Saturday, 8 May 2010

Spinal Tap meets Chequebook Worship

Yeah, right, on one level this makes me crack up... on another it is a really sad indictment of all that is bad in this style of 'popular' church... and it is not just my 'opinion' or even my 'taste' (although I have both in abundance). The irony that dated music is 'Contemporary' and that technology makes the message of the Gospel 'Relevant' is cleverly captured. However, the 'Medium' changes the 'Message'...

Rob Bell summed this up so succinctly when answering a question on Mega Churches at Greenbelt 09:
The problem is that a large massive group of people who have gathered for an hour a week can easily deceive themselves into thinking that's 'Church'. But Church is a sort of revolutionary movement of people who have the body and blood at their centre who see themselves as we are here to break OUR bodies and to pour out OUR blood for the healing of the world. And what can easily happen is the 'show', the hour on Sunday, the big exciting thing, can easily become a surrogate for actual community...
Listen to the full version on Greenbelt website.



julieviolinist said...

Spot on, Banksy. The fact that even in England this scene is familiar is depressing....diversity, creativity, simplicity, imagination....we must not trade these God given gifts for the cocoa-cola service...and not forget that the church is most likely to be functioning around a meal table than in entertainment mode...

Dave said...

Rob Bell is right about community ... but all this cynicism about the creativity of the worship leaders is just cheap.

They are a much more nuanced group of people than this kind of sweeping generalisation can ever capture.

The contemporary church is one of the wellsprings of international popular music. We're not stealing theirs, but those who grew up in church are taking the melodic constructs and poetical structures of the music they are familiar with into mainstream culture whether they retain their faith or not.

The list is massive

Dave Roberts
Digbeth 1977

Peter Banks said...

Greetings Dave, good to see you on here!

I do agree with you (on most points!) and for a start I concur it IS a cheap shot to be cynical about Worship leaders. However, what this video aptly demonstrates is a style of service that is seen as 'THE' best way to present worship. My sense that this approach is one of 'Shock and Awe' rather than 'Love and Grace'.

I also strongly agree with your point about 'a much more nuanced group of people' as, although I would cringe at being labelled a worship leader, I am very much involved with curating services of worship: Redeeming Culture

What I am unclear about is your last point about the contemporary church being the wellsprings and would love to explore that more with you. Historically there has been movement between church and commercial music. My sense is that if today's mainstream musicians that have grown up in a contemporary church environment it is likely their music is not sourced from the church side as that has been a pale and dated imitation of the 'real thing'.

Anyway, many thanks for your comment, I am collating many considered views on this subject for a forthcoming book and would be pleased to remain 'on blog' or go 'off blog' if you're up for it?

Best, PB