The Chink in the Reformation’s Iconoclastic Armor

Zac HicksArt and Worship, Church & Ecclesiology, History of Worship and Church Music9 Comments

Zombies in the Lights A few days ago, I ended up in a really fascinating dialogue on Twitter with thoughtful worship leader, Jordan Atwell (@jordanatwell) and visual liturgy smart guy, Stephen Proctor (@stephenproctor). We were entertaining the question, in response to my tweet about this wonderful article, about what it looks like to pastorally engage visual aesthetics in worship. We tend to think of things like projection, screens, lights, and other visual atmospherics as either neutral cultural phenomena or (more … Read More

On Seminary Worship Classes and Lack of Training for Pastors and Worship Leaders

Zac HicksChurch & Ecclesiology2 Comments

Over the last few weeks, I’ve gained some perspectives I didn’t have before. I have new viewing angles on what I perceive as a continued problem that relates to the multi-layered reality of why worship leaders and their lead pastors often struggle to truly work together in that most central experience of the Church–worship. These insights have been gained as a result of being on the other side of this arena (for the first time for me, really), looking at … Read More

Thoughts on Missional Worship

Zac HicksChurch & Ecclesiology, Worship & MissionLeave a Comment

Occasionally, I guest post over at the Reformed Worship blog. Most recently, they published some practical reflections of mine on the relationship between worship and mission in a post entitled, “The Biology of Missional Worship.” I highlight an important recent book on the subject and the great metaphors contained therein. And then, based on one of my favorite worship theologians, Jean-Jacques von Allmen, I offer an additional metaphor. Usually, worship and mission are discussed in separate spheres, such that when they are … Read More

Making Changes to Your Worship Service in the Light of Pastoral Care…what History Teaches Us

Zac HicksChurch & Ecclesiology, History of Worship and Church Music, Worship and Pastoral MinistryLeave a Comment

You’re Not “Just the Music Guy” We worship leaders tend to think too lowly of ourselves. “I’m just the music guy.” If we don’t say it, we often think it. Many of us are simply unaware of just how much we shape the people we lead. In fact, the way people are formed through our leadership looks strangely like the way disciples are made under other, well, pastors. I’ve been jumping in an out of a teriffic old book called … Read More

Spontaneity, Planning, and the Holy Spirit in Worship

Zac HicksChurch & Ecclesiology, Worship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Pastoring, Worship Theology & Thought1 Comment

In the Cracks For many of us who have been knowingly or unknowingly schooled by a certain influential slice of evangelical worship, our view of the Holy Spirit’s role in worship is pretty straightforward. The Spirit comes in the “cracks”–the surprising moments, the in-between times, the unplanned invasions. And, to God’s glory, Scripture describes the Spirit’s work in this way. We witness Jesus, for instance, sparring with a well-educated theologian with this little jab about the way salvation works: “The … Read More

An Unintended Consequence of the Missional Movement on Worship

Zac HicksChurch & Ecclesiology, Worship Theology & Thought3 Comments

God as Mission, Worship as Expendable “God is missional in essence.” “God is a missionary God by nature.” “The Church doesn’t do mission; it is on mission.” All true. And I’m so grateful for the recovery of “sentness” as a part our essence as image-bearers of God. Mission isn’t optional. Thank you, missional movement.  At the same time, with some of the missional movement, some unhealthy ideas have leaked in. In my opinion, they can be exposed with this question: … Read More

Why We Worship Leaders Fear Getting Old (Repost)

Zac HicksChurch & Ecclesiology, Worship and Pastoral Ministry4 Comments

I first posted this back in 2011. It sparked a LOT of heavy conversation, from the philosophical-cultural, to the personal. I can’t tell you the sad testimonies I’ve heard from former worship leaders and pastors who were kicked to the curb, largely because of the issues raised below. I want to continue raising this issue, because it has the power to affect one’s sense of calling to ministry within the local church. So here it is, slightly modified and updated. … Read More

What a New Jesus Culture Album Teaches Us About Worship

Zac HicksAlbum Reviews, Church & Ecclesiology, Worship Theology & Thought4 Comments

Justin Jarvis, Atmospheres I’ve been listening to the newest album under the Jesus Culture umbrella, called Atmospheres. It’s by my friend and fellow local Ft. Lauderdale worship leader, Justin Jarvis. We’ve shared coffee and way too large piles of pastrami at a local hole-in-the-wall. Atmospheres is an incredible live album with an amazing sound and overwhelming moments where great truth profoundly collides with raw experience. There are several songs that paint new, imaginative pictures of old, timeless truths, like “Taste” … Read More

If You Can Only Go to One Conference This Year…

Zac HicksChurch & Ecclesiology, Worship ResourcesLeave a Comment

We couldn’t say it ten years ago, but nowadays, there are so many great conferences to choose from. God is raising up amazing conferences on church life, worship, spiritual formation, preaching, the Christian journey, mission, and on and on. But though I will attend and be a part of several conferences over the next twelve months, one, I believe, stands out. It stands out because I’ve witnessed what it does to people for several years now. I’m talking about the … Read More

Why Liturgofreaks, Doxologeeks, and Charismaniacs Need Each Other

Zac HicksChurch & Ecclesiology1 Comment

As I was participating in the worship services of the National Worship Leader Conference this week, I was again reminded of the beauty of the broader church and why we all need each other in the worship conversation.  As I’ve said before, modern evangelical worship across denominational lines now stands heavily indebted to the charismatic tradition. From the flow of the service, to the individualized spirituality, to the deep intimacy, to the highly emotive expression, many evangelicals now have expectations … Read More