worship time vs worship songs

3 02 2010

(This is a continuation from last week’s post on song’s for the journey versus songs to God.)

One of the reasons this topic came up was because of David Crowder Band. First off, I’ve never been a fan. I don’t dislike them, I just don’t get their lyricism. I like their style, though, music and hair.

I had to figure out why I didn’t feel like a majority of their songs belonged in a worship set. Yet trusting the people at sixstepsrecords, I also had to accept that they definitely¬†play a role in the music ministry under Passion.

After looking at the lyrics I realized so much of their songs revolve around the journey, reminding us of who God has made us and what He has done. The songs are often directed toward the singer (not Crowder, I just mean whoever is singing).

These are songs for the journey. Songs for the journey remind us of God’s work and reaffirm God’s Word to us. They are more often than not songs to us and for us.

There is nothing wrong with these songs when constructed according to Scripture. But why are these songs not worship songs?

If you notice when you find worship in Scripture, it is toward somebody or something. If we are singing to ourselves and it’s worship, then it would be self-worship, thus idol worship. But if they are not worship songs to us and affirm Truth, then what are they? They are songs for the journey.

So, can these songs be good to sing in church? Yes.

The danger in using these types of songs is that they can make us feel good about us and we lose focus on God. This is where the worship leader must construct a purposeful flow so that these songs can be instruments to launch the gathering into worship.

Though, not worship songs, they can be used in worship times because they reflect Truth about God. These songs become instruments of worship when they remind us of God and His goodness to us. When this happens they become fuel for songs that are directed toward God.

Worship songs can be enhanced by songs for the journey during worship times. We must be careful, though, not to pack our worship times with songs for the journey and neglect songs to God, or else we will have no worship time at all. If we lean toward one at the expense of the other, it must be with songs toward God.

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2 responses

14 03 2012
Johnny

good thoughts. I just wonder…what about “sing spiritual songs TO each other”. And all the psalms where the worship leader sings to Israel. In these biblical cases there seems to be room for it and it never seems to be an idol worship thing.

17 03 2012
Jonathan Louie

I think you answered your own thought, I probably didn’t write as fully as I could have. What I’m thinking right now would be that “spiritual songs” are songs that hold spiritual power similar to John 6:63 where the words of Jesus are described as “spirit and life” or spiritual and living words. If we carry this idea over it could be reasoned that spiritual songs do not necessarily equal worship songs. Just because Jesus spoke spiritual words it didn’t mean he was worshiping.
I am not recalling any specific references in Psalms, but my quick response would be that in singing those songs their focus is drawn toward God. So, technically the song is toward the people, but the focus is toward God. I think this would be a difference between descriptive worship and directed worship. If someone says “Johnny is awesome” with you around it is received one way. If that same person says to you “Johnny, you are awesome” it is received another way. I thought I did a post on it, but when I just reviewed what I had posted I didn’t see it. Oh well…

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