So here’s something that might shock people and incur some judgment/criticism for me.
I have been on a hiatus from worship music lately.
Those of you who know me well may be shocked by this. Worship music is a big part of my life. It is how I express myself to God, it’s how I communicate with others in a spiritual sense. The most revolutionary moments of my life have often been surrounded with lyrics and music that were birthed out of prayer times (whether my own or someone else’s).
I can’t explain why I started getting bored with worship music. I think it may have something to do with the fact that it began to seem rote. Verse, chorus, verse, build into the bridge, large chorus, chorus with only the vocals, and we’re out. The formula tired and bored me. The trite lyrics annoyed me. (Annoyed…should be present tense I guess.) The songs talked about with people telling me I ‘had’ to listen to this one.
Being involved with worship music can lead to compartmentalization. Learning to worship with your life rather than your mouth/instrument/etc is a great challenge. I feel like over the last few months I have been learning to worship. The music of the church can begin to open the doorway into the presence of God.
I will go out on a limb and say that I am very tired of the worship formula. The worship songs I am listening to now are ones that are raw, maybe a little messy, and do something to my heart. Christian rock? No thanks, I can listen to Coldplay. Christian divas? No thanks, you tend to sound like a cheap imitation. Kim Walker’s heartfelt prayer in “How He Loves”? Brooke Fraser’s simple prayer in “I Will Exalt You”? Jason Upton’s spontaneous praise in “Fly”? I’ll take it.
It is a challenge for me to discard the cheap musical formula of my own writing and leading. It’s a challenge to myself to seek God in the secret place and to let my worship be an overflow of what God is doing in my own heart. It’s a challenge to not compartmentalize my life, that the same mouth that sings to Jesus on Sunday mornings would spill blessings and hope on Monday. It’s the constant search for the line between excellence and spontaneity.
It is certainly something that I will continue to search out for myself.