This article isn’t as old as the last one I posted, but it is from last August. Check out an interview with Robbie Seay Band on Wrecked for the Ordinary here. The band is one of my favorite worship groups, if you can call them that. Some of their songs are obviously in the worship category but others are just about life and God.
Anyway, the interview is pretty good, and I especially liked what Robbie had to say about art:
Music is part of art, and art is an expression. And we want to do that to the best of our ability. But also, art is provocative. A good painting should be provocative, and a good song should lead you to something else, tell you a story, push you in certain ways, offend you, or comfort you. I think that when we don’t do that, what’s the point? What’s the point of art that doesn’t move you in a certain way?
I play bass on my church worship team, and last night one of our worship leaders posed a question about what songs we would say are the quintessential praise and worship songs. He defined a praise song as one you’d clap to and a worship song as one you’d lift your hands to. I disagree with the distinction between praise and worship as such, because I don’t think it’s in the Bible, but I understood what he was asking.
Anyway, I named off a couple songs that might fit the bill and I realized that, for me, there has to be an experiential connection with the worship. I want to feel moved in some direction, in a real experiential sort of way. That’s what defines good worship to me – I’ve gotta feel something.
There are some songs out there that I think are great lyrically. They expound on the goodness of God, they exhort and encourage toward faithfulness, etc., and when I sing them my mind gets built up, but I have no experiential connection in my heart. These songs are fine but they’ll never enter my library of amazing worship songs that will change your life.
It’s the songs that connect with me, lead me down a path of experiencing God, and move me in some direction that will stick with me. The lyrics can be confusing (or lacking), but if I feel moved, then I’ll usually like it.
What has bothered me for a while about much of Christian music (especially worship music) is that it seems very blah, like someone just designed a computer program where you input a song theme and out pops an appropriate worship song with all the right phrases and words but no life, no experiential connection, no movement toward anything.
Making a sucky worship song is too easy. Heck, even Cartman did it in South Park.