As you may know, I believe that our current approach to worship music is both fantastic and way too narrow. The modern rock, anthemic, expression-driven worship music that dominates the CCM world and most evangelical churches is one kind of healthy spiritual food. And it is wonderful for what it does. But I worry that a steady diet of it will create malnourished worshipers. Which is why the liturgy is so brilliant.
The Liturgy is, in my wife’s excellence words, a well-balanced meal.
This doesn’t mean that every church should turn into a traditionally “Liturgical church”, whatever that means. We don’t need to become stylistically Catholic or theologically Episcopalian or suddenly hang stained glass everywhere. This isn’t about style, but about form. Do we have a plan in place to help form our community into Christlikeness? It’s not about the songs we choose or the genre of music, but the questions we begin with.
So as a worship leader, I’ve been asking myself: Am I offering the church a well-balanced meal?
Over the course of a month…
-Do we practice a number of different worship forms…or do we only sing?
-Do we focus on many aspects of God’s character…or just the most common in worship songs?
-Do we encourage the full range of human emotion (joy, sorrow, gratefulness, lament, etc)…or find ourselves in a pretty narrow bandwidth?
-Do we learn how to worship from many different traditions…or are we only influenced by our own tradition?
-Do our worship practices create space for the Spirit to produce a wide range of fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, etc) in us…or do they invite a rather narrow response?
If my church community feasts on the worship practices we offer, month after month, will they become well-nourished Christ-followers?
What about you and your church? What are the worship practices that keep your community healthy? Is there a certain “food group” that you might need to introduce…or take a break from?