I was up at Willow for a couple days this week for their Arts Conference. I could share some thoughts from that...but maybe another time. One major observation from the conference personally is my tendency to make or think witty, sarcastic comments, especially when it comes to worship. I mean, sometimes, people do and say things - especially when it comes to worship - that seem careless. And it can feel good to point those things out - partly because I think that worshiping God should be intentional and full of truth. But there's another side of me that enjoys critiquing because it makes me feels smart and maybe even better than the person I'm critiquing. Yikes. At one point, after a comment that I actually said outloud (and I'll admit, it was true and rather humorous) I told my brother, "I have got to stop doing that."
I do believe that thinking through what we sing and say - especially in corporate worship - is important. Don't get me wrong. And I think that we shouldn't just take everything people do/say about worship at face value. Dialoguing and seeking clarity often allow us to gain a deeper understanding and appreciationg for what it is we're doing when we worship. I just want to guard myself from being so critical that I have a heart that is hard and self-righteous. I really dislike it when I see that in others, so I don't want to cultivate that in myself.
I discovered a worship blog today - Bob Kauflin, who apparently is associated with the Sovereign Grace group. The first post of his that I read is a good example of balance between criticism and charity towards others, in my opinion. He talks about the worship song, "Draw Me Close," and evaluates the usefulness of worship songs with vague lyrics. I really do recommend reading the article, because it's well done, but his last statement is especially well-put:
"May we all proclaim the beauty, authority, and truth of Jesus Christ with our lives, remembering that neither passion nor propositional truth is out of place when we worship God. They were meant to go together."
What I appreciated was not only what he says, but how he says it. It's Biblical and full of grace - it seems pastoral. I want to be more like that and less proud of myself when I make/think snide commentary.