I want to see a revolution begin. No matter what it takes. An Every Day Worshiper Revolution, where everyone takes the song they have in their hearts and sings it wherever they can as loud as it goes for the glory of God with the little they have in His hands.
Hillsong, Bethel Music, Vertical Church, Worshiponline.com; Worshiptogether.com. - today the resources are almost endless. There are so many talented musicians making Christian music today. And there are tons of media resources equipping churches. Many are making large sums of money on selling their services to worship leaders. I am not going to belittle what they do or even examine their texts. I am not going to criticise that they make money on these sites because I don't know what costs they have to do what they do and I don't know them personally. I don't know what they tithe with what they earn and I don't know the motives of their hearts. I will leave all of that to God.
But a few things about this Christian music culture bother me. (Please excuse me if this isn't true where you are..)
1. We are today oversaturated with mainstream worship music - so much so that worship leaders don't often seek to find the songs that God is birthing in the people in our own congregations.. Who needs more music from the members of the church when we already have great sheet music, videos, chord charts and so on from the leading worship music factories online? After all, we want to give our members a great experience and they are already familiar with the big artists on Spotify. It feel safe to use these songs that are already so well known. If they already are so popular then they must be o.k., right?
The more I share my own music, the more I hear this from tons of people. How the songs they wrote - often beautiful and biblical - never get shared with the worship leader because they don't believe that the leaders want to hear the songs at all - "They only sing mainstream stuff anyway, so what is the use to try?", they say. Which leads me to my next point:
2. This praisetainment culture has caused passivity of the members in the pews - they don't try to or can't share their worship music in the church system. If the worship leaders are content with lifting up only "safe" or well-known worship songs (plus a little that they themselves write every now and then), there is often no room/need for the new songs being born in their brothers and sisters hearts in the church.
It is hard to integrate every new song into a church service - but, some have been able to use their gifts/songs in home church setting.I know many that sing their own songs at home and don't even try to share them at their church or home group. They keep it private and don't see a need to share what they have received. This is unfortunate.
God created the world in great diversity. We see His creativity all around us. Why shouldn't worship be as diverse in genre, style, and so on? All I hear in churches today are the same songs being sung all around the globe. Often these songs follow popular mainstream non-Christian trends in the context of being seeker friendly. It you don't fit that mould then you don't fit. Realizing this, many home-grown worshipers and songwriters become passive. Many of these private worshipers are satisfied with being passive within the church system and give up - as I did for many years.
But the problem isn't all the mainstream music that has a monopoly on worship services with all their great resources, or worship leaders' attitudes. At the core of the problem is the church system and how we see ourselves - how we as worshipers and songwriters have become complacent within the church system beacuse of the way it has become dysfunctional.
In the early church, everyone in the group contributed actively in the worship. Everyone share something, a song, a hymn, a word or taught. We have created a structure and a heirachy that leaves us only to receive and not give. Watch this:
It is time for Christian musicians and worshipers to dust off their songs and seek the Lord on how to use these where they are with what they can. If the church doesn't have room for your songs, use them to sing at home, go out into the streets and share with people who are hungry in their souls. Learn what you need to know to be good at what you do. Get the tools. Start now and be dilligent at it. Put your songs on YouTube. Make a CD and give songs away to those who need to hear what you have to say. Wait on the Lord on how to go forward. Don't wait for any human to encourage you. Just rise up and get it done for the glory of God and because you love Him and love people.
If you are angry and or hurt at your church for not wanting to use your music. Repent, forgive and get over it. You only waste time and keep yourself from the flow of the Holy Spirit which will birth even more songs when that unforgiveness is gone.
I believe that a time is coming and is already here where new songs are going to rise from the mouths of those the church isn't listening to - individuals who are wholly commited to the King of kings and who, in the quiet place and in all they do worship in all humility and in Spirit and in truth.
Here is a great article about what true worship really is:
Let me know your ideas about this. And, if you need encouragement on how to get going in worship, drop me an email with your contact info and I'll get back to you.