I have found a helpful bit of advice on modern Self Centered Worship, from Australian worship leader, Darin Browne, at PraiseandWorshipLeader.com
This podcast explores self centered worship, and whether or not “I” songs have become the focus of modern worship music. They make the excellent points:
- If we are going to worship, it must be centered on God. When modern songs fail to mention even one of His many names, it is hard to say if it is focused on the LORD, or a human fancy.
- The “Formulas” vs. the Holy Spirit.
- Choosing the right kind of songs for worship and choosing songs with purpose and looking at the meaning. Not using “throw away” songs. Time for music in worship is limited already. Every song should either point to God, or your response to God.
- The call to worship.
- Seeking God on every song you do. This is something that has been important to me, and I have personally seen this have a big impact in my worship.
Top five take aways:
Choose lyrics and songs carefully. Choose the right key. Check out the lyrics and melodies to be sure you are not singing “junk” music that is not accurate, or is difficult to sing. Just because they are doctrinally or scripturally correct, doesn’t mean they are great corporate worship songs! Don’t introduce more than one new song in a week. Learning new songs isn’t usually the focus of worship in song.
- Ask why do you do the song you are doing. You need to have a valid reason for each song.
- Avoid formulas. Three fast, two slow…two fast, three slow, or whatever it be, God will not fall off His throne if you do it different.
- Middle songs should be about proclaiming God- i.e., He is Lord, Man of Sorrows, When I Survey
Finish on song that directly glorifies God. i.e. How Great Thou Art, Agnus Dei, How Great Is Our God.
While these folks are discussing this subject in terms of a modern worship music setting, the same can be said for much of so called traditional music in worship. If this is your form of worship, take a hard look at the music you choose as well. This phenomenon is not exclusive to CCM.