Tom Kraeuter's Worship Leader's Seminar - Printable Version

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Tom Kraeuter's Worship Leader's Seminar - DeanZF - 06-08-2006

The Worship Seminar with Tom Kraeuter, June 3, 2006

All in all it was a good experience. There were brief times of singing and prayer, but mostly this was listening to Tom speak for most of 6 hours. That’s not a bad thing. He has been involved in worship leading and teaching for a lot of years, and knows a goodly amount about what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly to me, why.

Most of what he shared was based on scriptures and scriptures interpreting scriptures. There really was not a lot of time spent on opinions. Lots of good analogy and many fine examples were laced into the presentation. It helped, of course, that most of what he had to say really dovetailed with our own (Dean’s & Helena’s) understanding of worship. Most of what he shared was from the standpoint of musical worship folks, though, so any other worship artists had to interpret and apply where they could.

A fair amount of time was spent talking more about Who God is and why we should worship than about worship itself. Again, that’s not a bad thing. It was a good review. He spent some time talking about what worship is and what the dynamics of worship should look like, as he understands it scripturally. The three base points that undergirded the entire day were that:

· Worship honors God.

· Worship is directed toward God.

· Worship requires involvement.

That’s pretty succinct, yes? The five verses that he started the day with are: 2 Chron. 20:18, Neh. 8:6, Psalm 95:6, Matt. 28:9, and Romans 12:1. Darned nice selection, IMHO. Four of these show a distinctive posture, that of kneeling with one’s face to the ground out of honor to one higher than the kneeler. He did not bring out my favorite part of that picture, though. One point of that posture is the presentation of one’s neck to the sovereign, saying in essence, “My life is at your whim, O Sovereign,” knowing full well that the sovereign could take a sword and end the life offered. Knowing that this is a good and proper picture of what worship is to be, it kind of shoots in the foot those who want to say, “Oh, my whole LIFE is worship. EVERYthing I do is worship to God.” Gotta be directed toward Him, not just done out of respect and honor of Him. TOWARD Him!

Another great point Tom made was that throughout scripture, worship is a VERB. We try and convert it to noun-dom, but it just isn’t. Further, worship is a transitive verb. That means there has to be an object that is immediately identifiable with the verb. Just as with the verb “throw,” there needs to be an object associated or it is incorrectly used. I throw the ball. That’s a good thought. I throw. That’s not a good and complete or even valid thought. It’s the same with worship. “I worship” does not work. And if we put anything other than God in there at the end, well, we’ve clarified our heart, yes?

He made a couple of other great points that I’m going to quote directly from the notes that he provided. Helena can add whatever else she brought home. I hope she will. 8^)

· Too many people take their cues about what is acceptable in worship from their experiences in church as children instead of from what the Bible says.

· The Pharisees whined about the disciples breaking traditions. Jesus countered with concern about breaking the commands of God for the sake of tradition!

· “We’ve always done it this way” becomes more important than what the Word of God says.

· Worship does deal with emotions but should not be emotionalism.

· Quote from Robert Bailey, “We cannot worship rightly until we recapture, as the principle element of worship, the overwhelming sense of awe and reverence in the presence of God.”

· He talked about being culturally relevant being important, but that it was not copying the world, and not watering down the message.

· He talked about our songs needing to be filled with substance and that the words of the songs we use have to be filtered carefully. We cannot, we must not, use fluffy, warm-fuzzy songs that teach bad theology and poor language skills.

· John 15:5 was an important point, IMO. “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” We need a heart that is desperate for God; we need to remind ourselves constantly how very much we need him for everything we do and are. Can’t breathe without Him. Can’t minister effectively to His people without Him. And that brings me to the biggie of the day:

· Ezekiel 44:10-14, where God brought a scathing indictment against the Levites, against all who serve because of His calling and appointment: The Levites had come to a point where they saw their main responsibility as ministering to the people instead of to God! This is a nasty and insidious little point. I really enjoy helping others enter into His presence. I enjoy watching folks “get it.” I have to be careful to remember that my main responsibility is ministry to Him, not to them! Tom quoted Oswald Chambers: “The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him.”

There was more, but these were the big chunks for me.