The word “worship” appears in the Bible 158 times (NIV). Worship is practiced in many different ways around the world and holds an array of meanings. At the root of it all, what is the purpose and meaning of worship in the church? In addition, what is the role of worship leaders? Scott Cunningham, Michael Ketterer, and Evan Wickham discussed “the nature of worship in the church” during a Q+A time held in Needham Chapel on Thursday, September 29th.
Firstly, Scott Cunningham is the worship pastor at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Church and wants to “create an environment where we can respond in praise and thanksgiving” through worship. He writes and leads worship alongside his daughters in their band, “Scott Cunningham Band”.
Music and worship started personal for Cunningham in his dorm room in college. When it became public, Cunningham faced many challenges. His biggest challenge when being on stage is to keep his worship simple. Cunningham has discovered when it comes to worship, “the bigger the stage the more distractions.” When leading worship, Cunningham tries to keep his focus on the Lord rather than just leading worship.
Secondly, Michael Ketterer is apart of the United Pursuit Band and says, “I love telling stories through music and using my testimony.” He has a passion for “calling out the songs in people.” Through his passion he hopes to bring authenticity because he says, “there is a cry for authenticity around the world today.”
When Ketterer is leading worship he asks God, “What are you doing right now in this room?” and says, “songs are a platform that we can jump off of.” While he is leading worship he is constantly listening to God for words or songs for people. “I want to create context for a conversation to happen” Ketterer says.
Lastly, Evan Wickham serves as a worship pastor at Horizon Christian Fellowship and is a worship leader and artist. He strives to “create a soundtrack for what God is doing in the world.”
When it comes to worship, Wickham wants to help bring Jesus to the subconscious level. Wickham says, “Worship leaders need to know Jesus, understand his presence, and articulate it.”
Cunningham, Kettterer, and Wickham encouraged current worship leaders as well as provided more context and understanding about worship in the church. However, this time of discussion and Q+A was more of a time for worship leaders to reflect and gain knowledge. Hopefully more opportunities for Q+A discussions take place that are relatable to more people.