Another post on Youth Worship

I am posting this whole article cause it is just that good.

In previous posts, I wrote about how youth services should be Word-centered, God-focused, and how the service should involve all the young people, not just the ones who like to sing. Today, I’m writing about the use of worship bands and also the type of songs we choose to sing.

1. Worship Bands
I prefer to be cautious with worship bands, because I have seen how sometimes they can so drown out the worshippers that the congregation begins to accompany the band instead of the band accompanying the worshippers! This danger is found in many churches, regardless of worship style. (Some organists are just as guilty.) When this happens, God is used to display man’s talent instead of man’s talent used to display God.

I am also cautious about the youth themselves leading worship. This may seem strange after all I have said about the youth serving and participating in worship, but I would prefer a college student or young adult to lead worship, instead of one of the youth. There are many reasons for this, but I’ll suffice to give you just three.

First, we should not be naïve and think that a young person is sufficiently mature to be able to stand up in front of his/her peers and perform weekly without letting it go to their heads. Dare we forget how tough it was when we were teenagers and we craved so much the acceptance of others?

Second, if the youth leading worship are at odds with anyone else in the youth group, it is much more difficult for the other teenagers to get past them and truly be able to worship.

Third, most worship bands I have seen turn youth worship services into mini-concerts.

I would rather have someone who is outside the youth group and not as easily influenced by peer pressure leading the worship band. I would also want to ensure that the worship band sees themselves as a group pointing others to God, not as a group performing for themselves.

What I am saying about worship bands can also be applied to adult choirs too! This is nothing new, and I am not picking on worship bands. The Eastern Orthodox were on to something when they began having the choirs sing from behind the worshippers in the balcony, out of sight, 1500 years ago!

2. Song Choice
There are some great new songs and modern hymns coming out today in the church. I think of Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and other immensely popular singer/songwriters. The Bible commands us to sing to the Lord a new song, and I believe we should take that literally.

At the same time, I believe it is healthy for us to take a good look at new songs that are coming out and not to assume that just because it sounds good on the radio it should be sung in corporate worship. Songs teach us just as much as anything else in the worship service. Many people won’t remember one word of the sermon, but a song lyric will dance around in their heads for days after. I think we should consider carefully about what we are teaching the youth through the songs we choose.

You can check it out HERE

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