I'll develop this more over the next couple of days but I've been mulling over a point that was made at NettleHill. It was asked whether we were going down a road where worship leaders were expected just to turn out 5 well played easy songs for 25 minutes every Sunday morning, before the 40minute sermon (never understood why the sermon was longer than the worship or ministry time) and anything innovative, containing mystery or passion would be seperated to a "worship evening". If that's the case then we might as well put a CD on!!
I'm all for accessibility but I think we often underestimate the sophistication of the congregation. I think that, if God initiates something (and you can usually tell) then we need to feel free to go with it. I'm not talking about singing in tongues for four hours or hyping things...I mean genuine being in the presence of God and lifting our hearts wholly to Him,; that could be done in silence too. After all didn't Wimber say that we are Vineyard because of our VALUES (what we believe) rather than what we do? On a trainig tape about leadership from the mid 80s he says (paraphrase), ...."you can have 99 violins and 72 pianos if you like...I don't care... If you want a choir have a choir...do what's right in your context". He was saying that the method, whilst needing to have accessibility to the community and integrity, isn't actually that important.
I've just been watching Bruce Springsteen from 1975, a legendary gig from Hammersmith. Ok, it's a performance, but there is so much passion and hunger coming from the band and during the extended arrangements and improvisations the audience aren't lost, they are caught up. How much more passion. sweat, tears, hunger should we as a royal priesthood (I mean all Christians in this) singing praise and intimate love songs to God Almighty show. I know that I often get in a rut and "just sing the songs" as pastors often like saying, with a sea of blank faces munching donuts and drinking coffee staring at me, unmoved (or so it seems). Sometimes God breaks through and I feel like I'm going to explode and the congregation (well about half of them) are lifting their hearts to the father, lost in adoration. But my question is, if Bruce can let his grit out EVERYTIME he plays so much he shakes, why can't we do that for our Father in heaven. I'm not talking about performing (I'd do it behind a curtain quite happily)....I'm just talking about being us....being authentic....being artists and being passionate. I think it is part of our job as worship leaders to express the hunger, joy, pain and adoration theough music for those who are gifted in other ways...How about maybe being really brave and doing 3 songs or 7?? ;)
Just a thought. Feel free to comment, i'm just in a questioning mode.