Why Write on Worship?
I only wanted to spend time writing on something that flows directly from my work for the church, and there’s no more consistent part of my work than leading God’s people in singing praises to His name.
Of course, worship is much more than music. But it also makes sense that we use the word “worship” as shorthand for the musical worship of God’s people. It’s because sincere worship always finds its consummation in singing. Even the least musically talented among us find ourselves chanting our alma mater’s fight song at a football game. Why? Because worship tends toward musical expression.
Many of you know that I studied music at Indiana University. In the years following graduation, including my years in campus ministry, music was generally something I did on the side. Since coming to Christ Church, that has happily changed. Music now occupies a primary position in my ministry, as God has graciously granted me the privilege of leading His people in worship every single week.
Practically speaking, this means I spend a lot of time thinking, reading, and praying about what worship should be, and what it should look like, feel like, and sound like. In the past two and a half years I have planned and led more than 130 worship services at Christ Church. In those services our congregation has sung more than 120 psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. I enjoy this work, but I also depend on it for my own spiritual health.
This may sound scandalous, but I see my calling as a pastor—in part—as a function of my spiritual weakness. If I were not required to lead the church in worship, it’s hard to imagine how I would remain faithful to the Lord. There is some embarrassment for me in admitting that, but I have come to believe this is part of how God works in our lives. Many a self-aware father will tell you that unless God had given him the responsibility of a wife and children, he’s not sure how he would have avoided destroying his life and making shipwreck of his faith. It is gracious of God the Father to entrust His work to us, weak and sinful though we be, in order that we might learn and grow in faith through bearing responsibility. I see it as God’s kindness to me personally that He called me to worship ministry; it’s part of how He preserves my soul.
What to Expect
For now, I plan to follow a monthly schedule of writing. My aim is to make each month’s post focused and self-contained. I am looking forward to writing on at least the following topics:
- Theology of worship
- Songs and hymns, old and new, that I like, and why I like them
- Themes in worship, especially those which are neglected today
- Insights on leading worship
First and foremost, I aim to write the kinds of things that will edify those worshiping in my own church. If such things prove to be helpful to others outside my own congregation, then all praise and thanks be to God.