Emerging Worship Lyricism

Wrote this post over at VintageFaith.com, on their emerging worship discussion forum:

“I presently work with Vineyard Music as a songwriter, worship leader, pastor and artist. I have a great affection for the whole Church, but have had to work through the contemporary and emerging worship tensions we are in on the level of creating music that the Church will sing, and be nurtured holistically by as we sing.

Through the years I’ve wrestled with the pop-lyric idiom in order to begin to scratch the surface of a contemporary lyricism that is invested with the riches of the Church historic (and a view of culture that is not simplistically adversarial). Songs like Apostles’ Creed and others I’m working on have been born from that struggle within me, and the community I’m a part of. Add to this my penchant for thick, poetic lyrics in my ongoing conversations with God, and you can taste a bit of my personal process.

In other words, I’m hoping that we as an artistic/worship community can begin to think redemptively, 500 years down the road, as we re-shape our worship expressions in the 21st century.

My question is simple. What is the difference between accessing the riches of the faith as novelty with short-term enthusiasm (say, 50 years), and actually allowing a convergence of historical worship expressions to lead the way into the next phase of the metamorphing Church?

I’m wondering if a convergence in content (not style) that is contemporary, ancient, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, may be a goal worth considering in a substantial way, to the degree that we can live with the tensions and the more core theological trails?

We need to act “now,” but think “then.” This begs the greater question: Can and should we do it, WorldShakers?”


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.