Episode 10: How To Save Your Church From Self-Focused Worship

An Interview with Manuel Luz


This season on the podcast, our focus is on what it takes to  engage your congregation in worship.

One of the biggest barriers to people engaging worship is our focus on ourselves.

And today, we’re talking with a worship leader who journeyed away from consumer-oriented worship with his church.

During this conversation you’re about to hear, my guest today helps us see how the self-absorbed culture has crept into the church and into our corporate worship. And so he and I talk about how to disconnect our churches and our selves away from that self-focused culture.

So let me introduce you to my guest. He’s a smart guy—literally. He’s a rocket scientist. He left aerospace industry to become a vocational worship leader at his church.

During his journey as a creative arts pastor, his entire church shifted from being a attractional church where it was about Sunday morning, butts in seats to become a church that embraces spiritual formation as their priority.

And that of course shaped the worship and music in the church. Some of that journey is written in his latest book called Honest Worship, which he and I talk about quite a bit about.

I hope you enjoy my conversation Manuel Luz.

About Manuel:

Songwriter, author, inventor, arts advocate, and pastor—Manuel Luz is passionate about worship, coffee, the Oakland Raiders, and the intersections of faith and the arts. Manuel’s book, Imagine That: Discovering Your Unique Role as a Christian Artist (Moody Publishers) is a practical and personal theology of the arts. His current book, Honest Worship: From False Self to True Praise (InterVarsity Press), released in Fall 2018, addresses the critical intersections between spiritual formation and worship. He is also the inventor of the patented musical instrument, the WalkaBout™, which recently won Best of Show at the world-renowned NAMM Show earlier this year.

Check out his thought-provoking blog, “Adventures in Faith and Art” (www.manuelluz.com), his four solo albums (iTunes or www.CDBaby.com), or the WalkaBout Drum (www.walkaboutdrum.com).

Stuff Mentioned In This Episode:

The Bootleg of Zoro Jamming on the WalkaBout with Norm Stockton and Doug Doppler

This was amazing. I wish there was a high quality recording of it somewhere.


Manuel’s Books

Honest Worship

Imagine That: Discovering Your Unique Role as a Christian Artist


Manuel’s Senior Pastor’s book on the journey of Oak Hills:

Renovation of the Church

Dallas Willard: Renovation of the Heart

Dallas Willard: The Divine Conspiracy



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Jon Nicol