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10 Distractions Regarding Worship Music

Worship doesn’t have to be perfect, but it shouldn’t be unnecessarily distracting.

Worship doesn’t have to be perfect, but it shouldn’t be unnecessarily distracting.

A few weeks ago, I posted findings on common worship distractions. Since that time, some readers have questioned me more specifically about our findings regarding the musical component of worship. So, the goal in this post is to respond to that request.

Let me be honest about my qualifications up front, though: I am not a musician or singer; I am a church consultant only reporting what our teams have found in more than 15 years of consulting. It is not my intent to be judgmental or offensive. I have utmost respect for those who lead us in worship. With those caveats in mind, here are 10 distractions we’ve encountered in the music element of worship.

  1. Incomprehensible choir or praise team words—I start with this distraction (a repeat from the previous post) simply because we face this issue so often. The sound system may be poor, the singers may not enunciate well or the music may drown out the lyrics—but in any case, we miss the message while straining to understand the words.
  2. Unsmiling faces leading worship—Some solemn hymns may not necessitate smiles, but something is lacking in singing about the joy of the Lord when the singer’s facial expression suggests something different. We have seen entire praise teams show little expression as they lead worship.
  3. Poor musicians or singers—I hesitate to include this distraction because I realize the level of talent varies by congregation. Nor do I want to suggest that only the most talented musicians or singers should be permitted to lead worship. I’m simply stating what we’ve experienced: sometimes the musical component of worship lacks quality.
  4. Unprepared singers—Here, level of talent is not the issue; lack of preparation instead appears to be the problem. Sometimes it seems—right or wrong—as if no one practiced this component of the worship service. In fact, we’ve occasionally heard it stated publicly: “Please pray for me before I sing today because I really didn’t have time to get ready for singing.”
  5. “Preachy” music directors—Some folks leading worship do a great job of succinctly and effectively speaking between songs. Others, though, seem to use interludes to preach a sermon in preparation for the sermon still to come. Too much talking may actually disrupt the worship more than facilitate it.
  6. Songs disconnected from the sermon topic—It seems strange, for example, when the sermon series is about family but none of the song selections moves in that direction. On the other hand, worship is often facilitated—and the teachings of that service’s content are easier to recall—when the musical selections and the sermon content focus in a single direction.
  7. Difficult songs to sing—Again, I am not a singer, but I do know when I’m struggling to sing a particular song. Some of our more gifted consulting team members are singers, and they at times question song selections on the “singability” of the song. What works for the gifted singer doesn’t always work for the typical person in the pew.
  8. Weak use of media for lyrics—This distraction is a corollary to the previous one. Lyrics on the screen are most often helpful. If, though, the phrase and sentence breaks on the screen don’t match the breaks in the singing, the worshipper may still struggle with knowing how to sing the song. Lyrics on the screen do not generally help worship participants learn the melody.
  9. Poorly done blended style—Anecdotally, we are seeing more churches move to a blended style of worship rather than offer multiple distinct styles of worship. That approach is not bad, but it becomes problematic when the worship leaders are strong in one style but weak in the other. Often, that difference is noticeable.
  10. Introducing new songs without teaching them—Numerous good songwriters are producing strong worship music today. Introducing new songs to a church, however, requires intentionality that often seems lacking. Many of us welcome a worship leader’s taking the time to help us actually learn the song as a congregation.

What other distractions regarding worship music have you seen?

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at
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Publicado por em 29/05/2015 em POIMENIA


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10 Common Worship Distractions


Too busy church, too many distractions

By Chuck Lawless

Worship is frequently a controversial topic, and it’s not my goal with this post to add to those debates. I also realize that the focus of worship is God. Any attention we give to the human component of worship might send us in the wrong direction, but that’s not my intent, either. I simply want us to think about aspects of worship over which we have some control – and that we might improve for God’s glory.

Based on my work as a church consultant, reports from our consultation “secret shoppers,” interviews with church members, and my own experiences, here are ten far-too-common distractions during worship services.

  1. Starting late. Our secret shoppers know to be present in the worship center prior to the publicized starting time and to record what time the service actually begins. A late start may be unavoidable, but too often the tardiness is seemingly due to disorganization and apathy. A late start seldom strengthens an attitude of worship.
  2. Poor sound and/or video quality. Occasionally this problem unexpectedly happens when the system malfunctions. At other times, it seems clear that either (a) rehearsal never occurred to detect and correct any problems or (b) leaders chose to ignore problems. Either one is unacceptable.
  3. Excessively loud music. I suspect my age is apparent here, but even some of our young secret shoppers have commented negatively on this issue. Increased volume may be appropriate in some settings, but it does not automatically strengthen worship. Sometimes, worship occurs best in the quiet.
  4. Incomprehensible choir or praise team words. The lyrics are probably great, but we cannot tell. The sound system may be poor, the singers may not enunciate well, or the music may drown out the words – but we miss the message while straining to understand the words. Simply including the lyrics on a Powerpoint would help.
  5. Grammatical and/or spelling errors on the screen. Granted, this error should perhaps not be a distraction. Surely, we can overlook an omitted apostrophe or misspelled homonym. On the other hand, God – and worshipers who are often well educated – deserve our best in presentation.
  6. Poor synchronization of presentation slides. The operator gets caught up in the worship and fails to progress to the next slide. Or, activity in the sound booth becomes itself a distraction for the operator. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to worship in song when the lyrics on the screen are measures behind the worship leader.
  7. Unclear directions. Worshippers – especially guests or unchurched attenders – do not readily follow everything that takes place in a worship service. Even our best secret shoppers sometimes feel awkward over such questions as: Who is the person speaking (no one introduced him)? Will they recognize guests (and will I be put on the spot)? Am I permitted to partake of the Lord’s Supper (no one explained it)? If the church does not take an offering, how do I give (again, no one guided us)?
  8. Poor lighting. The problem may simply be weak lighting; that is, uneven lighting in the worship center creates dim sections where reading the Bible is difficult. In some cases, delayed maintenance results in burned out bulbs. In others, a darkened room intentionally creates worship ambience – but also reflects a wrong assumption that all worshipers will be reading the Bible only on the screen.
  9. Bad preaching. This conclusion is subjective, but nonetheless truthful: worship is challenging when the preaching is boring or disorganized. It’s even more taxing when the sermon covers everything but the Bible.
  10. Crowd movement. To be fair, I admit that worship should so focus on God that crowd movement is not distracting. In addition, many folks we interview sit toward the back of a worship center, where the movement is likely more noticeable. Nevertheless, folks coming and going from the worship center – especially during times of prayer, reflection, preaching, and response – can be disruptive.

What other worship distractions have you noticed?

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.


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Publicado por em 30/04/2015 em POIMENIA


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Tu és Fiel Senhor

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Publicado por em 26/02/2012 em POIMENIA


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Igreja Presbiteriana de Curitiba – Hino 42 – “O Grande Amor de Deus”

Comentários desativados em Igreja Presbiteriana de Curitiba – Hino 42 – “O Grande Amor de Deus”

Publicado por em 26/02/2012 em POIMENIA


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Um mal acontece no arraial professo do Senhor, tão flagrante na sua impudência, que até o menos perspicaz dificilmente falharia em notá-lo. Este mal evoluiu numa proporção anormal, mesmo para o erro, no decurso de alguns anos. Ele tem agido como fermento até que a massa toda levede. O demônio raramente fez algo tão engenhoso, quanto insinuar a Igreja que parte da sua missão é prover entretenimento para o povo, visando alcançá-los. De anunciar em alta voz, como fizeram os puritanos, a Igreja, gradualmente, baixou o tom do seu testemunho e também tolerou e desculpou as leviandades da época. Depois, ela as consentiu em suas fronteiras. Agora, ela as adota sob o pretexto de alcançar as massas.

Meu primeiro argumento é que prover entretenimento ao povo, em nenhum lugar das Escrituras, é mencionado como uma função da Igreja. Se fosse obrigação da Igreja, porque Cristo não falaria dele? “Ide por todo o mundo e pregai o evangelho a toda criatura” (Lc.16:15). Isto é suficientemente claro. Assim também seria, se Ele adicionasse “e provejam divertimento para aqueles que não tem prazer no evangelho”. Tais palavras, entretanto, não são encontradas. Nem parecem ocorrer-Lhe.

Em outra passagem encontramos: “E Ele mesmo concedeu uns para apóstolos, outros para profetas, outros para evangelistas e outros para pastores e mestres? (Ef.4:11). Onde entram os animadores? O Espírito Santo silencia, no que se refere a eles. Os profetas foram perseguidos por agradar as pessoas ou por oporem-se a elas?

Em segundo lugar, prover distração está em direto antagonismo ao ensino e vida de Cristo e seus apóstolos. Qual era a posição da Igreja para com o mundo? “Vós sois o sal da terra” (Mt.5:13), não o doce açúcar ! algo que o mundo irá cuspir, não engolir. Curta e pungente foi à expressão: “Deixa aos mortos o sepultar os seus próprios mortos? (Mt.8:22). Que seriedade impressionante!

Cristo poderia ter sido mais popular, se tivesse introduzido mais brilho e elementos agradáveis a sua missão, quando as pessoas O deixaram por causa da natureza inquiridora do seu ensino. Porém, eu não O escuto dizer: “Corre atrás deste povo Pedro, e diga-lhes que teremos um estilo diferente de culto amanhã; algo curto e atrativo, com uma pregação bem pequena. Teremos uma noite agradável para eles. Diga-lhes que, por certo, gostarão. Seja rápido, Pedro, nós devemos alcançá-los de qualquer jeito!”.

Jesus compadeceu-se dos pecadores, lamentou e chorou por eles, mas nunca pretendeu entretê-los. Em vão as epístolas serão examinadas com o objetivo de achar nelas qualquer traço do evangelho do deleite. A mensagem que elas contêm é: “Saia, afaste-se, mantenha-se afastado!? Eles tinham enorme confiança no evangelho e não empregavam outra arma.

Depois que Pedro e João foram presos por pregar o evangelho, a Igreja reuniu-se em oração, mas não oraram: “Senhor, permite-nos que pelo sábio e judicioso uso da recreação inocente, possamos mostrar a este povo quão felizes nós somos”. Dispersados pela perseguição, eles iam por todo mundo pregando o evangelho. Eles “viraram o mundo de cabeça para baixo”. Esta é a única diferença! Senhor, limpe a tua Igreja de toda futilidade e entulho que o diabo impôs sobre ela e traze-a de volta aos métodos apostólicos.

Por fim, a missão do entretenimento falha em realizar o objetivo a que se propõe. Ela produz destruição entre os jovens convertidos. Permitam que os negligentes e zombadores, que agradecem a Deus porque a Igreja os recebeu no meio do caminho, falem e testifiquem! Permitam que falem os negligentes e zombadores, que foram alcançados por um evangelho parcial; que falem os cansados e oprimidos que buscaram paz através de um concerto musical. Levante-se e fale o bêbado para quem o entretenimento na forma de drama foi um elo no processo de sua conversão! A resposta é óbvia: a missão de promover entretenimento não produz convertidos verdadeiros.

O que os pastores precisam hoje, é crer no conhecimento aliado a espiritualidade sincera; um jorrando do outro, como fruto da raiz. Necessitam de doutrina bíblica, de tal forma entendida e experimentada, que ponham os homens em chamas.


Autor: Charles Haddon spurgeon


Publicado por em 19/02/2012 em POIMENIA


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