More worshipper than the worship - Cowan weighs in on the evolution of praise and worship
With the heightened concern and discussions around the direction of praise and worship in the Caribbean today, veteran gospel music producer, Tommy Cowan, told Family and Religion that the evolution of Praise and Worship, with each generation, has been ongoing since the days when the piano was seen as the devil's instrument.
According to him: "Each generation contends with the upcoming generation about whether their music is spiritual enough or creates a genuine connection with God."
However, Cowan believes that the worship style is not to blame.
"The past generation has a genuine concern with how people worship, but the issue is the worshipper more than the worship music itself. When a person approaches church with a spectator mentality, they will see everything from that perspective including the message even though that's not the purpose of either the worship or the message," Cowan said, in response to the position that praise and worship is becoming somewhat of a spectator's event.
He continued: "Here is another truth: many people approach church and worship as a spectator and The Holy Spirit will change their hearts in the midst of their experience. It's like Zaccheus who climbed the tree, not to meet Jesus, but to see Him. But in the midst of looking to be a spectator, Jesus called his name. He wasn't expecting it, but Jesus planned it. He used Zaccheus' curiosity to bring about His salvation."
Greatest Spiritual Growth
Cowan pointed out the realisation that most people will relate to the style of worship that existed when they made their greatest spiritual growth.
"Most people who decided to follow Christ when a church focused on hymns may see hymns as more spiritual than any other styles of worship because of their experience. They are emotionally connected to the music that they associate with their deepest spiritual experience," he said.
The producer, who is also an artiste manager and the founder of the popular summer event, Fun in the Son, referenced the praise style at the event, noting that come July 14, at the National Heroes Park, people will be treated to a Jamaican worship experience.
"At Fun in the Son, we see our mission of changing lives take place by attracting people through the music they associate with, which is primarily reggae, with the purpose of Jesus using their curiosity as an opportunity to introduce Himself to them much like He did to Zaccheus," Cowan said.