Stay tuned for an exciting project I'm working on with some amazing friends … launching a new generation of progressive Christian worship music - songs of praise and protest, joy and lament, contemplation and motivation.
But for inspiration, let's look back at arguably the most deeply Christian music in American history, the negro spiritual. Here's an amazing interview. And here's an inspiring song: Didn't my Lord deliver Daniel, deliver Daniel, deliver Daniel
I am so excited about the launch of the Convergence Music Project. As I have travelled across North America and Europe, I find myself in conversations with artists and musicians who are creating the kind of music, poetry, pictures, dances and liturgies that every church should be able to expereince. So many of us have experienced boring, detached, lifeless worship services for far too long. I'm now convinced not only is that not necessary, it's a terrible waste of energy and vision. Our congregational leaders are producing some of the most beatiful music I have ever heard. Our painters are producing the best paintings and designs I have ever seen. Our poets are writing the most vulnerable and inspiring liturgies that we have expereinced in generations. Our creative ones are literally exploding with new contributions, designed to remind us of the sacredness of life, love and one another.
I've just returned from the OPEN Faith Conference in Indianapolis. Many of you may know that the OPEN Network is a growing network of progressive evangelical churches who are organizing and resourcing one another. It's an amazing group of people. We announced the Convergence Music Project at this conference and the response was amazing. It seemed like everyone there was producing music or writing liturgy or reciting poems...all in relative isolation. That is why I am so excited about this project. FINALLY, we are building a place, a platform, where we can distribute all of this great stuff to the network...and fairly compensate the artists!
Have you ever noticed how prayers we pray out loud for others in the context of public worship--despite our sincere and best intentions--often wind up sounding a bit smug or even condescending? You know—the prayers for someone that can all too easily feel more like gossip than heart-felt expressions of concern? And then there are the so-called “prayer chains” that sometimes feel like spiritually dressed up excuses to expose and talk about the problems of others behind their backs?