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Modern worship songs. No matter which side of the fence you are on, we can all agree that modern worship songs dominate the conversation when talking about Christian music. What is appropriate and where do we draw the line? That is a question that is asked by most church leaders who are looking to update their song list while remaining faithful to the purpose of worship, which is to honor God with every part from the Call to Worship all the way to the closing song.
The worship service is designed to be a place where humans come into the presence of the Lord, and that is a special event!
I'm not going to head down the road of what style of music is preferred, but I will echo the statement made by one of my professors: If you can't tell the difference between a worship song and a song written for your girlfriend, it is not a worship song.
Lyrics can make or break a good worship song, but the lyrics are just the tip of the iceberg. The problem goes much deeper than what is happening on the stage in front of us. When talking about church growth and attracting people to church, the common area of improvement is in the music, but I would suggest that there is an elephant in the room that nobody sees.
We are afraid that people won't like Jesus unless He is seen hanging out with the cool kids during lunch, wearing the latest fashion items, listening to the best music from this generation, and always looking out for other people's approval.
When we see people reject Jesus, instead of asking what is wrong with that person, we often ask what is wrong with our church? What is wrong with Jesus? How can we make Jesus more appealing to the younger generation? I rarely us the caps lock when I type, but for the next sentence, I feel like this is appropriate:
JESUS IS NOT AN INSECURE PRETEEN!
We all know the type. Some of us may have been that person once or twice in our lives. Either the boy or the girl is secure in the relationship, but the other one is not, and when there is any sign of trouble, the insecure partner freaks out and starts making changes to accommodate the wishes of the other person. On the surface, this may look like a good thing because there is value in keeping the peace, but there comes a point where the accommodating partner loses his/her identity while trying to bend over backwards for the other person.
The same can be said for churches where the people freak out because tension is in the air.
Since the church is the family of God, there are times when the family members will not get along with each other, and sometimes the differences are not reconcilable. At that point, a decision must be made to either repair the relationship or move on. If a person has clearly rejected the church and does not want anything to do with the church, is it healthy to make changes to accommodate that person? The answer to that question lies in how you interpret the 99 and 1.
Matthew 18 and Luke 15 talk about the man who had a hundred sheep and one wandered away from the flock. The man leaves the 99 sheep and goes after the 1 that was lost. I don't want to dive into a lengthy discourse on the passage, but I would like to point out that the man did not spend time changing the 99 sheep in order to become more appealing to the one who got lost. Along with that, we need to understand that the one sheep got lost, it did not stomp out of the flock in anger because the man did not play the sheep's favorite worship song. (By the way, this applies to favorite hymns too!)
We need to be secure in the fact that Jesus does not need to be changed in order to accommodate the disgruntled church members. He does not need to be seen hanging around the cool kids during lunch either. No, Jesus is not an insecure preteen, so we need to stop acting like He is.