Infiltrating Bad Worship Practices by Hijacking Forms

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music, Worship Leading Tips, Worship Theology & Thought6 Comments

Sounds sinister, doesn’t it? Sounds like something that Christians…especially worship leaders…shouldn’t be a part of. Sounds like the work of terrorists, not pastors. I would tell you, though, that the practice of hijacking and retooling old worship forms has been a part of Christianity for quite some time. Semper Reformanda Every era of Christian worship is always in need of reform. Every era has its highs and lows, its blessings and blind spots. Almost five hundred years ago, Christians like … Read More

Luther’s Case for Psalm-Singing

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music, Worship Resources1 Comment

Ligonier on Luther and the PsalmsWorship leaders and thinkers who stand in the Reformed worship tradition emphasize the importance and necessity of Psalm-singing. In fact, there are several smaller Reformed denominations who are chiefly known as “psalms-only” worshipers, meaning that the only songs they sing in worship are tuned translations and versifications of the Psalms. John Calvin, the father of the Reformed tradition of Protestant Christianity, was an outspoken champion of the supremacy of Psalms in worship. He encouraged Psalm-singing … Read More

If You’re Interested in Deeply Studying Gospel Centered Worship

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music, Worship Resources2 Comments

If you’re like me, thinking about furthering your education in the area of worship studies, you’re less interested in flashy admissions campaigns and impressive campus acreage. I want two things: A handful of great professors zeroing in on excellent subject matter. There’s a lot of talk out there about “gospel-centered” this and that, and a lot of people have spilled a lot of digital ink explaining how diluted and convoluted that discussion has become. Such is the fate of “gospel-centered … Read More

Do Lyric Statistics Indicate a Shift in Worship?

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music, Worship Theology & Thought2 Comments

Bruce Springsteen’s Lyrics, in a CloudWord Stats Yesterday, Duke scholar Lester Ruth (someone whose work every worship leader should pay attention to) tweeted this interesting stat: Continuing hymn/CCLI song comparison. Most frequent human verbs in hymns? “sin” and “see”; in CCLI songs? “sing” and “praise” His sources for study involve, first, a look at the 70 most republished evangelical hymns up to 1860…so, material that many evangelical historians would classify as more “classic” hymns (as opposed to the “gospel hymn” … Read More

Are Churches Trending Back Toward One Worship Style?

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music, Worship Style1 Comment

Rainer’s 6 Reasons I hope Thom Rainer’s post travels. He offers six reasons why some churches are moving back to one worship style, not willing to call it a full-blown trend or prophesy that the tides are turning…but one can hope. Here are his reasons: 1. Multiple worship styles created an “us vs. them” mentality.2. The church did not have the resources to do multiple styles with quality.3. The church moved from multiple services to one service.4. The Millennial generation … Read More

What I Learned from Bill & Gloria Gaither

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music2 Comments

Two weeks ago, at the National Worship Leader Conference in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to interview music legends, Bill and Gloria Gaither, in front of a large group of worship leaders and songwriters. Among the Gaithers’ many accolades, they’ve been named the ASCAP Songwriters of the Century (yes, the century), which is not insignificant. Besides their songwriting, they’ve been faithful “platformers” over the years, responsible for the birth of music careers of not a small amount of artists. … Read More

How the Calvary Chapel Movement has Impacted Worship Worldwide

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music, Worship Theology & Thought4 Comments

**UPDATE: Several have commented and asked about how to get Fromm’s dissertation. It’s not formally published, so I emailed him and asked. He said the best way is to request it to be loaned out from Fuller Seminary’s library. (Sorry, it’s a little tedious!)** I have just finished reading Chuck Fromm’s fascinating dissertation with an impossible-to-understand title: Textual Communities and New Song in the Multimedia Age: The Routinization of Charisma in the Jesus Movement. Fromm is publisher and founder of Worship … Read More

How the Organ Could Make a Comeback in Modern Church Music

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music8 Comments

Yesterday, Coral Ridge announced our official partnership with our new Organist and Artist in Residence, Chelsea Chen. You can read all about it here. She’s remarkable from top to bottom, and she’s the right person to help us steward our 6600-pipe Ruffatti organ. It’s a stunning instrument, and it’s especially remarkable when it’s in capable hands. Coral Ridge has had a rich history of such capable hands, and Chelsea will be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in that line. I have … Read More

How Church Planting is Changing the Face of Evangelical Worship

Zac HicksChurch & Ecclesiology, History of Worship and Church Music, Worship & Mission, Worship Theology & Thought2 Comments

After a series of short hops as an intern, interim, or “seasonal” music leader in various churches in Hawaii and California, I landed my first more permanent role in an ecclesiastical school of hard knocks, otherwise known as a church plant. My first Sunday in Denver, Abby and I walked into the doors of the elementary school cafeteria where the small community of Rocky Mountain Presbyterian Church had been meeting for a little over a year. And we knew we … Read More

One Thinker Modern Worship Leaders Should Pay Attention To

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music4 Comments

From the rise of contemporary worship from the 60s through the 80s, to its transformation into what is most often called modern worship from the 90s on, the worship of most western denominations has been decidedly impacted by this shift.   For the amount of time that the contemporary worship movement has been around (now around half a century!), there has been very little careful reflection on the movement.  I don’t mean that people haven’t spoken up and lodged opinions … Read More