My brother, James, found this article at http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=23626. It was from a conference in which Dr. Jim Shaddix lists these 10 Commandments of Worship. (By following the link, you can read his additional comments.)
1. Thou shalt worship God, not worship worship.
2. Thou shalt worship as a lifestyle and not as a music style.
3. Thou shalt make the Divine Seeker comfortable first and foremost.
4. Thou shalt use music as a sacrifice of praise, not as synonym for worship.
5. Thou shalt be theologically equipped.
6. Thou shalt reflect a holistic theology in worship content.
7. Thou shalt worship in a rhythm of revelation and response.
8. Thou shalt employ lyrics that reflect communal identity.
9. Thou shalt use technology with theological and pastoral sensitivity.
10. Thou shalt foster worship that reflects the diversity and unity of heaven.
These are great and I think every worship leader should take a good, hard look at them. My favorite one has to be number five: Thou shalt be theologically equipped. The article states:
As a former professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Shaddix shared his conviction that seminaries tend to give the impression that the study of theology is less important for those serving as ministers of music rather than senior pastors. “We’ve compartmentalized theological education and raised worship leaders to believe it isn’t important to know theology. Therefore they aren’t able to filter out songs that don’t accurately represent God.” He encouraged worship leaders to pursue the study of theology in addition to technical skills.
Dr. Shaddix is exactly correct. Too many times in too many schools, those “musical worship leaders” (guys like me, btw, which at many churches hold the title of “pastor”) have degree programs which includes VERY little theology compared to the Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Religion degree. Thankfully, some schools are offering these degrees with specializations for musical worship leaders but what a shame that we as a church culture have taught our musicians that it’s okay to be spiritually immature or theologically unprepared.
Right on, Dr. Shaddix!