Man on Fire | Ars Nova of Recorded Worship

As a composer, performer, & recording artist – the goal is simple: Write, Record, Sell

Jesus Culture

Jesus Culture (Photo credit: AdamRozanas)

And even after you put the word ‘Christian into the mix, ‘Christian, composer, performer, recording artist‘ – I feel the goal is still percieved the same – ‘Write, Record, Sell‘ only with a different target market. This is due largely to

  1. the enormity of the Christian music market & its vast sub markets & genres
  2. the oft luke-warm & negative connotations of the word Christian.

When one is on fire for Jesus – or
when one’s only concern is furthering His kingdom – or
when one’s upmost desire is attaining the presence of God – or
whatever word or phrase that represents this choice in life combined with ‘composer, performer, & recording artist‘ do you get a different goal.

Yes, you still write, record, and sell your music, BUT, the goal is the above list. The goal is in

  • Jesus & sharing Him, and
  • longing for His presence & advancing His kingdom. It’s in
  • capturing the Holy Spirit in the recording.

This goal is the pinnacle of the Ars Nova (new art, if you will) of Worship. And it is this pinnacle that’s behind why I enjoy & connect with live worship albums so much.

Just the other day, it was blazing hot – in the upper 90’s if not 100’s – I was driving with the windows down listening to one of Jesus Culture’s live recordings of ‘You Are My Passion,’ getting cold chills all over my body (mind you how hot it was) hearing the words ‘I belong to Jesus’ being sang with so many in His presence.

The Holy Spirit is not something so much captured in the studio, the old art, but in real live worship captured, recorded, in front of the King; shared with oh so many more.

There’s something so much more right and much more biblical in including those worshiping, and not just the ones leading, in recorded ‘praise & worship’ music.

Minimalism Saves | Accessibility in Worship

For the longest time – I was the biggest advocate for virtuosity in Christian music

Fire-Call

Fire-Call (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

arguably most in worship music. In fact – I still am an advocate for this. If you check out my post back in March – I’m all for finding ways to make our worship music beautiful and ornate & I’m all against being complacent and not challenging ourselves to compose more smartly for the Kingdom.

But, when I was writing papers in college on ‘how‘ and ‘why‘ we should change the way praise & worship music is composed – I was missing one obvious characteristic

Accessibility

As much as I would love the congregations of the protestant church to dance a polyrhythm or sing modulations through a circle of mediants (uhh… what?) – The fact remains that they would have to learn the music before they could worship – and that whole act of learning these compositions would take time AND glory away from the Creator.

We must remember  – Christianity isn’t North Korea. We don’t have to put on a show to please a dictator.

We don’t have to do more.                                                                                                            Jesus already loves us.

In fact, our worship music is often best when it is reflective of His very yoke – Easy 

Line art drawing of a yoke

Photo credit: Wikipedia

 I can only imagine how many have been won & saved by simple 4 (or less) chords 4/4 time signature worship songs.

  • How He Loves – John Mark McMillan 
  • Break Every Chain – Will Reagan
  • Name Above Every Other Name – Justin Rizzo
  • Where You Go I Go – Brian Johnson
  • You Won’t Relent – Misty Edwards
  • Sweetest Name – Will Reagan
  • Revelation Song – Jennie Lee Riddle
  • Our God is Greater – Chris Tomlin

the list goes on…

The more accessible we compose our worship music, the easier God can be felt coming through the mix speaking to us.

In light of this, I’m nearly convicted to write a 2 chord worship song and make it extravagant!

Free Coffee | July 4th Awakening

In celebration of July 4th – Starbucks is giving away One Free Tall Cup of Hot coffee to EVERYONE 

You do not need

English: Starbucks in the Financial District n...

English: Starbucks in the Financial District near South Station in Boston, United States. October 2007 photo by John Stephen Dwyer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • A Starbucks card
  • An ID
  • A sense of humor
  • Good hygiene

In fact, you really don’t need anything. It’s free. From: Starbucks, To: The United States

But inevitably, someone will complain.

“But I don’t like coffee, can I get tea instead?”

“It’s really hot outside, how about iced coffee?”

“Can’t you just give me a Grande instead; that’s what I usually get.”

There’s just something not right about complaining over what’s being given free as a gift to us.

On Christmas morning, you don’t say “Oh, I don’t want this mp3 player; I really wanted an iPod”

or

“Thanks Mom for making dinner, but I’d rather you do my homework instead.”

or

“Thank You Jesus for dying for my sins, but I’d rather have…

  • a lot of money
  • carefree casual sex
  • an easy life
  • nothing to do with You

 WHAT?!  Did I just compare free coffee to Jesus dying on the cross for our sins? Yes; however, Jesus loves us more than Starbucks does.

If something isn’t our ‘cup of tea,’ we’re hesitant to change our ways for it whether it’s better for us or not. At least, that’s how it is in western culture. But the real question is – What is it really going to cost you to not accept what is being given to you for free.

Just as you have to come to Starbucks to receive that free hot tall cup of coffee…

…You have to come to Jesus for salvation.

if you want it.

For the Glory of it All

Triángulo de Pascal en el escrito original de ...

Triángulo de Pascal en el escrito original de Pascal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our DNA sequence doesn’t have a key signature. The fibonacci series isn’t in 4/4. So – why should our worship music be limited by such rules?

Our congregations aren’t as dumb as our worship music makes them out to be.

I’m sure God could’ve made these essentials a lot simpler in life – but where would His glory and extravagance in that?  It’s as if this whole contemporary worship thing thrives on the upmost simplicity & gets away with it so much that

Description: A typical Sunday morning worship ...

Description: A typical Sunday morning worship time in the main venue, Building A Photographer: David Ball Date: July 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

we’ve stopped challenging ourselves to creative something ornate and beautiful for the King.

What can we do to make our music more ornate – rhythmically – harmonically – instrumentally – to make use of our God given creativity – but remain accessible to our congregations? Let’s move forward.

When the King returns – we should be in the fields workings – not copying and pasting.