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

Leading Worship Through a Major Church Crisis

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry11 Comments

It’s been a while since my last post. Most of you all know what has happened at Coral Ridge, and I’ve personally received a lot of love, prayers, and support from so many of you. Thank you! This blog, for me, has always been a place to think out loud by wrestling thoughts to the ground, processing in real time the ins and outs of one local worship leader who is asking questions about worship and pastoring in his little … Read More

Two Diagrams That are Captivating My Imagination Right Now

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry10 Comments

I’m continuing to chip away at this book of mine. It’s amazing to see the ways God is using the very chapters I’m working on to minister to specific and immediate needs in my life and the lives of my brothers and sisters at Coral Ridge. I’m working on a couple of diagrams that visual learners might appreciate. (Click on the diagrams for detail.) The “Gospel-Shaped” Emotional Journey of a Worship Service This is a kind of “schematic” of the … Read More

How Worship is the Most Important Form of Pastoral Care

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry5 Comments

I’ve been working on my book, The Worship Pastor (read about it here), and I came across this fabulous quote. Keep in mind that this is a Roman Catholic writer making these observations: For centuries, the liturgy, actively celebrated, has been the most important form of pastoral care. This was especially true of those centuries in which the liturgy was being created. Unfavourable conditions brought it about that in the late Middle Ages, in spite of the liturgy being celebrated … Read More

Is it Okay to be Singing in Worship about Feelings I Don’t Have?

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Theology & Thought1 Comment

I’m Singing It, But I’m Not Feeling It A recent, edifying Facebook exchange I had with a friend this week about a lyric of mine got me thinking about the “dishonesty” we all feel when songs and prayers are sung and prayed corporately which DON’T reflect our current emotional frame. It brought me back to the early conversations I had years ago with several rehymn movement pioneers. We all collectively said, “I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t sing … 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

Bettering Our Worship Without Battering Our Sheep

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry6 Comments

Sometimes, thinking long and hard about worship can get the better of us. It’s the typical case of the “young theologian” who discovers the truth for the first time only to wield its weight with such “intentionality” that she bludgeons everyone around her. We bit into the apple of “true, biblical worship” (whatever we mean by that), and it must be tasted, no swallowed immediately, by everyone around us. Maybe it was a conversation with an inspiring mentor. Maybe it … Read More

The Worship Leader’s Central Musical Task: Build Up the Body

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral MinistryLeave a Comment

My time at the Doxology and Theology Conference two weeks ago was rich and filling. My team and I were inspired by the messages, leaders, conversations, and camaraderie. In many ways, I felt my vocation come full circle, especially around one man, Harold Best, whose influence on me can’t be overstated. His was the first book on worship and music I’d ever read. This morning, I cracked open Music Through the Eyes of Faith (my version is the sweet “vintage” edition … Read More

Lamentation: A Necessity, Not an Option

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, Worship and Pastoral MinistryLeave a Comment

A month ago, I introduced Coral Ridge to her first (at least to my knowledge) full-blown congregational song/Psalm of lament (Karl Digerness’ fabulous “How Long O Lord [Psalm 13]“). It got me thinking about the relationship of lamentation to the gospel and how it all works both in corporate worship and in our daily lives. Go over to LIBERATE and check out the post: “Why Lamentation Must Precede Liberation.” SIDENOTE: That piece of art at the top of the post … Read More

What if Volume in Worship Became Less About Preference and More About Discipleship?

Zac HicksSound and Audio, Worship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Technology, Worship Theology & Thought3 Comments

Refreshing Old Dialogues I’m always grateful for articles, thoughts, posts, and insights that reopen dialogues that feel simultaneously over-worn and under-productive. The volume-level-in-worship dialogue feels like one of those to me. It all too often gets downgraded into an issue of pure preference, sounding like this: The old people can’t stand how loud it is and just want it turned down.The young people can’t stand how soft it is and just want it turned up. I have also heard the … Read More