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Unread 10-08-2010, 05:58 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Reuben View Post
I would suspect though, that is a result of the time that you have invested in truly getting to know your wife—who she is, her character, her relationship to you, etc.
Actually, it's because she's looking at me when she says it.

If you're in church, "looking at" God and singing, it's clear you're not singing to your girlfriend. At least it's clear to me. I can tell you in 24 years, I've never once wondered, "Is that person over there in church singing to God or his girlfriend?"

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Unread 10-08-2010, 07:38 AM   #32
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However, I know that I'm fighting a losing battle so if you're going to go with that style, might as well go with the most generic you can find and not have to worry about people ☺☺☺☺☺ing about the lyrics. Not only that but with the mentality of the modern American most of them wont understand a song with any real meaning.
...
Have you heard the modern P&W stuff? Really? And you question that? With people like Matt Redman, David Crowder, and Chris Tomlin becoming superstars off of songs like they sing? I think that the Christian music scene's creativity well must be tapped, bone dry, for people like that to become superstars.
If you think that creativity has run dry in the Christian music scene because of people like
Chris Tomlin being popular, then I think you just need to look a little harder.
For example, just because Lady Gaga is popular right now, does that mean that all other secular music has suddenly lost the ability to be creative, though lesser known?

And saying that the average American can't understand anything of real meaning isn't
a very good attitude to reach people with. There is hope
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Unread 10-08-2010, 07:46 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by bobthecockroach View Post
Actually, it's because she's looking at me when she says it.

If you're in church, "looking at" God and singing, it's clear you're not singing to your girlfriend. At least it's clear to me. I can tell you in 24 years, I've never once wondered, "Is that person over there in church singing to God or his girlfriend?"
True dat, but as you say, you have been in church for 24 years. What about the person who enters a church for the first time in their life?

Again, I am not mandating my preferences for everyone. It is a matter of choice for the Worship Leader. I personally choose to use songs that leave absolutely no doubt as to who the object of the song is and who the worship is directed towards, if not directly by using His name, then at least by some identifiable description of God's very unique attributes (Perfection, Love, Omnipotence, Self Existence, Self Sufficiency, Justice, Immutability, Eternalness, Grace, Mercy, Goodness, Onmipresence, Omniscience, Infiniteness, Holiness, Sovereignty, etc…) all attributes that are God's alone, or perhaps a reference to the atoning sacrifice of Christ.

The song "Our Great God" is a favorite in our church and there is no question whatsoever as to who the song is about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOyoYbRSScs

If another leader feels comfortable using the Beatle's "I wanna hold your hand" as a congregational worship song, that's entirely their perogative!

Yeah you, got that something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand

And when I touch you I feel happy, inside
It's such a feeling
That my love
I can't hide
I can't hide
I can't hide


It could work I guess!

And I agree about "In the Garden"...blecccccch!

Last edited by Joe F; 10-08-2010 at 08:51 AM.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 09:36 AM   #34
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I don't think that every song in a worship set needs to be scripture or tell the Gospel story.

Like Ax says, nothing overtly Blasphemous, but you don't need in your face "Be born again or you're going to Hell" for every song.....
I personally feel that all worship music needs to be about God (Who God is. God's nature), sung to God (songs about how we feel about Jesus, how he has changed us), or songs that are narratives about our brokenness without God/Jesus.

"She's Comin' Round The Mountain" isn't overtly blasphemous either but I would never put it in a worship set. We need to remember who we are worshiping and who we are as worshipers when choosing a set.

As a worship leader I am trying to "weed out" some of the more touchy feelly love songs in our worship and focusing more than ever on songs that convict us and address our hypocrisy as Christians. For example, I recently stopped doing the song "Your Beloved" by "By The Tree". I even insisted that our other worship team stop doing it as well. I think there is way too much "God loves me the way I am" songs and songs about His love and grace. Although I recognize that God is love and I am forever grateful and thankful for His grace and mercy, for which I am totally unworthy of, our worship has become too focused on only one side of God's character.

Is there a place for the touchy feely? Absolutely. But there is also a need for conviction and honest soul searching. I do not think "I Want To Hold Your Hand" is what we are going for. I do not want God to hold my hand. I want His Holy Spirit to convict me when I stray. I want to him to wash me clean, to commune with me and make me more like Christ. To be remade everyday in His image. I want Him to equip me to bring the lost to Him.

Jesus said, "Follow me and I'll make you fishers of men". Not "Follow me and I'll give you goose bumps as we have a love song sing-a-long." "Follow me and we'll hug and hold hands and I'll tickle your ear with sweet sweet words that are forgotten the moment we leave the church and drive home."

Our worship as Christians should mirror what Jesus preached. It should reflect what He told us.

Love
Mercy
Forgiveness
Repentance
Saving the lost

Christians are weak and ineffectual today, and I think a lot of our worship music reflects that. We sing a lot about God's love and forgiveness and not so much about our brokenness and hypocrisy. There are a lot of people in my church, many of which are on the various worship teams, who I can never get to go to a bible study, or prayer group or the Evening service on a Sunday night. But they will run to a Christian coffee house, or a fellowship music event. And I think it is because the music is hollow and vapid. it doesn't convict us like a bible study, or time spent in prayer. It's easy to swallow and just as easy to forget.

Last edited by thesteve; 10-08-2010 at 09:51 AM.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 10:38 AM   #35
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Another song I highly recommend that went over quite well in our church:

"A Mighty Fortress" (Not the hymn) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJwt12hK_4

Describing God as a Righteous Judge, a Consuming Fire, a Burning Holy Flame and jealous for His own...

Gasp!!!
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Unread 10-08-2010, 10:47 AM   #36
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Another song I highly recommend that went over quite well in our church:

"A Mighty Fortress" (Not the hymn) YouTube - Mighty Fortress Christy Nockels With Lyrics

Describing God as a Righteous Judge, a Consuming Fire, a Burning Holy Flame and jealous for His own...

Gasp!!!
Can you send me the text and chords for the song. We blocked YouTube in our house and I can't access it at work.

What does the "Gasp!!!" mean? Tone does not translate well in text form.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 10:59 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by pooleman0 View Post

Christians are weak and ineffectual today, and I think a lot of our worship music reflects that. We sing a lot about God's love and forgiveness and not so much about our brokenness and hypocrisy. There are a lot of people in my church, many of which are on the various worship teams, who I can never get to go to a bible study, or prayer group or the Evening service on a Sunday night. But they will run to a Christian coffee house, or a fellowship music event. And I think it is because the music is hollow and vapid. it doesn't convict us like a bible study, or time spent in prayer. It's easy to swallow and just as easy to forget.
I read your whole post, but I have to say, I don't understand this portion. Yes, some Christians are fluffy, sure... But the truth of the matter is we are saved by grace, which is offered by a loving, merciful God.

Galatians 5:1 - It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Romans 8:1-2 - 1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.


The Psalms call for us to sing for joy, make a joyful noise, etc. Where is the joy in singing about how much I suck as a human being? The fact of the matter is, once saved, we're not bound by our sinful nature anymore.

Romans 6:17-18 - 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Singing about how I sin isn't exactly living that part, I don't believe. Sure, I know I sin, but the true part of me wants to follow Christ since I've given myself to Him. Forgive the fairly long passage, but check out what Paul says about this in Romans:

Romans 7:14-25 - 14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.


This passage affirms that, though we still sin, we aren't sinners --- we're slaves to Christ, and we're in His image. From all of this, my point is that I honestly think I do understand where you're coming from: Fluffiness is bad (100% agreed), and we can't just sing vapid songs and get goosebumps and say we're worshiping like we should (100% agreed). However, and I hope I'm not misunderstanding you (if I am, I apologize), I can't agree that we need to sing about our hypocrisy in most contexts, because that focuses on us and how we need to be better/do better/live better, when it's all about living in the grace of God. By our own nature, we can't live apart from sin.

If you're saying that we do need to sing more about how we're hypocrites and so on, can you give some examples of how that would look in a healthy context? What kind of worship do you think is Biblically-flimsy, and what would you place as a healthy place to be?
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Unread 10-08-2010, 10:59 AM   #38
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Can you send me the text and chords for the song. We blocked YouTube in our house and I can't access it at work.
See if you find anything you can access from these search results:

Let me google that for you
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Unread 10-08-2010, 11:01 AM   #39
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Can you send me the text and chords for the song. We blocked YouTube in our house and I can't access it at work.

What does the "Gasp!!!" mean? Tone does not translate well in text form.
Sure can.

I said "Gasp" because we actually sing a song about God's judgement, jealousy, and consuming fire nature instead of only portraying him as a lovey dovey Santa Claus like fellow that only wants us to sit on His lap and tell him what we want. He is indeed a loving Father and we can certainly sing often of that attribute. I think sometimes however, songs need to remind us of the God that Isaiah experienced in chapter 6:1-5, or perhaps a taste of Psalm 7: 8-17. Santa Claus He aint!

Here are the lyrics. Find a way to listen to it if you can. It's done by Christy Nockels.



MOD EDIT: Sorry, had to edit the lyrics out because we're not allowed to post full lyrics on CGR due to copyright laws. Feel free to send them as a PM or link to them elsewhere, however.

Oops...Ok! Sorry about that. How about this:

http://www.christynockels.com/chords...tyFortress.pdf

Last edited by Joe F; 10-08-2010 at 11:29 AM.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 11:24 AM   #40
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This passage affirms that, though we still sin, we aren't sinners --- we're slaves to Christ, and we're in His image. From all of this, my point is that I honestly think I do understand where you're coming from: Fluffiness is bad (100% agreed), and we can't just sing vapid songs and get goosebumps and say we're worshiping like we should (100% agreed). However, and I hope I'm not misunderstanding you (if I am, I apologize), I can't agree that we need to sing about our hypocrisy in most contexts, because that focuses on us and how we need to be better/do better/live better, when it's all about living in the grace of God. By our own nature, we can't live apart from sin.

If you're saying that we do need to sing more about how we're hypocrites and so on, can you give some examples of how that would look in a healthy context? What kind of worship do you think is Biblically-flimsy, and what would you place as a healthy place to be?
Addressing hypocrisy: When I pray I very often ask for forgiveness for my hypocrisy. I call each incident of hypocrisy by name and pray it out. So why not sing it out? When I confess my hypocrisy am I putting the focus on me? I do not think so. So why would singing it out be any different? I treat every song as a prayer to the Lord. Some songs are "prayers of thanksgiving", some are "Prayers of joy", some are "prayers of confession".

I would say that we do need to "be better/do better/live better". We live by God's grace, yes. But he is pretty clear on how we are to live, and be, and act. And all of those things require "doing", not "being". We need to be doing while under that grace, equipped with His power.

A.W.Tozer called today's Christians harmless (and he said this in the 50s). Harmless!! As "Mighty Warriors" the last thing we should be is harmless. But it's true, a vast majority of Christians today are harmless. The extent of their Christian walks is little more than "Fire Insurance". They walk in grace and mercy never desiring to change or grow, secure in the fact that God loves them and will always forgive them, but ignoring what He said in regards to the conducting of our lives and the changes that are required of Christians, those who are Christ-like.

So I choose to address these issues through our corporate musical worship. I addition to boldly singing about His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, goodness, etc. I sing songs of confession as well.

Was that more clear? I am not trying to be vague. Every negative comment I made about the modern Christian I am guilty of, I am not trying to lift myself above these issues.

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Sure can.

I said "Gasp" because we actually sing a song about God's judgement, jealousy, and consuming fire nature instead of only portraying him as a lovey dovey Santa Claus like fellow that only wants us to sit on His lap and tell him what we want. He is indeed a loving Father and we can certainly sing often of that attribute. I think sometimes however, songs need to remind us of the God that Isaiah experienced in chapter 6:1-5. Santa Claus He aint!

Here are the lyrics. Find a way to listen to it if you can. It's done by Christy Nockels.



MOD EDIT: Sorry, had to edit the lyrics out because we're not allowed to post full lyrics on CGR due to copyright laws. Feel free to send them as a PM or link to them elsewhere, however.

Oops...Ok! Sorry about that. How about this:

http://www.christynockels.com/chords...tyFortress.pdf

Thanks, I actually found the YouTube clip via my iPhone. I forgot to block it on my phone since I never use it. Who is the hypocrite now?
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Unread 10-08-2010, 11:40 AM   #41
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Thanks, I actually found the YouTube clip via my iPhone. I forgot to block it on my phone since I never use it. Who is the hypocrite now?
Ok cool.

Note that the link I added is actually a chord sheet PDF. We did it in a different key, but based it on that chart.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 01:13 PM   #42
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Addressing hypocrisy: When I pray I very often ask for forgiveness for my hypocrisy. I call each incident of hypocrisy by name and pray it out. So why not sing it out? When I confess my hypocrisy am I putting the focus on me? I do not think so. So why would singing it out be any different? I treat every song as a prayer to the Lord. Some songs are "prayers of thanksgiving", some are "Prayers of joy", some are "prayers of confession".

I would say that we do need to "be better/do better/live better". We live by God's grace, yes. But he is pretty clear on how we are to live, and be, and act. And all of those things require "doing", not "being". We need to be doing while under that grace, equipped with His power.

A.W.Tozer called today's Christians harmless (and he said this in the 50s). Harmless!! As "Mighty Warriors" the last thing we should be is harmless. But it's true, a vast majority of Christians today are harmless. The extent of their Christian walks is little more than "Fire Insurance". They walk in grace and mercy never desiring to change or grow, secure in the fact that God loves them and will always forgive them, but ignoring what He said in regards to the conducting of our lives and the changes that are required of Christians, those who are Christ-like.

So I choose to address these issues through our corporate musical worship. I addition to boldly singing about His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, goodness, etc. I sing songs of confession as well.

Was that more clear? I am not trying to be vague. Every negative comment I made about the modern Christian I am guilty of, I am not trying to lift myself above these issues.
That was more clear, thank you . I think I would tend to agree to an extent with Tozier's statement that many Christians are harmless, as well as yours that many use Christianity as a sort of "fire insurance." I do know, however, that that's definitely not the case for many Christians. The question, though, becomes "in what way does God want this local body to express His love and who He is to its congregants/people it can minister to," and then following it. That's another thread for another time, though . Thank you for elaborating further!
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Unread 10-09-2010, 02:14 AM   #43
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I don't get the Jesus is my boyfriend thing.

Clapton's tears in heaven doesn't mention his Kid's name but we all know that it's about his heartbreak following his tragic death.

as for visitors to church not knowing who you're singing to?

OH COME ON!!!!!

its a church for goodness sake!

you go to a sports match and you are chanting/singing at the focus of attention: the teams on the pitch. I was at Northern Ireland vs Italy Euro2012 qualifier last night and it was REALLY clear when the home fans were singing at the home team, the visitors or the ref!!

In church, who ELSE are you going to be singing to?

lets give the 1st time visitor a LITTLE credit for having a brain!! no-one walks into a church service without having any idea what it's about. you go to church KNOWING its a God thing. if I was visiting for the first time and I was patronised to that extent I wouldn't be back.
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Unread 10-09-2010, 07:43 AM   #44
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As I said, this is my personal preference. I think my point is being missed. It's not simply identifying who it is that's being sung about. People will indeed make that assumption if they are in church. If I am not going to specifically name God in the songs however, I at least want them to be specifically about Him by His attributes being found in the lyrics. His attributes are very unique and not interchangeable with anyone elses. A song like "Draw me close" could be sung to or about anyone.

I am not mandating this for anyone else. It's just my personal preference that songs in my church be specifially directed to or specifically about God, not ambiguous and generic. Otherwise, why not have the preacher simply say "Well there is a guy we worship...he does some cool stuff you see. There is no need to tell you much about it though. This is church afterall and you know already. Let's sing "For He's a jolly good fellow" and go to lunch!"

Your mileage will certainly vary and to each his own. If the Aretha Franklin song "You make me feel like a natural woman" works in your church because everyone who sets foot in it automatically knows to think of God whenever the word "You" is used, and they also already know that this natural feeling comes from the grace and mercy bestowed by the One and only immutable Creator of the universe who sacrificed His only Son to atone for our sin, then by all means use it!

It's just not for me.

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Unread 10-09-2010, 08:47 AM   #45
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Quote:
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As I said, this is my personal preference. I think my point is being missed. It's not simply identifying who it is that's being sung about. People will indeed make that assumption if they are in church. If I am not going to specifically name God in the songs however, I at least want them to be specifically about Him by His attributes being found in the lyrics. His attributes are very unique and not interchangeable with anyone elses. A song like "Draw me close" could be sung to or about anyone.

I am not mandating this for anyone else. It's just my personal preference that songs in my church be specifially directed to or specifically about God, not ambiguous and generic. Otherwise, why not have the preacher simply say "Well there is a guy we worship...he does some cool stuff you see. There is no need to tell you much about it though. This is church afterall and you know already. Let's sing "For He's a jolly good fellow" and go to lunch!"

Your mileage will certainly vary and to each his own. If the Aretha Franklin song "You make me feel like a natural woman" works in your church because everyone who sets foot in it automatically knows to think of God whenever the word "You" is used, and they also already know that this natural feeling comes from the grace and mercy bestowed by the One and only immutable Creator of the universe who sacrificed His only Son to atone for our sin, then by all means use it!

It's just not for me.
And I agree with you 100%. I value songs that are "biblically sound" over those that are dominated by emotional fluff for several reasons:

1) Declarations of God's attributes are always true. "I feel..." and other statements of emotion are not always true, because our feelings and emotions are fickle and flighty.

2) In general, songs that are "biblically sound" have a much greater depth than songs like "Draw Me Close." In Hebrews, it talks about leaving the infants' milk behind and moving on to solid food. I see biblically sound songs as solid food: there's depth, there's something the think about and chew on a little bit. I'm going to be convicted by some songs that are biblically sound... I probably will never be by "Breathe."

3) I feel that worship should be generally centered around the greatness of God, rather than our reaction to him. Reaction is an important aspect of worship, but it shouldn't be the centerpiece.

That said, though, we do play "emotional fluff" songs from time to time. An emotion response is (and should be) a part of worship for many people. I don't have a problem with doing songs like that as long as they are backed up by songs with depth and power.
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