Worship leaders often talk about the tension between performance and worship. It's easy to get drawn into the spectacle of music in the church, with our primary examples and role models being professionals---often young, beautiful, and enormously talented.

In this third of three video discussions with Kevin Twit and Isaac Wardell, we talk about the idolatry of youth culture and how it has shaped our worship. Worship culture has followed the lead of culture generally, becoming obsessive about youth, perpetually introducing new worship leaders while introducing fresh songs, styles, and ideas. We're perpetually innovating, chasing the demand for being new and cutting edge.

How can worship be shaped in such a way that it confronts these obsessions? How does the music industry shape our expectations for worship leaders in particular and church leaders in general? What are some of the contrasts between the attitude of an aspiring artist and an aspiring servant. Wardell talks a bit about the difference between a "church musician" and a "worship leader," which I find to be a really helpful distinction.

As the conversation unfolds, we discuss the possibility of a counter-culture---of worship as a feast, rather than a concert or a lecture.

Mike Cosper is pastor of worship and arts at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long for and Echo the Truth (Crossway, forthcoming), Rhythms of Grace: How the Church’s Worship Tells the Story of the Gospel (Crossway, 2013), and co-author (with Daniel Montgomery) of Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey (Crossway, 2012). You can follow him on Twitter.

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Mike Cosper


Mike Cosper is pastor of worship and arts at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long for and Echo the Truth (Crossway, forthcoming), Rhythms of Grace: How the Church’s Worship Tells the Story of the Gospel (Crossway, 2013), and co-author (with Daniel Montgomery) of Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey (Crossway, 2012). You can follow him on Twitter.

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