When Worship Seems Too Hard

Chuck Lawless shares what to do in those times when your heart just isn’t into worshipping:

It happens. Even believers struggle sometimes with worshiping. Life gets hard. Problems get in the way. We go to church, but leave our heart at home. What should you do if you expect to find worship hard this weekend?

The struggle to worship hits worship leaders just as hard as everyone – maybe even harder sometimes. Chuck lists ten things you can do to get past yourself and focus on worshipping God. Check it out here.

What Really Matters

Great post by Kelly Sundsvold about what really matters during corporate worship:

“Wow, she just killed that solo on Sunday!” or “His voice is amazing, he really brought it!”

He brought what? His Bible? The Holy Spirit?

And what was “killed”? The guitar? Was there a tragedy on the stage?

Have you heard these phrases thrown around in the worship community? They may be just phrases said to encourage the person leading the song, but where do they point people’s attention: to God or to people?

Our songs can’t bring Jesus, He’s already present, are you?

Click here to read the whole thing. It’s a powerful reminder that our hearts need to be right before we lead worship.

Three Moments

Alex Robinson writes that there are three specific moments that every worship service needs. He calls them the Awe, the Aha, and the Haha:

Awe moments are those moments when we begin to realize who God is and who we are in light of this. These are very experiential moments… Aha moments are those moments when we “get it.” When we finally grasp something in a way we can live it… Haha moments add “personality” to worship services. They add a relational element. Have fun. Be real. Connect with people.

He goes into much more depth in the full post. Check it out here.

Five Questions To Help Move Past The Worship Wars

I find it kind of amazing that churches are still arguing over what style of music to use, but there’s hope for peace. Scott Ball explains why authenticity may be a key to ending worship wars:

Some of you are reading this post and are laughing because you thought that the “worship wars” ended years ago.

Not true.

We now stand nearly two decades after the start of the worship wars, and many churches are still stuck on the issue. At The Malphurs Group, the topic of worship styles is still sensitive and relevant to many of our partner churches. Too many churches have split (and are still splitting) over the issue of what type of music to sing on a Sunday morning. And the churches that decided to be ‘blended’ have discovered that by choosing no firm direction, they haven’t made everyone happy–they’ve made everyone discontent.

But here’s the good news: the worship wars can end today.

Scott shares five questions that church leadership can use to help get past disagreements about worship styles. Read the whole thing here.

The Dichotomy Of Christian Worship

Jarrod Cooper explains two major factors at play when Christians gather in corporate worship:

Worship leading is a difficult thing, especially if we are longing for powerful times with God. Glory, passion, intimacy, the presence and the power of God moving among us are things many of us desire in our meetings.

As many church services can at times be much less powerful than all that, we can quickly become frustrated, unless we realize there are two things at work in any group when we come together as Christians to worship…

As Jarrod points out, sometimes these factors seem to be at odds, but your job is to balance them. Read the full post here. Great advice on leading God-honoring worship that’s sensitive to your congregation’s needs.

The Beehive Hack

Gangai Victor shares a great tip to help you introduce new songs to your congregation:

We know that using new songs of worship is good.

However, engaging the congregation is better.

But, what if you could do both and be a superhero worship leader of sorts?!

While the quick and dirty solution suggested all the time is to reduce the number of new worship songs (and btw, that’s not bad advice), I think there’s a way out to make everyone happy.

Here’s how:

It’s called The Beehive Hack.

Click here to read the whole thing. Don’t let the name of this process scare you. The Beehive Hack is a really solid method for getting your church excited about learning music.

Collaborative Worship Planning

Emily Barlow explains why a team approach to worship planning can be a great thing:

When the worship service I help plan started, one thing I insisted on was that the Sunday morning service elements would be planned by a team of people and never by just one person. Though I couldn’t articulate it clearly at the time, I knew that a team approach was going to enhance the creative process. I now believe that this is only one of several good reasons to plan worship together. The people on our worship planning team may change from time to time, and the planning process may evolve, but a team has given us an effective and consistent approach to planning worship.

Emily lists three benefits of planning worship as a team instead of on your own. Check it out here.

Five Ways To Fake It

Rich Kirkpatrick shares five things many churches and worship teams do that result in superficial worship:

We have all been there. Everything may sound fantastic, look attractive, and planned with purposeful intent. But, something just doesn’t seem right. You feel fake vibes when hoping for authentic ones. Regardless, what makes a worship service fake might be boiled down to a few things even though there may be many things we can put on a list.

Here are five ideas that promote the “fake factor” in church worship services.

When it’s about us, it’s not about God. Check out Rich’s list here.

The Cool Factor

David Roark takes a look at how Hillsong has changed the landscape of worship music:

And to say that Hillsong has been successful would be an understatement. Commercially, Hillsong has released over 120 albums and sold more than 16 million records across the globe. Practically, the band has influenced the modern evangelical movement so much that it’s hard to find a local church—no matter the denomination—not singing and playing Hillsong music week in and week out. In fact, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, data in 2011 showed that a quarter of all contemporary worship songs in Australian churches were written by Hillsong, which even included a handful of Catholic congregations.

But it’s not just Hillsong’s music that has spread like a wildfire into the pews of congregations across the United States and beyond—it’s the entire ethos of the band that permeates church worship services each weekend.

David points out some of the positive (and potentially negative) effects of Hillsong’s “Cool Factor” on the church as a whole. Interesting read. Check it out here.

The Second Coming And The Songs Of The Church

A recent study of worship lyrics found something pretty interesting. Matthew Westerholm explains:

I recently compared two large selections of worship songs. The first was the most commonly sung congregational songs in the United States since the year 2000; the second was the most commonly published congregational songs from 1730–1850. Among many similarities, one difference was striking: Our churches no longer sing about Christ’s second coming as much as we used to.

Have we gotten too comfortable here? Have we simply forgotten Christ’s promise to return? What do you think? Why do our modern worship songs not mention the second coming very often?

Check out Matthew’s full post here.