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Worship (2.3 mb-MP3)

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"Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things...."

Psalms 98:1


Pastor's Note

CURRENT MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES/NEEDS

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HOUSE WORSHIP BAND 101 is a unique concept in Christian worship music.  God's first command and task for us was to be fruitful and multiply.  That is, God desires creativity.  If we are not worshipping God with our creativity, we are not fully worshipping God.  Manna encourages and demands music that expresses the heart of the musician.   Frankly, most Christian worship music is derivative, vacuous, and expresses conformity, rather than the worship expression of the musician's heart.  Manna desires those who worhip honestly and from their hearts.

What does that mean in practice?  And, how will Manna put that philosophy into practice?  First, House Band 101 is an integrative concept for Manna musicians that will focus upon the heart of the musician.  Manna musicians must be involved in a regular Bible study regimen that will consist of the following.  There will be a regular Bible study session that will meet once during the month.  Specific issues concerning music and the Christian life will be addressed by the pastor from the Bible.  Secondly, Manna House Worship Band 101-First Set is an introductory Bible study session that is required of all regular Manna musicians that is conducted periodically.  This will address Manna's music philosophy from the Bible.  Thirdly, Manna musicians will be encouraged to be creative, while interacting with the full diversity of the Christian tradition concerning music and worship.

How will Manna put its worship philosophy into practice?  First, all Manna musician's will be encouraged to be creative and find their "own voice".  Manna musicians should not sound like everybody else.  Secondly, Manna musicians will be encouraged to interact with Christian diversity and Christian tradition.  Will we play traditional hymns?  Yes.  But we don't have to sound like everybody else.  Thirdly, Manna musicians will be encouraged to be original.  God wants a new song.  Fourth, Manna musicians will be encouraged to worship God, not just do their own thing.  All original music will be critiqued by other Manna musicians with regard to whether it honors God and honestly comes from the musicians heart.  Manna musicians will not be either dishonoring or derivative.  Also, Manna musicians must face the greater congregation.  Manna musicians are part of the congregational worship, not just performers on a stage.  Although the congregation will be exhorted to appreciate your contribution to congregational worship, you will discover what it means to interact with others to worship God together.  That means taking a risk--with God and others. 

If you want to worship God in spirit and truth...if you want to find your "own voice" musically...If you want an adventure in serving God with your music, please contact us by clicking below.

mannac2@mannachurchriverside.com

 

PASTOR'S NOTE

    Manna Church is very concerned about Christian musicians growing in spiritual maturity.  One charge against contemporary Christian music is that it is shallow and vacuous.  As a believer in contemporary music forms, (I've been a DJ that played a college alternative format) I find the charge to be largely true.  Most, not all, contemporary Christian music is stale, derivative, simplistic, and juvenile.  Yet, I find a great deal of mature and incisive secular music being recorded.  Why is this the case?

    I believe the largest reason is that the shallow music reflects the shallow musicians from our shallow evangelical churches.   We will challenge all musicians to graduate from mindlessly regurgitating mindless worship music to a braindead congregation.  This requires both spiritual and musical growth.  It also requires a congregation that will accept a "new song".  Manna Church is dedicated to being that kind of congregation.  Are you that kind of musician?

    What is the kind of musician?  It is a musician who worships in spirit and truth?   What is a musician who worships in "spirit and truth"?  First, it is a musician who is growing spiritually.  Mature music can only come from mature people.  Secondly, it comes from a musician who understands the truth.  Jesus said in John 8: 31-32 that one would know the truth if he or she obeyed the teachings of Jesus.  Disobedient living is rampant among contemporary Christian musicians.  Disobedient living results in lousy Christian music.  Third, mature Christian music comes from Christian musicians who are free.  Go back to John 8: 31-32.  Obedient livers know the truth and the truth sets one free.  Free people can live with courage.  Contemporary Christian music is bland and derivative because Christian musicians lack the courage to set their hearts free and pour their hearts out to God.  Christian musicians are afraid of what the congregation might think.  Worry about honoring God.  The rest will take care of itself.  It is my prayer that Christian musicians will find "their voice" here at Manna.

    How will we encourage Christian musicians to "find their voice"?  First, we will demand that Christian musicians develop spiritually.  They will be held accountable in their life and spiritual understanding.  As with all ministries, Bible study is attached to being a musician at Manna.  I, the senior pastor, will primarily lead this study.  We will focus on spiritual maturity.  Secondly, we will encourage the Manna musician to express himself or herself honestly.  Encourage literally means to put courage into someone.  Our evangelical churches are filled with cowardly music.  One reason the old hymns are often superior has nothing to do with the music format, no music format is holy, but rather some of the old hymn writers were men of courage.  We lack men and women of courage within the ranks of contemporary Christian musicians.  We need to go beyond "God is great", "Jesus is cool", and "I love Jesus" songs.  When is the last time you heard a good contemporary Christian song in worship that questions God or is a lament?  Yet, the Psalms are full of them. 

    Lastly, the Manna congregation will be trained to appreciate all honest worship expressions, but we can not force anybody to like your music.  Yet, if your worship expression is honest and honoring, you will have a periodic forum at Manna.  However, we can't guarantee anybody will like it.  Can you love the church that appreciate your music but may not like it.  All good musicians at some point face the issue of courage.  If you are to be a good musician that will be true to "your voice", you will face the issue of courage.  Will you continue if your music is not "liked"?  Also, you need to strive for musical excellence.  Sometimes your music will not be liked, because you did not give your best to God.  Your music was simply bad.  Do better.

    As pastor, I ultimately don't care what type of music we have in our church.  I care about the spiritual growth and maturity of each and every person at Manna, including our musicians.  I would rather have an honest and courageous musician play for our church than the best selling Christian contemporary musician living a bad life.  If you are willing to grow and take risks, then you have what it takes to be a successful Manna musician.  I would be honored to be led in musical worship by you. 

   

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