June 7, 2016

Praise and Worship (Music Ministry)

What does that mean? These words now practically define a musical style — simple, singable and a repetitive chorus — and have almost helped create a Christian sub-culture, much like hip-hop became more than a musical style and became a sub-culture unto itself.

But below the surface, what does it mean to praise and worship? I will suggest that praise is to "lift up, to exalt, to give honor" to someone or something. To worship is to "offer right worth," to get low, to submit, to abandon.

I have been talking to a couple of campus ministers lately and they have testified to the musical language this style of music carries with it — a language that today's young person responds to. Over the years, I have learned and used several styles in liturgy, worship and prayer; and it becomes hard to learn another set of 200 songs! There was the early Catholic Folk Mass repertoire, the "Glory and Praise" years, the Charismatic movement's song choices, and on and on. I have written over 300 songs myself and there is no wonder that I have to work especially hard on remembering lyrics.

But most importantly, we need to "remember our audience" (I think Aristotle said that?), and our "audience" is really no audience at all. The young church needs to sing, pray and "own" its faith. Modern worship, Praise and Worship, Contemporary Catholic Music — whatever we want to call it — can help young people to pray. Let us serve our youth so that they can "lift up" the name of Jesus, and fall down in worship before him as well.

I still hum "They'll Know We Are Christians," but I doubt that this song will make it on to the TIME/LIFE Praise CD Collection! No matter. We need to be about helping our young brothers and sisters to pray.

For balance in song choices we need to include a style that has helped millions to pray and draw close to God: Praise and Worship. Listen to Falling For You by Josh Blakesley. Our church would be poorer without the faith and vibrancy of Josh and his music. Amen? Amen! Let us praise God, and fall and worship him — forever and ever. Amen!

Falling For You [MP3]

Josh Blakesley, Matt Maher
Matt Maher, Josh Blakesley