Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Theologian on Music

Thanks to Out of Ur for the link to this video of N.T. Wright discussing worship music:

Worship Songs from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

Worship songs like "teenage love songs" is quite the image, is it not? And so apt.

I have drawn the connection between "contemporary" worship and the youth ministries of my youth many times, and I think "adolescent" is a good word to describe such worship services.
As wright says, such things are useful in their place, but they also have limits. Wright describes these things as sensational but not lasting. They pull people in, but they do not lead to depth, maturity, or longing for the lasting. I saw this over and over when I did youth ministry. We were ever so successful at pulling them in and getting them excited. We were ever so good at building their loyalty to our ministry "brand." But...

But here I am now, decades later and so few are still in the church in any form. Fewer still maintain a deep and personal daily relationship with Christ.

You know, we spend so much time figuring out how to get people to church. We borrow techniques and ideas from marketing and advertising. Come to think of it, that's pretty well developed "science" these days. I think we should turn our creative energies in how to motivated people to take the next step. On-line community building is one way that the world has found to take their consumers to the next level. I wonder how we accomplish the same thing on a flesh and blood level. How do we make Jesus geeks?

Mostly I'd like to see all the creative energy that goes into designing these fancy worship services turn in that direction. We know how to get them through the door, let;s move them in deeper.


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