>musical worship: what am i connecting with?

>one thing i’ve become increasingly cautious of: connecting with music and writing it off as connecting with God. sometimes it’s a gray area for me. am i worshiping God through this music or am i simply enjoying the musical atmosphere? i lot of times i think – and i can only speak for myself here – that there is very little, if any, difference between my emotional and spiritual connection with worship music and popular/dance/non-worship* music.

* – i’ve intentionally avoided the word “secular” here. for some reason that word really bugs me. probably for the same reason that “christian” coffee shops bug me – oh, i’m not a christian, so i’ll go on down the street to the not-so-christian coffee shop. or probably because the only people that i hear use the word “secular” are christians like myself who need a constant reminder that we dont associate with secularism, but that we’re better than that. i find that offensive and ugly. buy anyway.

i find that music can evoke a feeling of excitement and emotional pleasure regardless the type – i’ll be the first to admit that i often feel happier listening to daft punk, kanye, gnarls barkley, and al green (although, he is a reverend) than i do during intentional worship times.

my first step to address this was to carefully consider my motives in singing during church. am i singing because (insert worship song here) has a funky beat or because i am truly feeling and connecting with God? because i belt out ace of base, jimmy eat world and the rocket summer in my car and feel very similar. what about this situation is making me belt out the lyrics? is it for God? or is it cause i’m too funky for myself and can’t help but sing/dance/clap along?

the step i arrived at next was understanding and implementing other forms of worship. connecting with God through things other than music. this isn’t a new thought for anyone probably – dedicationg to the Bible and to prayer – but also worshiping through observing God’s creation (both in nature and in humans). these are ways in which we can all intentionally connect with the Father. and those are great, but they don’t solve the discomfort and uncertainty that comes with some music. regardless my worship experiences outside of music, the question during musical worship remains – what am i connecting with?

in the end, i’m not really sure how i feel about connecting with music – i certainly wouldn’t go as far as to say that God can’t be found in non-worship songs (on the contrary, i think it is often more likely to find Jesus outside of the church than inside) and music is certainly not evil*.

* – the only thing i find “evil” about it is when recording artists make hundreds of thousands of dollars and turn into Mr. GQ by exploiting psalms and adding chord progressions. i won’t point fingers at anyone in particular, but i can’t help but raise an eyebrow when artists accompany their worship with cute jeans and trendy caps whilst maintaining a consistant two-day scruff.

i guess what i’m really wondering/questioning is the authenticity of musical worship – specifically mine – and whether it’s for God or not. it probably boils down to disgretion and varies in each situation – deliberating what it is about a certain moment that is causing the joy and happiness. i’m also not suggesting that moments of musical happiness that aren’t devoted to God are bad things – not at all – only that sometimes i find myself thinking “man, God really moved me” when the reality is “man, that song really pumped me up.”

just thoughts. feel free to comment. i don’t have a tumblr so that’s still an option…zing.


3 thoughts on “>musical worship: what am i connecting with?”

  1. >I’ve definitely experienced both. To me, connecting with God and connecting with the music are two entirely different experiences which I’ve figured out how to distinguish pretty well. Unfortunately, 90% of the time, I’m more interested in the music than God. I’m actually starting to dislike contemporary worship songs more and more for that reason. I find it easier to actually focus with hymns a lot of the time.On a SECULAR note: If you don’t know them already, you should check out “Justice”. They’re very heavily influenced by the Daft Punk, but also quite good in their own right.

  2. >i too often feel that sometimes music is more important than the time of solitude and devotion with Christ-giving thanks…so many times. why do you think ‘heart of worship’ was written?sitting in the back of ichthus this week,it was really nice to be separated and off on my own to really focus and do my own thing during worship, i mean i sang, but i didn’t feel surrounded by others who were singing as well, i felt i could do whatever i wanted to in my own right for Him. i also really took note of a everyone else worshiping. i KNOW that this is weird and i should have been focusing on myself and my time with God during that portion…but it was quite interesting as well as very spiritual to watch. for me, music IS spiritual-but sometimes i focus too much on it. just the pretty music and thanking Him for such the pretty music rather than the reason WHY the music was written. like, if at church it just wasn’t a great worship day, i usually find myself really kind of bummed. which is ridiculous. it’s…like the topping on the cake i suppose, after a sermon. you make it all great with filling for the cake with the goodness and ingredients of the sermon then you bake it and let it marinate with prayer, and when it’s baked, you add that extra goodness of frosting with singing in worship-BUT, tricky part, i feel that a lot of times we’re extremely gluttoness and put a whole lot of frosting on that cake of goodness just for the sake of frosting rather than the actually God goodness of sweetness and richness. does that make sense? i’m not saying that more sweetness of Christ is bad, that’s great, but I feel that sometimes if we’re doing it just for the sake of doing it, no good will come of it. it must be done with intent. sorry about the food metaphor.

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