Worship or Praise Teams are part and parcel of the change agenda. In today's lesson I share some interesting information about their origin. This information will help us understand those who want such things and where the idea originated. In dealing with this matter as with all others we must exercise discretion. We must uphold that which is good, oppose that which is evil and be tolerant of that which is in the real of opinion. If you find this lesson helpful, please forward it to Christians in your email directory. Feel free to make copies to share with others. Remember that the only church God will bless is the church that is submissive to and obedient to his will.
- <font size=5>WHENCE CAME THE WORSHIP TEAM?</font>
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>In churches committed to the change agenda, you will usually find a "worship team." Our wandering brethren sometimes called these "praise teams." Perhaps you, like me, have wondered, where did such ideas originate? In reading the book, Pagan Christianity, by Frank Viola and George Barna, I found the following information regarding the origins of the worship team. He opens his discussion by noting:
- "In many contemporary churches...the choir has been replaced by the worship team" (p. 164).
- He continues, "The standard worship team includes an amplified guitar, drums, keyboard, possibly a bass guitar and some special vocalists" (Ibid).
- "Word are usually projected onto a screen... There are rarely songbooks or hymnals" (Ibid).
- "The worship team will ...lead a lively, hand-clapping, body-swaying, hand-raising, (sometimes dancing) congregation... Typically the focus of the songs is on individual spiritual experience. First person singular pronouns I, me, mydominate a good number of the songs" (p. 164-165).
- "The revolution (in Christian music) came when rock and roll was adapted into Christian music with the coming of the Jesus movement. This reform set the stage for the revolutionary musical changes to take root in the Christian church..." (Ibid).
- "The origin of the worship team goes back to the founding of Calvary Chapel in 1965. Chuck Smith, the founder of the denomination, started a ministry for hippies and surfers. Smith welcomed the newly converted hippies to re-tune their guitars and play their now redeemed music in church" (Ibid).
- "Since the advent of contemporary Christian music, the `worship wars' have begun constituting a divisive force that has balkanized the Christian church into `old styled-traditional-music' lovers vs. `new-styled-contemporary' music lovers. Not a few churches have been splintered right down the middle over what form of music is to be used during the church service" (Ibid. ft. note)
- "The Vineyard (a contemporary charismatic denomination)....followed suit with the worship team.... Since that time, the Vineyard has probably had more influence on establishing worship teams and worship music..."
- "In due time the guitar replaced the organ as the central instrument that led worship in the Protestant church. Although patterned after the rock concert of secular culture, the worship team has become as common as the pulpit" (p. 166).
We understand that the problem is not in having a committee or group of brethren to plan the worship service, nor is it in having more than one song leader before the congregation. The problem arises when such innovations are used as wedges to open the door for the use of instruments of music in worship (Eph. 5:19), to put Christian women in leadership roles in the worship (I Tim. 2:11-12), or other changes that do violate the sacred standard of Scripture (II John 9-11). The danger is seen when confusion and division occur (Rom. 16:18). By then the damage is done and the church has suffered great harm. Think of it this way. Say for 10 years you had taken the same medicine for your high blood pressure and it had worked fine. You go to a new young doctor and he insists that you need to change to a new kind of medicine. Against your better judgment, you take the medicine and become desperately ill. Thankfully you survive, although some did not. The young doctor was sure his prescription for a new medication would work wonders. In fact your old medicine was fully adequate for your needs. The new was a near disaster. So it is proving to be where the change agents insist on implementing their agenda in congregations that had done well prior to their coming.</font>
**Pagan Christianity is a 2008 publication of Tyndale House Pub. Inc.
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John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now