Episode #4: I Am Disappointed With Worship

SHOW NOTES Episode4_WMB

Welcome to Worshipmythbusters.com. I am Rich Kirkpatrick, your host.  Worship Mythbusters is about debunking damaging thinking that gets in the way of our worship. Employing the Socratic method, this podcast explores popular notions that may be more myth than truth.

I have with me today a group of guys for a round table discussion about today’s topic “I Get Disappointed With Worship”



Our discussion included worship leaders from four states and one European country. Yes, WMB is now international! These guys feel like best buddies now because we had to scrap the first recording due to human error. And, to top that off, we had to record the conversation an additional two times due to technical issues. So, yes, this conversation was a labor of love and well, it won’t disappoint.

Then, its time for another TOP TEN list. This one is titled “Top 10 things that annoy me about modern worship music recordings”

“I get disappointed with worship”

Disappointment with worship seems like heresy. Of course, we can imagine God being disappointed with our worship, right? But, for us to claim that is, well, too human. Who are we as the worshiper to be disappointed?

And, if you are a worship leader you are well aware of disappointment. People send notes, cards and email jabs all the time about how they are disappointed with how worship went for them. “It’s too loud.” “Why is so and so not singing on the team as much?” “You look like you are performing, not leading us in worship.” “I just do not feel God’s presence here.” I think you get the picture.

We get blamed, then easily push back—even if just in our heads. We thing that the people in pews are to blame since they are making this all about them and not the object of our worship, God. Fingers point in all directions. We all do it. All of us are, well, disappointed at some point in time.

I contend that most of the time we feel disappointed exists not because he Holy Spirit has not shown up, or the worship leader is not fully of pure heart in the moment, or that the church is not progressing on mission. When expectations and truth or reality do not match, we become disillusioned. We have this in huge quantities every weekend in every church when what we want or expect is not delivered. We even get angry about it. Or, we give up. Disappointment.

There are three questions that I think can help us identify the root of our disappointment.

  • What does God expect of us (church members, pastors, worship leaders, etc.) on Sunday mornings?
  • What do we expect from ourselves (or others) on Sunday?
  • What do we (the church and individuals) expect from God in our worship?

 

Top 10 things that annoy me about modern worship music recordings

Once in a while, an occasional general vent is what blogging and podcasting is expected to offer as well as the self-indulgent list. So here we go. As one who listens to many church modern worship recordings and who has recorded a bit, I noticed a few things that really seem to make this music unapproachable to the uninitiated person.

In other words, there are some signature and clichés we use in worship recordings that may not be helping us in relating to the average person out there who first hears it. This is all pretty subjective, but maybe there is something to learn from a list like this.

Top 10 List

  • Auto tuned backing vocals, that are overdubbed a thousand times
  • Every song is four-on-the-floor (kick drum every beat, for the lay person)
  • The electric guitars are overdubbed at least 7 times (what worship team has that many!?)
  • Loops that sound like crickets and chirpy things that jar you, rather than pull a song along.
  • Does this tune have an ending? Really.
  • How about the bridge that keeps repeating then getting louder each time.
  • Tap delay on the guitar on EVERY song…so 1990s! Nothing wrong with a bit of overdrive or clean, right?
  • LIVE recording does not have to mean your are in a cave!
  • Did I hear this CD before?
  • Is that the chorus, or is that the chorus or is that the chorus?
Top Ten List Originally posted on RKWeblog.com in April, 2010

0 thoughts on “Episode #4: I Am Disappointed With Worship”

  1. Rich,

    Well done! I enjoyed the podcast. Here are some followup comments:

    1. I love Skype.
    2. I hate Skype.

    3. I think the 3 questions you posed in the intro are the key, and are in the correct order — first, what does God expect from us in worship?
    – The whole reason we worship is because He is worthy.
    – The whole reason we are gathered together is because He’s joined us to Himself and to one another. And He’s worthy.
    – The sum of our activity is to glorify Him — that includes our activity as individuals, and as a corporate entity. And He’s worthy.

    So, His expectation of us should be our primary concern. We live by His grace, for His glory. But, if we stop with that question and don’t ask the other two, we’re being so spiritual that we won’t live that out in practical ways.

    Ultimately, our expectations of one another must be rooted in question 1 — what His expectations of us are. If we start having expectation outside the boundaries of what God’s after, and it starts to be about pleasing ourselves and one another, we’re not likely to find ourselves in the presence of God.

    Church is about being joined together by God to do His will. A worship meeting in the strictest definition of that is about coming together to seek and find the Lord, to be with Him, to know His will, to be transformed by Him. That perspective tends to put to rest a lot of the personal disappointment issues — if we lead and minister in that context, and every member of the body is present with that mindset.

    The reality, of course, is that people are people. We’re all living at different levels of understanding, different levels of discipleship and commitment, etc., and that is going to affect what we expect to take place when we come together.

    You guys made some excellent points about how this works practically, and how as worship leading teams, we have to live in our mandate from God — to ‘minister to the Lord continually, as every day’s work requires’ to quote I Chron. — but at the same time, to understand that, as priests in the House of God, part of our service to God is to serve His people.

    The volume issue, for instance — some can’t stand it loud, some can’t stand it quiet. The Bible’s full of examples of both, and we know that God is worthy of both to the extreme, as well as everything in between! But we want to HELP people come to new understandings of how to bring their sacrifices and offerings before the Lord, not put out trip wires to cause them to stumble over style or personal preference issues.

    Explanation, teaching, reading the Word of God about these issues, encouraging people to come further out of their personal boundaries and into the freedom to worship God without hindrance is part of our long-term ministry assignment as we live life with the people of God.

    What joy to see transformation as people find out they can have liberty and live in the very presence of God Himself, rather than stay locked up in their “I’d rather have everything limited to as teeny tiny as I can imagine it” rooms! What a privilege we have of patiently helping to lead them there as we walk through life and worship meetings together!

    4. Well, I don’t really have a 4. Anyway, thanks for the thought, prayer, and sharing of your lives to Rich and the guys who participated in this podcast!

    Your friend and co-laborer in Christ,

    Harold

  2. Rich,

    Well done! I enjoyed the podcast. Here are some followup comments:

    1. I love Skype.
    2. I hate Skype.

    3. I think the 3 questions you posed in the intro are the key, and are in the correct order — first, what does God expect from us in worship?
    – The whole reason we worship is because He is worthy.
    – The whole reason we are gathered together is because He’s joined us to Himself and to one another. And He’s worthy.
    – The sum of our activity is to glorify Him — that includes our activity as individuals, and as a corporate entity. And He’s worthy.

    So, His expectation of us should be our primary concern. We live by His grace, for His glory. But, if we stop with that question and don’t ask the other two, we’re being so spiritual that we won’t live that out in practical ways.

    Ultimately, our expectations of one another must be rooted in question 1 — what His expectations of us are. If we start having expectation outside the boundaries of what God’s after, and it starts to be about pleasing ourselves and one another, we’re not likely to find ourselves in the presence of God.

    Church is about being joined together by God to do His will. A worship meeting in the strictest definition of that is about coming together to seek and find the Lord, to be with Him, to know His will, to be transformed by Him. That perspective tends to put to rest a lot of the personal disappointment issues — if we lead and minister in that context, and every member of the body is present with that mindset.

    The reality, of course, is that people are people. We’re all living at different levels of understanding, different levels of discipleship and commitment, etc., and that is going to affect what we expect to take place when we come together.

    You guys made some excellent points about how this works practically, and how as worship leading teams, we have to live in our mandate from God — to ‘minister to the Lord continually, as every day’s work requires’ to quote I Chron. — but at the same time, to understand that, as priests in the House of God, part of our service to God is to serve His people.

    The volume issue, for instance — some can’t stand it loud, some can’t stand it quiet. The Bible’s full of examples of both, and we know that God is worthy of both to the extreme, as well as everything in between! But we want to HELP people come to new understandings of how to bring their sacrifices and offerings before the Lord, not put out trip wires to cause them to stumble over style or personal preference issues.

    Explanation, teaching, reading the Word of God about these issues, encouraging people to come further out of their personal boundaries and into the freedom to worship God without hindrance is part of our long-term ministry assignment as we live life with the people of God.

    What joy to see transformation as people find out they can have liberty and live in the very presence of God Himself, rather than stay locked up in their “I’d rather have everything limited to as teeny tiny as I can imagine it” rooms! What a privilege we have of patiently helping to lead them there as we walk through life and worship meetings together!

    4. Well, I don’t really have a 4. Anyway, thanks for the thought, prayer, and sharing of your lives to Rich and the guys who participated in this podcast!

    Your friend and co-laborer in Christ,

    Harold

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