And now lets move into a Time of nonsense

I’ve finished reading Nick Park’s book on Worship! The tag line for the book is “Why worship songs are failing the Church” and I was interested to read his thoughts, particularly having just experienced Soul survivor.
and now lets move into.jpg Nick takes a look back at how sung worship has developed (always fun to be reminded that Hymns were radical and unaccepted by mainstream denominational church) and produces a useful “map” of how we got where we are today.
He critiques our current crop of worship songs as being too musically complicated for an average church and with lyrics that not only don’t connect with people’s lives but actually use obscure and archaiac Biblical imagery that confuse people. I thought this was a really good point in that we expect Preaching to be relevent, understandable and connected with everyday life but we don’t expect that from worship songs!
His call is for the writing to be vital, practised and developed (not just left to the musician who may not be as gifted in the writing area or have sufficient time to develop in this area when their primary focus is the music). He asks for writers of worship songs to:
Take it seriously
Work hard at your craft
Make every word count
Test your words
Share the load
Never stop learning
Not use old words if new ones are as good
Find new images
Tell us about God
Go deeper

I enjoyed the book and found it a useful piece of work as I think about young people and worship. I enjoyed the fictional worship leader and songs that he created by way of illustration as he wouldn’t/couldn’t name and shame individual songs. The one thing that I really struggled with was the page at the end of the chapter that had a list of “Key Points” and “Key Questions” …. it felt a bit patronising to me and detracted, in my mind, from the argument Nick was developing ….. but maybe that’s just me being old-school and it is a useful way of summarising!
Well worth a read.

2 Replies to “And now lets move into a Time of nonsense”

  1. Pete Wards Selling Worship does a great job of tracking contemporary worship in a helpful and infromative way. I’ve not read Time of nonsense but something about the title immediately put me off that he was coming from a negative angle – but maybe I should check it out!

  2. Huzzah! Glad you found it. I loved the bits at the end of each chapter – I really think Christians should be able to laugh at themselves like that more often. It’s one of the best ways to keep your feet on the ground, and maintain awareness of how people outside the church might view those inside it.

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