Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 268: Bullhorn Worship Leaders

What I find interesting about church life is that more and more people are tired of the “bullhorn preachers.” Perhaps this term was made popular by, Rob Bell’s Nooma DVD “Bullhorn” but I think many people overall don’t care for them. They are loud, disrespectful, arrogant and what I have found to be true…the louder they are the more uneducated they are. You just don’t see many with doctorates raising their voices to a yelling level both on the street corner or behind a pulpit.

Now some pastors have been accused of being "Bullhorn preachers" so as a pastor I am going to tell you another position in the church I cannot stand when they become “bullhorn-ish” (I think that is the Greek word for obnoxious). That position would be worship leaders. What drives me nuts (always has since my youth group days) are the “bullhorn worship leaders.” Let me explain.

Have you ever been in a church or conference where the worship leader is singing "passionately" and because he/she has one understanding of worship…everyone should share that same view? So you get someone who is waving their arms, turning on and off the water works, falling to their knees, repeating a chorus 10 times because THEY are worshiping and THAT is what it looks like. Perhaps in the middle of the song or at the end they begin to get downright ugly with the church because some may not be worshiping like him/her, therefore you are not worshiping. At this point you are encouraged to examine your heart, leave your troubles at the door, come lay them down at the altar or repent of hidden sin so that, YOU can worship just like him/her. If I was a part of a church like that…I would walk.

This is what I have come to discover in my own life. You place me at the hardest of metal shows (and wow have I been to some) or place me in a mellow orchestra setting….guess what? I respond the same. Perhaps my head will bob a bit but that is about it. If I am at a Hillsongs concert or listening to an acoustic worship set at a home gathering…I am probably worshiping the same. There is no scripture that tells us specifically how we ought look when we worship. Sure denominations dictate perhaps unknowingly on how we ought to look when we worship. If you are charismatic you raise your hands, if you are part of that you do it this way….on and on it goes. Sure we see, David in the bible dancing out of his clothes but that is one example. What about others who don't like to raise a hand? What about those who don’t want to stand? Does this make a person any less spiritual? For me personally I enjoy the singing, clapping, raising my hands but at the same time….sometimes I don’t want to sing during a song but rather reflect on the words the worship leader is singing. I would rather ponder those words with my eyes closed.

We all have our own way of worship. When a bullhorn worship leader comes along and begins to tell people how to worship in a disrespectful way “because they only care for our souls” it ought to be a red flag.

John 4:24(NIV) "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." How that manifests itself in an outward form is up to you. There are no set of rules.

1 comment:

  1. I feel the same way. I get tired of being commanded to stand by some worship leaders. I'll stand if I want to. Sometimes the Lord speaks to me during worship and I need to write down what he's saying. If I'm told to stand and hold a hymn book and "look up here" I miss what He's saying to me. If I'm at a more contemporary church, I get commanded to stand and "lift up holy hands" and they practically beg you to do so.. "come on now, get those hands up" Give me a break. :P I was at an outdoor church service once where everyone had freedom to respond to the music however they wanted to. One lady was dancing in place with so much body movement. she was totally excited and manifesting joy. No one bothered her. No one told her to stop. And no one told everyone else to follow her lead. She had freedom to worship in her own way. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.