What’s “surface” got to do with it?

Read this first, please: Why Ministers Burn Out

Having read that, I would like to point out two things relating to what I am writing about here. (There seems to be occasional confusion in this area about what “contemporary worship” means.)

First, there’s no point in connecting with people emotionally if you don’t have anything to offer them spiritually. We come together to do things that can’t be done alone – big things and important things.

Second, if you have a message, you have to present it in a compelling way. Rev. Thom quotes a character in a novel by Jonathan Lethem: “You can’t be deep without a surface.” We could offer the keys to heaven in the Martian language, and no one would get it. We could offer them in pseudo-KJV English and most still won’t get it. You have to speak the language of the people with whom you hope to communicate.

So, I’m not talking about presenting feel-good pablum in a feel-good wrapper. I’m talking about getting people energized to transform their lives and the world around them. That’s best done to a fast march tempo, with the bass and kick drum on the 1 and 3 beats and a crunchy guitar on the 2 and 4, in my opinion.

About liberalreligiongetsloud

Contemporary Music and Worship Director (retired), First Unitarian, Albuquerque NM
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