One Reason to Add a Chorus to a Hymn

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship Pastoring, Worship Theology & Thought1 Comment

The Bee Does it Again I saw the Bee’s wonderful post today, “Federal Judge Orders Chris Tomlin to Stop Adding Choruses to Perfectly Good Hymns.” Always funny; always satirically insightful. I sympathize greatly. Though not a hymn purist (as you will see below), I am sympathetic to the hymn purists’ arguments. Sometimes, when choruses are added to perfectly good hymns, they are added in a careless manner, insensitive to the hymn text, theology, poetry, and authorial intent. Sometimes, it feels … Read More

Killing Worship Through Over-Explanation

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Leading Tips, Worship Pastoring0 Comments

Reformed Worship just released a new post of mine, entitled, “How Over-Explaining Worship Kills Worship.” In that post I entertain some important pastoral reflections on the nature of leading worship that educates and informs without throwing a wrench into worship’s gears. Hopefully you’ll find it helpful! Here’s a little quote: “Worship isn’t a time for parsing doxological technicalities just like driving isn’t a time to take apart your engine.” Go read the post!

Why Confession Should Be Interrupted, Not Completed

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Pastoring, Worship Theology & Thought2 Comments

Feeling Worship Over the last two years, I’ve been thinking a lot about feeling and affect in worship. I’ve been pondering how our “emotional apprehension” in worship shapes, informs, propels our congregational gatherings. I used to think that if people just had enough instruction about what worship is and does, they would be more engaged in its elements. I still believe in that, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I can go deeper as a pastoral worship leader in pondering … Read More

A Theological Reason Why Worship Leaders Need to Take Naps on Sunday Afternoons

Zac HicksWorship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Leading Tips, Worship Pastoring7 Comments

I’m Not Playing Around Maybe it sounds a bit cheeky. Perhaps it sounds like overextending an idea’s reach or, worse, a justification for sloth. However, I think there’s a very good theological reason why we worship leaders often find ourselves pillow-side on Sunday afternoons. For me, it’s very personal and autobiographical. I began thinking about all this over the last few months as our church is picking up the pieces of a major tragedy. Since the news hit our church … Read More

Spontaneity, Planning, and the Holy Spirit in Worship

Zac HicksChurch & Ecclesiology, Worship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Pastoring, Worship Theology & Thought1 Comment

In the Cracks For many of us who have been knowingly or unknowingly schooled by a certain influential slice of evangelical worship, our view of the Holy Spirit’s role in worship is pretty straightforward. The Spirit comes in the “cracks”–the surprising moments, the in-between times, the unplanned invasions. And, to God’s glory, Scripture describes the Spirit’s work in this way. We witness Jesus, for instance, sparring with a well-educated theologian with this little jab about the way salvation works: “The … Read More

How Singing Together Rehearses Mutual Submission

Zac HicksWorship Pastoring1 Comment

As I’m writing my book, I’m enjoying the disciplined privilege of dialoguing with old friends and mentors who sit on my shelves, reminding me of their ministry to my life. I was cracking open one relatively recent “old friend,” Resonant Witness: Conversations Between Music and Theology, edited by Jeremy Begbie and Steven Guthrie. I opened up Steven Guthrie’s amazing chapter, “The Wisdom of Song,” to discover fierce underlining. Many of the ideas I had interacted with in those pages were … Read More