Do You Know the Heart-Question?
Gordon MacDonald wrote an article a friend quoted to me that, in essence, says good worship addresses the "heart-questions" of that particular worshiping community. A worship leader/pastor gets that; gets the need for a varied approach to worship: visual, auditory, narrative, poetic, facts and pictures, instruments and vocal, high energy and solitude.
That's why in my blog on worshiping witha boom box, it worked in the jail, because those guys "get it" that they cannot have piano or guitar or worship band, but just a CD and boom-box. They requested songs of energy, passion and hope. They were not into deep poetic beauty or silence in the midst of frenzy. Their's were different questions than worshipers were asking at Montecito in the morning.
This sense of a variety of questions should be the template I and the worship leadership use when we evaluate the songs we choose, the sounds we produce, the scriptures we read and the prayers we pray. It's not so much an attempt to placate customers as much as it is the tender way to open a unique window for brothers and sisters of all ages and backgrounds. And the wider the age/culture background, the more challenging it becomes.
A friend I was talking with about this said that he personally loved bell-choirs as much as fingernails grating across a chalkboard, but...and then he paused, a number in his congregation weep when the bells are played, because it speaks to a heart-queestion they are asking. God bless his sensitivity. It's not about what he likes, but about what his congregation needs. Do you know what others' heart questions are that do not belong to your age-cohort?