Pastor Jack Hayford made some wise comments in this morning’s opening session that resonated deeply within me. (Pastor Hayford is 70 years old and is celebrating 48 years of ministry and 50 years of marriage this year. I want to be like him when I’m 70!) His comments were, in effect, a warning to a younger generation of worship leaders to not be in bondage to the “slick and cool,” to not depend on the gadgets and gimmicks of high tech, but to discern the difference between performance and true worship. Between the flood of technology and our own desire to compete with the world, we can often confuse a good song service with anointed worship. The anointing is only proven out in changed lives, not inspiring song services.

The Why Vs. The How
I suppose you’re wondering by now why I’ve spent no time in these articles discussing the mechanics of how to blend worship from a musical standpoint. If you’re involved in church music leadership at all, you need more than a couple of articles on that subject. You need to attend a Seminars4Worship event (check www.seminars4worship.com for one in your area this year), take some music lessons, or be mentored by someone who is already experienced blending worship. Learning to blend is less about mechanics (the ‘how to’) than it is about the philosophy behind the mechanics (the ‘why to’). In truth, if you get the reasons to do it, really get them, you’ll fight your own way into doing it successfully. If you love people around you, people of all ages, and you respect their hymnody (ancient or current), you’ll spend many sleepless nights figuring out how to reach them, how to use their language to lead them into deeper love with Father God.

Revelation 5:13: “I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and on the sea. Every creature in those places was singing, ‘To the one who sits on the throne and to the lamb be praise, honor, glory, and power forever and ever!’”

If you catch the vision found in Revelation 5:13, you’ll begin to understand what it means to be a missionary to your own people in worship.

John Chisum is a songwriter, worship leader, and ordained minister. He is currently Worship Pastor of Christ Anglican Church in Mobile, AL, and is a popular clinician at national conferences. He travels frequently to conduct his own worship weekends and retreats under the banner of Firm Foundation Worship Ministries and is also involved with Integrity's Seminars4Worship and the Integrity Worship Institute as a core instructor. He has been married to Donna for nearly 24 years and they have a daughter, Aly, who is eleven years old. For more information about John and Firm Foundation Worship Ministries, visit him on the web at johnchisum.net.