WORSHIP as a way of life BY
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he word “worship” when applied to the sung variety almost universally prompts questions about music genres, with tired old terms like “traditional” and “contemporary” still commonplace (May I add, all musical or spoken worship is contemporary at some point in its history). Across time, visual art, drama, and dance have intermittently joined the worship conversation, but although certain faith traditions historically have a more outward, “gathering to scatter,” to be “missional” outlook on worship expression, in my expe18 W O R S H I P L E A D E R | W O R S H I P L E A D E R .C O M | VO L . 29, N O. 2
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rience, the focus seems to remain primarily inward. If the worship leader’s goal is to inspire worshipers to feel hope, encouragement, and even constructive conviction, as well as a deeper sense of closeness and relationship to God, such an inward focus is important and valuable. Yet, without a concomitant external focus, it can often be challenging to distinguish between worship and entertainment, and one can judge either one as successful if the congregation or audience leaves feeling energized and inspired: “Wasn’t worship great today?”
Our March/April/May issue is all about the inextricable connection of worship and mission. We cannot separate our worship from what Jesus em...