Friday, June 23, 2006

bored with worship

Michael Lee at Addision Road, blogs about worship.
Can someone please write some new worship songs? Please? I’m tired of looking at the same 12 songs, all written with the same 4 chords.

New Rule - before you secure funding to release your world-famous worship record, you have to write 3 original tunes that sound nothing like Chris Tomlin or Tommy Walker. Or Hillsongs. Trust me, those guys already do their thing much better than you will do it.

Phil, where’s the portfolio of Copland-esque worship tunes? Chad, how about you take that mid-fi sound and bang me out something? Stick, why aren’t you writing me some slick, pop production, delayed guitar, loopy …. oh wait.

All this to say, the fact that I’m bored with the repertoire of worship says to me that something is a bit off. I just can’t quite figure out what it is.
Some good observations. While I have been and am excited by the great deal of new worship songs, there is also a tendency for us to rely on other people to produce our worship music.

Why is there not more worship music written in the context of the local church?
Why does worship look the same in so many different places?
Why is western style worship used in non-western societies?
Why in our multi-cultural societies, is our worship decidedly western?
Just some thoughts & questions for reflection...
because the last thing worship should be is boring.


Dan McGowan said...

Great post and great thoughts... we track on the same road, friend.

I write a lot of the songs we sing in our church. Some (a few) have been published but the vast majority are written FOR our church, "for such a time as this" if you will...

I have always felt that each local church has it's own "worship personality" that is made up of all the stuff that church is going thru at the time or season. If we are truly tapping in to the NEEDS of our church, then I believe, as you do, that we need to create songs that actually speak to those areas of need and allow worshipers to express their deep hearts to the Lord.

I used to lead in a church where the band members would bring CD's of their favorite worship bands and then we would sit around for hours trying to replicate what we heard on the CD. After weeks of frustration, I finally said, "you know, we could just PLAY the CD and life would be a lot easier for us - why USE the talents God has given to us if we can pop in a CD and get the same result?"

We soon stopped copying all those wonderful worship CD's and simply created our OWN versions of the songs... duh!

Kevin Flatt said...

It would be great to create some of our own music for worship here at Trinity to complement the new & old favorites. God has blessed us with many musical people so I say start creating!

Scott said...

I can see both sides of the equation. One thing I hate to see is worship turning into nothing more than a Christian top 40 where songs rise and fall on the charts and what we sing in church is representative of where it sits on the charts.

On the other hand with the church becoming more and more global and people moving around around the country and from church to church, it's nice that we can get together with believers from another part of the province, country or continent, and easily praise God.

As for copying other artists I think its somewhat of a necessary evil for beginners. Sure it's not great as creating your own versions or better yet your own songs, but if your not experienced at what you do, learning from professionals is a great way to start. People buy their albums because they find the music well done, and there's a good chance the more you can play like them, the better you're going to sound for your church and the more worship friendly your music will be.

Looking at Trinity in particular, a long term vision would definitely be to write your own songs and create your own arrangements, but I don't think we're there yet. A lot of us are either still learning our instrument, or still learning how to play our instrument in a band environment.

I'd also wonder if our past conservative, non-charismatic nature of our church affects the make-up of the talents we have in our body today. I'd suspect we have more STJ type personalities than the creative NFP types or as I like to call them - Artsie fartsies. And it's those Artsie fartsies that have the creativity to excel at such stuff as song writing and improvization.

BTW, did I mention that when I grow up I want to be an Artsie fartsie? I could start writing songs now, but I'm not sure "Roses are red, violets are blue, God loves me, and God loves you" work for worship lyrics.