TOAM – Worship

I thought I would now write a bit about the worship at the Together on a Mission conference. I’ve even included a 12 second video clip for you to get a feel of it:

On the day I was there we had two times of worship led by South African Evan Rogers. Many songs were in an African language (Afrikaans?), and involved a lot of dancing and actions. The antics of those on dancing the platform got increasingly extravagant, culminating in them diving off the stage into the arms of the worshippers below towards the end of the evening! I wonder what Chuck Colson would say about Bambelela?

When Terry Virgo recommended a book on the cross that defends the doctrine of “penal substitution” a stifled ripple of laugher went round the room, presumably because people thought he had accidently said something rude. I noticed a lot of the new songs included lines affirming this view of the atonement, which shows an admirable intent to ensure that our songs are theologically instructive, although in places singing about the wrath of God to such upbeat music did seem somewhat incongruous.

I think that there are three key groups of newfrontiers worship songs at the moment:
1) Church Songs – there are loads of new songs being written about the church as the agent of God’s kingdom purposes. These are serving to remind us that we are a people on a mission, rather than worship focussing entirely on my personal salvation / relationship with God.
2) Modern Hymns – people such as Stuart Townend and Keith Getty are writing some good new hymns with real depth to the lyrics, which I think is a much needed addition to charismatic worship, as most of the older hymns have been long forgotten.
3) Multi-cultural songs – We are learning songs from other cultures, usually with a ‘celebration’ theme. People from all cultures dancing together in worship is a good expression of the unity in Christ.

3 thoughts on “TOAM – Worship

  1. I don’t think Colson would have just shouted out, “No” to that classic of classic songs. He wouldn’t have been heard above the shouting anyway …

    I think he might have ran on the stage, grabbed Evan’s guitar and smashed it. Or something. 😉

    We didn’t hear the ripples of laughter at “penal substitution” in our area! Mind you, we were sitting behind Dave and Rosie Fellingham so I am sure that the spirit of maturity rested upon us.

  2. Couple of points about this post
    1. I really dont think that there was a ripple of laughter throughout the whole room at penal substitution – I was there for that bit.
    2. My wife was there when ONE person who had been allowed to join others from Africa on the stage to dance with the band/choir jumped off the stage. I should point out that this was a member of the congregation NOT one of the worship band, and that others were prevented from doing so.

  3. Adrian…
    1. OK, fair enough, I exaggerated my point for comic effect. I just heard a few chuckles that’s all.
    2. I would have said that at least two managed to make the jump before the health-and-safety police spoiled the party! You are quite right to point out that this was the exhuberance of some random people on stage, rather than being the worship band members.

    Sorry if I came across sounding overly negative (Colsonesque myself perhap?). My sense of humour perhaps doesn’t always translate well over the internet. I actually really enjoyed the worship even though a lot of songs were new to me.

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