the baby and the bathwater

the baby and the bathwater
September 7, 2007, 8:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So yes, I have entered the world of blogging.

And because I am ‘Mr Cheese’ I have a cheesy name for the blog. But there is a point (there always isn’t there).

What I want to do on this site is make some observations and write some articles on worship: partly because it’s good for (me) us to work hard at articulating truth – so often we blame the inadequacy of language in formulating argument – but actually, language IS the argument – and so we need to quickly get over that excuse – but also because I am beginning to sense God is speaking to the wider church on the whole area of worship (well, he would, wouldn’t he. he is God after all, and it is his church). And I think we need to review some of what we are doing and maybe make some tweeks here and there or maybe dismantle some things (either clean up or throw out the bath water) to make sure that this whole worship thing continues to serve the church (the baby)*.

Get it?

I told you it was cheesy.

The other reason I want to start a blog is that I have found myself clogging up other people’s blogs with my ranting, and so I want to release them from having their own sites corrupted by my own deliberations. But I do want to point you to a couple of sites of worship leaders who I think are beginning to ask similar questions. ‘Daily Health Scare’ (David Gate) and (Nae Lippett).

So over the next little while, I’ll be looking at some of the issues that I think need either cleaning up or throwing out. They are my own personal views and as my finite understanding of theology is changing all the time as I hopefully understand more about a hugely awesome and infinite God, I may say some things and then change my mind later. But that’s because I hope my mind is open. Some of it may make you laugh. Some of it may make you scream. But most of it will probably show just how little I know or understand.

And I don’t mind if you disagree. That’s what debate is about.

* please note, I have ammended this sentence as one or two people said my original one was confusing. I agree with them.


10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great idea for discussion. Who do you picture as the ones doing the proverbial ‘throwing out’? (I.e. those in or outside the church; those who know it well, those who don’t; leadership/laity, etc.?)

What is ‘the church’? Are we talking the institution with its liturgies and politics, or the body of believers in Jesus world-wide? This is important because it determines what is being ‘kept’ and what is being ‘thrown out’ and why.

Comment by Brian Howell

hey neil – look forward to keeping up w/you.

Comment by Andrew J. Booth


I think this is a matter of leadership ultimately. And ‘throwing out’ doesn’t necessarialy mean just being critical and negative about what we don’t like about the present, but more importantly about being creative and imaginative and constructive about the future.

And as to what is the church, I guess I am refering to the body of believers worldwide really: although I can probably only really engage with those that I have connection with in this respect.

Ultimately though, I think the best thing I can do is to put my money where my mouth is and do what I think is right where I am and if it’s God, then maybe it will bear fruit, and if it’s not, it will hopefully die.

Next time, some easy questions please!

Comment by Neil

Hey Neil

Good on ya for joining blog world!

Look forward to hearing your thoughts and insights, and hopefully joining in the conversation where appropriate!

For what its worth, I think in terms of new wine that the progression from ‘session’ musicians to homegrown bands is a really positive one – it just affirms the importance of grass roots local church, and also feels a little more authentic to me somehow.

It’s great (for example) to be able to sample the ‘Trinity’ flavour imported to Somerset!


Comment by themakowers

Hi Neil
Of course babies and bathwater are right up my street!! But a small comment. You write:
‘what is fundamentally right or wrong or has lost it’s ability to serve the church ‘
I say hmmm- shouldn’t worship be all about serving God, not us? isn’t it about what we can give Him rather than what we get out of it? Just a thought. love Jen x

Comment by Hallmum

Hi Will. Good to hear from you. Didn’t see you at NW. Were you there?

Hi Jen!! Of course that is right ultimately. But as part of that I think we leaders have the responsibility to help the church worhip authentically, and not lead it into unhelpful places.

How are the babies these days?!

Comment by Neil

Hi Neil
Well baby no1 has just started 6th form (yes really! I will ring…). I agree that worship leaders have that responsibility- standing up in front of everyone means you are accountable to the leadership but ultimately to God. The big problem though is you are in a position to only ‘help to worship authentically’ but you cannot make them do it- that is their responsibility with God. ai guess thats where I mean worship leaders have to be serving God and totally listening to where He is leading. I feel the unhelpful places comes from worship leaders trying to serve themselves, or keep congegations ‘happy’ or leaders ‘happy’ rather than serving God. Hope that clarifies..Jen x

Comment by Hallmum

Then you and I are in complete agreement! (although as a worship leader in a local church I do want to keep my leaders happy as far as I can).

How is the biggest baby of all?

Comment by Neil

Oh he’s fine!! Must get together soon x

Comment by Hallmum

Well to be fair Neil you probably wouldn’t have seen me, as I was at LSE and you were at CSW, but I s’pose I was referring to Trinity in the context of last year, and also knowing that it was a similar deal for CSW this year.

Comment by themakowers

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