I often hear complaints about the state of praise & worship music these days (including Jesus is my boyfriendtype lyricism, blatant commercialism, bland musicianship, etc.). While much of this criticism is warranted, the question before us is How do we move forward? I continue to believe that connecting and worshiping God through music is important for individuals, families and churches — so, how do move from a posture of frowning critique into constructive adaptation?

Part of me thinks that the answer is found in face-melting, barn-burning, harmonized guitar solos.

Take a listen to God Almighty, None Compares from the latest David Crowder*Band release, Church Music (particularly the over one minute long solo from about the 4:50 mark).

There’s something about not taking ourselves so seriously that we discover in worshiping God (and, of course, “worship” happens outside of the setting of music all the time).

It’s easy to go through the motions, stay wrapped up in ourselves, and never become re-sized in the presence of our incredible God. For me, the bland formulaic sameness of much of praise & worship lulls me into monotony, encouraging me to stay where I am, never pushing me beyond myself.

However, an over-the-top blazing solo catches my attention. When I am exposed to over sixty seconds of guitar shredding, I am surprised.  I take notice, and smirk with ironic glee. And I am reminded not to take myself so seriously.

Songwriters and musicians, break free from formulas!  Venture outside of comfortable bounds of worship, be the church for a broken world, discover the innumerable ways in which God is already alive & at work in His world… and then write songs that reflect new life, new creation, and the eternal kind of life today!  And, by all means, rip more axe-shredding solos!

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