10 Questions With: Andy Park
- Saturday, September 21, 2002
S4W.com: What has been the greatest challenge you've faced since you began pursuing music as a calling and a career?
Andy Park: One of my biggest challenges has been maintaining pure motives as I have found success as a songwriter and recording artist. Over and over again, I've had to get back to basics -- loving God with all my heart and loving my neighbor as myself. There are so many things that pull a worship leader away from ministering with a pure heart -- competition with other worship leaders and the temptation to pursue fame.
It's not hard to write songs and perform music. It's much harder to "do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8).
S4W.com: What has been the most profound lesson you've learned about worship over the past few years?
Park: The lesson I continue to learn is an age-old truth -- the quality of our spiritual and musical ministry is directly tied to our lifestyle; how we walk out our relationship with God and people.
Good songs come out of ongoing relationship with God and being formed by the word of God and the community of the saints. I am urged to follow God week by week as I read the Bible, read other inspiring books and listen to the testimonies and teachings of my friends and pastors.
S4W.com: What is the most profound lesson you've learned about life over the past few years?
Park: That I still have a lot of growing to do! (Not too big of a surprise, really). I have eight wonderful children. They are my greatest joy and my greatest challenge. They force me to keep growing -- to become more patient, loving, kind and full of self-control. That's a good thing.
Funny thing about kids -- they act like children!! They make a lot of noise, break a lot of my stuff, and fight with each other. That requires me to become more and more loving, forgiving and gentle. I don't always perform so well, but I'm trying! People tell me that my kids are turning out pretty well, so that's encouraging.
S4W.com: What is the most common misunderstanding about worship you see in the current worship climate, and how have you tried to reshape it?
Park: Over the past few decades, contemporary church culture has evolved to place the worship leader in a highly visible and influential position. Wherever there is opportunity for high visibility, there is temptation to misuse that position.
Because the American ethos says "bigger is better," there is a pull towards climbing a ladder of success, even for worship leaders. So the local church worship leader may feel pressure to write their own songs and produce their own CD. For many people, that's a right choice, but for many others, it's the wrong road. Success is found in serving with the gifts God has given us, in the place he puts us. For some, the road will lead to extra-local ministry, but for most it will mean serving faithfully in a local congregation.
Another American reality is that we big-time consumers. God has moved on his church, bringing a fresh wave of worship music over the past few decades. True to form, we package and distribute whatever we can. In this case, it is worship CD's.
Whenever there is media and mass distribution of a product, there is the potential for a "star mentality" among those who are the headliners. Many "worship leaders" today are marketed in the same way secular artists are marketed. Good-looking singers are placed in the worship leader slot, and the marketing machine takes over.
I don't buy into the illusion that can be created by putting somebody's picture on a CD cover. Having your picture and your voice broadcast across nations doesn't make you a gifted worship leader, and it certainly doesn't make you holy.
We ought to be careful not to idolize worship leaders. God isn't impressed with "stars," so we shouldn't be either.
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