Rob Carona says worship music culture is starting to stagnate because of our fear of releasing our own sound.
As I meet with more and more worship leaders and teams, teaching them about songwriting, I have noticed a certain mentality amongst musicians and in worship services that troubles me. It’s the notion that they should limit the amount of original material they present to their congregation for fear of being prideful/self-seeking and also that the congregation will not engage with an “amateur” song.
I am here to state loud and clear that this is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in regards to corporate worship. I can already see how the worship music culture is starting to stagnate because of our fear of releasing our own sound. Songs are coming from a few select “popular” sources and we are allowing them to dictate what our worship sounds like.
Lets break this down in a comparison on a practical level. When Matt Redman, for example, sits down and pours out his heart into an original worship song, it began in his heart, and was birthed in either his private time with God, or with his worship community. Is he being prideful? Is he seeking his own popularity instead of God’s? Of course not. If he was, we would see right through his ambition, and his songs would not be sung for decades in churches throughout the world. They have allowed themselves the freedom to express their musical gift to the world, and that confidence has given us a relevant sound to our worship.
My question to worship leaders would be “why are you so different?” Whether it comes from inside your mind or the outside pressure of your church leadership, why do you think you fall into a lower class of worship leader? We hold these global worship artists on such a high pedestal simply because they have gained the church stamp of approval by having that golden record deal and CCLI recognition. When it comes down to it, they are just as human as the rest of us and they struggle with the same pride/ambition problems that we do, probably even more because they are famous.
We have to embrace the fact that every song was original at some point. Who it comes from is irrelevant. Every songwriter at some point had to make the decision between fear of the flesh and faith in their identity in Christ, as they got up for the first time to present their song to their congregation. The strange paradox is that we encourage, even more than that, we require preachers to bring original and fresh material to the pulpit with every message…why would we do any less in our worship.