Worship Manifesto

Around the country in Asian churches, on any given Friday night there are dozens of “praise nights”, revivals, and retreats, but although “a life of worship” may often be the rallying call, worship itself is often an afterthought, a gimmick, an attention-getter for the young generation. Musical worship is the “opening act”, or in some cases, a talent showcase, or at worst, a church bragging rights contest. But if I might be so bold…worship is something sacred, where the deepest part of me cries out to the Deep. So while I don’t consider myself a worship leader who has the right to offer these suggestions, I do consider myself a worshipper.

  1. Stop singing Chris Tomlin / David Crowder / Matt Redman / Hillsong songs (or whatever songs you always sing) for a few weeks. What would you sing that is not part of the contemporary Christian worship industry? “Sing a new song…”
  2. Write your own worship songs with talented people in your midst. Write from your heart and your story. What has God done in your life, neighborhood, community? Sing that for Sunday worship. Can you imagine an Asian American church that actually offered worship that was particularly written from our hearts? Wouldn’t we sing about growing up latchkey kids who now have keys to the Kingdom? Or how our pursuit of success and security is a chasing after the wind, not the breath of life.
  3. Unplug — quit trying for that electric sound. These aren’t performances, these are collective prayers. Imagine a sanctuary that is filled with pure, unamplified, unadulterated praise.
  4. Don’t practice the music, practice the heart. Too many praise teams work on timing, transitions, chorus buildups, and harmonies, but the real work of worship happens before an instrument is ever picked up. Asians love to get organized and ordered, but let’s be honest, you can’t schedule a true revival and you can’t pinpoint a move of the Spirit either, so if you think practice is going to take you there, you’re almost all wrong.
  5. Continue reading “Worship Manifesto”

Chat About Worship (feat. Peter Ong)

Much ado about worship these days…and rightfully so, it’s a kaleidoscopic subject.

Click here for a good sample of articles from Billy Park, and then my last post, “You Don’t Even Know Hymn…”

Here Peter Ong and David Park share some thoughts on the topic. Feel free to jump in the conversation, we know this happens at a church near you. 🙂

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ExportJoy: thanks for the comment on the blog

Peter Ong: i had a heated debate with a pastor about this

ExportJoy: really?

Peter Ong: yeah, he said that the idea of worship is a corporate expression and all these “I” this

ExportJoy: i understand that…so, do the psalms not qualify as worship? there’s a lot of “i” going on in the psalms. i think the definition and categories of worship can be painted much broader than that. there is individual and corporate worship. much as there are prayers that we all know, ie. the Lord’s Prayer, as well as prayers that we speak in our quiet times that are unscripted and improvised.

Peter Ong: that is what i expressed, but i think his idea was that the psalms were “solo” pieces. there is this element of eroticism (self love) that disturbs some people in the songs

Much ado about worship these days…and rightfully so, it’s a kaleidoscopic subject.

Click here for a good sample of articles from Billy Park, and then my last post, “You Don’t Even Know Hymn…

Here Peter Ong and David Park share some thoughts on the topic. Feel free to jump in the conversation, we know this happens at a church near you. 🙂

——— Continue reading “Chat About Worship (feat. Peter Ong)”