How Do We Define Success

How do we define success in worship leadership? The highest standard of artistic influence according to one of the leading creativity researchers in the world, Csiksentmilhayi, is artistic productivity that permanently changes culture. Although very few artists achieve this level of influence, in the world of worship leadership even this standard is not adequate. For example, Constantine certainly changed worship practices forever, but whether he was a good worship leader is quite debatable. Real worship will change the culture of a church and eventually a community, but how culture is changed and the nature of the change that occurs must be carefully evaluated before we label change as succesful.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Western culture has effectively compartmentalized artistic productivity as a secular discipline. Worship, no matter how creative, and no matter how well the disciplines are executed, is dismissed artistically and labeled religious. Followers of Christ, indwelt with the Holy Spirit, are divinely equipped to impact culture with creativity and artistic excellence.

    Counter-cultural worship was not optional to Jesus Christ when He assured Thomas and Phillip that extraordinary expressions of truth and love would not cease when He was gone.

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)

    Reply

  2. Posted by Mike Simoneaux on July 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    While believers may be divinely equipped to impact culture, more often than not, we have allowed American culture to overwhelm music in the U.S. church. If we take our friend, Csiksentmilhayi at his word, that the highest standard of artistic influence is that which permanently changes culture, then the question, which can be defined as simply “who is the influencer” is answered. Undoubtedly secular artistic influences, i.e., western pop music forms, have overwhelmed worship in the contemporary (by that I mean the church of today) church. That being said, I agree that no matter how artistically excellent worship may be, in whatever form it takes, is relegated to second class status by virtue of the venue.

    Reply

  3. Mike Simoneaux has made an excellent point in recognizing that the worship leader himself or herself, in terms of character, is a key factor in determining whether cultural change that might occur through worship is Christ-honoring.

    Of course, we still keep the possibililty open that this person might be quite relevant to their immediate culture, yet leading cultural change in a Biblically-sound way.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Mauricka McKenzie, Sr. on September 13, 2011 at 5:05 am

    We must continue to keep exalting Jesus no matter what the culture is doing or saying. If we focus more on honoring Christ in our worship from the heart in spirit and truth individually and less on a quality performance of bands and choirs collectively, then our worship is a success.

    Reply

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