WHAT WOULD JESUS SING?
When I was a teenager in the 70’s, I was a song leader. We had times of worship, but it was never while the music was being played or sung. Rather, it was a separate time during the service. After the Maranatha revolution, we started entertaining the concept of “worship” during our music…and then in the late 80's, we found ourselves immersed and enamored by the Integrity paradigm. Personally, this was exhilarating new worship that I began introducing to our congregation. Although I was apprehensive, the congregation embraced it and there was a subsequent explosion of new worship material!
And worship is still evolving. New worship CDs seem to come out every day and it’s impossible to keep up with them. There is undue pressure placed on worship leaders to sing the hottest, latest, greatest worship songs and to present them to the congregation as fast as the team can learn them.
I try to keep up with the new songs just like the next guy. I know how to do a “segue” and create a polished fl ow. I network with other worship leaders for the hottest new tunes, and I encourage and use young people for worship leading. Since I have been a Music Pastor, I have surrounded myself with those younger than me to be a part of the worship team. I recognize that the best way to avoid being stagnant in the church is to have fresh water coming in, and the youth are good at “bringing it on!”
The “image” of the Minister of Music I used to portray was one of “The Guy in Charge of Music for the Church.” As the worship paradigm shifted from hymns to choruses to praise and worship songs, so did my role…I then became the Worship Pastor, a title I now hold in esteem. So…how do we stay fresh in music ministry? Psalm 45:7 and Hebrews 1:9 both declare how we can receive the anointing of God on our music, our ministry and our lives. “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness, therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” When we pursue righteousness, God anoints us. And when He anoints us there is a spiritual change that takes place, even on our music and worship.
As a worship pastor, I try to “tailor” the worship experience to incorporate a mélange or “potpourri” of styles that all might be drawn into fantastic, contagious, and authentic worship, allowing people to encounter God. 1 Peter 4:11 says, “If anyone ministers, let him do it with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
What kind of music does Jesus want us to play, sing, or listen to? Any music that causes a change in our behavior to make us more like Christ!
Despite our challenges with the ever changing “styles” of worship, the Lord said, “Whosever will may come!” May He help us be vessels of His Spirit to change the hearts of those who “won’t” to be those who “will!” We need that same power of God to take our dry songs, whether old or new, and breathe in new life. A.W. Tozer wrote, “Anything God has ever done, he can do now. Anything God has ever done anywhere, He can do here. Anything God has ever done for anyone, he can do for you.” AMEN!