Worship music just doesn't do it for me. I know that popular worship music is a way that a lot of men connect with God, but I'm not one of them.
I'm not writing this to be critical or belittle men who find significance in the worship music that is a part of Sunday services. I'm writing this article because I want to offer an alternative perspective on worship and worship music contrasted with what is typically offered on Sunday morning.
A very closely related topic that I'm going to only briefly address is "worship" in general. As I understand it, the word "worship" is used to refer to any activity that we humans engage in in order to show honor, respect, and admiration to God. With this understanding of worship, musical worship is viewed as one of many activities instead of the activity that Christians use to demonstrate their reverence.
I find that most of the songs sung on Sunday morning are songs about brokenness and pain. It's about the love that we have for God and that He has for us. About tenderness and mercy and regret. The themes are very feminine and cloaked in bridal imagery.
Brett McKay at the Art of Manliness wrote a tremendous article covering the idea of the feminization of Christianity that I won't try to summarize as I couldn't possibly do so and do it justice.
The feelings associated with these themes are ones that I've experienced before and they're significant and powerful. Sometimes I get angry or afraid. Sometimes I feel like things are spiraling out of my control. Sometimes I hurt and I just want someone to hold me and tell me that everything is going to be alright.
The thing is, singing songs with themes about these feelings does absolutely nothing to help me connect with God or feel better about myself. I know that God loves me and I love Him right back. I know that He's in control and that every day I wake up above ground is a gift. But singing songs about how I hurt doesn't help me not hurt.
Some Christian men that I've spoken with have made the point that what we "get" from worship isn't the point, rather that it's what we "give" in worship that makes it significant. This is a valid and reasonable point that merits consideration. Viewing worship from that perspective, I still feel like there are more meaningful, significant, and practical ways to give God worship.
You know what really motivates me? Strength. Action. Service. Making a difference. Recovering from pain and failure. These are the characteristics that I connect with and feel are worthwhile in an offering of worship. Let's sing songs about being strong and brave. Let's celebrate victories and successes.
I wan't to close by restating that I'm not declaring that this is the only approach or even the best approach to worship. I'm just saying that this is an approach that I would like to see more of and would be excited to participate in with other like-minded Christians.