to change lives in the Hispanic population of our community.  We have felt as a staff that God has been leading us to this point for several months, and it is now actually going to happen.  I pray that God will bless and direct it.  Another thing that has happened is that the new David Crowder Band album has come out as well.  It is a great album.  I highly recommend that you get it if you do not have it already.  I think that it is one of the band’s most theologically deep works to date.  The title of today’s blog comes from the song “Shadows”.  One portion of the chorus says, “When all seems lost when we’re thrown and we’re tossed, we’ll remember the cost, we’re resting in the shadow of the cross.”  I love that!  No situation that we come into contact with in this life seem nearly as significant when viewed from the lens of the cross.  I think that we, as Christians, lose sight of that fact from time to time.  We can truly rest in the shadow of the cross.

I hope to bring a word of encouragement from several other songs from the album.  I hope that everyone has a great day.

I will not be silent no, I will not be quiet anymore…

My post today will be short and to the point.  I know that I am beating a dead horse, and there have been far more eloquent people to address this issue before I have.  However, why is it that music, and more specifically its volume, such a source of contention in churches?  I truly do not understand why people get so up in arms about it.  If the music is too loud, then  certain people complain about it.  If the music is too quiet, then other people complain about it.  There simply is no way to scratch everyone’s itch when it comes to worship music.  Therefore, I will give you my humble opinion on the subject.

I am a person who grew up in a first baptist church that was considered very conservative in nature.  It was choirs and hymns every Sunday.  By no stretch of the imagination could the church have been considered “contemporary.”  Thank the Lord that it has changed since then, but that is another story.  I said that in order to let you know where I am coming from in this conversation.  I do not come from a vineyard background or from some ultra-progressive emergent church background.  However, I love the new music that is coming out.  The thing that upsets me most is that church members, young and old, seem to be more close-minded than ever these days.  Older people tend to want to sing only hymns because “that is the way it has always been done.”  On the other hand, younger people tend to want to sing only new praise choruses.  I find myself right in the middle.  I love the new praise music and the new/revitalized hymns that are coming out, but it would be tragic for the church to lose sight of the hymns that have grown the church over the past 200 years.  These hymns chronicle the movements of God among His people over history, and they tell the story of His people’s love for Him.  The newer songs are the voice of the people now.  God is stirring again in the hearts of young people, and it is of utmost importance to not quelch that.  I just don’t understand why there can be no happy medium.  I try my absolute hardest every Sunday to strike that balance.  I am of the belief that, as a minister of music, I have the responsability to reach as many people as possible with a certain style.  Unfortunately there will be outlyers on either side of style that I employ on a given Sunday.  I am not saying that those people do not matter, but I am saying that it is strictly impossible for everyone to be happy with the type of music played at every single service that is planned.  Fortunately, that brings me to another point.  I cannot compute the comment, “I just can’t worship to that kind of music.”  My question in response is, “Does the worship come from the music or from the worshiper?”  I think that one could deduce from my tone that the worship has nothing to do with the song itself.  Worship is not a song.  Worship is a way of living.  I am not saying that a song cannot inspire someone to a deeper level of worship, but all to often people rely solely on the song to bring them into worship and that cannot be the case if true worship is going to take place.  For real worship to occur, the preparation has to have began long before one is seated in a sanctuary or worship center.  The preparation should have been taking place the entire week prior to that point when he or she sits down in that room.  This leads to my final point.  A worship service is not for you.  We have such a consumerist point of view in the church today.  A worship service, on any day of the week, is a time for us to pour out or gratitude and worship to God.  It is not a time for us to sit and be fed.  We should leave a worship service totally spent, in that we should be pouring all of our energy into the worship of God the Father.  I hate it when I hear people say, “I didn’t get anything out of that service.”  What an incredibly arrogant thing to say!  That service was not for you, about you, or concerning you.  That service was for the Lord, and he is the one who should be getting something out of it.  I am not saying that you cannot be blessed by what takes place in a worship service, but what I am saying is that the primary focus is not us.  If you are prepared for worship, and you come in with the attitude of giving back to God, then the outcome will be much different every time.

Sorry that was not very short, but it was important for me to say that.  Hope that it spurrs conversation or gets you thinking.

Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm  Comments (2)  
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