3 comments Written on September 28th, 2012     
Filed under: Core Values, Culture, Dangerous Worship, Missional, Music, Vocation and Call
Today’s post is written by Chris Logan, Pastor of Worship Arts at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, KS.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

I am a third-culture child, born to the daughter of Swiss immigrants and a Californian. In high school I was the one most expected to end up doing research in a biology lab somewhere, despite my second aptitude for music. In college, I changed my major about six times before landing on a degree focusing on the psychology of religious music in the postmodern paradigm (a fancy title for “I like music but don’t want to be a performance major”). Then I got all disillusioned with that dream, but excited about missions, and moved to Australia to help plant a church, where I also started work in the FORGE missions program. Then I went to seminary in Kentucky and got my MA in missiology. I have done mission work in Switzerland, Haiti, Australia, India, and Mexico. I’m an Aquarius.

And I became a worship pastor.

… why?

I get this question a lot, especially when people find out I didn’t do my MA in worship ministry. Why put myself through all that work to study missions and discipleship to then end up planning music sets and service orders? Music and missiology, after all, doesn’t really go together. Right?

This weekend, here in Kansas City, is the second annual FORGE: America national conference called “Sentralized.” In the very first session, Michael Frost, a founding member of FORGE: Australia and author of numerous missional textbooks, talked about being the church in a post-Christian culture. There were four things that he says ought to help us maintain our identity: 1. (re)telling our dangerous story, 2. making dangerous promises to bless our host culture, 3. making dangerous critiques of culture and suggesting the way of Jesus as a solution, and 4. singing dangerous songs.

I am a worship pastor because, as Mike put it, “every revolution was sung into existence.”

As I’ve said before, we are what we sing. And if we sing dangerous songs, songs of freedom, songs of a world in which Jesus reigns, where justice is won, where captives and prisoners are set free, where communities serve each other, where God – not government – gets the last word … songs about the Kingdom of God. As we sing those songs, people catch the vision that is already percolating in the cracks of the pavement. To sing dangerous stories of the Kingdom is to countermand our culture’s drive to stay safe, to take care of themselves only. I am a pastor of worship because it is my honor and responsibility to cast that vision through the medium that gets stuck in your head better than spoken word.

But I have to choose songs that say something worth singing.

So today, be encouraged: you are here for more than just arguments over acoustic panels, drum cages, hymn arrangements, and volume levels. You are here to usher in a revolution through song, to fan into flame the Imago Dei that is already at work in our nation and our communities.

Sing of the world for which we yearn.

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3 comments “Dangerous”

This is a fantastic apologetic for the value of our music ministry. I love that word “dangerous” (and am rightly scared of it too). Thank you Chris!

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Deep and wide… best post from you yet imho Chris! Reminds me of a quote (not verbatim but from my memory re. music studies) that Luther’s detractors said of him “He damns more souls to hell by his music than by his sermons”. Dangerous indeed! Martin’s critics were of course speaking both of his lyrics (doctrine sung by often illiterate masses) in connection with the actual music -which made both memorable… and a revolution swept the world. Thanks bro.. Sing on! -Glenn

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Great word Chris! I read  a question recently that asked: “What’s at stake in what you sing?” That’s the dangerous word!

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