I’ve never met Rob Spink, but my good friend Tim Chester recommended that I contact him to share some songs at WorshipGod UK this coming May. Rob was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Among other things, I appreciate his comment that the local church is a place where we can create culture rather than just consume it.
1. What is your history of leading in the church, musically or pastorally?
I’ve been a member of The Crowded House since 2002. I’ve served as an Elder since 2007 and as well as being Community Pastor, have been Music Director since July 2013. So as well as leading in our gathered worship, we’ve been working hard to create a team of musicians who serve the church family by playing well together. I’ve also written several songs with Tim Chester and others in the church.
2. What encourages you about what is happening in gathered worship in the UK and Europe?
There’s a lot to be encouraged by! I see an increased commitment to seeing gathered worship as a means that God uses to communicate truth and stir the affections of God’s people. I think that has resulted in some great, theologically-rich words being set to contemporary music. I also think that there’s a greater appreciation of the value of the local church being a place where we can create culture rather than just consume it. So it seems that more churches are creating their own music in response to what God has been doing amongst them. Finally, the growth of global connections and relationships is a great encouragement; here in the UK there are more and more connections with churches in other continents which are seeing excellence in gathered worship exported around the world.
3. What weaknesses do you see about what is happening broadly in gathered worship in the UK and Europe?
One of the big challenges I’m aware of through my involvement with Acts 29 Europe is the lack of songs in other European languages. Perhaps those songs are being written, but aren’t being sung in many churches. It would be a delight to have people not only reading the scriptures in their heart-language, but singing them in their heart language – and indeed in a musical language which really connects with the local culture.
I also think that there’s a continuing challenge to make sure that we see gathered worship in terms of its context of the whole-of-life worship of the local church. I would love a growing sense of songs springing from the experience of God’s people on mission, and of those songs in turn becoming a means God uses to encourage further discipleship and mission.
4. How do you think WorshipGod in general and your role there in particular might serve folks as they seek to serve in their local congregations?
I’m excited about WorshipGod. It’s a great example of churches working together to see Christ exalted in and through the worship of the people he’s gathering around the world. I particularly hope that God would use the conference to bless local churches with wonderful truth, good practice and excellent music which will help us people to grow in their praise and worship of our God. Having been involved in The Crowded House from early on, I’m aware of some of the limitations of being part of a tiny church, right through to some of the opportunities that come when you get a bit bigger. So I’m particularly looking forward to thinking about how we best use of the various gifts God has given local churches in all their diversity of size, style and background to proclaim the gospel to one another and to the watching world through our sung worship.
Finally, I’m particularly excited to be introducing and leading a couple of songs which have come from inside of my church family – The Crowded House, Sheffield. I pray and hope they’ll be a blessing to everyone there! If you can’t wait until May to hear them, some of them are on an EP we made with Michael Bleecker which you can buy. Just click here for more information.
For more information on WorshipGod UK, to be held 7th-9th May in Bath, or the pastors one day event, “Hope and the Pastor,” that takes place on 7th May, check out the WorshipGod UK website.