Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Let’s give it up for …

posted by Scot McKnight

ToddFields.jpgLet’s give it up for our local worship bands and leaders. Followers of Jesus love to sing and love to bring both their worship and their message into song … and our worship bands are often the leaders in guiding us in our gatherings into those songs. This morning I listened to the excellent CD of Todd Fields, worship leader at North Point Community Church. We’ve participated in a number of services when Todd was leader, and so we’re grateful to have his new CD. Kris and I have an advantage in traveling: we get to experience worship leaders and bands all over the place. But I’ve got a suggestion today:

I’d like to hear you express your appreciation for worship leaders and bands. What would you like them to know?



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Pat

posted June 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm


I appreciate the love of Jesus, skill and craftsmanship that they bring to worship often amidst a lot of whining and complaining about musical and sound preferences.



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Don

posted June 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm


I love the enthusiasm! I just wish more would learn a broader repertoire and theological depth beyond evangelical individualism and so much “cross-centric” lyrics. Where are the songs of ascension, pentecost, confession, hope, and the bigger biblical themes? I think the time is right for both more writers and more worship leaders who mine and explore the variety of great hymnals out there.



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Scot McKnight

posted June 29, 2009 at 9:43 pm


Don, valued comment brother. Thanks.



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Rick in Texas

posted June 29, 2009 at 10:24 pm


I wish those who write would not stop when they come up with a good verse-and-chorus. Write a 2nd verse, an alternate lyric on the chorus, or something. Like Don, I find many lyrics either shallow or without adequate thoughts to keep me engaged – especially because when there’s just 1 verse and chorus, it inevitably gets repeated twice with a second chorus and then a tag, and so I end up singing the same lyric 3 times or more. Give us some theological meat. Otherwise I end up writing additional lyrics, which technically I’m not supposed to do b/c of copyright law. But I do it anyway.
Those who don’t write, work hard to train and mentor the members of your team to be worship leaders, not performers. Tell your lead guitarists, for example, that worship isn’t the time to show off your hottest licks.
I would tell all of them not to be afraid of hymns, even if presented fairly simply or close to traditional ways. Far too many worship leaders seem to think that nothing written before 2004 has anything to say to the heart of a worshiper.
And I would tell them, to paraphrase CS Lewis, that it seems odd to worship the God who gave us the gift of hearing, by playing so loudly that the hearing of worshipers or worship leaders can be permanently damaged.
By the way – if I sound too critical of worship leaders – I are one.



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BenB

posted June 29, 2009 at 10:30 pm


Don,
excellent comment. I’ve been leading worship for about 6 years at the local church level, and that’s been one of the greatest challenges for me, and one of the greatest rewards. I lead worship for both youth groups and churches, and to be able to use a combination of cross-centric songs, as well as other theologically rich hymns in worship uniting young and old generations together in a community worship service. Nothing feels more like the body of Christ than when diversity comes together (in any form) to serve and worship our Lord together (in any form).
I would love to say a big thank you to Jeremy Schleiden and Rob Soule. They helped me to fall in love with worshiping our Savior through music, and taught me everything I know about leading others in doing so!
There are so many great worship leaders out there who do exactly what Pat said, every time they go to lead the People of God in worship. Often times they do so when they have maybe had bad mornings, bad days, or even weeks. They lead us in casting aside our cares for the one thing that is truly worth our energy, praising our Lord.



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karen

posted June 30, 2009 at 12:35 am


I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of our best contemporary writers — Michael W. Smith, Fernando Ortega, Jennifer Knapp, etc. The last thing I want is to feel like I’m stuck on repeat when worshipping. There’s a difference between singing Holy, Holy, Holy and some of today’s simplistic tunes.
I’m torn at times. I don’t like being in a church where the music is so professional, so polished, it seems more about the musicians than about the Lord. On the other hand, I’ve been in services where I wished they’d at least get in tune with each other.



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Mike M

posted June 30, 2009 at 12:49 am


So write your own music. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, criticize.



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Duane

posted June 30, 2009 at 7:36 am


Recently my wife wrote a note to our worship leader commending him for adding vocals to the extended prelude which is intended to help people quiet themselves in preparation for worship. What she noticed is that so long as the prelude was just instrumental people contined to talk and visit which is disruptive to those around them. The vocals seemed to keep people quiet. Our leader seemed wise in his decision. I assume it was on purpose.



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Duane

posted June 30, 2009 at 7:39 am


Karen–good point. Dallas Willard refers to them as “Seven-Eleven Songs,” seven words sang eleven times!



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Your Name

posted June 30, 2009 at 7:42 am


How about “seven words sung eleven times?” Sorry, Scot.



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Drew Walston

posted June 30, 2009 at 8:08 am


Firstly, we very much appreciated Scot’s message on Sunday (we were at Buckhead Church in Atlanta) where Todd Fields led the worship live. While I love it when they’re ‘plugged in’, the acoustical arrangements on Sunday were awesome and very appropriate for the message. We love the local bands and are actually in the beginning stages of planning a “Battle of the Bands” event (for local Praise and Worship bands in the Atlanta area) as a fund raiser for Mercy Tree Ministries (www.mercytree.org.). We also hope this event will serve as an opportunity to share the message of Jesus Christ and the hope we have in Him with those who may attend this event but are not ready for “church”.
Scot, we’re giving the Jesus Creed a shot and have the Coke we received sitting on our bathroom counter as a reminder each morning.
Looking forward to Sunday!
Best Regards,
Drew



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Rick in Texas

posted June 30, 2009 at 8:15 am


Mike M – perhaps you missed the instructions from Scot: “What would you like them to know?”
Your petulant remark serves no good purpose here.
And incidentally, speaking for myself… I do write my own music and use it in worship.



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RJS

posted June 30, 2009 at 9:45 am


What would I like them to know?
I appreciate their talent and dedication. I enjoy listening and participating.
I think that broad variety enhances a worship experience and too much of any one style becomes boring (great comment Rick).
That louder isn’t necessarily better. I am part of a church I love, led by people I respect, that is building a fantastic multigenerational missional ministry, especially reaching out to 20 and 30 somethings in our University community. But last Fall we installed a new sound system with better microphones on the instruments and such. I am sensitive to sound and can’t take the very loud volume, it leaves me with a headache all day. I’ve spent the last 8 months trying to figure out how I can deal with this change and am beginning to suspect that the only solution is to look for another church.



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tscott

posted June 30, 2009 at 11:19 am


To Dennis See in Meadville, PA
I appreciate that you don’t sing about spiritual
things, or God, or about Christians. You sing to
the Lord in a way that others can join.
Scott and Cathy
N. Bloomfield, OH



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