Author Archives: Warren Anderson

About Warren Anderson

Emmaus Road Worshipers is written by Dr. Warren Anderson, Director of the Demoss Center for Worship in the Performing Arts at Judson University (Elgin, Ill.), where he also directs the Judson University Choir. A Judson alumnus, he has served his alma mater in a number of capacities over the past 30+ years, especially the chapel ministry, which he led for 22 years. From 1982-2016, Dr. Anderson served six different churches--American Baptist (X2), Converge, Evangelical Free Church of America, Roman Catholic, and United Methodist--as a "weekend warrior" worship musician/pastor. He is a former member of the editorial board of Worship Leader magazine. The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of Judson University.

Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 1

Dylan: “Everything sounds deeper in those black keys.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Prelude

“The same basic elements of melody, harmony, and rhythm drive a worship song the same way they drive a secular song; hence, we can analyze how well the melody works, how helpful the harmonic structure supports that melody, and how effectively the rhythm propels both in all songs that are meant to be sung, whether by a soloist, a small vocal ensemble, a choir, or a congregation.” Continue reading

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Should Contemporary Worship Music Be Beautiful? … Part III

“’Beauty is most emphatically not the necessary and sufficient condition of aesthetic excellence,’ offers Nicholas Wolterstorff in the classic Art in Action.  Hence, the pursuit of beauty in our worship need not involve stained glass or pipe organs (though it can), nor does it mandate multiple-thousand-dollar lighting rigs or sophisticated sound systems (though it can).”  Continue reading

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Should Contemporary Worship Music Be Beautiful? … Part II

“Worship leaders, we tend to do really well, as Torgerson suggests, celebrating the immanent nature of God.  I encourage us all to give a little more time in our congregational singing sets to God’s transcendence.” Continue reading

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How Do Black Lives Matter in Suburban American Contemporary Worship? Part II

“‘[T]here is always a temptation to think that paying attention to this for a little while will help us get past it instead of thinking of this as a lifelong posture for every Christian eager to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.’  (Read that again and let it sink in.)  In the midst of unspeakable pain and sorrow, worship leaders have an opportunity to exercise prophetic muscles for the sake of the Kingdom.” Continue reading

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How Do Black Lives Matter in Suburban American Contemporary Worship? Part I

“First, contemporary American worship must be willing to break the status-quo mold in times of crisis–and then periodically ever after.”  Continue reading

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No Words

The tragic events of this past week prompt no words other than Kyrie, Eleison. The Lord be with us all!

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Should Contemporary Worship Music Be Beautiful? … Part I

“Beautiful space can speak of order, stability, and the absolute in a society of chaos and relativity, and bring quietness and peace to the inner person (Robert Webber).” Continue reading

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A Sonnet for Coronavirus Victims

“There are no easy answers, and anyone who tries to suggest otherwise on a poster or in a Tweet does a grave disservice to those who are really suffering–some hurting financially, some hurting physically; some grieving loss of jobs, some grieving loss of lives . . . all needing healing, not hectoring.” Continue reading

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Worship and COVID-19 Miscellanea

Three separate but related parts today, all loosely based on worship and the coronavirus: One: One of the things I enjoy about blogging is the opportunity to introduce friends to other friends.  Many of you are already familiar with my … Continue reading

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