10 Questions With: Louie Giglio
- Monday, October 27, 2003
Louie Giglio got his start on college campuses before going on to launch the Passion conferences, events aimed at bringing students together to worship. Even as the founder of Sixsteps Records, home to familiar Passion players David Crowder, Chris Tomlin and Charlie Hall, his heart is still with college students. On the heels of OneDay 2003, a worship event that drew 25,000 students to Sherman, Texas, Giglio took time out from teaching and planning, to talk to songs4worship.com. Here's what he had to say...
S4W.com: How did you get started?
Giglio: My roots are collegiate ministry. I was leading a campus ministry back at Baylor University starting in 1985, and we wanted to incorporate a stronger worship piece than what was happening then. We didn't have a band, we didn't have a lead worshiper or any musicians, so we started where we were, with a desire to lift God up and to magnify him corporately. For the 10 years we were there at Choice Bible Study, I spoke every week and was part of the musical worship as well.
Why the move from music toward more teaching and planning?
I think it was a recognition that other people are more gifted in the leading of worship, musically. My gifting lies more in not just speaking, but the overall big picture of putting the pieces of worship together. All that is worship. I say a lot of times that I feel one of the dangers of the church is that our terminology often becomes theology. I'll go somewhere to speak and someone and will give me the rundown of the night and it will be "we're gonna open with some worship and do some announcements and they you're gonna speak and then we're gonna close with some more worship."
If worship is happening before I speak and after I speak then what is actually happening while I speak? Because I always thought that was worship also. Some people say its semantics, but if you ask the average person in the church to talk about worship, pretty soon they're going to be talking about songs and about music. Unfortunately, in the New Testament there's just not a lot of support for worship around those ideas. Most of the New Testament material about worship has to do with serving and living and not so much to do with singing and playing.
What makes a song or any act for that matter worshipful?
Something becomes worshipful when we do it unto the Lord for the sake of glorifying Him.
How do you explain the powerful connection between music and worship expression?
Music is powerful because it seems to touch the soul in a way the spoken word can but doesn't always. There's something about the rhythm that connects with something internal that God put inside of us. I think that's why the musical expression of worship is so strong, because it immediately engages us on multiple levels. I don't think that's a bad thing. I just feel the danger has come when we've narrowly defined worship in that scope and have failed to really understand that there are many, many other expressions that are just as significant.
What role does prayer play and do you feel it's given its due in worship?
What Passion is known for is worship, but really what we do is gather people for prayer. What we've seen as the most powerful combination is intercession and worship combined as one thing. I think there is a tremendous sense of synergy when we realize that many of the songs we sing are prayers and then we see the role that our corporate intercession plays and we weave all those things together.
What is the role of confession and repentance in worship?
I think they are always inseparable from our journey with God. We're on the backside of Calvary and our forgiveness is complete. There's no more transacting. If I confess, I get forgiven, but Paul says "Be kind to one another. Forgive each other just as God has forgiven you." I don't feel like people get that sometimes. I fee like we're still working a transactional forgiveness system.
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