david santistevan


The Evolution of Worship Music

Has anyone heard the album pictured above? If you haven’t, I think you should. And if you have, I’d be interested to know what your thoughts are.

Worship music has evolved into so many different streams. A few have blazed a trail, and thousands have copied. I haven’t been alive forever, but allow me to take you on a worship journey through my lifetime.

When I was a young chap, I cut my teeth on Vineyard worship. They were trail blazers. They wrote simple love songs to Jesus in a style that had never been done before. Integrity was around then, but were not quite as progressive as the Vineyard folks. Based on the teaching of John Wimber, they pursued the presence of God and wanted to experience the fullness of Spirit in worship. Great stuff, to this day I love listening to (especially the 10 minute 80’s guitar solos).

Even deeper in the charismatic arena are people like Kevin Prosch, Morningstar, and the more current IHOP folks from KC.

Then there’s this crazy popular, mainstream worship sound, pioneered by Hillsong. Planetshakers, and more than a few large churches across the world have adopted this high energy, community model of worship (and producing new worship albums every year).

There’s also the rock band turned worship, pioneered by one of the best, Delirious. Also, there’s singer/songwriter worship like Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, and numerous others.

I’m also impressed by the Reformed theological bent of worship music like Sovereign Grace Ministries.

And then there’s David Crowder Band, who sort of create their own category that no one can enter. And maybe not many can relate to. Is it possible to be too creative with worship music?

What stands out to you above the rest? What are the qualities that constitute good worship music? What can’t you stand about worship music? As worship songwriters/musicians, what should we be pursuing?

Let the discussion flow…



October 6, 2009 - Posted by | Music, Worship


  1. It all relies on the artists goal with the record or song. There is a lot of worship in the christian music arena and it’s up to the artist to define if the project is congregational or not. It’s all worship to me and so I can it can easily be narrowed down to the two categories. I am a big David Crowder fan. I love the poetic approach to his lyrics and content and his ability to try something different. Now could I use a song of his to lead worship with…maybe…many times I have but this new record for me seems to serve a different purpose. Not better or worse but different. In the end what should songwriters/musicians be pursing? a deeper relationship with God and an obedience to the call of music on their live, cause only there will the music be most glorifying to Christ at it’s highest potential. ok my rant is done…if you haven’t picked up DAVID’s “NEAR” Album you are missing out!!!! GET IT!

    Comment by Vinnie Thomas | October 7, 2009 | Reply

    • Good word, Vinnie. I like the idea of musicians pursuing a deeper relationship with God. While it sounds obvious, a lot of times it doesn’t happen. We spend a lot of time improving our craft but not improving our prayer life.

      Comment by santahara | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  2. All I know is that Michael Olson did ‘How He Loves’ at ECC on Sunday and it blew my mind.

    Comment by Aaron | October 7, 2009 | Reply

    • Bring on the sloppy wet kisses.

      Comment by santahara | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  3. Nice new format btw. I’m off to Luther Sem bookstore to get some new reading materials!

    Comment by Aaron | October 7, 2009 | Reply

    • What bookstore is that? Any books I should be reading right now?

      Comment by santahara | October 7, 2009 | Reply

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