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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Worship Rises in Canada

I know a lot of Canadian jokes. I share an office with a Canadian. I live in a state that borders Canada. The jokes I didn’t know before meeting him, he filled me in on. I know about moose, beavers, Bryan Adams, and Celine Dion. I watched the Olympics.

The jokes are all in fun and they aren’t really true but nevertheless my Canadian friends have to work extra hard to dispel the myths that they all smell like maple syrup and keep a pair of ice skates in their car for when a game of hockey breaks out. Well, maybe that last one is true.

Plus, I don’t joke much anymore because it eventually gets to where I call them “America Junior” and they trump me with “Canada’s Underpants.”

And with that . . . the following is NOT a joke.

Worship leader Chris Vacher, a Canadian, had a great idea. Chris and a bunch of his buddies that lead music in their churches started getting together and writing tunes with a few things in mind: indigenous worship, camaraderie, Canadian churches, the church worldwide, stretching each other’s artistry, etc.

They called their writing group, “Worship Rises.” Out of this group, they released a four song EP that showed up on iTunes in the states yesterday. You can buy the EP for a whopping $3.96 here.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Chris shared a little on his blog today about the album and the buzz surrounding it.

Follow Chris on Twitter.

Chris has become a good friend of mine over the last few years and I am proud of him. I want you all to know about the album not because he is my friend, not because we scratch each other’s backs in cyber world, not because he is paying me, but because I believe this is an example of what it looks like when God’s church takes their heads out of their self-absorbed rear ends.

I went to Ireland a few years back and the church I visited did songs they had written. About “the troubles” and the political struggles of Ireland, about living in their world. I fell in love with Ireland and the Irish church that day. Because, I was brought into their story. This EP makes me think of Canada, my neighbor to the North and it makes me smile that they took a risk.

This album and movement teaches us or reminds us--who are music people in our churches--of some great lessons:

1. Indigenous worship is honest, tells a story that is familiar and approachable, and has a special “je ne sais quoi” for the local church that is different than plug and play worship where we pick songs that the other cool kids are playing. Give thought to your music. Tell YOUR story.
2. With that said, it is a wonderful thing to then share your story with the world. They may say, “Hey, that’s our story too.”
3. Magic can happen when we rub shoulders with like-minded people in our greater communities. When is the last time you had lunch with another pastor in town (not from your church)?
4. THE church matters more than YOUR church because THE church is JESUS’ church and Jesus is what matters. Personality, style, doctrine, methodology, tastes . . . they grow strangely dim with a kingdom mindset.

Way to go, Canada. Now, let's talk about the Nickleback problem. Can you help there, Chris?

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