Worship leaders can be cool. Biblical worship can’t be.

From Bob Kauflin

By nature, “cool” describes something that the world esteems as hip, desirable, elitist, and perhaps elusive. Biblical worship is very un-hip, hated by the world’s value system, and a gracious gift from God to those he has redeemed. It involves magnifying the glory of Christ and minimizing our own glory. It means acknowledging our sinfulness before a holy God, expressing gratefulness for the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ for our sins, and responding in humble obedience to his commands. All very uncool activities.

This is good. Jesus put it this way – “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) True discipleship is not “cool.” It’s a probable cause of hardship, pain, suffering, and sacrifice. Biblical worship lifts up these qualities as reality for those being sent into the world as disciples.

Biblical worship is the worship of the Tabernacle and Temple. Something costly was sacrificed. Something had to die. Something was offered up in it’s entirety – consumed for God’s glory. Biblical worship calls us to live our lives in this same way (Romans 12:1-2).

Romans 14 from a Worship Leader's View

1 Give a welcome to anyone whose faith is not strong, but do not get into arguments about worship styles.

2 One person may have faith enough to worship through any kind of music; another, less strong, will worship only through one style of music.

3 Those who feel free to worship through edgy rock music are not to condemn those who are unwilling to worship through edgy rock music; nor must the person who does not worship through edgy rock music pass judgement on the one who does-because God has welcomed him.

4 And who are you, to sit in judgement over an electric guitar player? Whether he deserves to be upheld or to fall is for his own band leader to decide; and he shall be upheld, for the Lord has power to uphold him.

5 One person thinks that “How Great Thou Art” is holier than “How Great Is Our God”, and another thinks them all equal. Let each of them be fully convinced in his own mind.

6 The one who sings “How Great Thou Art” sings it in honor of the Lord. So the one who sings “How Great Is Our God”, sings in honor of the Lord, making his thanksgiving to God; and the one who does not, abstains from singing “How Great Is Our God” in honor of the Lord and makes his thanksgiving to God.

7 For none of us sings for himself and none of us worships for himself;

8 while we are singing, we are singing for the Lord, and when we worship, we worship for the Lord: and so, singing or worshiping, we belong to the Lord.

9 It was for this purpose that Christ both died and came to life again: so that he might be Lord of both the singers and the worshipers.

10 Why, then, does one of you make himself judge over his brother, and why does another among you despise his brother? All of us will have to stand in front of the judgement-seat of God:

11 as scripture says: By my own life says the Lord, every knee shall bow before me, every tongue shall give glory to God.

12 It is to God, then, that each of us will have to give an account of himself.

13 Let us each stop passing judgement, therefore, on one another and decide instead that none of us will place styles of music in any brother’s way, or anything that can bring him down.

14 I am sure, and quite convinced in the Lord Jesus, that no music is unusable in itself; it is only if someone classifies any kind of music as unusable, then for him it is unusable.

15 And indeed, if through any kind of music you are causing offence to a brother, then you are no longer being guided by love. You are not to let the music that you use in worship cause the ruin of anyone for whom Christ died.

16 A privilege of yours must not be allowed to give rise to harmful talk;

17 for it is not singing a certain style of music that makes the kingdom of God, but the saving justice, the peace and the joy brought by the Holy Spirit.

18 It is the person who serves Christ in these things that will be approved by God and respected by everyone.

19 So then, let us be always seeking the ways which lead to peace and the ways in which we can support one another in worship.

20 Do not wreck God’s work for the sake of music. Certainly all music is usuable; but all the same, any song can be evil for someone to whom it is an offence to sing.

21 It is best to abstain from singing any song, or dancing any dance, or from any other activity which might cause a brother to fall away, or to be scandalised, or to weaken.

22 Within yourself, before God, hold on to what you already believe. Blessed is the person whose principles do not condemn his practice.

23 But anyone who worships with qualms of conscience is condemned, because this worshiping does not spring from faith-and every action which does not spring from faith is sin.

from the New Jerusalem Bible

Top iPhone Apps for Worship Leaders

iphone_homeThe iPhone has pretty much changed my world. I’m more connected than ever before. And I’ve got more information at my fingers while on the go than ever before. I’ve found some apps that are particularly beneficial to worship leaders and musicians:

Metronome – Never have to guess what 88 bpm feels like in the middle of rehearsal again.

The Bible – Put out by LifeChurch.tv. All the major translations are available. Includes a daily reading option.

Pandora – Create your own customized radio station based on your favorite artists.

JamBase – Find out local concert listings; syncs up with your map to get you to the show.

Shazam – Instantly identify any song being played anywhere.

Concert Vault – Huge database of live concerts from the 60s to present.

ProPresenter Remote – Allows you to view or control presentations made using ProPresenter.