15 Worship Decisions We’ll Regret



15 Worship Decisions We’ll Regret

1.     Dividing congregations along age and affinity lines.

2.     Eliminating choral expressions in worship.

3.     Worship leader ageism.

4.     Elevating music above Scripture, Prayer and the Lord’s Supper.

5.     Making worship and music exclusively synonymous.

6.     Trying to recreate worship with each new generation.

7.     Ignoring the Christian Calendar and adopting the Hallmark Calendar.

8.     Worshiping like inspiration stopped with the hymnal. 

9.     Worshiping like inspiration started with modern worship songs.

10.   Not providing a venue for creatives to express their art as worship.

11.   Allowing songs about God to supersede the Word of God.

12.   Elevating gathered worship above dispersed worship.

13.   Setting aside traditionalism around the world but not across the aisle.

14.   Worshiping out of Nostalgia or Novelty.

15.   Worship services at the expense of worship service.


20 Responses to “15 Worship Decisions We’ll Regret”

  • David Manner Says:


    Thanks for your response. I wrote a previous post on what I mean by number 12 and have attached a link here: http://kncsb.org/blogs/dmanner/put-worshipers-in-their-place/

  • John Strain Says:


    I really appreciate the “list” from someone else’s perspective. All of these components are something to be wrestled with while trying to stay in the formalized pattern church. From my perspective, the only relevant issue that you brought up at all that applies to the collective church (entire bride of Christ) that would serve to break free of the methodology of the last 1.5 or so century is #5. If the Church cannot address the misuse of the word “worship”, and somehow get back to it’s Biblical definitions and connotations, we are destined to continue the cycle of traditionalize, contemporize, giving way to traditionalizing again, and then contemporizing again. This is what allows for and even encourages the rest of your list.
    Worship is not 25 minutes of singing songs on Sunday morning. For more of the thoughts behind this see http://abramsworship.blogspot.com/ and feel free to remove that reference for future readers if you deem it necessary.
    I really appreciate your thoughts and would like to see at least a brief description of what you labeled #12 regarding dispersion.

  • Paul Thompson Says:

    Thanks for the clarity. I agree with your thoughts on the issue of ageism.

    I’m not sure I follow the flow of thought on creatives. I agree that music is an artistic expression and I follow what you’re saying about it being an offering back to God, but the matter of art seems to be a complex matter in corporate worship.

    Thanks for further explaining. I appreciate what you have to say in the list.

  • David Manner Says:


    Here is an explanation of #3 and #10:
    #3 – Ageism is discriminating against an individual or group based on age. So Worship Leader Ageism is replacing a Worship Leader based solely on age or platform appearance, not calling or ability. It is the belief that a younger leader will create relevance that an older leader can’t.
    #10 – Churches that won’t take the risks to provide a venue for creatives to express art beyond predictable musical expressions will lose them to places that will. The sole emphasis on music as our primary worship offering may have actually hindered worship and perpetuated worship conflict in our congregations.

    Music is an artistic expression given to us so that we might offer that gift to God in worship. But it is not the only expression. Considering additional artistic options could alleviate the pressure on music to serve as the primary driver of worship renewal and consequently diminish its solitary blame for worship conflict.

  • Paul Thompson Says:

    Thanks for the list.
    What do you mean by “agism” (#3) and could you explain # 10 a bit more?


  • David Manner Says:


    Those with whom we worship every Sunday. Across the aisle of our own churches. We are often willing to sacrifice our traditionalism when we travel internationally but not in our own churches.

  • Michael Says:

    Re: 13, what are you referring to with the phrase “across the aisle”?

  • Trey Groves Says:

    David, I would love to see a follow up article where you flesh out these statements. Some of them are very generic and need some explanation. Good list, though!

  • Joseph Reynolds Says:

    I was just pondering this very very important subject over the last few months. Obedience is better than sacrifice and acknowledging God is the most important worship. I feel very guilty that I don’t acknowledge God in the public discourse more than I do. Music worship is very important and I am so thankful for Lake City Church here in Lakewood. 🙂

  • Suzanne Says:

    Awesome. I know of many churches separating the old from the young and I wonder who is teaching the young what they need to know about God? My favorite friend and counsel is 97. What would I do if the church made her go to ‘her age’ worship service?

  • Betty Says:

    I don’t understand much of this. I’m sure I read at at least a 12th grade level. And I’ve been in church all of my life. GRACE should be proclaimed from the pulpit, the desirability and beauty of Jesus as the Lover of our Souls, and righteousness to us imputed by the blood of Christ is what churches NEED, and I think these arcane strainings of music will fall into place.

  • Belinda Says:

    Thank you Duane for referencing that verse. I will be reminding my choir as we begin a new year about our calling and purpose. I am at a small church where I try to design our services as that verse states. It is difficult especially in a situation where we are considered in a low subordinate place in our role in worship versus working together with the preacher to help those in the pew in their worshipping of God corporately.

  • Duane Franks Says:

    As a worship pastor, here is scripture I find to is applicable to both hymns and choruses.
    “And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
    Matthew 13:52 ESV

  • kate Says:

    Many Songs help me remember the word of God …. God is able to use just about anything to reach us… His creation a dream can be enough for a relationship to develop and a soul to seek Him 😉

  • Arnold Rawls Says:

    Wonderful article. . . I agree with most all of the points. . I appreciate your wisdom in this area and really appreciate your sharing it with us all.

  • Kurt Kelley Says:

    Few churches will admit it, but in practice, they are clearly communicating that the only thing that matters in worship music is appealing to the youth. I love the strong preaching at my church, but the worship (led by the pastor’s early 20’s son) has started to resemble what you might find at a typical youth conference. Everyone on stage looks to be college age, playing nothing but Jesus Culture and Hillsong United kinds of songs. Despite the fact that the congregation is an equal balance of all ages and generations. Kind of sad, if you ask me.

  • David Milner Says:

    As a former music director (retired) and pastor, I would suggest that most people in the pews do their main worshipping through music. The Word and the preaching are always primary, but be careful what you do with the music. To eliminate either the old hymns or new music styles is a mistake of monumental proportions. There is no reason, in my humble opinion, to do away with either one. They tend to mix well if done properly. Choral music is difficult to accomplish in many very small churches, but it’s great when you can do it. Martin Luther said that next to theology, he gave music the highest place and honor. I employ both, and believe eliminating either is foolhardy at best. Hearts in the pews are touched by “Holy, Holy, Holy” as well as by contemporary worship music. Again, the Word and the preaching are primary, but music is extremely important as well.

  • David Manner Says:

    Good question, Steve. I am not suggesting that gathered worship discourages individual worship. I am suggesting that gathered worship is incomplete without individual worship. The worship that occurs on Sunday should be an overflow of the worship that has been occurring during the week. Until that occurs our worship on Sunday will be shallow. Eugene Peterson wrote in Christ Plays in Ten-Thousand Places, “Worship is the primary means for forming us as participants in God’s work, but if the blinds are drawn while we wait for Sunday, we aren’t in touch with the work that God is actually doing.”

  • Todd Merka Says:

    Well Said!!! Amen!!

  • Steve Says:

    Yes, if we are making these decisions or sliding into them. But “Elevating gathered worship above dispersed worship”? What are you trying to say? Both testaments seem to do this. Or are you suggesting that an emphasis on gathered worship discourages individual worship?

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