responding to celebrity culture on the NWLC CA Poll

Hmmm… quite the extended response from a magazine editor : 

I certainly appreciate your feelings on this. The NWLC and the magazine are in existence for one purpose: to clearly point to Jesus. He is the transformation this world needs; he is the redemption individuals are dying to encounter. This has been our passion from the start. We attempt to do this by helping worship leaders also focus in on that purpose. It’s unfortunate that a poll question distracted from that. I suppose for me, however, the question is, “Were we wrong in asking people who they were looking forward to seeing at the conference?” Looked at from another angle, is it wrong to ask people who are attending a conference “which speaker are you looking forward to hearing from?” Or “Which teacher do you plan on taking a class from?” I suppose if you sense that there is a culture of celebrity that is a detriment to the church’s worship, then you may answer in the affirmative. And I agree, in the worship realm we need to be careful on this point. However, I also sometimes feel there is a tendency to hide from reality that isn’t helpful in the realms of leading worship. Are people wrong to have a preference in which artists they are looking forward to worship with? I personally don’t think there is sin in personal preference or distinction. We should continually inspect ourselves and ask if our preference is hindering us, or others, from engaging with God in worship, indeed an important part of being in a worshiping community is learning to defer to the preferences of others at times. Yet, preference is human. When couched in this understanding I happen to believe asking “who you are looking forward to?” is acceptable, and not something to hide from. In fact in the right circumstances this question can make people aware of the diversity of preferences out there, making us better equipped to allow for diversity in worship this was our actual intent in posing the question. Of course this is assuming a lot on my part. It assumes that the person who gets a random email forwarded to them also has this understanding, or at least will check out our “About Us” to see where our mission actually lies. All to say. I take your criticism to heart. I will be careful to remember that we are dealing with something that is cared about deeply, and is vastly important. Please believe we are with you on your point that Jesus is who we point to. I am definitely happy to hear other thoughts on this. I invite you and any others to keep the conversation going.Jeremy ArmstrongManaging Editor Worship Leader Magazine

via NWLC CA Poll | NWLC California – October 9-11 2012 in N. San Diego.

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