The quality of worship music has advanced tremendously in the last ten years. We have better sound, lighting, video and room acoustics than ever in history. Conferences and the internet have allowed worship leaders to get access to unlimited songs, teachings on worship and training for musicians.
But another trend has risen up along side our advancements. It seems that we’ve gotten so good and slick in our musical presentation that we (the congregation) find ourselves watching at times instead of worshipping.
Recently, I overheard an interesting conversation between two of the students at my church. They were discussing the use of motion backgrounds behind the lyrics. The conversation when something like this, “The motion backgrounds distract me when I’m trying to worship.” The other replied, “You’re not suppose to pay attention to the background.”
“So why use them if I’m not supposed to pay attention to them?” The other replied “Well you can’t just having nothing in the background.”
I think this conversation says much about how we use technology in worship and the danger it poses to create spectators instead of worshippers. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.
There seems to be a move away from the busy screens and bands lit up with $100,000 lighting packages. I’m seeing more black backgrounds behind lyrics and bands even set up on the side to avoid becoming a distraction to the congregation.
I’m not a technology hater. There’s no doubt that worship presentation software has eliminated a ton of distraction caused by searching for the next lyric in PowerPoint or swapping out an overhead slide.
But as worship leaders, we must keep one finger on the worship pulse of our congregations and one hand on the heart of God. If ever these two become disconnected, then our worship leading is no better than a decent karaoke performance.