The Worship Concert

Hey guys, sorry for the break, been busier than I thought and more tired as well. 

Over the past couple weeks, on my way to the gym, I’ve noticed a sign advertising a ‘Worship Concert.’ This term really bugs me. It carries some connotations with it that as a worship leader, I just don’t like. However, I am going to argue for Worship Concerts and that phrase to be tagged to it.

First lets define concert. According to dictionary.com “a public musical performance in which a number of singers or instrumentalists, or both, participate.” I bet right off the bat there are a few things that catch your eye as bad in a worship setting. “public musical performance”. This is definitely a danger, however, anytime you practice for something and then display the skill, even in worship, in front of people, it is a performance. Not only that, but all worshipers, in the congregation and those leading, are performing the act of worship before God. So while we should not make our worship an over the top blockbuster performance to put attention on skill and artistry. We should work to do our best as we lead worship in a church or in other worship settings. 

From a cultural stand point the ways in which concerts are attended is changing. While a concert used to be a passive event where one would watch the performance, more and more, the band, or artist, encourages those in attendance to participate and sing along. I myself love to sing along at concerts. In many cases I think to myself, “wow, this band is great at leading worship.” We have to understand that most secular bands are not pointing worship to God, but themselves, and in many cases don’t really realize it. 

So while I, and many of us may not like the term Worship Concert. It is perfectly legitimate to have them, and call them that. In reality it is a time of gathering together as believers and glorifying God. In many cases the change of scenery from our home churches and worship style, can either invigorate our worship, or give us a new perspective. So whether you are putting on a worship concert or attending one, praise the Lord.

A word of caution. While I have argued for the term and execution of Worship Concerts, caution must be exercised. It is easier to humble oneself in a church to worship and lead worship. However, in a larger outside of the church setting it may feel more like a concert, not a worship concert, but just a concert. Often times there are colored and moving lights, large back drops in which images and video clips or laser shows are included. While, none of these are wrong or evil, it can cause the worship leader to get a big head, or those worshiping to get distracted. Be sure that the focus is directed to our God, the three-in-one, triune, Father, Son, Holy Spirit God, Creator of the universe and all it contains. Savior of the world, Redeemer of the lost, Healer of the sick, the giver of strength, the Lord of Hosts, and Ruler of Heaven, forever and ever, Amen!

What has been your greatest worship concert experience?

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4 thoughts on “The Worship Concert

  1. You’re making a pretty sweeping assumption when you say, “most secular bands are not pointing worship to God, but themselves, and in many cases don’t really realize it.” How do you know that this applies to “most” bands? In what ways are they pointing worship to themselves? And, what proof do you have that in “many” of these cases, they don’t realize it?

    • supermatt28 says:

      You bring up some very good points here Matt. Everything I have said is made from observation. Perhaps I should ask you this, when you go to a concert do you think about worshiping them? When you cheer for them and support them, or talk about how awesome a show was are you intending to give adoration to the band? I would argue that if you don’t think about these things, that more than likely the mainstream (or secular) bands are not giving it much thought, either. I have no doubt that there are bands out there that do think about it, but from my experience, most people in this culture don’t think about worship, at least in the way that I do, if at all. Yes, they are generalization, I’m not gonna deny that, I’m also going to admit that this blog is mostly my opinion, I may have support, both Biblically or extra-Biblically, for some of these opinions, that make them more factual, but this is opinion, which means I could be wrong. The main point of this blog is to convince people who think like I do that Worship Concerts are not necessarily bad in practice or term.

      Thank you for your response, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

      • No. When I go to a concert, I do not think of worshipping the band. It seems that you think I should, yet haven’t provided a good argument for why. You suggested that singing along somehow implies worship; however, I can disagree with that empirically. When I go to a concert, I go to appreciate the music. Specifically, the idea that music itself is a language anyone can understand regardless of location, culture, or creed – which fascinates and inspires me. If anything, I would consider an argument that I am worshipping music as a whole.

        Yes, when I cheer for the band, support them or talk about their show, I am intending to show them adoration; however, adoration only equates to worship when directed towards a deity. I don’t consider any band to be a deity. As such, I am adoring their ability to communicate with others musically and to impact the world around them. I appreciate that ability, because I know how difficult it is; I don’t worship it. For me, the band can be anything from a delivery mechanism, to an artist who’s skills I aspire to, to a close friend, or anything in between. They are never a deity though. In comparison, I assume that you may show adoration towards godly men, but you don’t worship them – you worship God. In short, you can’t assume there is worship where you have merely observed adoration. You need to show that the observed adoration is being directed at something that is considered to be a deity.

  2. supermatt28 says:

    Well if we refer back to my previous discussion on worship and the worship wars, that you first commented on I define worship more widely than the rather narrow definition of the dictionary, as do most worship experts. From what I know of you, you are a much more critical thinker than the average american. I may be selling my fellow american short, but most people don’t seem to critically think through any of the media they consume. There is a lot about the heart condition that indicates worship, not necessarily the outward act. It’s a complicated subject, and though I appreciate your response to the blog, I feel it’s still off the main point that I am trying to make to my fellow worship leaders and pastors.
    That being said, your feed back and comments are still welcome and have opened up some interesting avenues of conversation that we have been able to explore, so thank you for that.

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