Each of us is told to sing praises to God. Worship is corporate, it is not having someone with a microphone singing at them.
The worshipping church doesn’t consume music, it makes music. But the modern concept of a lead singer arose from commercial pop music, written for a soloist or a small group. It’s no wonder, then, that most live pop worship sounds quite similar. A “leader” singing with pop inflection and affected tone, while ad libbing and improvising rhythm and melody, doesn’t ask of a congregation, “Sing with me.” It says, “Approach congregational singing like it’s a concert.”
We are living in the days of the celebrity Christian. We have witnessed the advent of the “worship superstar,” especially over the last two decades. Granting a microphone to a musician is offering them a whole lot of power and prestige. Some take the opportunity to showcase their own affected pop styling and build their celebrity in the mould of so many others. Some have exploited the vulnerability of an emotionally-compromised congregation Just look at the record sales for the so-called “worship industry.”
Because our culture is so used to listening to music for entertainment, we make our own celebrities. Make no mistake about it. The church does this, too. We begin to associate worship with a person and a performance, rather than corporate prayer through Word and Sacrament.
Listen to the attached performance and understand why Pastor Andy Savage. said the following: “And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason you never give a worship leader the microphone. This particular Sunday will be forever chronicled on the internet and known as the Sunday Lowpoint, certainly not the Highpoint…