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Friday, August 3, 2018

Five Blind Spots in Worship Ministry

A blind spot is an area “in which a person is unable to see or hear satisfactorily.” [] Here are fine in which we need to call to our attention. In the case of driving a car, ignoring to check the blind spots can lead to tragic consequences. Failure to become aware of blind spots in our worship ministry can also become tragic.

1. Sensitivity and Balance: I’m grateful for recent numerous articles recognizing that Worship leadership needs to be sensitive to the “singability” of a song for the congregation; that just because it might be popular, doesn’t mean it is congregational. Secondly, balance. If worship leadership is using only the “latest and greatest,” then the congregation never develops a canon of worship songs they can sing from their hearts by memory that the Spirit uses in times of crisis or great need.  I’m glad that these are being addressed publicly, but am still concerned that the problem remains an issue.

2. Integrity and skill: We all desire that those leading have the necessary musical skills to play, lead, and run the technology for the worship service, We also desire the sincerity of heart in those leading, rather than sensing that what is happening on the platform is professional entertainment for our enjoyment. Though we desire this, we seem to be at a loss as to how to reach it. While musical training is a must, I believe in large part our lack of spiritual maturity is a result of a lack of emotional as well as spiritual health. I would refer to Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and his Emotionally Healthy Leader books as excellent resources.

3. Training and Mentoring: Of course we desire that the Worship Leadership have adequate training, but of equal concern is our blindness to developing a pool of worship leaders in our youth and children. We have forgotten that many of those leading worship now were children or youth in someone’s choir years ago.  With the declining condition of music education in many of our schools, the church may be one of the last opportunities some children have to discover musical ability as well as what biblical worship and worship leadership is all about, rather than the “American Idol” model for musicians so prevalent in our culture. Some churches have rediscovered the power of training children and youth in worship, but very few.

4. Family and Ministry: Of all the illustrations that Jesus could have used to describe His relationship with the Church, He called her His Bride. As Scazzero says, our marriages are a testimony and witness to the world; unfortunately, in many cases, they are not. When almost half of those actively in ministry are addicted to pornography [an estimated 3-4 out of every 10] and the divorce rate of almost 50% among believers, the failure of Christ’s desired testimony is a living tragedy.  Too often we have equated success in ministry as the ultimate goal, rather than a biblical model of the marriages as a base from which we can help heal those in our church body and community. [This is not to downplay the importance of those called to singleness; the focus here is on marriages.  Single ministers, as well as married ones, can be consumed by activity and miss what God is trying to do in their lives.] 

5. Worshiping Worship: Though it may seem odd, our focus on worship can morph into worshiping worship, not too unlike the adolescent who “is in love with the idea of being in love.” We can slip into worshiping the worship experience more than the God of praise and adoration. Biblical worship is the obedient response to the revealed nature and character of God and while our emotions are often a product of that obedient response, they are not the measure of our worship experience.

While some of these are being addressed, I am concerned that too many of them remain “blind spots” in our worship ministry and will weaken our effectiveness.