Where do I start? Well, I should probably clarify from the beginning that my last post, "A Challenge to Lead Pastors," was not directed toward my own lead pastor. We have a wonderful friendship and a work relationship of freedom, teamwork, and trust. I am extremely blessed to be working under such a humble, spiritually attuned man who is also not afraid to say the last ten percent in love. Hence the reproving that led to this apology.

What I wrote was immature, judgmental, and arrogant. My thoughts were under-developed and should never have been published in the tone they were. I woke up one morning last week thinking about the lead pastor/worship pastor relationship. I opened my computer just to jot down a couple thoughts to remind myself to think, study, and pray about the subject. Instead, what ensued was a quick, flesh-originated, brain spew session, after which I hit "Publish." The only thing that made me publish my thoughts immediately was a desire to stir up controversy. What you probably thought, though, was, "What an ignorant punk. Why should I listen to a single thing he says?"

So, lead pastors and everyone, please accept my apology. I did not mean to generalize, challenge anyone's authority, or lump all worship pastors together to an exalted place of prophetic insight and power. If I may, I would like to offer a different kind of apology for what I meant to say. Perhaps lead pastors, worship pastors, and all church leaders will more readily receive a challenge that comes out of brokenness and concern for the church.

The challenge is simple: Take a giant step back from your church, from the way you do worship, and begin thinking objectively and deeply about your church's structure of worship. What has shaped your worship? What elements are important to you in worship, and why? Why do you do things in the order you do? Do you stick with doing things because they work? What does it mean for something to be "working"? Are you afraid that people will leave if you change anything? Have you considered the historical structure of worship?

The reason why I ask these questions is because I question the reasons why we do the things we do in our worship. Are we doing things simply because that's the way they've always been done (traditionalism)? Are we doing things only because they work and throwing things out that don't seem to be working (pragmatism)? Do we choose the things we do based on the what our people want (accommodation)?

The questions could go on, and hopefully you'll take the time to really consider your worship structure. To help you, especially worship leaders and lead pastors, I challenge you to read Christ-Centered Worship together. Bryan Chapell's goal is for church leaders to allow the gospel to shape our practice of worship. If you openly receive what Chapell has to offer, you will more than likely find that the contemporary church structure of worship (songs - announcements - sermon) is not the biblical and historic pattern. Rather, contemporary church worship has been shaped by our individualistic culture, creating church consumers rather than true worshipers of God. Chapell is not saying that the alternative is the traditional, liturgical model of worship, but simply that we must have "gospel priorities" in our worship structuring.

I can guarantee you that if we approach this openly, laying our pride and pragmatism aside, we will be relieved at the simplicity of gospel-shaped worship, we will begin seeing a greater work of the Spirit in our communities, and God will draw closer to us in worship than ever before.

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