Award-winning Christian artist Tauren Wells says churches have forgotten that worship isn't something that should be relegated to leaders on stage. But rather, worship is what's happening among the faithful in the pews who've come to praise God.
During a recent Young Adult Worship Night at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas — where he joined as a staff member last year — Wells talked about the power of worship.
“I think that, in some ways, big cool church — which I am a fan of — has, in some ways, done us a disservice. And this is churches all over the world,” Wells says in a clip of last week's message posted on Instagram.
“We have, with good intentions, relegated the idea of worship to something that happens on a stage [where] worship leaders worship, [and] we all enjoy the overflow. But the truth is, the power of worship is not on this stage, it's in these seats,” he stressed.
The Grammy-nominated artist added that worshipers of Christ shouldn't consign worship only to what happens on a stage “with bands and instruments.” And encouraged those gathered not to “shrink the magnitude” of what worshiping God really is.
“Worship is the human soul responding to its Creator in a desperate response to be adequate to the measure of love that has been poured out from the Heavens into the Earth, into my little small life,” he declared.
Wells also questioned how anyone could withhold anything from a God “who gave it all.” He then stressed that churchgoers should open their hearts in praise when they step into an atmosphere that's already been set.
“Worship is not hype," Wells added. "Don't give me hype if you can’t give me depth. Because it's in the deep places that God transforms us and shapes our character into His very own. He uses this mold called worship to fashion us into His image.”
In a previous interview with The Christian Post, Wells said he's "loving" being at Lakewood Church. Along with speaking at various Lakewood services during the week, the "Hills and Valleys" singer sometimes preaches at other churches in other cities on Sunday mornings after having performed at a concert the night before.
"I feel like that is something I'm called to do, and I'm just letting it organically develop and grow. I'm enjoying it," Wells said.
Wells isn't the only Christian performer talking about worship music lately. Skillet's frontman John Cooper told The Christian Post earlier this week that people shouldn't easily subscribe to the messages in songs that are being sung at churches nowadays.
When it comes to writing songs for Skillet, Cooper — whose band just released the new album Victorious — told CP that he has a "very close relationships" with his church and he takes their input seriously because of how unscriptural some modern-day worship music is.
"A lot of Christian people right now, artists are releasing stuff that when I read the lyrics, I'm like, 'I'm amazed that people have a problem with Skillet's lyrics when some of the songs that we sing in church today I don't think are actually accurate,” he said. “Not to be overly harsh, but I am 100% sure that God's love is absolutely not reckless in any sort of way. I can't believe we sing it in church, but we do!”
“My point is, we should have a little bit more trepidation before we just start throwing out stuff in the world,” he told CP.