Is it possible to listen to too much worship music? Why would I even address such an issue? Am I one of those indie listening types who enjoy taking shots at Christian music because it is bland and lacks creativity? Sometimes. But that is not what I’m trying to do here.
I’m writing to my own heart. I hope this challenges you as well.
In the last 20 years, worship music has risen to the top of all Christian music. I don’t have facts, but I guarantee you it makes the most money. It is accessible. It is encouraging. A lot of it is very good and good for your walk with God today. I’m a worship leader. I listen to a lot of it. I even write my own songs and sell them.
My concern for worship leaders is that we spend so much time listening to professional worship albums that we feel pressure to mimic that sound/experience in our churches. Let’s be honest. You probably don’t have a David Crowder/Chris Tomlin/Hillsong quality band every Sunday. You work with volunteers. You work with the young inexperienced and the older over-experienced. You work with the 13 year old with his Mel Bay chord book and the old 70s rocker who can shred better than you can talk.
I think there is a beautiful value in that.
Yea, it would be nice to have the same team of professional musicians that you travel the world with and crank out songs with your eyes closed. I’m not saying we should disregard improvement. We have a lot to learn from the pros, but becoming Hillsong should not be your goal. Your goal should be to invest in the people God has given you today. Be a spiritual leader. Pray for them. Teach them. Love them. Laugh with them. Care for them.
Don’t be discouraged if your band doesn’t sound exactly like the new United album that just came out 15 seconds ago. Work on improving the quality of your band but don’t use them as a means to your self-glorifying goals. See their need. Bring them higher. Love them. There is more to what we are doing than click-track tight music and emotional sounds. The Holy Spirit wants to connect with His people through your worship leading.
God has given you an amazing opportunity. Be faithful.