FRIDAY INSTIGATION

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Debate is a good thing. Somewhere in the worship culture we’ve decided that every new album is good, all sermons are theologically sound and there are no bad worship songs.

I don’t submit these little rants for the sake of venting (although it helps.) I do it because some stuff is great and some stuff isn’t. And it should be talked about.

-Two weeks ago, I heard a preacher from a super church tell a room full of preachers to avoid phrases that will freak people out. His example? “If you invite people to come be ‘washed in the blood of the Lamb’ you’re gonna’ freak them out and they’ll never come back!” I understand his intent but experts seem to underestimate the ability of people to think in the abstract. Do we really think non-church goers are going to think we’re bleeding animals dry up at the front of the church? Most people process image and metaphors every single day.

-Worship songwriters need to stop using “fire” in their lyrics. We’ve put it in so many songs it doesn’t even have meaning any more. Fire as judgment? Fire as God’s presence?* Fire as congregational zeal? It’s become a place holder word, sadly. There are much better words out there, writers. Let’s strive for more!

-Passion records use march rhythms a lot. Like, A LOT.

-Michael Gungor writes amazing songs. That nobody can sing along to. Stop asking groups of people to try and sing those with you. They can’t. Do it as a performance piece or during communion – don’t waste what little time you have on songs that are cooler than the people singing them.

-God voted for Obama.**

-I think a huge change is coming to the American church with regard to music. I predict that we’ll see more and more churches abandoning full bands and going to a more acoustic/light percussion accompaniment. I think praise bands will be non-existent within 10 to 15 years.

-Why does congregational response in “high” churches sound so dull? There’s good, rich, powerful stuff in there and yet everybody sounds really exasperated when they read them out loud.

-I don’t believe in retweeting compliments.

-Owning good gear and knowing the lingo doesn’t make you a good musician.

DISCUSS.

*God’s already in room, y’all. Stop barking orders at Him.
**First heard that phrase from my friend, Johnny. I thank him for it.

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3 comments

  1. Jonathan Benedetti

    Man, we really need to do another podcast soon! I’m really curious to hear your rationale behind the impending doom of the praise band. Also, I’ve got an idea for a song that we should write together. My working title is… “Fire (Come Down NOW!)” What do you think?

    • toddwright

      1. I never said I had rationale. Don’t you dare accuse me of being rational!

      2. Sadly, Fire Come Down NOW would probably be a huge hit.

  2. johnnydrummer

    -“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” being squeamish about anything in the Bible disqualifies one to preach it, IMESHO.

    -“Fire” is one, “King” is another. We don’t hear it any more. Leithart got me thinking about substituting “Emperor” and “Empire,” as they’re better translations. Adds some of the majesty and awe back. Thy Empire come.

    -A. LOT. But it’s a welcome break to 32 bars of eighth notes on the toms.

    -Gungor is a talented songwriter, no doubt. But the only song of his I’ve done in worship (“Beautiful Things”) was wretched, and no one sang.

    -He must have, or he’d be the former President.

    -Holy Trinity, on the cutting edge!

    -Math class has math problems, science has science problems. People in Churches like ours can half-heartedly say the responses as people in other ones can mumble back to “And all Gods people SAID?” Fortunately our folks belt them out. It comes down to being instructed about what’s going on.

    -It’s always a bad idea.

    -Never.

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