Easy to make fun of worship music, not so easy to do something about it

The “How to Write a Worship Song in 5 minutes” video got a lot of mileage, and it’s of course funny because it’s mostly true. Unfortunately the number of people who have the ability to make fun of the state of modern worship music far outnumber the people with the ability or guts to do anything about it.

I hear a lot of worship leaders complain, a lot of pastors complain about worship music, how it all sounds the same etc… But few actually have the guts to do anything different in their congregation. After the laughs die down and you ask a worship leader,

What are you really prepared to do in your congregation to stay clear of the homogenized christian music culture which you claim to dislike?

Well, answers are hard to come by. I hear a lot of, “well I wish I could do this” or “if I had a few more talented musicians I’d change _____“. But the truth is, even if all your wishes came true, when faced with the reality that most of your church is used to the way you’ve been doing it and lots of them won’t be happy if you do something radically different, you end up compromising. Are you prepared to defend the change when people start leaving? Few are. Few think it’s worth it and that’s exactly why most our churches are filled with very safe, offend the least amount of people possible, type of music.

I walked through this. We radically shifted the direction of our artistic expression and it was not a pain free experience. There’s much to be said about that journey, what theological convictions guide it and the humility required to survive it. But that’s another post. For now, I’d just like to ask my fellow worship leaders…don’t complain, whine or make fun of Xian worship music if you don’t have the guts to do something about it.

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