Worship Mythbuster Series: Five bad ideas that can make worship services fake

Another post in the Worship Mythbusters Series: Five bad ideas that can make worship services fake

I thought I would take a stab at conversing with my readers about the “fake factor” in church worship services.

  1. The worship team is performing like they are in a stadium and only 200 people are in the worship center. Just means over-scaling your team, sound and presentation might not be helping you.
  2. There is no context of God’s character, just our experience. We can sing “we worship You” all we want, but who is “You”–a fuzzy God who just makes us feel fuzzy or an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God who is jealous of us loving anything or one more than Him.
  3. You do the latest song or idea because it’s the latest song or idea. Content is king in worship, not the buzz of the newest thing. We should be building a local community of worshipers not simply echoing what others are doing.
  4. Worship team members are there more for their talent or to play music and not for their spiritual growth. Sure, hiring the best people makes the music pop, but is that your goal? The story of the messengers or artists on stage is important. They are not just tools, they are real people you put up there.
  5. The goal for the congregation is a feeling, not a transformation. I am all for emotive expression of worship, it’s just that the goal is that we are formed into the image of Jesus a bit more by all that we do in worship and life. So, to just reduce the outcome to sentiment is just a bad idea. Period.

Any pushback, affirmation or additions?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by tehillamusic.com and Sunridge Worship. Sunridge Worship said: RT @rkweblog: Five fad ideas that can make worship services fake http://digg.com/u1CUhY […]

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  5. The purpose of having quality music is to reduce the number of musical distractions and barriers between God and the worshiper in a gathering. I think you could answer pretty much all of those with that answer.

    1. Good point. Quality music, in that case might mean you do not need 87 people on stage with 22 motion lights and fog machines? (#1) or choose music that has theological context, not just words about our experience. (#2).
      How about #4? Is it fake to have just good musicians or should we ask more of who is on the stage?

      1. I think people up the front/on stage need to be more than just good musicians/singers. The heart of the person involved its what is important – as people who are leading the rest of the church in worship, we need to be worshipping – we need to have a heart for God and a desire to be near to Him. That heart can’t be faked.The people in the worship team at my church aren’t the best singers or musicians, but there is one thing we have in common and that’s a heart for God; a desire to draw near to him and help others draw near too. Having said that – we can sing & play otherwise, as Tyler said, it becomes a distraction to worship

        1. I think people up the front/on stage need to be more than just good musicians/singers. The heart of the person involved its what is important.”
          And in addition to musicianship and heart, I would add that the person/people up front need to be lovers and students of the Scriptures. MUSICIANSHIP + HEART + MIND = a WHOLE worship leader.

          1. “Worship team members are there more for their talent or to play music and not for their spiritual growth.
            The point is spiritual growth being valued not just talent… so its not a formula, but a commitment to community, as well as Bible study. Beyond musicianship, heart and mind is leadership. There are many nuances in our endeavor to lead worship, in other words.

    2. Amen. It almost seems like half our job as worship leaders is about eliminating barriers. Well put.

  6. The purpose of having quality music is to reduce the number of musical distractions and barriers between God and the worshiper in a gathering. I think you could answer pretty much all of those with that answer.

    1. Good point. Quality music, in that case might mean you do not need 87 people on stage with 22 motion lights and fog machines? (#1) or choose music that has theological context, not just words about our experience. (#2).
      How about #4? Is it fake to have just good musicians or should we ask more of who is on the stage?

      1. I think people up the front/on stage need to be more than just good musicians/singers. The heart of the person involved its what is important – as people who are leading the rest of the church in worship, we need to be worshipping – we need to have a heart for God and a desire to be near to Him. That heart can’t be faked.The people in the worship team at my church aren’t the best singers or musicians, but there is one thing we have in common and that’s a heart for God; a desire to draw near to him and help others draw near too. Having said that – we can sing & play otherwise, as Tyler said, it becomes a distraction to worship

        1. I think people up the front/on stage need to be more than just good musicians/singers. The heart of the person involved its what is important.”
          And in addition to musicianship and heart, I would add that the person/people up front need to be lovers and students of the Scriptures. MUSICIANSHIP + HEART + MIND = a WHOLE worship leader.

          1. “Worship team members are there more for their talent or to play music and not for their spiritual growth.
            The point is spiritual growth being valued not just talent… so its not a formula, but a commitment to community, as well as Bible study. Beyond musicianship, heart and mind is leadership. There are many nuances in our endeavor to lead worship, in other words.

    2. Amen. It almost seems like half our job as worship leaders is about eliminating barriers. Well put.

  7. The purpose of having quality music is to reduce the number of musical distractions and barriers between God and the worshiper in a gathering. I think you could answer pretty much all of those with that answer.

    1. Good point. Quality music, in that case might mean you do not need 87 people on stage with 22 motion lights and fog machines? (#1) or choose music that has theological context, not just words about our experience. (#2).
      How about #4? Is it fake to have just good musicians or should we ask more of who is on the stage?

      1. I think people up the front/on stage need to be more than just good musicians/singers. The heart of the person involved its what is important – as people who are leading the rest of the church in worship, we need to be worshipping – we need to have a heart for God and a desire to be near to Him. That heart can’t be faked.The people in the worship team at my church aren’t the best singers or musicians, but there is one thing we have in common and that’s a heart for God; a desire to draw near to him and help others draw near too. Having said that – we can sing & play otherwise, as Tyler said, it becomes a distraction to worship

        1. I think people up the front/on stage need to be more than just good musicians/singers. The heart of the person involved its what is important.”
          And in addition to musicianship and heart, I would add that the person/people up front need to be lovers and students of the Scriptures. MUSICIANSHIP + HEART + MIND = a WHOLE worship leader.

          1. “Worship team members are there more for their talent or to play music and not for their spiritual growth.
            The point is spiritual growth being valued not just talent… so its not a formula, but a commitment to community, as well as Bible study. Beyond musicianship, heart and mind is leadership. There are many nuances in our endeavor to lead worship, in other words.

    2. Amen. It almost seems like half our job as worship leaders is about eliminating barriers. Well put.

  8. The purpose of having quality music is to reduce the number of musical distractions and barriers between God and the worshiper in a gathering. I think you could answer pretty much all of those with that answer.

    1. Good point. Quality music, in that case might mean you do not need 87 people on stage with 22 motion lights and fog machines? (#1) or choose music that has theological context, not just words about our experience. (#2).
      How about #4? Is it fake to have just good musicians or should we ask more of who is on the stage?

      1. I think people up the front/on stage need to be more than just good musicians/singers. The heart of the person involved its what is important – as people who are leading the rest of the church in worship, we need to be worshipping – we need to have a heart for God and a desire to be near to Him. That heart can’t be faked.The people in the worship team at my church aren’t the best singers or musicians, but there is one thing we have in common and that’s a heart for God; a desire to draw near to him and help others draw near too. Having said that – we can sing & play otherwise, as Tyler said, it becomes a distraction to worship

        1. I think people up the front/on stage need to be more than just good musicians/singers. The heart of the person involved its what is important.”
          And in addition to musicianship and heart, I would add that the person/people up front need to be lovers and students of the Scriptures. MUSICIANSHIP + HEART + MIND = a WHOLE worship leader.

          1. “Worship team members are there more for their talent or to play music and not for their spiritual growth.
            The point is spiritual growth being valued not just talent… so its not a formula, but a commitment to community, as well as Bible study. Beyond musicianship, heart and mind is leadership. There are many nuances in our endeavor to lead worship, in other words.

    2. Amen. It almost seems like half our job as worship leaders is about eliminating barriers. Well put.

  9. Thanks for the thoughts Rich, you already know this has been on my heart and mind lately.

  10. Thanks for the thoughts Rich, you already know this has been on my heart and mind lately.

  11. Thanks for the thoughts Rich, you already know this has been on my heart and mind lately.

  12. Thanks for the thoughts Rich, you already know this has been on my heart and mind lately.

  13. Great post. I’m an emotional worshipper, but I love #2. There are so many songs out there that focus on the act of worship rather than the one who is being worshipped… Might be a good idea to get to know Him a little better before writing writing worship songs, huh?

  14. Great post. I’m an emotional worshipper, but I love #2. There are so many songs out there that focus on the act of worship rather than the one who is being worshipped… Might be a good idea to get to know Him a little better before writing writing worship songs, huh?

  15. Great post. I’m an emotional worshipper, but I love #2. There are so many songs out there that focus on the act of worship rather than the one who is being worshipped… Might be a good idea to get to know Him a little better before writing writing worship songs, huh?

  16. Great post. I’m an emotional worshipper, but I love #2. There are so many songs out there that focus on the act of worship rather than the one who is being worshipped… Might be a good idea to get to know Him a little better before writing writing worship songs, huh?

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