Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NWLC Notes: Day 4 (2 of 2)

"Creating a Culture of Worship" Workshop by Buddy Owens - Thursday afternoon July 24, 2008. My friend Buddy Owens led this workshop. Aside from contributing to my graduate classes at Hope International University, Owens is also the author of The Way of a Worshiper, and the Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. As usual, Buddy had some great stuff, but here just a portion specifically about the role of music:

  • How do I create a culture that values worship?
  • You can tell what a person worships by the way they love. People value what they worship.
  • How is the value we place on God reflected in our worship?
  • If you are bored with the music in your church, chances are God is too.
Music is Cohesive
  • Music has a "stick-together" quality to it. Think about before a baseball game. When the national anthem plays, people stand and hats come off. They've gone from being a crowd to being a congregation. They have one purpose. They are focused.
  • It is the same with music in worship. The way we start our services is important. It brings people together, unifies them, creates focus.
Music Captures Memories
  • Music takes us back to a memory. Songs have become sacred moments to people - they remind people of "God moments" in their life.
Music is Attached to People
  • You can tell what kind of audience you are trying to attract by the music you choose. People feel like we are devaluing them when we don't like their songs. A young person will say "that place isn't for me." An older person will say "this is no longer my home."
Music Documents God's Work Among His People
  • Whenever God moves throughout history, his poets and songwriters document His work. Therefore, look for and expect new songs if God is doing something in our midst.
  • We need to "repristinate" some things in the church. It means to take old things and make them look new again. Like the white post that has been in front of the church for 125 years. If you leave it alone, it turns grey. You've got to paint it from time to time to keep it looking like a white post.
  • We need to "repristinate" our music as well. It helps people understand why our songs were valuable in the first place. Then new people will discover the song's value for the first time.
Music is Sacramental
  • Music helps people experience God in a way that we cannot encounter Him when we are alone.
  • It puts words in our mouths - a common language of response. Much like a greeting card - we have a feeling, but the card give us the words to express what we're feeling.
  • After a great sermon, the right closing song is crucial to getting the point across. It reminds people of the truth. It gives people a common language to respond to the truth. People won't quote the sermon, but they will remember a song.
Music Teaches Doctrine
  • Songs of faith are as important as words of faith. Are our songs theologically sound? Are they true? We believe what we sing about.
Music is Enchanting
  • This can be good or bad. Music can blind us to truth. Think of the secular world - music can turn our eyes from a bad message or character.
  • Never confuse talent with annointing. Talent never set anyone free. It is the Spirit of God upon a man of God who speaks/sings words of God through the Spirit of God that brings Jesus transformation.