Monday, April 11, 2011

Whatever happened to worship wars?

I was thinking today about how churches have gone through worship wars for years over Contemporary vs. Traditional worship. In recent years as contemporary worship music has become more and more accepted, it seems that many churches have at least incorporated "some" contemporary music into worship (albeit at times begrudgingly).

I have thought for years that the problem is not the music, it is authenticity and how well we worship. I have been in churches of all types that worship "well". However, I have also been in churches that really don't seem to want to be in worship at all. In my opinion, musical style matters less than being authentic. Are we leading people into the presence of God through what we do? Is our worship pleasing to God? Truly worship should be our "offering" to God. In this way, Worship should be more of a way of life than just what we do once or twice a week.

I started college as a music major with the intention of being a church music minister. I am so glad that God had other plans for me. I love music, and I love music of all types; however, many times the arguments over music become such a distraction that it is taking our focus off of God. No matter what type of music we use, we should do it well.

The other idea that comes to mind is that there are other types of creative worship that we in many ways ignore, while putting music on a pedestal. What about visual art? Drama? Dance? We need to expand our horizons!
Ralph Mahoney says it well:

"Whenever His people gather and worship Him, God promises He will make His
presence known in their midst. On the other hand, where God's people consistently
neglect true spiritual worship, His manifest presence is rarely experienced."

Are we truly worshiping God? If our worship seems to lack something (either personal or corporate worship) then we need to examine what is distracting us. Let us go and worship the one true God!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Upgrading myself

That's right people, I have given myself an upgrade! In just the last few days I have ramped up my digital presence. I have restarted this blog, I have actually started using Twitter, and I am thinking more intentionally about my Facebook posts.

I have fallen off from all of this in the last few years due to computer issues, internet issues and just being plain busy. I have a renewed interest in using these tools, I have a better connection, and I have done some diagnostics on my laptop and it is running much smoother.

Hopefully, my followers on this blog will pick up. Nothing against Keith and Stan, but they are my only followers at the moment. If you see this on Facebook, come and follow my blog. Same with Twitter.

Thanks to all one of you for following me.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

This Blog is Strangely Warm

I have had this Blog for quite a while, but have not blogged consistently since 2008. Other Social media such as Facebook had taken the place of the blog. I recently have had renewed interest in blogging as a tool for ministry, communication and just general fun. Why Strangely Warm? I have been United Methodist my whole life...let me rephrase that, I have been a Christian since I was a youth, and I have attended various United Methodist churches my entire life. Here is a quote from John Wesley, the Father of Methodism.

In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while the leader was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.
from The Journal of John Wesley, May 24, 1738

When I was 13 I made a commitment to Christ, as my faith has had an ebb and flow through life, I have at times been strangely warmed by the spirit working in my life. No matter what struggles I have had in life, I have always turned to my faith to pull me through. This blog is about many things: faith, family, youth ministry, church, fun, and basically other things that interest me. I have deleted my old posts from a few years back, because I plan on being more intentional in using this blog. So welcome to the journey and I hope that at times your heart also will be "strangely warmed."