Driving the Fear of Tradition out of Our Evangelical Psyche

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music, Personal Stories & Testimonies1 Comment

My Story I grew up in the free church tradition (some people say “free church tradition” is an oxymoron, buy it’s only an apparent one).  This means I had a healthy skepticism, even fear, of anything that would subvert the raw, naked authority of Scripture…which means I had a special fear of and kept a healthy distance from anything related to “church tradition.”  Perhaps the Apostles’ Creed wasn’t suspect, but reciting it in worship was.   I carried the default … Read More

What Technology’s Democratization of Worship Songwriting Means for Us

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, Culture, History of Worship and Church Music, Songwriting, Worship Technology2 Comments

Ones and Zeros Chuck Fromm, publisher of Worship Leader magazine, recently summarized and explored the implications of the shift of the church’s song from paper to bits and bytes in the January/February article in that publication, “The Hymn Cloud: Generation to Generation.”  The transition from hard publishing to web publishing has much more de-centralized and democratized the enterprise of hymnody for both songwriters and publishers (“hymns” being used in the broadest sense of “the Church’s body of sung prayer”). Fromm, … Read More

What Modern Edgy Worship Leaders Can Learn From Modern Edgy Painters

Zac HicksArt and Worship, Church & Ecclesiology, Convergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music, Songwriting1 Comment

Frank Stella, Untitled (1967), from Black Series IIMy new colleague at Coral Ridge, Daniel Siedell (author and curator of Liberate), has a terrific series of posts over at Patheos on “The Poetics of Painting.”  In the final installment, Siedell examines modern painter, Frank Stella, and his minimalist paintings from the 1970s, rehearsing questions about how a modern minimalist, who painted simple, repeated stripes on a canvas, could have been so enamored, enthralled, and informed by the tradition of painting that had come … Read More

Cardiphonia’s Songs for Liturgy and Our Contributions

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music, Hymns Movement News & Reviews, Worship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Style1 Comment

As I grow deeper in kinship with Bruce Benedict of Cardiphonia, one of the preeminent gifts I recognize in him is hospitality.  Over a year ago, I enjoyed room and board in his home and an inordinate amount of time out of a busy week in the life of a worship pastor in a growing young church.  His hospitality extends to the way he administrates Cardiphonia, an outfit dedicated resourcing the Church’s hymn revitalization and liturgical renewal. Benedict draws artists, … Read More

A New Kind of Worship Leader: Why the Doxology & Theology Conference Encourages Me

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music2 Comments

For the past three years, this blog has been dedicated to (among a handful of other things) encouraging and heralding the turning of the tide of evangelical modern worship.  The first decade of the new millennium was the season of sowing, and I believe that this decade will be the season of sprouting (and maybe some reaping).  The overwhelming age demographic at the Doxology & Theology conference last week in Frisco, TX was twenty- and early thirty-somethings.  Throughout the times … Read More

New Liturgy Site a Sign of the Times for Evangelical Worship

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music, Worship Resources, Worship Style, Worship Theology & Thought2 Comments

Over the years, I’ve attempted to catalogue and explore the shifts that we’re observing taking place in mainstream evangelical worship.  Many of these shifts, in my opinion, are in the right direction, and encouraging them has been one of the chief aims of this blog since its inception in 2009.  Those of us who have been in the contemporary worship biz for a while are probably aware of one of the leading sites to provide music and resources for worship … Read More

Why We Gather for Worship

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music, Worship & Mission, Worship Theology & Thought8 Comments

“Constituting and Fulfilling the Church”…Yikes Bloggers can easily tell when a post resonates with a large amount of people because of the way their hits spike over a given 48 hours.  A recent post on Why We Need the Call to Worship did that.  My hunch as to what resonated was how all those various short blurbs on the Call to Worship pointed to the gravity and depth of what corporate worship truly is.   Some of the best advice … Read More

Was Early Church Worship Reserved and Stoic?

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music, Worship Style, Worship Theology & Thought11 Comments

Lunette with Orante. From early Christian fresco, second half of the third century. Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome, Italy. Photo credit: Scala/Art Resource, NY.Traditionalist critics of modern worship often point to the hyper-emotionalism associated with the movement as evidence of its imbalance toward expressiveness over and against theological depth, biblical accuracy, and historical connectivity.  Sometimes, these critics will point to “how the church has historically worshipped” to advocate for more reserved, “reverential” forms of worship expression.  They will admonish the church … Read More

The Right and Wrong Kind of Ancient Future Worship

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music, Worship Style, Worship Theology & Thought2 Comments

As Holy Week rolls around every year, our worship senses are heightened toward tradition.  Evangelical churches who once adopted a more “low church” model for worship are returning to the value of worship expressions which typically have characterized “high church” environments–Holy Week noon-day services, celebrations of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, Saturday vigils, etc.  Ancient future worship–blending old forms with creatively new expressions–is something many churches are now seeking, perhaps in reaction to the hyper-now-ness and contemporaneity of the of … Read More

More and More are Returning to Tradition

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music1 Comment

In case you haven’t seen the 2007 US News article, “A Return to Tradition,” it’s worth a read.  It corroborates a lot of what this blog has been saying over its short life-span.  Retrieval and recovery is something that evangelicals are becoming more and more interested in, but it’s not limited to evangelicals.  Check out the article.