Article: Sex-Appeal & Worship; Music Review: Chris Tomlin; Book Review: Francis Chan; Free Song: Let Everything
to Digital Worship News, Edition 61. This issue includes 4 different resources. First is an article about how we (in contemporary North American churches) value appearance, weight, and attractiveness in our worship leaders. Second is a review of the recent Chris Tomlin album "Burning Lights". Third, is a review of the book by Francis Chan called "Crazy Love"- a mission-centered call-to-attention for the Christian church! Finally, the song "Let Everything" is the free MP3 and Chord chart download for this issue!
blessings, Kim Gentes
Are We Staging Sex-Appeal in Worship?
As Leonardo DaVinci's "Vitruvian Man" reminds us, for thousands of years society has searched for what they consider the perfect person- the ultimate physical shape and representation of humanity. Do we search for these qualities in our worship leaders as well?
As our churches have adopted more modern styled music and instruments that reflect a semblance of popular culture, we can also see that we are beginning to expect something different of our leaders who stand up on the stages in our local churches. But even while these changes are happening, we rarely talk about them openly.
Should leaders be "attractive"? Should worship leaders be trim? What if they are overweight? As strange as these questions might seem, if we do not talk about them we risk letting our unspoken actions become what guides us for the future. Indeed, it is our actions (and not our words) that ultimately attest to what we truly believe. Some would say that our actions in churches across America show that we are copying the modern music culture by trying to present leaders who look the role of pop musicians/artists. Is this true?
It's been just over 2 years since Chris Tomlin released the Grammy Winning "And If Our God Is For Us..." album. And here we are with another new project from Chris Tomlin- "Burning Lights". Beginning as a spectacular album, "Burning Lights" has several sparkling new songs, but also has a few "average" tracks as well.
The first 5 songs are not only great songwriting anthems, but are presented in musical vibrancy that tops any work Tomlin has done in the past. The arrangements, style and rhythms found here are smart and successful experiments in broader worlds into which Tomlin has been relatively cautious...
...this album has many excellent songs. You will find several to be of interest to contemporary churches who already like Chris Tomlin songs and style. Musically and creatively, "Burning Lights" is Tomlin's best album to date, eclipsing even his debut "Arriving" in creativity...
What is the distinct thing that makes the Christian life different from any other? Francis Chan's book "Crazy Love" is a short and clear call to exploring that distinction. Chan is convinced that our lives must be founded and fueled by love. Then, on the basis of that love, we are to sacrificially give away our lives as the "way" to be the people Jesus called us to be.
For the first few chapters Chan explores the motives of our "service" (acts and lives lived) as Christians. Such things as fear, pride and various other substitutes are proved to be false foundations in place of a thankful life that exists in light of a truly awesome and holy God. Chan urges us to see God as the scriptural Everything from, and to which, true love can proceed.
In light of the God of "Crazy Love", the book moves the reader into a realization of the biblical view of a response to such a God- a response that can only be real if it sees action. But Chan is not preaching the "American god" of prosperity in his book. Rather than a god in whom we strive to achieve success and are granted blessings of favor, position or possessions- Chan is calling us to lay down everything. At the root of "Crazy Love" is a deft prescription to the American church- sacrifice...
This issue we are pleased to give you access to the audio MP3 (studio recording) and chord chart for the song "Let Everything" as a free downloadfor a limited time directly here, so you will find it below.
Let Everything is written by Brian Thiessen and Kim Gentes and is a "call to worship" song for congregational worship. If you haven't had a chance to here or try it out in your local church, download it here. Included is both an audio MP3 and a PDF chord chart.
Free Song Download "Let Everything" by Brian Theissen & Kim Gentes
Click here to download the free song MP3 and chord chart!