Freshly Pressed: My Favorite Comments

Last week, I found myself struggling with writer’s block. Yesterday, I was Freshly Pressed on WordPress. That kind of took care of it. If you’re not familiar with WordPress, basically, Freshly Pressed is their sort of… front page.

Alternate blog title: Freshly Pressed: How Keva Got His Groove Back

Just last week, I was telling my wife about some of my goals. Freshly Pressed was numero uno. So that’s cool. Now, I can move on to goal numero dos: hand model. Well no…

What a huge honor. The Freshly Pressed came at just the right time, too. My writer’s block has since been smashed, chopped, and blended… and digested.

Confessions of a Former Worship Leader was featured. I wrote the post straight from the heart, so it was nice to get such a wide array of feedback and responses. “Confessions…” seems to have struck a chord, no pun intended.

The internet is a strange place, and it gets a lot of flack these days (Facebook rants, mean-spirited debates and criticisms, message boards), but I’m continually impressed by the genuineness and civility of WordPress bloggers. It’s quite a special place.

Comments are still coming in (slightly overwhelming)! In truth, everyone’s comment has touched my heart. Some responses have been encouraging, some have disagreed; all have contributed towards my healing in some way. The best part is the overall, much-needed conversation of corporate worship has begun. It’s been an honor to have lead this discussion.

Here’s a few comments (from yesterday) that have, so far, stood out to me. A lot of these are just excerpts. I might add one or two more as I continue to read.

Comments, Comments, Comments,

Melissaraptor

During the few Christian services I’ve attended in my life, I’ve felt so confused and taken aback by the focus on modern music. The services were not what I imagined at all and frankly I felt more uncomfortable in those which relied heavily on the performance. Thank you for sharing the thoughts of someone behind the scenes, so to speak. It’s comforting to know that someone so involved with religion shares or at least reflects some similar input on a few of the topics I’ve been so confused by. Thank you so much.

Constance V. Walden

When people get up on a stage or stand up before the congregation and sing, with or without music, it it becomes a concert or entertainment. It becomes about them, really. Yes, they may be singing about the Lord, but, it’s really about them. When the church comes together to worship, they should sing together as one to the Lord on the same level. No one up front, no one on stage, and not drowned out by musical instruments. It’s OUR voices together in praise to the Lord. Thanks for sharing.

measureofagift

My heart broke last week when a dear friend told me she chose a church for the “worship experience” she told me it was “very spiritual” and that what she loved was that she could go there, feel blessed, talk to no one, and then return home, untethered to anyone in the congregation, or anything she needed to carry around with her all week. She could “just leave it there til next week.” We’ve turned worship into a gratifying experience, so much so that in “trying to serve God” in worship, we end up hurting those who come to our churches.

sandydog44

Hello, I quit the church for many reasons ….and the hypnotizing of the congregation by emotional music and all that goes into producing a good concert to move your feelings….it was called being moved by the Holy Spirit, but exactly the same feelings are produced at a “secular” concert. People are fooling themselves.

Carpenter’s Quill

Worship is: Dance, art, a prayer, thanking God by using our talents, helping people around us, or even singing in the shower. I agree that ‘worship’ isn’t just one singular act of service/praise. I also like your response about being ‘hurt by the church’. Too many people forget that the church is full of humans. We are individuals incapable of perfection. I’m glad it didn’t squash your faith, and that you’re uncovering hidden feelings. I think the mega church culture (as a whole) needs to get back to authentic ‘worship’

Kris

I appreciate your honesty with where you are at and think it was wise for you to pull back as you did. It seems to me, our spiritual life and our interactions with others and service ebbs and flows, inevitably produces flaws, retracts in disgust and renews itself in purity through the Spirit. It is not just this way in worship of course, but in any aspect we participate in communally. Anytime our faith goes public in service we drag along our personal spiritual fights and encounter those of others and sometimes we just need to pull back and regroup.

kevindeisher

I sang and led worship at my church for several years and like you suffered burn out. I left the church in search of something better and more genuine for me to believe in. I can so relate to your post and agree with it all. I am attending a micro church now where the worship music is by most standards poor, but it is genuine and heartfelt and I enjoy it more than the concerts of the past.

Thanks again, WordPress! What an honor to have been considered and chosen.

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8 comments

  1. So glad you had such a positive response to your post about worship. I sent the link to it and this follow-up post to my mother who has been “singing this song” for years. I have wonderful childhood memories of her worshiping at the kitchen sink, while vacuuming, and even at the sewing machine. I was so pleased to stumble across you on Freshly Pressed yesterday. Maybe one day I’ll get there, too. Good luck with your other goals!

  2. Wow. What a great honor. And well deserved. You put a lot of heart and soul into your posts and greatly engage the reader.

    My only lingering question is – you’re not going to go all Salinger on us and become a hermit now, are you? I mean, Freshly Pressed or not, I still want to treat you to lunch. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Tony. If I could somehow live off of that post for the rest of my life, I would strongly consider the hermit thing. Until then, you’re stuck with me.

  3. “I’m continually impressed by the genuineness and civility of WordPress bloggers. It’s quite a special place.”

    I don’t know what it is about WordPress, but you’re so right. It’s a very civil and embracing place, even when it comes to the touchier subjects. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to it.

  4. I LOVED this quote from Kris: “It seems to me, our spiritual life and our interactions with others and service ebbs and flows, inevitably produces flaws, retracts in disgust and renews itself in purity through the Spirit. …”

    I have been on the Worship Team of my church on and off for almost 20 years. At the moment I’m “off” owing to study pressure, and the sudden perspective is a bit horrifying. I have often complained about the small number of songs on our “list” and I have been listened to to some extent, but even though we would always kind of try to be “fresh” and “change things up”, nothing ever seems very different from the other side of the proscenium. It’s depressing. And there is this culture of relentless positivity that can be very stifling.

    So at the moment, I am “retracting in disgust” and don’t really want to return to the team when my study workload decreases. However, my calling has never been to be a musician, but to be a prophet, a wife and a mother. So I can kind of push the music question under the carpet if I want to and let it be one of those – the church is imperfect because its full of humans – details. So the music is the same every week, doesn’t matter. God is still here.

  5. I am slightly bothered that no one seems to be having this conversation about so-called traditional worship. I find the entertainment factor just as infuriating when our choir sings and hymns are sung (usually only by those who can read music). ANY entertainment feel within ANY worship style should be questioned. It encourages passive consumption rather than active worship.

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