Guitar Slide Wednesday: Controversial Church Version

I ran across today’s song/video for Guitar Slide Wednesday while searching for songs to put on some of the playlists we use at the church. I have mentioned before that I generally keep up with new releases in praise and worship/contemporary Christian music as a professional matter, and also that this style of music is not always my primary aesthetic preference. However, much of it does, in fact, speak to me.

Elevation Worship is HIP. I have yet to visit their church, so I don’t know how their hip-ness relates to the church overall. However, based on any and all media that I’ve seen associated with the church and the music, I think it’s safe to say that they’re all WAY hipper than me. Or you, for that matter.

Depending on how one gauges such things, it is clear that the church has been amazingly successful. However, the church is not without controversy (of varying degrees. I considered putting “controversial” in quotes in the title of this post). The pastor has been criticized for his theology. In fact, when I googled his name, “heretic” was the first suggested search term–seriously:

Further, he has run afoul of some of the reformed community, not to mention the church’s publicity about this unfortunate event.

While many would criticize this church as heretical and liberal, it has its supporters and defenders. I’m sure there are also numerous others who criticize them for being too conservative. Nevertheless, I like what Elevation Worship does, and regardless of your views on hip-ness and super high-quality production in church and worship, their song featured here today rocks.

So enough with all the links, controversy, and what not, let’s get to why we’re here! The song is called “Exalted One” and is on the latest Elevation Worship album For the Honor (2011). It has a great bass line that regularly slides around. You can hear it in the intro, but it’s really clear at the end of the chorus (2:09 or so, and several times later). If the bass slides don’t do it for you, then there’s some electric effects and sliding at the end of the last chorus leading into the instrumental outro around 4:19.

Apparently this week, you can get this song for FREE here!

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Perspective

from this point of view... a nifty view of Chicago from a blue line stop this summer

On a typical Sunday in the fall at my church, we have four total services — two at 9:30 and two at 11:00. There is live music in each room and the pastor speaks in one room with live video of him sent to the other room. Our services are pretty standard: four or five songs, a welcome, syncing the rooms together, a sermon, offering/song, announcements. Yet, with these predictable pieces each and every week, it’s really remarkable how crazy a Sunday can be.

If you’ve ever been on church staff or had family members/close friends on staff, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Similarly, if you’ve ever been involved in production of any staged events, you also likely have an inkling of what I’m talking about.

Yesterday was one of those days for me. I was mostly running around between each room, there was some confusion amongst the different folks who were supposed to be doing things, and a bit of uncertainty about songs and order. We start on a countdown, so both rooms will begin at the same time. As the timer was falling inevitably toward 0:00, I hadn’t “settled down” in the booth, and really felt like I had no idea what was going on (oh, and that’s one of my things on Sundays – I’m supposed to kind of have an idea of what’s going on).

But despite some (in my hyperbolic opinion) near disastrous occurrences, as we sang “With a cry of praise, my heart will proclaim, “You are good” / In the Sun or rain, my life celebrates, You are good,” I was reminded that I believe that to be true. My theology accounts for busy, stressful mornings.

And then, later in the afternoon (post-Sunday Afternoon Nap!), I received two vastly different bits of good news of varying degrees of import: A dear friend reported exciting relationship news, and my Very Tall Nephew reported that he dunked on a regulation goal with a regulation ball for the first time (something we’ve wanted for him all summer).

God is, indeed, good.