A New Day in Songwriting

Featuring Paul Baloche Posted on February 1, 2010

In many churches music is finally being recognized and given its proper place in ministry. No longer is it just “the preliminaries,” but an integral part of the worship. Many churches now have Ministers of Worship, not only to oversee the music department but to lead the congregation in expressing themselves to the Lord. The typical worship time in many such churches is an unbroken twenty to forty minutes, after which a smooth transition is made right into the sermon. The whole service is a seamless act of worship, including the offering. Most of the music is less performance oriented, and more congregational.

In churches that have learned to lead the congregation into personal, biblical worship, it’s amazing to see how many people are receiving Christ in worship services. Many unconverted people are so drawn by the sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit inhabiting the praises of his people, that they begin to express their own hearts to the Lord. God gives them peace,and they begin a new life in Christ. That simple worship song has become a powerful tool of evangelism.

God never intended praise to be simply a minor part of a service, written down and mumbled in unison, without understanding, or phrases repetitiously and mindlessly sung. Whe•ther it is the liturgy or the spontaneous worship service, we are meant to enter into it with the whole heart, as if that is what we were created to do. Because it is. Lord, let my worship rise like incense, touching Your heart, bringing You joy, perfuming Your throne.

A Worldwide Phenomenon

Because of our modern means of travel and communication the world has grown smaller. The musical worship tradition with praise bands and worship “choruses” is now perhaps one of the most widespread forms in church history.

Get into a Christian’s car in almost any international city, and he’s likely to pop in a recording by your favorite worship leader. Visit a few churches there and you’re likely to find synthesizers, electric guitars, bass guitars, drums and vocal groups, singing the same worship songs we sing in our churches, along with new ones of their own.

Frank Fortunato reported recently from Mongolia,“The Western pop sounds dominate the youth culture as well as the worship services in the young Mongolian church.” Mongolia?! That’s the uttermost part of the earth!

Of course there are isolated pockets in the world that Western Civilization has not touched, or nations where despotic religions or tyrannical governments isolate their people. But in the former Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Australasia, Africa, the Americas, on islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific and in much of Asia, praise and worship music as we know it is nearly universal. You’ll hear different languages and refreshing local ethnic flavors, but the spirit is the same.


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