My daughter recently sent me a text message while she was attending a church service with a friend. She was so simple and yet so profound. The text said ” Mom, I love the music here. We sang ‘Victory in Jesus’ just like with Poppy.”
Now, let me give you a little background. “Poppy” is her deceased grandfather who attended a church with no more than 60 people all over the age of 40. There were no drums, lights, screens, or even microphones. To say it was the antithesis of contemporary would be an understatement.
And yet it struck a chord with a 13-year-old kid.
The same kid who grew up at youth camp and spent the majority of her time surfing mosh pits with teenagers and rocking out at youth conferences. She is as comfortable on a stage as any performer. She has seen so many stage set ups that she could probably EQ a room all by herself. She is a fan of loud and louder. She loves to dance and will be the first one to make up motions to any song in the worship service with no inhibition in her worship.
This kid really got me thinking about the whole debacle of music in church today. We argue about style, volume, and whatever else we can think to argue about. As a pastor’s wife, I have seen the issue up close and personal. We say “The style of music will bring more people. If you want new families–add smoke and drums. If you want senior adults add an organ.”
It has come to my attention (through my kid no less) that we are fighting a battle that cannot be won. It’s not even about blending (whatever that means).
Music is about connecting the mind and the heart. It is the language of emotion. What moves me to worship, may not effect you the same–but it is not wrong. What allows you to come into the presence of our Creator may not be my preference, but doesn’t it say something about me if I limit your experience with God to only what I want?
I don’t know when we got into the mindset that since we are all created differently that we should all be the same at church. When did “man looks at the outward but God looks at the heart quit applying?”
One person’s Audio Adrenaline, is another’s Amazing Grace–and God knows that.
Why are we using what God created to worship Him, as a tool of division? Can anyone really say that what we are doing in the name of drawing others to Christ is really about others at all?
Raney, this is wonderful and so timely. We all need to realize that worship is between us and our creator, individually. Whike music certainly enhances the worship experience, it must be about the heart. I live music, thankfully all kinds, but the wordsin the old hymns will strike us perfectly if we really listen to them. God bless you, and your daughter for honesty and grace!
What has happened today in some churches is that they have swung too far to the contemporary worship choruses that have a lot to offer in emotion but are greatly lacking in theological content.There needs to be more of a balance with the traditional hymns which are strong in biblical teaching. It is great that your daughter is in a church that is singing the old hymns.
One Sunday as I listened to a twangy kind of old-timey blue grass special being sung, I sat there thinking to myself. “Oh this has got to go.” – (not my kind of music and outdated to boot.)
When it was over an elderly lady sitting in front of me stood right up and declared “Now that’s the kind of songs we need to be singing!”
Conviction hit my heart immediately. I can still hear God telling me “It’s not about you. It’s about bringing glory to My Name.”
He was glorified in the song and through the blessing it brought someone else – which blessed me as well with this particular music lesson.
Great article on ministry of music Raney.
Melinda, I believe you hit the nail on the head…If Jesus is glorified (by His own declaration) in the music being offered to the congregation and to Him, then it is the proper music for the moment!!
Thank you for tackling this topic, Raney. It is certainly a hot topic.