That blog title was supposed to grab your attention. Did it work?
Let me try to defend this sentence instead: “The term ‘worship song’ is unhelpful.” There’s TWO types of songs we sing as a gathered church:
- Songs sung to the Lord.
- Songs sung to each other.
Even some songs that try to do both can usually be divided into subsections that fall into these categories. Songs that do neither of these things . . . I’m not sure what they’re doing.
The first type of song (a song sung to the Lord) is really a prayer. Forget about the music (we’ll get to that in a minute) and think about it. Look at the words: Open The Eyes of My Heart, Blessed Be Your Name . . . PRAYERS.
The second type of song (a song sung to each other) is really an exhortation. Forget the music and look at those words: All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name, How Firm A Foundation, How Great Is Our God (“sing with me”), Mighty To Save . . . EXHORTATION.
Now, let’s add the music back in.
When a congregation sings a prayer or exhortation, (at least) two wonderful things happen. The RHYTHM of the song allows the church to pray/exhort with UNITY. The MELODY of the song allows the congregation to pray/exhort with PASSION.
This perspective gives a lot of clarity to many confusing aspects in “worship world”. So, I’d like to tease this idea out further over the next week or two.
- What does this mean for the “Worship Leader”?
- What sort of spiritual maturity is required of a worship leader or team?
- What about the male/female worship leader debate?
- Special music? Should we do it?
- What makes a “worship song” “work”? (That’s a lot of “quote marks”!) What order do “worship songs” work in?
- Non-Christians on the worship team?
Let’s settle all of this in the next fourteen days. 🙂 Tune in.