Worship What?

Today, the (snail) mailbox had promotional pieces inviting worship leaders to attend their seminar or conference. I usually take a quick look and then toss them in the waste basket. This time I thought I should at least respect the sender enough to consider what they want to communicate to churches. I must say, I am disappointed again.

I offer this quick critique as a warning to my church about how careful we must treat worship. I realize that not all readers will agree with my observation. I welcome dialog and argument on the matter and content of the promotional method. My critique is intended to be on the method employed by the leadership. I do think it reflects on their intent but will give them the benefit of the doubt.

I would welcome anyone planning on attending these seminars to offer a rebuttal. I welcome the leadership of the conferences to clarify anything they want to. I offer this publicly because of the method employed of public-gorilla-marking.

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The attempt to draw people in with what is thought to be helpful is of most interest to me in the methodology employed:

Both are printed on glossy, bright paper with eye-catching graphics and/or clip art. This is really not much of an issue with me. I see the value of mailing an attractive mailer. It’s usually the words and the phrases that are used that bother me. Here are a few samples…

  • “DID YOU KNOW?”
    The average person in our society laughs 7 times per day. the average person attending this seminar will laugh more than 25 times.

I realize I may be too critical but; what does this fact (if it is really a fact) have to do with worship? and why is it something the leadership thought would catch the attention of worship leaders?

  • Churches from more than 40 different denominations (and numerous non-denominational churches) in 47 states have hosted this seminar.

I guess this is true. How is this a valid argument for a worship leader to attend. There are numerous churches (denominational or non-denominational) who are far from honorable in the methodology of worship. I would want to know who are these “denominations”? What do they have to say about who God is? What do they think about the bible? Who is Jesus to them? What role does the Holy Spirit have in corporate worship? and likely many more questions.

I do appreciate language that address the importance of God and the Bible. I must say that both promotional pieces do use strong language that I look for. I appreciate that. But why cheapen the bible language with a “100% Money Back Guarantee”

The other mailer has a stage set like a rock concert with bright lights, t-shirt wearing, hip looking, trendy leaders. First: I do believe that t-shirt wearing, hip-looking, skinny jean wearing people can lead others in worship, I think. This mailer, had fewer words and more photos. But a few statements stand out.

  • “Restored by Worship: The righteos will not be shaken. (Psalm 55:22) The [conference] ignites your soul and the souls of weary leaders, renewing a passion for worship and equipping us all for continued effectiveness in ministry.”

This is likely attractive language. But is it right that a worship conference would suggest that “worship” will accomplish these things? Doesn’t Scripture teach us that the weary and heavy hearted should come to Christ? What would happen if a church had a passion for God and not for worship.

  • “You’ll renew mind, body and soul at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.”

I’m reminded of Vance Havner’s declaration to be “shipwrecked on God and stranded on Omnipotence”. That’s different. Well, I know I may be too critical of events I’ve never attended. It’s possible some of my friends will or have attended. I again am offering critique of the marketing employed by the sponsors and question the valid use of this methodology to attract attenders.

What about worship leaders turning off their t.v. or shutting down their internet for a weekend with only their bibles open and a blank notebook to record their findings? Not a bad idea for anyone leading others to the sacred moment when God’s gathered people look to Him.

 

2 Comments

  • DeeAnn Scott

    February 5, 2013 at 7:01 PM Reply

    Your last statement …”What about worship leaders turning off their t.v. or shutting down their internet for a weekend with only their bibles open and a blank notebook to record their findings? Not a bad idea for anyone leading others to the sacred moment when God’s gathered people look to Him. ” … this should grow all of us up whether we lead worship of not … we are the light in a dark world and all need bible reading and time to mine for the jewels, as you so wonderfully noted on Sunday. Just my thoughts.

  • theoldadam

    February 5, 2013 at 8:03 PM Reply

    The Holy Spirit creates faith when the gospel is preached. The law, and the gospel, actually.

    Marketing people. Who needs ’em when God is doing His Word to people.

    What we need are faithful preachers and people who aren’t afraid to open their mouths and speak of Christ Jesus…and maybe invite someone to church every now and then.

    Thanks.

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