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EB week two post: BREAKOUT!

January 24, 2009

For:The Institute of Contemporary and Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University,Essentials Blue online course with Dan Wilt

I confess that one of my criticisms of Vineyard-type worship is that it seems like we’re all worshiping  in one place together, but all having our own close-eyed, personal experience with God.  We never open our eyes & engage those around us (unless it’s a moment of self consciousness) until church is over & everyone goes for coffee.

Eddie Gibbs gets at a bit of what I’ve felt when he (rather sharply) criticizes modern worship ; “When our worship songs focus mainly on the individual and how he or she feels in relation to Jesus,  then worship becomes self-centered to an unhealthy degree.  There are only so many ways to say how much we love Jesus.” [1]

Gibbs and others stop short, though, of an experience that takes place in some Pentecostal settings – the experience of people engaging with each other during worship.  Not only do we try to engage a God who is a community, but we engage and celebrate with, and encourage each other.  Try a gospel song that says “God’s got a blessing with your name on it,” [2] for instance.

And rather than assume it’s all performance (easy for me to do) – that it’s people in the congregation or (more likely) the worship leader taking the attention away from God – I want to sit with the possibility that maybe it’s just culture.  It’s not native to me, but I want to learn something by trying it on.

[1] Eddie Gibbs, Time In A Bottle: Reflections On Worship (Inside Worship Magazine), 9

[2] DeWitt Johnson, “God’s Got A Blessing (Toughing The World) copyright 2003

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One comment

  1. […] Blog Another John Mayer « Week 2: This Weary Earth January 24, 2009 Good thoughts here from Dana, one of our worship pastors.  There is massive spiritual value in people “engaging with each […]



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