Monday, February 27, 2012

Re-thinking the Words of Worship

Are we thinking about what we say to God during worship?

You scratch your head, you look around, and you ask your friend, “Wait, what did he just sing?” You just heard a theological lapse from the mouth of the well-intentioned worship leader. Somewhere in the middle of that epic bridge he declared, “Thank You, Father, for dying on the cross for my sins.” Wait, shouldn’t he have said the Son? You stare straight ahead trying to remember if you overslept the morning the church leaders voted to change the church’s position on the Godhead.

We’ve all experienced this to some degree in that dimly lit sanctuary—surrounded by outstretched arms, eyes closed tight, and voices lifted in song. Perhaps our faux pas included something other than an absent-minded misrepresentation of the Trinity: maybe we came just shy of Will Ferrell’s dinner table prayer in Talladega Nights when he praised that sweet little baby boy in a golden manger up there in heaven. We must realize our worship leaders teach us as much about God and our relationship with Him as our preachers do. The only difference—worship leaders use songs, words and prayers.

The words we sing unite our hearts, our minds, and our congregations in the vertical and visceral act of worship. Songs and Scripture serve as vehicles to the throne of the Almighty. Worship leaders have the task of pointing people in the right direction.
Read the full article by Relevant Magazine:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

hope.glory – challenging worship perceptions and practices in Salvation Army gatherings

By Phil Laeger

As I write this, I’m listening to the near final mix of our live worship recording that took place in November of last year. I can’t wait to release the album and DVD. This project is—for me anyway—the culmination of the hopes and dreams and prayers and tears and frustrations and vexations and sweat and optimism and roadblocks and open doors of the past 10 years. Wow. Maybe I need to unpack that run-on sentence a little…

I have been so privileged to be part of music ministry in The Salvation Army over the past nearly 15 years. It has been a great journey and the groups I have played in and led have been given incredible leeway in a lot of ways. We’ve led worship at youth councils and conferences, camps, retreats, etc, etc. Some of those times have been life transforming for me. We have seen people give their life to Christ, people broken free of addiction, people transformed in a very real way by the power of God in worship. It has been humbling to be used by God in that way. We have had extended times of energetic praise and extended times of reverent and precious worship, dripping with the presence of God.

Read the rest of the article at: