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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Churches Start to Add Hymnals (again!)

HymnalIt seems many churches are adding back hymnals.  While many churches are finding their contemporary music services extrememly effective, they are learning that it doesn't have to be an either/or situation.  There are still a good group of people who like more traditional forms of worship; and providing a hymnal could be the first step in creating a newly high-valued worship service.  Here's a recent article on the trend from the Dallas News:

A funny thing happened last summer at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall. A shipment of hymn books arrived, and not by mistake.

Lake Pointe is a megachurch with contemporary-style worship. Years back, it dissolved its choir and got rid of its hymnals in favor of Christian "praise" music, played by a rock band,with lyrics flashed on big screens. That style still dominates at Lake Pointe. But in August, sensing demand, the church debuted its "Classic Service," an early Sunday morning alternative service with choir, piano, organ and lots of congregational singing – out of those shiny new hymnals.

The first Sunday, Pastor Steve Stroope and his staff prepared a room for 200. Nearly twice that many came, forcing a move the next week to the church gym. A second batch of hymnals was ordered. The service now regularly draws 300 to 350, with chairs covering the basketball court.

"We've scratched an itch," Mr. Stroope said.

Call it a counter-reformation, or a rear guard action in the worship wars. But more and more churches that cast their lot with contemporary worship are beginning to innovate through tradition, giving folks some old-time religion – especially hymns.

First Baptist Church of Fort Worth started an early Sunday morning traditional service in 2004, to go with its 11 a.m. contemporary service. Northeast Houston Baptist offers two Sunday contemporary services, but just had the first anniversary of an early morning service that's heavy on hymns and even includes some liturgy.

Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., founded by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, is famously and influentially contemporary in worship style. But last September it added a Sunday service called "Traditions," complete with hymnals, to its several worship style options.

"Although it is not one of our larger venues, it is extremely popular with those who attend," said Gerald Sharon, part of Saddleback's pastoral staff.

Across the country and across denominations, there are churches that feature contemporary worship but offer a traditional option. Quite a few, including Allentown Presbyterian in Allentown, N.J., and Spokane Valley United Methodist in Spokane Valley, Wash., use the term "classic" to describe the service.

"'Classic' makes me chuckle. It sounds like oldies rock for boomers!" said Mark Miller-McLemore, an assistant professor of the practice of ministry at Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, Tenn. Others, including Mr. Stroope, said "Classic Service" reminded them of "Coca-Cola Classic," a term born of the New Coke fiasco.

No one can dispute that the contemporary-style worship has helped churches grow by pulling in "unchurched" young and middle-aged people, who tend to like the informality and rock-influenced music. It's still far more common to see a mainline church experimenting with a contemporary service than a contemporary-style church trying out tradition.

But some students of the contemporary style say that much of its music lacks the melodic sophistication of enduring hymns, or the poetry and doctrinal depth of lyrics penned by such writers as Charles Wesley ("Love Divine, All Loves Excelling"), Isaac Watts ("When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"), Fanny Crosby ("Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine") or Thomas Dorsey ("Precious Lord, Take My Hand").

And while traditional worship can be stiff and uninvolving, the contemporary experience – music, big screens, mood lighting – is often derided as "church lite."

"When done incorrectly, contemporary services are all foam and no root beer," said Nathan Lino, Northeast Houston Baptist's pastor. "They are entertaining, fun and high energy, but you leave with no sense of having had a meaningful time of worship. ... I do think churches are beginning to realize that there is a growing desire for a shift back toward a more traditional style."

Mr. Stroope, 52, describes himself as equally fond of contemporary Christian music and hymns. He signed on as Lake Pointe's pastor in 1980, a few months after it was founded by seven families in an abandoned bait shop. Now Lake Pointe has 10,000 members and a $12 million budget – and the contemporary worship style is clearly one of the reasons.

But as Mr. Stroope watched the church grow, he worried that a percentage of its loyal members were gritting their teeth through the electrified praise music.

"We just really felt led that there was a group of people in our church that come out of the builder generation [pre-baby boomers] who very graciously, because they love everything else about our church, tolerated our style of music," Mr. Stroope said.

"I just realized that we had grown to such a size that we probably had a critical mass of those folks."

Trying new things is old hat for Lake Pointe, on Interstate 30 just east of Lake Ray Hubbard. Formal dress has been de-emphasized to the point that denim is prevalent, and Mr. Stroope doesn't wear a coat or tie when he preaches. The church is Southern Baptist, but changed its name from Dalrock Baptist to Lake Pointe Baptist and finally dropped "Baptist" because leaders felt it kept some people away.

Lake Pointe has a coffee shop, selling crumb muffins and espresso on Sunday mornings. Bible study and mission work get strong emphasis, but so do support groups for folks grieving or struggling with substance abuse. Lake Pointe has 12 worship services, with satellite campuses in Mesquite and Sulphur Springs, where members watch Mr. Stroope on video. Even when preaching live, he'll integrate video clips into the message.

To run the classic service, Mr. Stroope recruited the church's senior adult pastor, Lyn Cypert, and hired Don Blackley, a veteran Dallas-area Baptist minister of music. This was a little ironic, because when Lake Pointe sold off its choral library in pre-Classic Service days, Mr. Blackley bought 31 of its anthems and orchestrations for First Baptist in Garland, where he was interim music director.

"Now I'm building back a choral library I helped diminish," he said.

This being Lake Pointe, the traditional service Mr. Blackley runs has contemporary touches. The dress is still casual, and though Mr. Stroope sometimes comes in and preaches, more often his taped message is shown on a big screen.

But a real live choir – consisting of soprano, alto, tenor and bass sections – rehearses each Wednesday night to perform on Sunday mornings. Mr. Blackley has enrolled 60 singers, with usual attendance of 40 to 45.

"It is weighted toward seniors," he said. "But we have a 19-year-old alto, a 26-year-old tenor, a 28-year-old tenor and some young moms."

The regular accompaniment is by organ and grand piano. One Sunday, Mr. Blackley supplemented with a brass ensemble, another Sunday with a flute quartet, and this Sunday he'll have a 16-piece group, consisting mostly of winds but also a violin and cello.

The choir has done Southern gospel, various hymn arrangements and some fairly new pieces that have made their way into choral repertoire, including one by acclaimed British composer John Rutter.

"I'm challenging the heck out of this choir," Mr. Blackley, 64, said. "There'll come a point when we'll do something from Beethoven and Handel, but it'll be sprinkled in. We'll find ourselves more often doing gospel and hymns."

As for the worshippers at the Classic Service, they, too, skew senior. Jerry Walker, 66 of Rowlett, is among the regulars.

"What's incredible to me is, you've got the freedom and acceptance Lake Pointe offers, yet now you've got the traditional service, too," he said. "The music that's in the contemporary service – well, it's just harder for me to sing along with."

Quite a few middle-age folks attend the Classic Service, along with a sprinking of younger adults, such as Brad and Cindy Bianucci, who take their three small children. The music draws the Bianuccis, as it does Oria Mason, 50.

"If I was 20, I'd still be coming," he said. "I love to hear good ol' gospel. I was brought up with it. It sticks with you."

On a recent Sunday, the choir sang a hymn familiar to most Baptists – "I Surrender All." But the arrangement, by Mark Hayes, was different and arresting, beginning with a bluesy alto solo, moving to accompanied four-part singing, then to a brief a cappella section, then to a rousing finish by singers and instrumentalists alike.

And when it was over, some deep-voiced men in the congregation provided a classic response.

"Amen!"

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February 21, 2006 in Worship | Permalink

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It's a funny thing I over heard....

A pastor who was recently hired at a local church in my area was very eager to move toward seeker sensative and change the worship style... in doing so, many of the mature {"older"} folks left the church.

A little under two years later they started to add my hymns back into the worship style and even consider doing an early "traditional" style and "hippster" style later.

The conversation turned to "why" and the answer was profound - "the hip generation doesn't give as much as the mature {"older"} generation"

I'm not saying everyone is doing this but the SS movement has alienated allot of the mature {"older"} generation and with them a large tithe.

BTW I thank God for those churches who still know worship is for Praising God, not to get butts in the seats.

Posted by: BeHim | Feb 21, 2006 12:37:31 PM

Well, here's an idea! How 'bout we do those old hymns, but in today's style. You don't even have to re-write the melodies to do it. Check this out if you have time.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001BS3KW/sr=8-1/qid=1140544848/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-0488209-8308829?%5Fencoding=UTF8

I've used bunches of these, sometimes people don't even realize they're singing an old hymn till I mention it to them, and sometimes you even get these young whipper-snappers to have hymns as their favorite worship songs.

Bottom line is, you can do hymns and make them not sound like what some think is "stale and old". In fact, I think the hymn-writes, for the most part, would be delighted to know that we were taking their old hymns and making them into something new while still respecting what they wrote.

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Feb 21, 2006 1:02:54 PM

I just wish we wouldn't define "worship" as the style of music we like...
Excellent link BTW peter.

Posted by: Jeff | Feb 21, 2006 1:27:15 PM

This phrase said it all:

doctrinal depth of lyrics

Most of the new "jingles" (and I'm only 43) have very little doctrinal substance in them.

I am for singing both the new stuff and the great hymns of the Church.

Every congregation should know how to sing "GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS" "AND CAN IT BE?" as well as "Majesty" and "Lord, You Are Good and Your mercies endure forever.."

Sing it all!

Posted by: Phil Hoover-Chicago | Feb 21, 2006 2:47:21 PM

I can definitely appreciate the older hymns now after many years of modern praise music. Hymns, in my mind 5 years ago, were just dead, emotionless, seminary dissertations due to the fact that NO ONE in the church I grew up in really paid attention to what they were actually singing. To be honest, I couldn't stand hymns back then.

It was actually modern praise music that gave me a deeper appreciation for these songs...(many of which were merely reworded drinking songs). I especially love the modern worship leaders who have given them a "facelift" but still maintain their melodies and spirit.

I would still argue that worship through music does not mean that anything we sing must have a grand total of 400 DIFFERENT words or maintain some sort of John-Piper-ish expository ideas. I know a few modern praise songs that have only 10 or 12 words total that feel ten times as powerful as any overly verbose hymn.

Hymns are powerful, no doubt and should not be forgotten. But I hope and pray that we won't hold on to them simply for traditions sake. Martin Luther and others went out of their way to compose many of those same songs out of bartunes so that the general public could sing along. I feel the same is happening with modern praise music.

And when it comes time for that praise music to step aside for something better, I'll spearhead the movement.

Posted by: Matt | Feb 21, 2006 4:00:17 PM

There is a reason why some hymns have lasted a long, long, long, time. I have had gatherings in homes, nursing homes, rented facilities, and campgrounds with various ages. It amazes me that when I pull out my guitar how often Amazing Grace, Blessed Assurance, and Holy, Holy, Holy are requested.

I agree that we can take the grand old hymns and pep them up a bit. Just adding a guitar with a piano can change the dynamics without driving out people. Replacing the old upright piano with a modern keyboard (with all the bells and whistles) and played by a wise musician can greatly enhance the experience.

My two sons (in their late 20's) have been raised in a traditional Baptist church. They are on their own and have tried the contemporary churches. They prefer the old Baptist hymnal (as well as many of their friends). Interesting.

Just my two cents worth.

Dan

Posted by: Dan Moore | Feb 21, 2006 8:20:10 PM

Please, not a "keyboard (with all the bells and whistles)"! Anything but that. If it's a piano, play a piano. (Of course, play a good piano - resonant and in tune. No one wants to hear a honky-tonk piano for more than 15 seconds in the context of a bar scene in an old western.)

This is just a request from a cranky musician. You can ignore it if you want. But please get instruments that sound good and then let them sound good (and natural).

(Imagine Coldplay's "Clocks" on a typical church keyboard with the fake choir and bell tones. Let the piano be a piano and let a keyboard add to the ambiance.)

Posted by: Rusty Shackleford | Feb 21, 2006 9:57:18 PM

It is amazing to me how self serving even our worship of God really is! My 83 year old mother who loves the Lord as much as I ever thought of loving Him, feels the need to tell me whenever she visits..."Jimmy, I love your church and the people there, and your teaching and preaching is so anointed, but...I can't even make myself really get into worship with y'all because I can't stand your loud and crazy music (i.e. Vineyard, Hillsong etc.). For years, my response to her has been..."Mom, I understand how you feel. That's exactly how I feel when I come to your Church or any other where the OLD HYMNS and ORGANS are sacred cows that dare not be transgressed against."

Both of us are as self-centered as we can be! We have the audacity to think that our opinion about the style or quality of worship is important, so we make it be what we want!

I wonder if the "I AM" who NEVER CHANGES is moved in any sense at all by whether the music that carries our worship is traditional, classic, ancient, contemporary, progressive or even alternative? Somehow I doubt it. In fact, I'm inclined to believe He has very little respect for our audaciously self-gratifying worship, and still today looks for those who are exclusively worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth. Hopefully...He finds a few of us doing just that regardless of the music style we use.

Posted by: Jim Eaton | Feb 22, 2006 2:41:15 AM

Jim, I think you are correct - our worship is not only a lifestyle, but it's not about us! If it's at all self-gratifying that should be a by-product of knowing that our hearts are turned toward God and that we are personally honoring and glorifying Him.

Grew up with hymns (hated that organ playing though), love the musicality of modern worship music (using cool stuff like panpipes and mandolin).

Side note- I think it's kind of a shame more people aren't taught to read music. I learned at age 8 and loved following along with the alto line in the hymnal, and still love to pick out harmonies. For me, making beautiful harmonies and intricate melodies used the gifts God has given me and that honors him. Bring back music lesssons!!!

Posted by: Abbey | Feb 22, 2006 8:15:58 AM

I read both the blog postings referred to in this article. Reading both side by side and recalling the similar criticisms on this blog I noticed a few common characteristics in the critics.

The critics generalize and lump pastors and churches into one category based on a few similar methodologies.

The critics initiate the argument, are on the offensive against the SS pastors and trigger defensive responses (I’ve yet to read an initiated criticism or a blog or website from a SS pastor proclaiming the evils of fundamental or traditional churches).

The critics assume the motives and agendas of the SS pastors they criticize. The regularly claim to know “why” their targeted pastors are doing what they are doing.

The critics use proof-texting as a methodology, they cite statements of the pastors they criticize to make their points, often completely out of context.

Perhaps part of the reason we land in such completely different camps after reading the same bible has to do with how we approach scripture, or what we believe is God’s intent through His written revelation.

Some believe that God has provided through scripture, clear and definitive answers to all of humanity’s questions throughout the ages. They approach scripture as a rulebook which offers all we need to know about what God wants us to do and what He does not want us to do. They believe that by genuinely examining scripture we can gain specific guidance for all the decisions we make, individually, corporately (in our churches) and societally. That for most of life’s questions there is but one answer, that God has one perfect will for individuals and the functioning of His church, and that answer can always be found in scripture.

Others (including me) see scripture as more of a guidebook (I’ll speak for myself here). I believe scripture is my guide for life and that its words, inspired by the HS, enable my right decision-making. I note that the vast majority of scripture is written in narrative, is a story of God’s interaction with His human creation. If God had wanted to inspire a list of dos and don’ts He certainly could have, and there is a reason that He did not. I do not (generally) look to scripture for specific answers, but instead to gain wisdom so that I can make decisions that honor and glorify God and enable me to partner with Him in fulfilling His purposes on earth. Because I look at scripture this way, I realize that others will read the same pages and discern something different, what God wants for them (or their church). I assume that God intends people to be guided differently through scripture in all areas except those which have been definitively stated (and are considered today as historic Christian doctrinal orthodoxy).

Having said that, I happen to believe that scripture speaks pretty clearly AGAINST the characteristics so often exhibited by the critics and which I cited above. Unless and until someone has violated orthodoxy (and I don’t know one SS or PD pastor who has), accusations of false teaching are just plain wrong (scripturally). We must give one another room to hear from the Lord differently and heed the scriptural teaching about honoring and respecting and loving one another.

Wendi

Posted by: Wendi | Feb 22, 2006 12:33:37 PM

Above post on the wrong article. Sorry - doesn't make much sense in a post about hymnals.

W

Posted by: Wendi | Feb 22, 2006 12:34:46 PM

I went to the New Members Class at the church I've been attending for the past year and I found an interesting statement in the list of values. This isn't a direct quote (I don't have the page with me) but it is pretty close:

As we get older, we will become less comfortable in our worship.

The idea is to intentionally circumvent that selfish tendency that Jim pointed out. I can do this by recognizing that while I may be drawn to a particular worship style, the styles of worship will change around me as culture changes. (A reasonable alternative to becoming less comfortable, of course, is to learn and adapt to these changing styles - like Paul, to "learn the secret of being content in any and every [worship] situation." I don't know which might be harder; I probably need some of both.

Posted by: Randy Ehle | Feb 22, 2006 1:20:27 PM

Behim said:
"BTW I thank God for those churches who still know worship is for Praising God, not to get butts in the seats."

Seems to me to be too much focus on "worship" as if it is an idol. Fellowship is also very important. The thing I don't like are sermons. It's not interactive, and usually doesn't do much for me, and I've been to many churches. Seems like the churches, esp. big ones, are all about performance, in music and preaching. I think that's what people are getting tired of... they want the real thing, not the show.

The Heart Of Worship
by Michael W. Smith

Lyrics:

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless Your heart
I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath
I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus

...Bernie

Posted by: Bernie Dehler | Feb 22, 2006 1:31:09 PM

Why doesn't anyone come up with the concept that you can DO IT ALL? Why do I have to choose between contemporary (which I love) and traditional (which I also love)? We have the attitude that we will go to the service that has the music WE like as opposed to going to be with our Christian family and worshipping together with them.

Doesn't the Bible say that we are to "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ," (Eph 5:21.) This isn't just talking about wives - it's talking to all of us! But, we make worship self-serving. It turns out to be what WE want. AND, if YOU don't like it YOU can go to a different kind of service. I've seen this cause more divisions in a church than submission.

The Bible says the older people are to teach the younger but how can that be done if we cater to each of their "likes" and they are never in the same service? I just don't understand why this is such a difficult process. It seems to me that this could be a wonderful teaching tool by pastors to teach us how to submit to each other and learn to appreciate our differences.

When a mother fixes a meal, she doesn't fix pizza for one kid, 1/2 hour later fix tacos for another, 1/2 hour later roast beef for dad and then a salad for herself . No, she varies her menu each night with a balanced meal and serves pizza one night, tacos another, roast beef another, etc. This teaches the family that they can appreciate different foods (they don't have to like them), it will stretch them to try new things, and allows them to occasionally get something they really love. Plus, what would it do the family unit to all eat separately? It used to be that dinner time was a time for the family to re-connect.

Isn't it about time that we begin becoming a family unit in our churches rather than splintered and making worship only about what WE love. I think God is more interested in our relationships than with our style of worship.

Posted by: Katy | Feb 22, 2006 1:36:23 PM

FYI - "The Heart of Worship" was (I believe) written by Matt Redman. It's a great song with great theology.

Katy, I agree with your desire to "do it all" and yet I think reality suggests that we can't do that. Just as we are created and gifted uniquely, so we each bring a unique flavor and perspective to our worship. We do, of course, need to be well-rounded in our worship education and practice, but we also need to offer to God what we have.

Let me offer a different analogy. When there is an emergency, who do you call? Well, that depends largely on the type of emergency. If there's a fire, you want the fire department. If there's a burglar, you want the police. For a heart attack, you want the paramedics. Can the police put out a fire? Probably - but they lack the equipment and the specialized training. A firefighter can stop a burglar, but again, they're better equipped to fight fires.

David was a poet and musician who worshipped God primarily through the arts. John the Baptist was an activist who worshipped God through calling people to repentance. God wired these two men differently; neither worshipped exclusively as I've described, but primarily.

I have greatly appreciated Gary Thomas' book, "Sacred Pathways", in which he notes nine different ways we tend to approach God (as naturalist, sensate, traditionalist, ascetic, activist, caregiver, enthusiast, contemplative, and intellectual). Throughout the book, Thomas stresses that while we may lean naturally toward one or two of these "pathways", we nonetheless need to explore and enjoy the others if we are to become mature followers. "It is neither wise nor scriptural to pursue God apart from the community of faith. Our individual expressions of faith must be joined to corporate worship with the body of Christ." (Thomas, pp 16-17)

I highly recommend the book.

Posted by: Randy Ehle | Feb 22, 2006 1:58:21 PM

Bernie, the Heart of Worship was written by Matt Redman, not Michael W.

You'd love Redman.

Posted by: Matt | Feb 23, 2006 10:44:25 AM

I copied the lyrics and author's name from a website. They must have been referring to Smith's version of it.

...Bernie

Posted by: bernie dehler | Feb 23, 2006 10:51:22 AM

I think we're missing something important - worship is not about us! It's about entering the presence of God - not contemporary or traditional music!

Posted by: Jim | Feb 23, 2006 1:27:53 PM

Jim,

It's a good point you make! Actually some studies have been done on "seekers" indicating that the style of music is WAY down on their list of priorities for a church they might join! (I think both Barna and Thom Rainer have addressed this, I can't remember if it was one of them or both...)

But... I really think God wants me to worship Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and I think that means worshipping Him in my own idiom, which in this case is an electric guitar and drums. (And it's even BETTER when it's electric guitar and drums and lots of noise AND a great hymn like "O Worship the King" or "I Surrender All" or "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee"...)

Peter

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Feb 23, 2006 1:36:37 PM

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship" (Ro. 12:1, NIV).

We Americans are spoiled when it comes to worship. We fuss like a bunch of babies over style. I have listened to missionaries describe worship services in other countries. People are glad to gather together and worship with whatever musical instruments they can purchase or build. A friend showed me a tamborine made of a wooden hoop, an animal hide, and flattened coke bottle caps. That and some dried gourds with pebbles were the instruments in worship. They worship with what they have. They know how to get to the "heart of worship" which we seem to be overlooking.

Concerning my comment about a keyboard with "all the bells and whistles" - forgive me but the musician has many more options. You can play hymns that sound best with an organ or a piano. You don't have to use all the features...but one can use the feature(s) that best enhances the worship experience.

Disciple the people well and they will worship no matter the style, or instruments. We also need to follow Ro. 12:1 more and realize that all we do for the Lord is worship. In other words, let's get worship outside of the four walls of the building...something to think about and then do.


Posted by: Dan Moore | Feb 27, 2006 9:17:56 AM

My good friend Amy leads contemporary worship but has used many traditional hymns even in her own songs.

Her CD Vintage has many of these traditional songs (many were she has written her own additional verses to the songs).

That CD can be found here: http://www.amynobles.com/

It's all a very interesting swing back, but not surprising.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

Posted by: RC | Feb 27, 2006 3:38:24 PM

What I find of interest is the varied needs of those who desire the presence of the Lord. A friend of mine did not like a lot of the newer songs because they stressed "ME" One song was written about a manchurian barbeque [I think it was the 2000 edition of the WOW series} and only mentioned God four times in the 12 pages of the sheet music. Yes, the old hymns are the good, although some are not scriptural. The bottom line here is - as the anglefire website notes - if you cannot bring the people into worship and you are only having "a good time" (my thought) then you are not serving and making that joyful noise to The Lord!
One final thought, how many worship or song leaders only play to entertain [or get paid to lead worship!]? Is there prayer before slection or is it to just make the 'tunes' flow at the beginning of the service? Do we actually understand the words of the songs we are speaking into the atmosphere and proclaiming our belief in the Eternal Savior? As one who has written several unpublished worship choruses, I find that only after a time of fasting and prayer, those precious melodies come to mind and tears flow from my eyes as I worship the Lord. When was the last time that you saw a fellow member of the congregation crying during a worship service or any of the worship team breakdown and fall to their knees during worship???
Just a few thoughts!
a Brother who continual seeks Him!

Posted by: bill | Feb 28, 2006 10:27:32 PM

Well said bill. Our desire and priority should always be to please the Lord with our music, not entertain the lost or even the saved for that matter.

Posted by: Kent | Mar 1, 2006 9:00:12 AM

It's all about touching the Father's heart in worship, no matter what you sing. Praise the Lord.

Posted by: Mike | Nov 10, 2006 8:34:27 PM

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