Worship Resources: Why do we Make Them and Should we Sell Them?

If a worship recording is made of a worship gathering, it reflects that specific faith community and makes record of its journey with the Lord. Of course, I’m not suggesting that a worship recording is inspired on the level that Scripture is. But can the Lord breathe upon a recording of His interaction with His people just as He breathes upon the record of His interaction with His people in the Old and New Testaments?
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Last week we talked about the futility of trying to become more influential in hopes of changing the world. Ambition comes disguised as outreach and opportunity. It seems that quiet obedience and long faithfulness are the ways God chooses over celebrity and star power.

So, is there any reason for worship recordings to be made? After all, don’t those things feed into our consumer-driven, star-crazed culture?

Here are some thoughts in its defense.

God could have revealed Himself in a variety of ways: a list of propositions, a set of rules or academic essays. Yet the way we encounter God in the Scriptures is through story—and story as told by people. We have historical accounts, biographical sketches, songs, poems, prophecies and letters of men and women who were interacting with God. We see how they followed Him, disobeyed Him, repented, loved and served Him. And how He loved them endlessly. The Bible is full of stories of God interacting with His people in particular, and the human race in general. In short, the Bible is a record of God’s activity within a community of faith.

So, if a worship recording is made of a worship gathering, it reflects that specific faith community and makes record of its journey with the Lord. Of course, I’m not suggesting that a worship recording is inspired on the level that Scripture is. But can the Lord breathe upon a recording of His interaction with His people just as He breathes upon the record of His interaction with His people in the Old and New Testaments?

Perhaps products and resources fail us when we ask of them what should not be asked of anything but God. No product or resource will make you closer to God or eliminate your sin or heal your soul. These salvific acts are the domain of Christ’s alone.

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When we try to sell products claiming that people will be changed, we are exploiting their pure spiritual desires for the sake of financial profit. This is what Jesus took issue with when He overthrew the moneychangers in the Temple.  He likely wasn’t upset because of the sale of animals for sacrifice. The culture was no longer dominantly agrarian as it was in the Old Testament when the sacrificial system was installed. People needed to buy animals for sacrifice since many didn’t raise livestock. The problem was that moneychangers were exploiting the people’s legitimate need and turning their monopoly on animals-for-sacrifice into a profit-making machine. But there is no monopoly on worship and resources for the worshiping community.

So, maybe resources and recordings are OK so long as we don’t pretend they are essential. At best, they can help make room for us to engage God and remember what He is doing in our midst. That, after all, is what a record or a memorial is for.

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