An offering of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs for the
worship edification of the Body of Christ.
Praise and Worship Songs to bless God. . .
"I might not be a religious
man myself but I know good music when I hear it, and this is very good! . . . I dont think that I have ever given such high
ratings to so many songs before. But the fact is that they are well deserved
because the music is amazing. Simply wonderful religious ballads and they
really get to your heart. . .everytime."
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Pastors, worship music ministers, small group
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Praise and Worship and Church Growth
The Church Growth Movement is all the rage these days. It seems that
everyone wants to be a mega church and the means to attain this end is to become the
seeker friendly church. In other words, you fire the choir, organist and music
minister in order to elevate a youth oriented contemporary worship team in
their place. As a result, while throwing the older generations under the bus in the
interest of so-called evangelism, the vast majority of the churchs
musicians are relegated to the pews as the Sunday morning service is rapidly transformed
into a youth service filled with contemporary Christian music at the expense of age old
The Church Growth Movement is all the rage these days. It seems that everyone wants to be a mega church and the means to attain this end is to become the seeker friendly church. In other words, you fire the choir, organist and music minister in order to elevate a youth oriented contemporary worship team in their place. As a result, while throwing the older generations under the bus in the interest of so-called evangelism, the vast majority of the churchs musicians are relegated to the pews as the Sunday morning service is rapidly transformed into a youth service filled with contemporary Christian music at the expense of age old traditions.
The praise and worship band generally has to be guitar-driven in its song leading capacity and led by a good-looking youngster who fits into a particular contemporary image. When you are attempting to impress a world enamoured by youth by conforming to it, its all about looks. And, in the name of being commercial, the worship leader look is a look-alike of whatever contemporary Christians artists are being promoted by the praise and worship music record companies who likewise dictate to the church what their musical formats will be.
unfortunate result of this practice of elevating novices up in this manner is that the
youth put in charge is generally over his head and many times falls into sin. Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall
into the condemnation of the devil. (I Tim 3:6) As forwarded by the likes of
To the shame of the church, its leadership had encouraged the demise of the youth by making the song service all about him to begin with. However, in response to the praise team leaders sin the embarrassed church leadership, driven by the political ramifications of the affair, will generally condemn and chastise the unfortunate young person and move on to the next hand-picked praise and worship rock star modeled after contemporary Christian music commercialism. I have yet to see an instance where these churches minister to these ill-fated defunct praise leaders once they have fallen from grace. They simply use these disposable praise song worship leaders up and throw them away. Hence the shelf life of a musician in the church these days tends to be very short. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. (Luke 7:2)
idea of a person placed in the center of a churchs worship life is an oxymoron in
itself. Worship is about God, but the Church Growth crowd has made it all about a person.
One can expect the same results in the church as we see with rock and roll super stars in
the world. Look at the lives of these music icons to behold the future of the church that
has taken on the world. But how can a church that conforms to the ways of the world be the
light of the world? (Matt 5:11-14)
seeker-friendly relate to the world motif extends into the teaching of the
Word as well. In seeker-friendly Church Growth settings, the pastor needs to
stay away from doctrines that may offend listeners. . .or they might not come
back. They hesitate to give altar calls because singling someone out might make that
someone uncomfortable. Forget about talking of the consequences of sin. References to hell
are out of the question. And the pastor dare not talk about Christianity as it relates to
our morally bankrupt society or the IRS may take his non-profit status away. It becomes
all about money and the proclamation of Gods Word becomes the ultimate victim.
the Church Growth congregation feigns from becoming too doctrinal in their worship
singing. The emphasis is on happy praise and worship songs that leave everyone feeling
good about themselves. Out with the old and in with the new. Throw out any music that was
written before the last ten years, which leaves praise hymn singing out of the question.
Cut the church off from its past to adopt a pop culture dumbed-down religion devoid
of a solid foundation. That is the motto of the Church Growth consultant.
entire parody is labeled as praise and worship, it is not worship at all. It
is contemporary Christian music entertainment in the name of commercialism and marketing. The idea is to give the congregation a short and
orderly pop culture presentation in song followed by a feel good motivational
sermon that will please the eyes and ears of a narcissistic society reared by
In the mean
time very few people are being saved in Church Growth congregations. Instead, Church
Growth-inspired compromises have encouraged Christians to church hop to the latest and
greatest. Whoever has the newest and nicest buildings, best worship, hottest
band and most creative stage setup and multimedia will win the day. The Church Growth
consultants claim that their extravagant unbiblical devices are for the purpose of saving
souls, when in fact its all about filling pews with members of neighboring churches
and accumulating large offerings. Wealth is the central goal. The growth that provides
this wealth is the result of pilfering congregants from the church around the corner. And
it will be only a matter of time when the Church Growth congregations buildings and
equipment get old and outdated. Theyve gotten themselves too far into dept by this
time to update. Finally bored with the same old thing the church hoppers who have been
stolen from other churches will run to the next big thing. And
they will take their money with them to support their newly-adopted temporary church abode
that has mortgaged their future in order to get ahead of the Church Growth game.
where you look, everyone who submits to the dogma of Church Growth crowd loses.
To the angel of the church in
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true
witness, the ruler of Gods creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold
nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are
lukewarmneither hot nor coldI am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say,
I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not
realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from
me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can
cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be
earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice
and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Rev 3:14-22)
There is a better way . . .
the Bible, the Samaritan woman at the well presented a question to Jesus asking where God
was to be worshipped. She was wondering if it was to be on their mountain or in
Jesus is assuring us that worship is not something that is done at a particular time and in a particular place. Worship is not defined as a contemporary praise music singing event. . .though singing to the Lord in song is a worshipful activity. According to the Bible worship is something that we do with our whole life. Hence Paul declared to the Romans: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. (Rom 12:1) Worship is a lifestyle that involves sacrifice. Worship is not a feeling that we get when we sing praise and worship music. Worship in song is not a means of conjuring up the God who is always present. God is omnipresent and His Holy Sprit lives inside us. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:7) (I Cor 6:19) So how is it that so many Christians believe that worship is about ushering in the presence of God? How is it that people believe that praise and worship music is all about bringing down the Holy Spirit when David proclaimed in the Psalms that there is nowhere we can go to escape Gods Spirit and Paul assured us that His Spirit lives inside us?
Worship is not for us. It is for God. Worship is service to Him. And since God is forever present and near, worship is something that we do with all our lives. Christians live always before the God who is there. Therefore Jesus declared: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matt 22: 37-40) A lot of people have the love the Lord your God part down, at least when they are in church. But too many times the Love your neighbor as yourself part of worship falls by the wayside. But loving your neighbor is putting the act of loving God into action. And without loving your neighbor, it cannot be said that one loves God. (I Jn 2: 9-11; 3:11-20)
Christianity is not relegated to being simply a vertical religion. Thats what dualistic pagan religious systems such as Hinduism are all about. They think that the world is inherently evil and hence the emphasis of their worship is to escape the world to transcend to Nirvana. But it is not so with Christianity. Rather, Christian worship is about Christians interacting in a positive manner in a world that God declared is good (Gen 1) in service to Him for the sake of the salvation of souls. Therefore, when one studies the Psalms one finds that praise is about declaring God for who He is and what hes done to a world that is lost in sin.
Praise is an activity that as Christians we are called upon to do all the time. And the purpose of praise is for its proclamation out in the world as a testimony of the goodness of God. Consider how the Philippian jailer was saved as the result of the prayer and praise hymns that were uttered by Paul in Silas when they were confined in prison. (Acts 16: 16-38) How else, other than through the mouths of believers, will unbelievers hear the praises of God and be converted?
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. (I Chron 16:8)
Where does that leave music in the Church? Paul indicated: Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 5:19-20)
There are a few things we can draw from this. First of all, praise and worship music is to be offered to the Lord with an attitude of gratitude. Praise songs and worship singing are a response to God rather than a tactic to get Him to do something for us. Though God inhabits the praises of His people, (Ps 22:3) we are not called to praise Him so that He will react in a way that pleases our sensual desires or grow our churches. We praise Him because He has come in the form of the God-man Jesus Christ who died for our sins and raised Himself from the dead that we might inherit eternal life. Salvation alone should be enough to keep us praising Him for eternity. We dont need any more. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Ps 51:12)
The next thing that should be noted from Pauls writings to the Ephesians is that we should be praising God with all forms of praise and worship music in song. That would include hymn singing along with modern music forms. How unbiblical it is that Church Growth pastors are forsaking their rich heritage in praise hymn singing for the sake of commercial contemporary Christian music marketing. How can God bless that?
Lastly, Paul notes that there is a horizontal aspect to praise and worship singing in the church. We are to speak to one another in our singing. Therefore worship music in the church is about service. It is about blessing God and ministering to others in song. And it is not a self-seeking hedonistic exercise based on self-fulfillment that the Church Growth crowd caters to.
The early Christian martyrs were led to the Roman Coliseum for the
sake of their testimony of Christ to die in the mouths of lions and at the edge of the
sword. These noble Christians did so because they refused to bow down and worship the
genus of the Emperor of Rome. Rather, they chose to worship the living God who died for
them. Thus, as recorded in Foxes Book of Martyrs,
they would be seen lifting their hands to God in praise and worship songs to Him before
the entire populace of
Praise and Worship: The Greatest in Gods Kingdom
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 18:1-4)
But Jesus called them to him, and said to them, You know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority on them. But so shall it not be among you: but whoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whoever of you will be the most chief, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10: 42-45)
The Church Growth church is all about the hedonistic cult of I need, I need. And pushing ones way to the top of the heap is the ultimate goal of this unbiblical system. But according to Jesus it is the servant of all who stands out from the rest in Gods eye. It is the worshipper who has given his or her life to God for the glory of His name who will receive the well done good and faithful servant in eternity. (Matt 25: 14-28) And those who live a life of service in worship will be those who truly come to praise the Lord in song at church as an extension of their praise and worship life in everything they do. And a church that is filled with praise ushering from the hearts of worshippers such as these will be a church that grows as God intended the church to grow. And the salvation of many souls in a healthy and vibrant church will be the result.
Besides, church growth is not mans job, it is Gods. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (I Cor 3:7)
It is not by mans greatness, wisdom or power that the true work of God is accomplished. Gods kingdom is not built upon novel manipulative ideas that come from the minds of brilliant men. Rather God works through lifestyle worshippers who have come to realize that they are nothing without Him. He uses those who will humble themselves before God and pray. With God living inside, true worshippers who have learned to bow before God in earnest prayer and supplication will be the ones He will use to change the world.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirits power, so that your faith might not rest on mens wisdom, but on Gods power. (I Cor 2: 4-5)
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11:9-13)
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While youre at it be sure to look discover how the power of prayer ignited a tremendous revival at the Brookland Tabernacle in the book Fresh Wind Fresh Fire: What Happens When Gods Spirit Invades the Heart of His People.
was formed as a service to the body of Christ to encourage scriptural worship. To accomplish this goal Wigtune Company offers free contemporary praise music and hymn mp3 and chart material along with a free on-line worship study book for personal devotions, Bible study groups, Sunday schools, pastors, music ministers and ministry training. In order to bridge the gap between the old and the new the worship study book gives solid theological and historical support to the use of traditional Christian hymn-singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.
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