Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A new song.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Psalms 1:1-6

(completely unrelated to the post below, lol)

~~~

This morning (5/24/09) the praise and worship team had a discussion after practice about choice of songs for the service. My sister, who is the drummer complained that the songs didn't move her, she felt we should be playing different songs, blah, blah, blah.

The response from the rest of the worship team was that my youngest sister needed to pray, because maybe she has a problem and needed to focus on fixing that because it's the words of the song, the message that mattered.

On one hand I agree and understand that praise and worship is not a musical performance. Our focus should be on God and the words of the song which are to him and about him.

However, if the music didn't matter we wouldn't play it or sing it at all. If only the content of the song was important then we would only recite the words. The music of a song can add or detract from the time of outward communal praise, and it is the job of the leader to determine--correctly--which songs will do so in the best way and convey the message that God wants the praise team to at that time.

Not only that but the skills of the praise team aren't being used to the fullest and that is a shame. The phrase "new song" is mentioned in the Bible 9 times. David, the premier psalmist of Bible established a highly trained group of musicians and psalmists to worship before God and write music for worship (2 Samuel 6, 1 Chronicles 13-16), and apparently God liked it enough to want to restore that to children of Israel and to Gentile believers (Amos 9:11, Acts 15:12-21).

I do not think that relying only on music to create a soulish fleshly reaction in worship is appropriate, please note. However, I do believe that worshipful expression should, and even must, lead to new congregational and devotional music as we grow individually and collectively in our relationship with God and instead of stifling that and going for the easiest path (playing old standbys so that no one has to learn new music, even though you know for a a fact that the congregation is going to drag this song into the ground) worship leaders should be promoting and encourage other praise team members to pray and worship and write as the Holy Spirit leads.

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