Archives for category: worship

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?

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This Sunday, January 25th, The Ecclesia Collective will be hosting a worship gathering of missional communities throughout the San Diego area.

The missional endeavor, like the mustard seed of Jesus’ parable, is often small.  [I’ll share some thoughts soon on how, though the phrase “missional” has been misused, over-used and downright abused lately, it is worth rescuing.]

Although they might not headline conferences or publish best-selling books, small communities of Kingdom conspirators and mischief-makers are springing up throughout San Diego.

If you are in the San Diego area, we invite you to join us as we seek to:

Provide an opportunity for these different communities to continue growing together

Let others know of the different communities now meeting across the county

Allow a diverse, ecumenical group of people to work together to create a space of worship

Hillsong United — with their high energy octave-jumping choruses and emo-tinged ballads — dominates much of the modern praise & worship scene. I often find that I like their songs more after the experience of singing them live in the context of a worship gathering — although this is not strictly limited to Hillsong United songs (a prime example: Charlie Hall’s “Sweep Me Away” is literally one chord — with some minor shifts and tons of gagdetry — but is a personal favorite because of a particular worship experience).

This past weekend, I was guest-speaking at a series of gatherings where we sang the Hillsong-penned Saviour King (complete with the Aussie spelling of Saviour!).  A key theme for us was the idea that the church is not a building or destination but, as Rob Bell writes in the provactively-titled Jesus Wants to Save Christians, “The church is a people who live a certain way in the world.”  The church is not a monument but, rather, a movement.  So, this particular lyric from Saviour King was particularly meaningful for me:

Let now your church shine as the bride
That you saw in your heart as you offered up your life
Let now the lost be welcomed home
By the saved and redeemed those adopted as your own

Perhaps it’s a bit of poetic license or holy imagination, but I really like the idea of Jesus picturing us and who we could become in Him as He gave His life away.  I’m really drawn to the notion that Jesus not only saves, but He dreams as well.

Just thought it might be kind of nice to start off your week with a couple of worship-related freebies…

Brian Doerksen (featured worship leader on Vineyard Music’s Light the Fire Again, about which I was recently reminiscing) has released a thoughtful acoustic version of Remember Mercy on his website.  Doerksen has a new album coming out titled, It’s Time.  I didn’t see any music previews, but these lyrics from the first track, It’s Time for the Reign of God, are powerful:

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Praise & worship music, for better and worse, has become quite an industry.  The range of music today far outstrips what was available back in the day (which, for me, was basically the late 80s/early 90s).  I mean, I can remember singing motion songs during our college and young adult worship gatherings.  Not ironically, not as a fun throwback, but as heartfelt worship.

If you can remember when Light the Fire Again was released, and it felt like a revolution, then I know we’re on the same page. The driving rhythm of the title track, the almost unhinged intimacy of Eternity, the boundary-breaking lyricism of Creation Calls, the heartfelt cry of Pour out my Heart… that album became the soundtrack of many of our lives.

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