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

Rhythms of Grace – A Book Every Worship Leader Should Read

Zac HicksSound and Audio, Worship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Resources, Worship Style, Worship Technology, Worship Theology & Thought1 Comment

A few weeks ago, I picked up Mike Cosper’s Rhythms of Grace (Crossway, March 2013) and quickly devoured it.  Mike is Pastor of Worship & Arts at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY.  That I knew I would love and highly recommend the book is a no-brainer, because Mike and I have tracked along the thought-patterns of many of the same theologians, philosophers, thinkers, writers, and practitioners in the field of Christian worship today.  I want to point out a few … Read More

The Worship Leader as Emotional Shepherd

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Leading Tips, Worship Style6 Comments

Music is intensely emotional, and worship leaders know it.  I’ve read plenty of articles and books that outline how worship leading takes people on an “emotional journey.”  At best, these writers are encouraging worship leaders to understand how the worship service is, in a sense, a story, and that our job is to help guide people into experiencing that story with every aspect of who we are, including our emotions.  At worst, however, they are (sometimes unabashedly and explicitly) outlining … 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

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

Nostalgic Worship Disorder and Getting Worship My Way

Zac HicksWorship Style, Worship Theology & Thought13 Comments

The Curious Case of Two Worshipers… Ethyl, the “Old Timey Hymns” Lady  Ethyl is now an old woman who just wants to get back to that “old time religion.”  She tears up every time she hears the swell of that honky oohm-pah-pah organ rhythm that accompanies her favorite hymn, “In the Garden.”  She remembers when she first heard the song back when she became a believer in the 1940s.  She remembers the good ol’ days when she and the other … 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

What’s STILL Great About the Organ? A Guitarist’s Perspective

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music, Worship Style, Worship Theology & Thought6 Comments

I serve in a worship environment that some might consider akin to “the wolf lying down with the lamb.”  I share office space with a world-class opera singer and one of the finest organists in the Denver Metro region.  Many Sundays, I crank up my Gibson ES-339 in a reverberant sanctuary alongside a drum enclosure which shares visual and symbolic space with a huge, expensive Wicks pipe organ.  I am an ever-growing, ever-learning rock musician with a modest but effective bachelor-level classical music education.  And I love pipe organ music, especially when accompanying congregational hymns.

Old Hymns to New Music…Now in Spanish

Zac HicksHymns Movement News & Reviews, Worship Resources, Worship Style2 Comments

I honestly can’t believe that this day is here.  There is something very important about the prospect of the hymns movement going Spanish.  In general, Spanish-speaking Christianity (at least of the Latin American variety) by and large is one of two brands—Catholic or Pentecostal.  The latter, as far as I have observed, doesn’t often engage the rich history of hymnody that is a part of our Christian heritage.  And, as I’ve advocated over and over again, hymnody indoctrinates.  There is … Read More