What You Can Expect from Our New Album

Zac HicksAlbum Reviews2 Comments

In eleven days, we will have a night of worship and release our album down here in Fort Lauderdale. It will be a special night in a lot of ways. For me, it will be the culmination of three hard and wonderful years of ministry as well as the fruit of many more years of songwriting. What These Songs Have Meant to Us Julie Anne Vargas and I set out a year and a half ago to begin writing a … Read More

Review of The Next Worship, by Sandra Van Opstal

Zac HicksBook ReviewsLeave a Comment

I currently serve in a context of tremendous diversity. In the market just two blocks from my house, I regularly hear five different languages—English, Spanish, Portuguese, Creole, and French—and more infrequently hear at least another three. The church I serve doesn’t yet look like our city, but it’s making strides. When I arrived in South Florida over three years ago, I knew that praying through how to engage worship in this diverse climate would need to be on the top … Read More

The Worship Pastor – Book Update #2

Zac HicksWorship Theology & ThoughtLeave a Comment

  (Read the initial post) (Read Book Update #1) Book Update #2 It’s been a while since my initial post and the first update about the progress of The Worship Pastor. I’m excited to tell you that its now available for pre-order on Amazon, due out on October 11! Last week, I finished the hard work of doing some extensive indexing for the book (I find indexes valuable for a host of reasons), and Zondervan is in the middle of … Read More

Paul’s Take on Spirit-Filled, Christ-Centered, Flesh-Killing Worship

Zac HicksWorship Theology & ThoughtLeave a Comment

O Paul That Will Not Let Me Go Paul’s letter to the Philippians has been haunting me lately. In a well-known section of the epistle, I was surprised afresh by some important links that the apostle compactly makes between worship, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the gospel. He says in Philippians 3:3 (ESV): For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. This is remarkable. … Read More

Why EDM Sounds So Liberating

Zac HicksArt and Worship2 Comments

(Originally published in 2014)  Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has taken over pop culture. Its infectious beats, airy synths, signature builds, and explosive climaxes are now a household sound, from car commercials featuring Dirty Vegas, to Maroon 5’s backing track to “Love Somebody,” to the viral “What Does the Fox Say?” Those who outright dismiss EDM as illegitimate art mock its bland repetition, its mind-numbing sameness.  Such critiques miss the subtle nuancing and gentle sculpting that occur over time, and they … Read More

Reflections on Teaching My Worship Class

Zac HicksWorship & Mission, Worship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Resources, Worship Theology & Thought1 Comment

Last week, I was blessed to have a packed classroom full of thoughtful, engaged students. My aim with this week-long intensive Worship course at Knox Seminary was not to solve all the problems but to place these present and future worship leaders and pastors on some healthy trajectories. We spent a LOT of time in the Scriptures, but we also needed to ask important questions about how we read the Scriptures, because ones understanding of interpretation (hermeneutics)–especially that of the … 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

How Far Off Are We from the Reformers’ Vision for Lent?

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music1 Comment

I utilize a wonderful little liturgical resource in some of my worship planning for the chapel services at Knox Seminary, where I both study and teach. This book is a devotionally-oriented compendium of the collects (the short prayers, invocations which “collect” the hearts of the people at the beginning of worship) of the brilliant liturgical reformer, Thomas Cranmer. This book presents the week’s collect along with a few historical observations of how the prayer was written and then offers a … Read More

Thoughtful Responses to All the Modern Worship Bashing

Zac HicksWorship Theology & Thought1 Comment

In various spheres of the online worship conversation, a few posts (like this one and this one) have been circulating and dominating many of our social media feeds. They offer a strong (and not completely unwarranted) critique of “contemporary worship” and “megachurch worship.” Their sharply critical posture, along with their provocative titles, is certainly what has attracted so many people to click, read, interact, and share. Several people have asked what I think about it all. The short answer is … Read More

Reflections on the Calvin Symposium 2016

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry1 Comment

The Calvin Symposium simply has to be named among the best worship conferences out there. The challenge of getting so many different voices and perspectives in one place engaging in convicted yet loving dialogue is difficult, but the folks at Calvin have done a remarkable job of creating that space and setting the tone. My own experience as a conference attender, worshiper, panelist, and breakout session leader was shaped therefore not only by the content of the conference but the … Read More