5 Scary Trends – Worship Worship

My friend Geoff Surratt is continuing his 5 Scary Trends series… Scary trend #3 is “Worship Worship”.  Geoff writes:

I love corporate worship. One of my favorite aspects of working in multisite churches has been visiting multiple worship experiences every weekend. I have participated in as many as six different services in a single weekend, and I love seeing people connect with God through the leadership of a gifted team of singers, musicians and technicians.

The scary trend, however, is the growing worship of the art of worship. The worship leader/pastor/director/producer has become a rock star. The need for ever-improving technology (“2K Projectors? Yes!!!”) dominates the church budget. The demand for professional musicianship squeezes out the possibility of homegrown talent. On Monday mornings we talk more about the sound quality, the experience, the arrangement than about the jaw dropping recognition of the awesome power of an omniscient God. We are in danger of worshipping the creation more than the creator.

What are we trying to accomplish through musical worship at our weekend services? Is the goal to compete with secular concerts or the mega-church down the street? (Do we really think we can compete with U2? Seriously?) Is excellence the goal regardless the price? Is holding the attention of the occasional attender the aim? Or are we truly focused on worshipping in spirit and in truth?

You can read more here.

And be sure to check out #5 “Multisite Mania” and #4 “Reformed Revolution“.



  • John January 14, 2012 Reply

    Excellent, nail-on-the-head article–the complete article of all 5 trends.

  • Pastor Shane February 20, 2012 Reply

    Valid concerns
    Lucky for me, we are not burdened with ANY of those concerns….
    (((( laughing ))))
    Money, talent, professionalism, ect….
    I had to go find a dictionary

  • Alan Cross February 27, 2012 Reply

    Isn’t this just a result of all of the things that we approve of, though? I mean, we set everyone up for this in our whole approach to church and it is what people want. It is really hard to bring us right up to this point in all that we do and then expect people not to fall into celebrity worship. Our whole approach is broken.

  • JimmyD February 27, 2012 Reply

    As a “worship leader” for the last 20 years, I don’t really see this as a “scary” trend. It is I think the inevitable result of the following movements: the 80’s worship renewal (Integrity Hosanna, Don Moen), the “seeker sensitive” movement (Hybels and Warren), the idea of “Worship Evangelism” (Morganthaller), Christian Contemporary Music with Worship Music as a genre, Hillsong and Hillsong United, and the advent of the Mega Church as a “destination”.

    I’m sure there are movements that I have left off the list. And recent ones ie. Missional, that will have their influence on the “weekend (worship) service. By and by, none of this will have any effect on worshipping Jesus in “spirit and truth” since that could never be programmed anyway. And yes, as you strive toward excellence you inevitably raise the bar beyond the average Joe’s ability to participate without lowering that bar.

    Worshipping worship is not a recent trend. It’s been around for a long time. People have been worshipping the “created” rather than the “creator” for ages. When the worship renewal began with “choruses” those who worshipped at the feet of the “Hymnal” raised a fuss. Whenever we reduce Gods “Worth-Ship” to a song or an emotional experience, that is what we become attached to.

    Worshipping God in spirit and in truth is an everyday lifestyle. It takes time and maturity to understand that. And singing songs that “move” you in a given hour of corporate “worship” is a cheap substitute for being a “living sacrifice”.

    We are all sheep who have been led to where we are. Who thinks they are called by God to lead us somewhere else? And how do we know that, THAT will be any better?

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