Here at richardkentopp.com I'm going to be starting a series called Sunday Noise discussing many topics related to 'leading worship'... including the fact that I think calling it 'leading worship' is often a misnomer. I recognize that every ecclesial situation is different, and I know that there's not really a way to be an 'expert' in these matters. I do, however, have a ton of experience in leading music on Sundays and hope the upcoming discussions can help pastors, musicians, and lay leaders alike assess, form, and begin to ask the right questions about the music in their worship gatherings. Over the next few months I'll be addressing some of the questions I get asked most often about my work: - how do you select and rotate songs through your catalog? - how do you make songs match up with the sermon topic? - how do you choose an appropriate genre of music for your congregation? - how do you put together a band? - should I hire musicians or draw from my congregation? or both? - what does every band leader need to show up with on Sunday mornings? - how do you lead a band, both in rehearsal and in the worship gathering? - how do you write new songs for Sunday worship? - how do I update old hymns? - how do I excavate vintage Christian hymns or poetry? what is liturgical archeology? - am I/do we need a 'worship leader', a 'band leader', or a 'music pastor'? what's the difference? - how much should we pay our 'worship leader'? - how do we evaluate our 'worship leader'? - how can we use the music at my church as an outreach to those who don't go to church? - where do we draw the line between a good spiritual leadership and good musicianship? - etc. etc.
Today, however, I want to start by sharing a sermon I delivered last fall about why Christians sing on Sundays.
Here's some choice quotes: There’s the Vertical and Horizontal consequences of singing together, and I’m going to describe them through two stories...
These songs not only connect us to God, but they connect us to each other. We feed off of each other’s energy, we feed off of each other’s joy, passion, and even lament.
The scriptures are absolutely packed with songs. From the poem that describes creation in Genesis 1, to the song we sing from Revelation ‘Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty...’ songs to and about God are integral to the history of God’s people.