NT WRIGHT IS NOT WRONG

Most of you saw this come through FB and Twitter last week, but figured I’d share.

Worship Songs from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

So far, I’ve seen nothing but agreement for the sentiment in the video, but let’s process it a bit. A few questions for you worship leaders…

1. Do you think of worship in the way Wright mentioned? Do you plan services thinking of “the candle” or the more exciting “match” experience?

2. What’s one thing you know you could change to make your worship more timeless?

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5 comments

  1. Lance Burch (@lanceburch)

    I guess I thought of his comments a little differently. I thought that while worship is the match… its goal is to ignite something more sustainable.

    His argument that the feeling of being in love is distinct from maintaining that love doesn’t diminish the fact that… without the match (initial excitement of love)… there is no candlelight (til death do you part).

    That feeling returns from time to time in marriage… right? It keeps things going. Meaningful words are exchanged. Moments of ecstasy are had. These things, while unsustainable, strengthen and keep the marriage bond strong.

    Why can’t worship be the same way? Unsustainable and enabling something that endures. Is there really a conflict here. Doesn’t it come down to the weight of the lyrics and the style of music?

    • toddwright

      I don’t think he’s hating on the match striking. I think he’s saying that worship leaders have the “match” thing figured out but suck when it comes to keeping the candle. I shouldn’t be worried about songs that give people goosebumps on a Sunday. I should be looking for songs that will encourage, sustain and remind people of God’s faithfulness at 11pm on a Wednesday. Songs definitely should be pep rallys but they should also be lifelines.

      What’s more – candles are still hot when you touch them.

      My two cents. I’d say more, but if I add one more metaphor to this discussion my blog will implode.

  2. johnnydrummer

    Given that most Evangelical Churches are revivalistic, and the focus of revivalism is the conversion experience, and given that we are a highly romanticized society, it’s natural that all our songs would be about Jesus and me falling in love.

    So Evangelicals tend to have the fire with no candle. Mainliners tend to have beautiful unlit candles. I want a beautiful candle that’s lit.

    • toddwright

      Culturally, the romanticism is there, but revivalism can’t help but perpetuate it, most specifically in those already converted. If the whole point is conversion, then the converted have to work hard to get that “converted feeling.”

      I don’t think churches realize how tricky it is to call sinners to Jesus without succumbing to the revivalistic mode of operation.

  3. johnnydrummer

    That’s why I’m constantly harping on reading up on Finney and his ilk. That’s where it started. I wish John Nevin’s little tract “The Anxious Bench” was required reading to get a worship leader gig.

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