4 Reasons To Avoid The Imitation Trap

WHAT IS THE IMITATION TRAP?

I noticed the trap in pulpit ministry before I saw it in music ministry. Young preachers imitating older or better known preachers. Cadence, vocal pitch, even attempting to mimic the humor or jokes, and sometimes just outright stealing stories and analogies employed by the preacher they obviously admired.

The same thing is true in music ministries and if you’ve been around long enough you’ve probably seen it yourself. Churches whose bands play note for note everything exactly like it was off the record. The singer who is obviously trying to be Kim Walker-Smith or the worship leader who is shouting things because he heard Matt Redman do it.

The Imitation Trap is seeing the success of someone else, and assuming that this is the way that you have to do it. To judge your success not on what God has called you to do, but on how others live out their callings. I want to present four reasons that we as worship leaders should avoid this trap at all costs, and a positive alternative to imitation that might just be a way forward for you, and your ministry.

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How do you solve a problem like Mars Hill Music?

Recently, you might’ve have seen, or heard or read about the troubles at Mars Hill Church and with their Pastor, Mark Driscoll.

The question was put to me in regards to all of this: what do we do with the songs? What about the Mars Hill Music bands like Citizens and Saints or Kings K who’ve become popular with many worship leaders in recent years?

While I hope to address these questions, I think it kind of misses the point. Do you know where the songs you sing come from? Do you know what the implications of singing a song is? Or what the implications of promoting a worship leader are? Is Mars Hill Church the only church I need to be concerned about?

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FALL Q&A

Every so often I like to look over the Google searches that bring people to this blog. It’s interesting what people look for, and what brings them my way. There are a few great questions, and a few ridiculous questions. What questions are people who stumble upon this blog asking? Let’s find out.

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Just How Joyful Should That Noise Be?

Recently, my beloved Seattle Seahawks beat the San Fransisco 49’ers on Sunday Night Football. But not only did they win the game, but Seattle now holds the official Guiness records for loudest fans in the World. They first set the record early in the game when San Fransisco QB Colin Kaepernick was sacked with a crowd noise registering 133.3 dB’s. Later on their broke their own record by reaching a level of 133.6 dB’s. So the fans in Seattle went home soaking wet (it’s Seattle after all) with a win, a record, and hearing loss. 133.6 dB’s is 48.6 dB’s over the OHSA safe limit.

Dustin Kensrue and Andy Girton over at Mars Hill Church have put together a very intersting piece on volume and safety in the church HERE. But it’s not just rock music, the Oregon Symphony Players Association (bet you didn’t know that existed) has a very informative piece on hearing safty on their website. So it’s not just a crancked amplifier… the oboe and the flute are also clear and present dangers to your hearing.

There is always going to be a contingent of people in your church who will complain that the music is too loud. They will quickly be followed by the contingent of people in your church who complain that the music is too quite. What do you do? How do you handle it? Can we really worship God below 85dB’s?

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