Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Leading Corporate Worship: Responding to the Critics

In an effort to be a wise and informed blogger, I follow bloggers who are better, smarter and more creative than I.  One of these features the wonderfully-relevant and theologically-sensitive Zac Hicks, who is the Associate Pastor of Worship and Liturgy (what a fantastic title!) at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Denver.  Our quotes for today come from his June 13 post, Worship Leader Requires Leathery Skin and a Buttery Heart.

I do always want to be careful when using the term "worship" that we distinguish between a life-engulfing, informed, heartfelt response and corporate, gathered worship that happens at a specific place and time, usually Sunday mornings in a church building.  In the following excerpts, Zac is, of course, employing the latter meaning of the term.

His blog can be found at www.zachicks.com.

"Worship leaders who do not know and love God's Word, or who have little grasp of theology and church history, are ill-equippped to handle much criticism.  If that is the case, hit the books.  If you don't care about "that theology stuff" and don't think it's important, resign."

"Collaborative worship-planning (esp. with other pastors) is a great antidote to criticism, because the team shares in the blame and the defense."

"The only way criticism won't hurt is if you really don't care about the church--Christ's Bride and God's flock.  And if that's the case, please resign.  The call to worship leading is a pastoral call, and this is a call (like many others) to share in the sufferings of Christ.  The invitation to lead worship is a call to come and die.""

"Consumerism is alive and well in the Church.  I would say that over 75% of the time, criticism is based on a willingness to be preferential and an unwillingess to love and die to self."

"Sometimes, criticism exposes blind spots in your ministry."

"In almost every criticism, there is at least a kernel of truth, even if the kernel is something VERY different from what the criticizer is expressing."

Zac Hicks, “Worship Leading Requires Leathery Skin and a Buttery Heart,” zachicks.com, entry posted June 13, 2011, http://www.zachicks.com/ (accessed June     14, 2011). 

Soli Deo Gloria

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