A few weeks ago I was discussing worship with David Jones, the leader of Reformed University Fellowship at Stanford, and he put something into words that I’ve been trying to articulate for a while, “Worship is both expressive and formative.”
In other words, worship doesn’t only show what we feel and believe, it also shapes what we feel and believe.
My students will only hear me preach a given sermon once — but they may sing a worship song dozens of times. And if we’ve chosen catchy yet superficial junk for them to sing we’ve done them a real disservice.
And that’s why we don’t just sing any old song in our Chi Alpha meetings. They have to be catchy while also being profound and ennobling. In other words, they have to both sound good and be good.
For what it’s worth, I think that Chris Tomlin and Ben Pasley (of Enter the Worship Circle) stand out for really hitting the mark consistently. Of the old hymn writers, Isaac Watts really had it going on.