10 Questions With: Robin Mark
- Tuesday, August 24, 2004
S4W.com: Many Western churches miss the mark in that they see all this progress happening in worship and they attempt to follow what they see as a trend but there’s little teaching on what it means to worship. So, they can do it, musically speaking, but the people in the pew don’t understand what the Bible says about it. Is teaching about worship a priority at your church in Belfast?
Mark: Well yeah. Paul Reed, our pastor, speaks occasionally on worship. And I have a little bit of liberty to say little things in the midst of when I’m leading worship, as do some of the other ones, to just sort of keep people right. We probably should do more because you’re right, people come to church, and they say ‘Wow! Nice band, good singin.’ Well if that’s the only level they’re at, we’re in trouble, so we have to keep God in the way of that. We probably should do more.
S4W.com: And now for the desert island question: What are the 5 essentials you simply could not do without in worship ministry?
Mark: A team that keeps me humble is the first thing. Because when you come to Nashville and you’re getting an International Award, you can get really quite impressed by your own ego, which is a disaster. So, that’s one essential is guys that keep my feet right on the ground. The second essential may sound a bit sort of scooshy, but it’s my own family relationship. The family thing. It’s being in the day-to-day things with my wife and kids. The third thing is my guitar. I’m afraid I’m one of these people who cannot stand up in front of a church and not have a guitar to hold on to. I need it. The fourth thing is a body of believers that there’s a mutual love for. I always say to my guys when you stand up to lead worship in church, our church, if you don’t love the people you’re looking at, and they don’t love you; you’re in real trouble. If you stand up there and you want to do it to them and they’re sitting there going ‘Yeah, let’s see you do this,’ then it’s a disaster. So that’s the fourth thing. When you have people who love you, you have the allowance to make a complete and utter pelleck of yourself. Pelleck is an English word for idiot, nerd or something like that.
S4W.com: Actually, that’s usually one of my questions. Can you think of one particular instance when you made a complete idiot out of yourself?
Mark: Yeah, I got to number four there, but I’ll come back. No, four is good. No, we heard an Integrity track where they’d taken “I will worship with all of my heart” and they had a disco beat behind it. It went “ IIIIII Will Worship”. So, yeah, it was disco. So I said to my band, ‘Hey let’s do that, let’s try a disco sound.’ And they said ‘What?’ But I convinced them to try it, and it was just horrific. We got to the end, and I turned and looked at them and they were all going, ‘What in the world WAS that!?’
S4W.com: What makes a worship song congregationally friendly or acceptable?
Mark: Two things. One its singability. And there is actually a range of singability. And stuff that doesn’t rattle around too much is good. And stuff that doesn’t shift a whole octave. I mean, that can be great to listen to but hard to sing. When you’re singing low, and then you suddenly go high. That’s hard. The second thing is, I like songs that actually engage the brain. I think people like to sing a song where the melody and the music and the words draws something out of them. But those are the two main things. I think the range is so important and the engagement of the actual lyrics of the thing.
S4W.com: Tell me a little bit about Revival in Belfast II. First of all I’m curious to know why you feel Revival in Belfast, the first one resonated so much with people? And two, tell me a little bit about the new one.
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