Do We “Bring” God’s Presence When We Worship?

A Theological Course Correction For Worship Leaders And Pastors

The following is, I submit, a theological course correction necessary for Worship Leaders and Pastors who lead in settings that intentionally welcome the Holy Spirit to be “manifest” as we engage in worship. It is for those who love when the presence of the Holy Spirit is experienced, at all levels, by a community who has gathered to worship.

First of all, let me affirm this: I love the Holy Spirit. I also love when the Holy Spirit is manifest in a room in a palpable way, and people are responding (aided by expressions of worship) to the invisible, yet overwhelming, presence of the living, loving, ever-present God.

But as pastors and worship leaders, we have a responsibility to think about the way we talk about that experience to our congregations. We may mean one thing theologically, but when we’re not careful with our words, we communicate another. Theological ideas can be helpful or unhelpful to the discipleship of Christians – what we believe about God and how He works – and the following addresses what I believe to be a theologically faulty way of talking about God’s presence in any given worship environment.

Do We Bring The Presence Of God When We Lead Worship?

Here is my answer: We don’t “bring” the Presence of God by our music, worship, messages, or prayers.

I believe such language is theologically faulty, and confuses Christians when we use it. It suggests that we ourselves are the primary actors in the worship story, and that our actions precipitate whether or not the omnipresent God is “there” or not.

5 Reasons Lament And Praise Must Stand Together In Worship

I lead worship every week for my community, and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – as well as disease, unemployment, divorce, and many other struggles – are always in the room with us.

If a theology of resurrection (the empty tomb, renewal, personal transformation, healing, miracles) does not stand together in worship with a theology of suffering (the full cross, intercession, trouble, sorrow, struggle), then I contend our worship is out of accord with both the Scriptures and the daily news.

Worship That Is Both “Now” And “Not Yet”

The Kingdom of God is both “now” (among us), and “not yet” (to come in its fullness one day in the future). Our worship life should reflect this tension, or I contend we misrepresent Jesus’ teaching on the Kingdom.

Yes, post-resurrection all things are being made new. Yes, we are a people of praise, thanks, and joy. Yes, Joy is the major theme. But also, yes, suffering is the minor theme, and is everywhere – from the masses being slaughtered by radical groups today, to the struggles you and I will have with relationships, jobs, and emotional and physical health. Jesus said we will have trouble.

We must be present to this as leaders, and it must shape our language. This is the “now” and the “not yet” of the Kingdom of God, and we live in the tension – the radical middle.

The following article is precious to me, and is written by my brother-in-law, Ed Gentry. I hope it impacts you as much as it has impacted me.

10 Best Practices For Worship Sound Techs

Perhaps no technical leader faces more challenges on any given Sunday morning than the Sound Tech. With demands from every side, opinions aplenty, an ear to the Pastor (the real head Sound Tech), an ear to the worship leader/band, and an ear to the Holy Spirit, this role requires a saint, a sound technician, and a servant – all wrapped up in one. Gleaned from some of the most skilled and great-hearted Worship Sound Techs I know, here are 10 Best Practices For Worship Sound Techs.

Worship is a dynamic environment in which God is meeting with people, and people are meeting with God. For that reason alone, the Worship Sound Tech must take their place – with active attention – among the worship leadership influencers in the room. [Note: In the age of digital boards, some things have gotten easier when running sound. With the push of a button, levels can be set. If you’re on a digital board, some of the following technical elements may not apply.]

1. Ride The Faders (Or, Never Set And Forget)

The worship environment is not a static environment, in which one can set all the levels then kick back in the booth. It is dynamic, and riding the faders as well as monitoring the congregation is a necessity for effective sound leadership. Imagine you are the conductor in an orchestra, and now that piano is highlighted as the band drops out, or a sweet violin solo now lifts from the music and is to stand out. Conduct, ride the faders, and make your sound work a dynamic ministry. You can help the band create dynamics. This verse is true about sound, and how it reinforces the message being shared: “… the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.” (Acts 10:44, NIV).

Great, dynamic sound leadership can greatly enhance the effective hearing of the message, sung, spoken, visually expressed. or otherwise communicated.

2. Gain A Respect For Gain

Ever been in a hurry to get “sound done” and ignored getting all your gain levels right? Stop. Before everything gets going, set the right gain for each mic and instrument set. A friend of mine says, “I’ve seen gains change between shutdown on Saturday night and startup on sunday, even though nothing has changed on stage. If you don’t get the gain right, you’ll be fighting the levels all through the service.”

This may mean showing up early, getting yourself together, and being ready to go when rehearsal or soundcheck starts. Hustling at the last minute causes us to miss things.

3. Serve The Pastor, The Worship Leader, The Musicians, And The Congregation

There are no two ways around it; a Worship Sound Tech must be a servant to all, carrying skill and technical ability in one hand, and a real, living relationship with Jesus in the other. That combination creates Sound Techs who are asking how they can serve better, rather than insecure leaders pushing to get their way because people are acting like they know better. I’ve always told my Sound Team over the years that the Senior Pastor is the ultimately the Lead Sound Tech, and then the Lead Worship Leader (or someone they’ve assigned to oversee it). Why? At the end of the day, you and I will go home after the “event” – and the Pastor (and the worship leader to some degree) will have to deal with the effects of the experience – church growth, church shrinkage, people’s connection or lack of connection with the church. If the Pastor says, “Please turn that down,” or “please turn that instrument up,” or “please raise the volume and energy level in the room,” find a way to do it rather than resisting. It’s just good honor – and even if they’re wrong, it will come back as a blessing later.

Serve the musicians as to what they need, and then serve the dynamic in the congregation. Often musicians need training in “turning things down” in their monitors so that other elements stand out. Be a part of that training as able. You hold the reins on front of house; offer your best to see the best rise in the community.

4. Check Your Ego At The Door

Here’s the truth. People will look at you if anything is wrong with the sound. They just will. It takes a strong inner leader to carry that in a community. Technically oriented gift mixes, in my experience and that of many, can carry a subtle insecurity with them. When challenged, or asked to “please turn that up,” or “turn that down,” or “give me more monitor” (things are harder when no one is saying ‘please’ or ‘thank you’), it’s easy to react with ego. Lay it down before Jesus as you walk in the church doors each morning. Know that the Lord has your back, and the more like Jesus you are to the pastor, the band, etc. – the more it sweetens the entire worship experience everyone will have that day.

In fact, try this. Ask the pastor and worship leader, after you’ve done sound, “How was the sound? Is there anything you’d like me to change?” The first time, they will faint because you asked. The second, they’ll feel an open door exists for ongoing interaction. It’s wonderful.

5. Walk Around The Room

With iPads and more at our fingertips (digital boards), it is now easier than ever to walk around the room, surveying the sound from various vantage points in the room and making adjustments. But even if you’re not on a digital board, make sure you are moving around to get a feel for what is happening in different spots. The sound can change radically space to space, and recommending to certain people where they should sit is not a bad thing.

6. Make Recommendations With Community In Mind

This goes with #4. Do research, give input, then open your hands to the decisions the primary worship environment stakeholders (worship leader, pastor) must make. Sometimes you may desire to cage the drummer, for example (and they may deserve it!), to get complete control of the sound. But there may be another priority brewing inside the worship leader, or even the pastor, to have the drummer not be enclosed for the sake of the visual experience, and people not seeing this as just a performance. In short, we have to live with some things, and sometimes we may discover someone else was right. That doesn’t make us inadequate – it just means that sometimes there is more than one approach to something, and various priorities must be considered.

7. Be Difficult To Offend/Easy To Work With

When leaders in the same area of expertise are working together, sometimes we exert ourselves to “prove something.” No need. Trust Jesus, and work hard to work with others. Be difficult to offend. Be easy to work with. Only hold your ground when you feel so strongly about something you would rate it an 8-10 in life, rather than if it’s really a 2-3 rating in importance. Having a “domain” is important to all of us, but we must share, compromise, and collaborate in Body life.

When working with musicians, sometimes they need some training, but from a humble posture (even if the musician is not acting humble). Teach them that asking for more in the monitor may not be the win, but actually having less of something else. “Turn it up” is the natural response to not hearing something (but then you hit a ceiling with the knobs and the room). Help them get the best mix for them, as they must respond well to the monitors to lead well (IEMs fix this part, but musicians still need training turning things down so other things stand out).

8. Learn From Everyone; No One Is Past Learning

Ask local producers, or sound techs in venues you respect, if you can sit in with them as they do sound. If they say yes, listen, learn, and ask questions. Also, research forums on the internet, looking for tips and tricks from a variety of people working through the same issues you are. A friends says: “I am continually learning new things about sound, new tricks on my board (makes me sound like a surfer), new ways to set up the mics or the _____.” Be a lifelong learner.

9. Get Help If Something Is Challenging – And Read The Manual

A friend of mine says this: “Don’t feel inadequate if you (like me) are not someone who can identify a sound frequency by hearing it. I have an ipad with an RTA, and when I’m dealing with feedback issues, I have no problem firing it up (and humming the frequency into it if the feedback has already died down). You don’t have to be perfect at everything to be a good sound engineer, you just have to be good at using the tools you have.”

And read the manual. Read the manual. Read the manual (that was reverb).

10. Make Mentoring A Priority

Mentoring is absolutely vital. Always have someone shadowing you (standing beside you as you do it, and talk them through what you’re doing). Especially a teenager or twenty-something, as musical styles and sound environment palates change over time. You want ears that are listening to more than you are, through a different auditory lens. Don’t release them too early; you want them to succeed. Create a loooonnnggg mentoring curve.

After they’ve shadowed you for a long time, you start to shadow them. Here’s the Mentoring Cycle: 1) I do it, 2) You watch me do it, 3) I teach you to do it, 4) I watch you do it, 5) You do it, 6) You teach others.

Conclusion: A Great Sound Tech Is After Transparency

A producer friend of mine says, “A great Sound Tech blesses the church by insuring that the communication of the ‘word’ (speech or music) is clear and understandable to everyone. The quality of sound during a meeting can be a major factor in how people are able to engage in the activities at hand. What good would it do for the best worship set in the world to be played, or the best teaching to be given, if the sound is so bad that no one can bear to listen to it? Bad sound can be a great distraction to those engaging in a worship service. At the worst of moments, the quality of sound can even hinder one’s ability to understand and engage at all. At the best of times, good sound provides an opportunity for clearly communicated material (music or speech) to be received easily.

When sound is then transparent, and out of mind, the ‘word’ can become the focus of attention. A prudent Sound Technician is key to achieving this worthy goal.”

Amen.

Oh, and get the pastor to assign you an intern to bring you coffee and doughnuts. Thanks for all you do.

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Question: What best practices would you add to this list from your experience?

Resources: First, Is It Too Loud: Worship Accompaniment Vs. Worship Immersion Culture post seems to clarify some internal cultures challenging sound ministry in the local church today. Second, 7 Steps To Awesome For Worship Sound Techs offers more insights for Sound Techs. Third, Mike O’Brien’s Winning The Volume War Series is great for handling key sound elements (drums, etc.) in worship. Finally, this “heart” article, “A Great Sound Tech” by Nathan Rousu should be required reading for every Worship Sound Tech.

4 Silver Bullets For Battling Depression In Your Life

Like millions today, I’ve faced the demon of depression for much of my life. In fact, I’ve battled severe depression ever since I was in the 7th grade, when I would cry my way through a long day of classes with a book held up in front of my face to hide my tears. My parents didn’t know what to do with my incessant sadness, and a brief mental breakdown during my high school years raised everyone’s awareness – especially my own – that something was not right inside. Even as a leader in the worlds of faith and the arts for over 25 years, the battle has never left – but a few silver bullets have made the clouds lift more often than not.

image courtesy of anna siran photography

Are You Battling Depression Right Now?

Have you known that unrelenting sadness? That inner anxiety that everything will come crashing down at any moment? I used to tell my wife that I was one bad day away from being a street person, and two bad days away from a serious attempt on my life. Today, you wouldn’t know that’s my past, but for much of my life, the specter of depression haunted me daily. As a Christian, prayer has been the staple of my recovery. But other direct attacks on depression have also lifted me in powerful ways.

It’s my hope that some of the keys I’ve discovered, from sheer desperation, over the few decades of my life, may help you. While there is no one silver bullet for anyone’s depression, in my experience, a cocktail of them can put depression out of your life so you can function and enjoy your days.

Here are four of my silver bullets in my battle against depression:

1. Name Your Triggers, And Manage Them

One of the first things I had to do was to name what experiences triggered my spirals downward. If we never examine our lives and patterns, we will never discover the weapons we need to battle depression.

For me, relational conflict is a primary trigger. I’m fine if finances are tough, or even if I lose my job (having experienced this multiple times, the heat is off that one – See Gladwell’s David and Goliath). But whatever happened in my youth, whatever still happens in my psyche today when high emotions are expressed in a room, signals a trigger for me that I must constantly manage.

For that reason, a job that entails a steady diet of being around relationally dysfunctional people (needy, or belligerent, or hiding agendas, or socially clueless, or dismissive, or emotionally unfiltered) is not for me. I was a counselor of juvenile offenders, because my compassion compelled me there. I almost (physically and emotionally) died in the daily fray. I was a senior pastor of a local church, and while I was called to do it and wouldn’t trade that season for the world, the sustained need to be “on call” for crisis took me away from being emotionally present to my family. Some mornings I couldn’t get out of bed. Lord, I thank you for my wife.

I’m also an artistic personality, with a high bar for quality in visual, audio, and aesthetic fields. I’ve noted that being in environments where the bar for “quality” is what I would deem to be low, for a sustained period of time, takes me out.

Conversely, I thrive in arenas where creativity is high, interpersonal competition is low to non-existent, aesthetic comradery and collaboration is encouraged, and where my internal bar for quality can be exercised without being penalized or spoken of as “extreme.” (I can’t tell you how many deer-in-the-headlights looks I’ve endured because my dream is to live in a cathedral or modern castle.)

Having named a few of my triggers, I can note when an environment simply won’t work for me over the long haul.

2. Get Control Of Your Body, And Keep Control

Many moons ago, when I was in one of my darkest times as a pastor, a friend came to me. Natural eating and medicine were still quite unpopular then, and my friend was a hippy in a GMO world. I had tried all the natural anti-depressants everyone seemed to rave about – and they all had the opposite effect on me. I would be brought lower by using them. As I shared my struggle, he had a thought.

He suggested I try NuLife’s Energy – a unique blend of Ginsengs and other ingredients that serves as a food supplement and stimulates the adrenals. I needed to take it twice daily, for 30 days, for it to build up in my system. 20 or so years later, it daily takes me from feeling naturally “sad, tired, and afraid” to feeling “normal, energetic, and confident.” If I stop, I just go back to the way I was (Note: for women, ginseng has a different affect, so be aware; and everyone should consult a naturopath if you’re considering trying it).

For me, Energy was the first real game-changer in my battle with depression. Nothing else worked for my body like it did.

That told me that my body had something definitively to do with the depression. It was not just a spiritual darkness from which I needed delivered. My emotions were being controlled, in large part, by my body’s systems. Genetics, my early diet, and more were ruling me. Energy revealed the reality that if I could control my body, I could take the heat off of depressions onslaught.

The second part of that silver bullet was a book called The Mood Cure. It addressed the amino acids in the brain, and the unhealthy fats, that wreak havoc on the moods of our generation. With a naturopath’s guidance, I began to experiment according to their system. One amino acid, in a low dose (had to figure that one out), put a “bottom to my cup” emotionally. That has generally remained. It’s a book worth the read if this is your battle.

The third part of this was identifying the foods that take me down, and make me tired. Carbs, especially breads, desserts, and alcohol – things that convert quickly to sugar – I treat like enemies (with occasional forays into their territory just because melted butter on bread or a frosty glass of Guinness is so darn good). When I went with primarily proteins and vegetables much began to change. Egg whites for breakfast beats a bagel hands down for my moods.

The fourth part of this is weight loss and exercise. To be honest, the “buzz” others say they get from exercise, or the “clarity of mind” has never been my experience. I hate exercise. I really hate it. My skin itches, my body hurts, and sweating is miserable. But I do it anyway. Because it must be good. Do it anyway.

3. Surround Yourself With Positive Reinforcements, And Manage Your Influences

This is short. I am, by nature, compassionate. But I have to watch my relationships. I need people in my life, like my wife, who are “can do” people. I don’t buy the folk philosophy you see on Facebook quote graphics that says you should avoid everyone who brings you down. Jesus walked into the mess, and we should to – to heal it, and be healed ourselves in the process. But we can watch our diet, and hang around the orbit of those who are waking up believing anything is possible.

I also have quotes up in my office, and images, that remind me of who I am and what I am here for. I keep a sheet of phrases in my drawer that I review each morning, that helps me reorient to what is truly important in my day. While there are often no fireworks with this one, the steady diet of these words keeps me from The Drift in my calling and hope.

One day, when I was at my worst, one of my closest friends was with me in a car. I said, “I feel like I’m about to lose my mind.” He was matter-of-fact. “No. You won’t lose your mind. You’re going to be fine. That’s the truth.” It was all I needed. I still need words like that in rough moments. We all do. Someone can help us take charge.

4. Invite Prayer Unceasingly, And Embrace A Lifestyle Of Gratefulness

This is another short, but no less vital silver bullet in my arsenal. The power of prayer sits at the center of the universe, a tool given to us by God to invite Him into any and every concern we have. When my community prays for me, I am stronger. When they forget, or I forget to ask, I am weaker. I don’t understand the theology of it all. I just know it’s true. Humble yourself, and welcome God into the equation. (If you’re not a follower of Jesus, or not sure about God in general, I invite you to ask Him to show himself to you in your depression. In surprising ways, though the depression may not lift overnight, He will.)

Two little spiritual books have also helped me put a dent in depression. 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, has been a game-changer for me. I now see most of life through the lens of thankfulness, and have come, with her and my wife, to believe that cultivating the habit of thankfulness for every little thing is the key to a joyful life.

The second book that has served me well as an artistic personality and Christian leader is Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. Using ideas in spiritual formation, which were familiar to me, I learned to face fears that were previously tucked away, and to learn from them what my heart was telling me. Sure, we can get lost getting in touch too deeply with ourselves (in some folks view), but in my experience, leaders who stuff their emotions are far more broken and on a fast track to health issues than those who are listening to their heart daily.

I have a daily rhythm of personal prayer, reading, and devotion that keeps me centered, and this also prepares me to step into the battle of my day fully armed, and with my silver bullets locked and loaded for any challenge that may come.

This Is Just A Start

These are a few of my silver bullets for battling depression as a fellow journeyor and as a leader. I chronicle my path for keeping my spiritual passion alive in my book, The Elemental Life: The Earth, Wind, Fire, And Water Of The Passionate Spiritual Life. In my experience, if this part of me is alive and well, I have the strength to apply all of the above in my changing life.

I encourage you to seek out support in each of the areas above, and find – with God’s help – the silver bullets that will matter for you. My prayers, today, and as I read every comment below, are with you.

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Question: Have you battled depression? If so, what “silver bullets” have helped you in your struggle?

Resource: I’ve named a few above. Again, The Elemental Life: The Earth, Wind, Fire, And Water Of The Passionate Spiritual Life chronicles my path for living in 4 rhythms that strengthen us for daily life.

Gungor, Beeching And Moving On From Christian Celebrity Culture

On this blog, I intentionally stay focused on supporting worship leaders and teams with ideas, inspiration, and hopefully raw encouragement that keeps us strong in doing what we do for the long haul. But some things get going out there that ruffle feathers, cause confusion, and even stir fear in us. The recent news items about Michael Gungor and his questions about Genesis, and Vicky Beeching coming out as gay, have had quite a ripple effect. My response here, as usual, is not focused on my perspective on either Genesis or homosexuality. My opinions run strong on both issues, mind you, but something else felt more important than those.

What Happened

A few weeks ago, an interview resurfaced on the interwebs that respected artist and worship influencer Michael Gungor questioned the idea that the Noah story literally happened. Drama ensued. As well, Vicky Beeching, a respected UK/US worship leader, songwriter, and now social media maven, told the world she is gay.

The web blew up (at least in the Christian contemporary world), babble and banter flew into the cybersphere, and many of my friends around the world were confused on both issues. Opinions flared, as they should have. We are people. Opinions, expressed harshly or softly, are the way we work our inner world out.

Gungor, Beeching, And Moving On From Christian Celebrity Culture

Here are my thoughts, touching on both topics as we go, but focusing more on how we think about these things rather than what I think.

1. Both Gungor and Beeching are people in process, just like you and I. Let’s focus on own our own development rather than living through theirs.

The fact is, Vicky is a friend of mine, and I’ve seen this moment coming for years. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not hard for folks, a surprise, or challenging to those who elevate her to a place of significant influence in her life. Popularity has never meant someone is right; it just means they have influence (remember junior high?).

Gungor is an inspiration to me, and many of you. And? He’s a guy in process. We’ve probably read some of the same books, and not read some of the same books. And? He’s a guy in process.

Reality check: Vicky is a woman of our age, and her decision is what it is. Her influence is not what should be shaping your worldview or mine, either direction. It’s the young ones we need to always care for, and help discern in our crazy time in history. Our walk with God should be shaping our view of the world, and our passionate study of God’s word, the history of the Body, and the culture of our time.

After having reacted to these news items, stemming from people in process who have a public face and responsibility, let’s get back to faithfully leading worship, studying the Scriptures, and serving God’s people with our best understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. Hard decisions will come. Make them with your best understanding, and be open to learning as you go.

2. Artists think in metaphors, and push boundaries by nature. Their passion or popularity does not make them right, or wrong.

In my home, my kids think I’m the opposite of literal. I usually take this as a compliment, but it can get in the way. I find it hard to just accept things I probably should. My wife carries the innocence, trusting, and believing factor far more in our home. I want to be like her. But, in many cases, I’ve come to embrace most biblical stories as literal (C.S. Lewis suggested that takes more imagination at times than making everything a metaphor). Truth is, Gungor can think what he wants about Noah. He doesn’t ultimately know. You and I don’t ultimately know either. We’re guessing based on our best understanding of the text (scholars have strong opinions, and after my study, so do I), tradition, and more.

I studied Genesis significantly over the years. I needed to for my work in the Essentials In Worship study. Of course there are those of us who believe Adam and Eve are literal figures, and others who don’t. The text can take us those places; both are scary for those who don’t approach the text that way. They are scarier places if we don’t study toward landing well on what we believe.

Reality Check: Gungor is a guy, an artist, and a human being in process. We all are. He has an opinion. And he makes great art. And? Our problem is that we give way too much weight to his opinion. Why? Because contemporary Christian approaches to working out our faith have not included aggressive reading, thinking, and fighting for understanding. In today’s spiritual goulash world, this kind of faith, processed in heart and mind, is deeply needed. Instead, we live vicariously through others who are popular, have passion, read, and fight for these things. There is no worship leader who should not be reading, watching, or thinking about theology. Full stop.

There’s too much at stake to be all heart and little mind today. Postmodernism and Post-Postmodernism will force you off the platform, eventually. Both/And. Both/And. A thinking heart and a feeling mind, as a friend of mine always says.

3. These things matter, but our Christian celebrity culture makes them matter too much. Let’s move on. Really. Heroes are heroes. But let’s move on.

Of course what Gungor thinks about Genesis, and what Beeching sees as normal Christian sexuality, matter. Those things matter to them, and to those who love and respect them. However, the industry makes them larger than life, which is helpful in business, and unhelpful in the end to the Body of Christ. Larger than life platforms generate revenue, but what people do with their platforms is ultimately in their own hands. The industry has no intent of mitigating that.

The fact is, they are people like you and I. God knows the influence they have/He has given them, and they’ll need to work that out with God just like you and I will.

Reality Check: There should be 10K Gungors, and Beechings, in faith, talent, skill, creativity, and forcefulness of passion. Among those, there should be many approaches to faith that root us in orthodox faith and inspire us to tell God’s story in a 1000 ways.

But the reality is, our Christian celebrity culture, and our truncated contemporary Christian worldview of sacred and secular, make them just a few of the “special” Christians people look to.

We should all move on, and get great at what we do. Then we should study, grow, discern, listen, pray, and humbly lead in our sphere of influence.

Let’s Have Opinions – But Better Yet, Let’s Have A Vision

Should we exert our opinions about these things, and seek to diminish confusion in our homes, churches, and those with whom we work and serve?

Absolutely.

Should we turn our energies to creativity, honing our craft, studying the Scripture, devotional living, incarnating the Gospel, and discipling 1000 others who are as artistic and passionate as Gungor and Beeching, and yet have other ways of seeing faith and the world around them?

Absolutely.

Let’s get a vision for what that creative Christian worship leader, songwriter, or artist of our age looks like, then embrace studying the Scriptures, church history, and our creative craft with passion so we can become it – and disciple others.

May the God of Grace and Wisdom lead us as we lead others in worship.

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Question: Without explicitly stating your opinion about either of these issues, can you articulate what you envision to be the characteristics of the “optimal” worship leader/songwriter/artist, who follows Jesus, of our time?

Resource: Essentials In Worship Theology hits on both these areas. It’s an easy entry point into worship study that relates to Genesis, human identity, and current cultural issues as they relate to our worship worldview. Also, Worship White Noise unpacks how we can dis-entrench our vision of worship from the industry and misconstructed sacred/secular worldview today. My goodness.