I just got a book this morning from Gerry Chapeau, director of CityLights. It was a timely gift because I have been going through a period of disillusionment about playing music in the church.
I have been wrestling with feelings of disconnect between the nuts and bolts of weekly music performance and battle raging for the gospel, justice, and the kingdom. Why are we striving every week to put together a set of songs? Are we just serving our own desires for entertainment, creative stimulation, rockin out, getting happy, etc?
Ive had very encouraging conversations lately and in the past few weeks I have tasted the gospel in a fresh way. Reading an essay on Sonship by C. John Miller, I saw areas of sin exposed and was able to go back to the well of living water to be refreshed. The gospel has restored joy in leading worship again.
This book is something I have needed as well. I began to covet the other ministry leaders jobs in our church. Not that I am at all qualified to replace them, but I began to long for a more tangible connection with justice and mercy. This book is a call for the church to wake up from its slumber and to be restored to true worship (see Isaiah 58).
I cant say that I recommend it yet (having only read the first two chapters) but I can say that Gerry HIGHLY recommended it to me. Sometimes, I wish that I could take our musicians through a book together so that everyone could really soak up these ideas and try to apply them in the laboratory of our weekly services as well as on the streets.
By the way, I discovered this article on InterVarsitys website featuring a familiar face to folks from NCF-STL.

  1. #1 by Neil E. Das on May 3, 2007 - 12:46 pm

    What about the social justice of not allowing us to overly privilege one type of worship style, of doing the hard work to understand a culture enough to do their worship style proud and help people from that culture enter into worship, as you did with the Congolese conference last year and do every week in Sunday service. And you have been uniquely gifted by God with so many talents to do that well. Put that in your “I-don’t-get-to-do-social-justice-directly” pipe and smoke it for a while 😉

  2. #2 by kirk on May 3, 2007 - 3:36 pm

    thanks for your aggresive encouragement! Ministry envy is not a healthy place to be. I suppose the devil uses all kinds of ways to get our eyes off the cross and onto our idols. Even if the idol is some other kind of ministry.
    Give me a new heart, Lord!

  3. #3 by Neil E. Das on May 3, 2007 - 8:44 pm

    You’re very welcome, Kirk. Aggressive encouragement is my spiritual gift. Kidding. And, yes, one’s heart is, indeed, as Calvin said, “a perpetual factory of idols.”

  4. #4 by Rinnie on May 4, 2007 - 7:53 am

    I can’t tell you how often I have been led into confession and true worship of our Living God through the music at our church. Lately God has used our music ministry even more than our preaching ministry in working on my heart.
    So be encouraged – I’m sure God is working through your music ministry just as He’s working through the music ministry at our church.

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