Do Baptists have a shallow view of Corporate Worship?

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by Onlybygrace, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. Onlybygrace

    Onlybygrace
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    Through the years I have had the privilege of working in a large
    spectrum of churches ranging from ultra-conservative fundametals to
    pentecostals and charismatics. This experience has both challenged my
    beliefs and changed my thinking particularly in the area of corporate
    worship.

    Having spent a time worshipping and training worship teams in a cross-
    section of the christian community and now having returned to my
    conservative Baptist roots, I cannot help but be convinced that we as
    Evangelical Baptists have completely lost the plot when it comes to
    the true value and impact of corporate worship.

    In fact I would go so far as to say that we have intentionally made
    it out to be less than it is out of fear of catching a charismatic
    virus of some sort. I keep hearing that worship is far more than
    singing and personally I could not agree more.

    So why don't we stop seeing what we do on a Sunday morning as just
    singing?

    Why don't we stop using spiritual music as a lubricant in between
    more "important" events like praying, reading scripture, sharing the
    weekly announcements and of course preaching?

    Why don't we put more effort in to planning, practicing and praying
    through our music rather than pitching up on a Sunday morning and
    giving everything a quick run through an hour before the service
    starts?

    Why don't we stop saying things like "lets sing this song as we
    stretch our legs" from the pulpit?

    Why don't we begin applyling the same standards to all our ministries
    as we do to the pulpit?

    Why don't we put someone in charge of leading the music whom God has
    gifted for that purpose and who has an understanding and heart for
    worship rather than some some arb individual simply because he is a
    deacon or tithes substantially?

    Why don't we start viewing music as a vehicle for teaching and
    affirming biblical truth rather than fostering a fuzzy feeling of
    community togetherness?

    Need I go on...

    Just a thought, what are yours?
     
  2. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I'd like to think that you might be able to widen your experience of Baptists. Not all are in the conservative-evangelical camp. And not all are given to worship in the ways you have described. Some of us appreciate liturgical worship and do, indeed, entrust our music to people who are not only gifted, but also well-trained. I have been a pastor and am now an interim pastor, and truly appreciate well-chosen, vigorously-sung, properly-accompanied hymns and spiritual songs.

    I might also add that when I am not interim-pastoring I serve as the organist for the church of which I am a member. We try to blend hymns and contemporary music in such a way that there is a sense of reverence.

    Let's continue this dialogue. Even though I have spoken about liturgical worship, I am certainly not excited by reading lengthy litanies or "chancel-prancing". Let's keep talking about what authentic worship looks, sounds, and feels like.

    I think you are on to something when you suggest that we Baptists have been so afraid of enthusiasm that we have reduced worship to repetitive choruses or to bland renditions of old warhorse favorites.
     
  3. Marcia

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    Frankly, hyperness is not where it's at for me in worship. I like some hymns, mostly, but if I had to sing more I'd get exhausted. I am not against singing - I definitely think it's part of worship but it's not all worship is.

    Personally, I feel more worshipful with a liturgical style of worship, although my church is not like that.

    I also think enthusiasm can be forced or fake. I feel more worshipful being quiet or having solemn music (not sad).

    I just realized this is the Music Ministry thread so I guess no one will agree with me. [​IMG]
     
  4. Onlybygrace

    Onlybygrace
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    Thank you for your response. I am definately with you on the blending of hymns and more contemporary music, but what I am talking about goes far deeper than a choice of songs or a style of music.

    Let me preface my comments by saying that I have been a Baptist for 38 years, and although I have moved through different circles, I have always been and always will be a Baptist. Let me also say that I am well aware that even within Baptist circles there are a wide range of approaches to the subject of music in the church. I grew up in a church where we start off by singing a good half hour of choruses and follow that up with 4 great hymns of the faith every week.
    My challenge is not as much to styles and preferences of music as it is to attitudes and philosophies regarding music in the church.
    I find that most Baptist churches have a high view of preaching/teaching and a very low view in comparison of music.

    What we often forget that preaching and teaching are just mediums to impart truth. If the person preaching is not communicating biblical truth in an well-interpreted, relevant and practical way, what is the merit of preaching? Yet we deify the mode/vehicle of preaching and are obssessed with making the pulpit the center of the service even to the abrogation of the responsibility to ensure that the preaching that ensues from that pulpit is both biblically correct and relevant.
    I find that a little hypocritical at best.

    Now don't get me wrong, I myself have an extremely high view of scripture and do believe that the preaching and teaching of God's word must be central and preeminent to all we do because to me, what God has to say to me takes precedence over what I have to say to God.
    But I can't help feeling that Baptists are afraid to explore the deeper experience and value of worship.

    The question I would like an honest answer to is:"Why do we sing and make music a part of our public worship service?" I am not looking for a biblical basis for music I am asking an answer that shares your attitudes and philosophy regarding music. What does it do for the service/ What part does it play? How does it add value? Why is it important or for that matter, not important?
     
  5. annsni

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    Since my DH is the worship leader, and has had a heart for worship since he was saved as a teen, I do think that our church is doing well. He's not perfect and he's still working on improving the worship - and teaching the congregation what worship is - but he's absolutely seeking the Lord - and seeking to train his team to be able to be "invisible" and more a catalyst to worship rather than being the "show". It's hard - but it's important.
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    It will be helpful if music leaders would drop the idea that worship ends right before the preacher preaches.
     
  7. Joshua Rhodes

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    And also helpful if pastors don't propogate that idea. I'm in agreement that the spoken Word is the primary reason for coming to corporate worship, but it is not the only reason.
     
  8. SBCPreacher

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    Praying CAN be worship.
    Singing CAN be worship.
    Reading Scripture CAN be worship.
    Preaching CAN be worship.
    Giving tithes and offerings CAN be worship.

    But just 'cause it CAN be worship doesn't automatically mean that it WILL be worship.

    I think the intentions of the individual's heart determines worship. If you really want to worship God, you will! If you really don't want to worship God, you won't.

    And we worship differently. Some like loud, almost rambunctious worship, and some like the still, quiet service.

    Two people can be in the same service and one will worship and one won't. You will do what you've set your heart to do.
     
  9. SBCPreacher

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    Well said.
     
  10. dcorbett

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    Instead of social events, churches are hospitals for sinners.

    I don't believe in weekly stage productions. I believe in the Gospel being shared from the Bible. I love to sing and praise the Lord. But if I don't hear the word "sin" and/or "repent" or "salvation" somewhere in there, I wonder what the message was for.
     
  11. TCGreek

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    I really love this. I wish this were my thought. Tom, you beat me to it. :laugh:

    But you're so right. We need to get back to what worship really is.

    For believers, all of life is worship. We are always in worship. Every moment should be sacred.

    So when we come together as believers, our hearts would have been conditioned for the duration of that meeting.
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tom Butler
    It will be helpful if music leaders would drop the idea that worship ends right before the preacher preaches.


    That, too, Joshua.

    Having attended a worship service where you were the music leader, I can say you are not one of those I referred to.
     
  13. rbell

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    I agree. And a "stage production" can come from churches of all stripes. What a missed opportunity!

    This may not come out right, but I'll try: I've been doing this a while. I know how to craft a Bible Study/sermon. I'm pretty decent at speaking in front of crowds, and I know what to do and say. Too many times, I've put together a good sermon/Bible study...all on my own.

    But the fact remains: Without my allowing God to prepare me, AND the sermon, I've blown it. It's a "stage production." It may look good, and it may even be touching to folks. And since it is God's word, He can still use it...flawed as it may be. But I've missed out on what God really wanted to do.
     
  14. thegospelgeek

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    Our worship services are probably a little different than most here. We have no song leaders, allow the congregation to choose the hymns, and have open singing/testimonies but yet we still fall into the rut of doing the same thing week to week.

    Too often our worship services suffer from a lack of preperation. I am not talking about preperation in the typical sense such as the message, music, etc. But I am speaking of preperation on the part of those who are involved in worship. True worship takes obediance and faith. Too often our congregations come into the service from a hurried standpoint of getting kids ready, breakfast served, and all sorts of other worldly influences and expect the song leaders and pastors to make a worship service for them.

    What I need is to take the time BEFORE the service to prepare my heart for God to use me as a part of the worship. Walk into the building with worship on my heart and a love for Christ already bubbling in my soul.

    As a pastor I need to teach my congregation what it means to worship, how to worship, and what the focus and purpose of that worship is.
     
  15. Joshua Rhodes

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    Thank you brother... that means alot!
     
  16. Joshua Rhodes

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    I agree... I've always said that people should not come to church to worship. They should come worshipping to church. Too many times this doesn't happen.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    Turning it into a concert of pop circus music certainly hasn't helped worship be more serious.
     
  18. TomVols

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    Choirs, soloists, and our church architecture have chipped away at a Biblical understanding of worship.

    Pathetic theology crept into hymns way before praise choruses ever came along.

    So yes, we have a very faulty theology and praxis of worship.
     
  19. JamieinNH

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    Two things. Please define corporate worship for me as I have never heard this term and don't understand it's meaning.

    Second, I have read this thread and a story, a true one comes to mind and I wonder how you would react as Pastor and what your thoughts are.

    During the beginning of the service, the congregation was singing and you could just feel God's presence. Song after song, it just felt right. They ended up singing that entire hour an a half and the Pastor never spoke his sermon. Have you guys ever had that happened and how was it handle?
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    It is when the body worship together.

    As a pastor, I would wonder what this means. In fact, I do wonder what it means. What is this, and how do you define it? By what biblical standard you identify it? How do you distinguish it from anything else?
     

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