When Is It Time For A Song To Die?

I’ve heard and read a lot lately on how to introduce a new song, but the Worship Links blog posted a link to Jon Nicol’s thoughts on the Lifecyle of a song, or better yet, how to put a song out of our misery.

RECOGNIZE THAT SEASONS EXIST

“To everything there is a season” the Bible tells us. This is also true for worship songs, although not everyone seems to have read Ecclesiastes 3:1.

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. If you don’t recognize that every song has a season, then you won’t be aware and watching for when that season has it’s end. This doesn’t mean that every song you’d played last Sunday is out of date. But out of the songs you did lead, some where at the start of their life cycle, some where in an undefined middle, and some were quite possibly past their prime.

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Ban The Kids?

Author’s Note: I really, really hate the look of the stage pictured, but I wanted a very ‘average’ looking stage. 

I’m going to fully admit that this post is pure opinion. Someone somewhere probably has an equally valid opinion that is the complete opposite of mine. But it’s my blog so I’m gonna say it: Generally speaking churches  (and parents) should ban kids from the stage.

SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN?

Ban the kids from the stage? Didn’t  Jesus say “suffer the children and forbid them not?” (Matthew 19:14). Yes, yes he did, and I believe ever word. But I do not believe that Jesus meant that we should let our children run wild and turn the stage, filled with band instruments, music stands and microphones into a scene from the Lord of the Flies. Suffering the children is not a prohibition against teaching our children to walk in obedience and to respect the property of others.

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It’s Kinda Like Coldplay

This post isn’t just written for the worship leader. It’s for every member of the church’s worship band and community.

 I vividly remember the night. I was driving home from work in the summer of 2000. I had just graduated from High School and my car only had an FM radio. Then it happened, a song I’d never heard before came over the airwaves with sound that was both ground breaking and familiar all at the same time. This being the dark ages of technology, I had to sit in my parked car for three more songs to find out who this band was. The song was Yellow and the band was called Coldplay.  On my lunch break the next day I walked over to Sonic Boom records in Seattle and purchased the album Parachutes. Within two weeks, everyone I knew seemed to have a copy. That was 13 years ago.

Since then, Coldplay has grown and established itself in the mainstream musical consciousness of the Western World and beyond. Even if you’re the type of Christian who has a personal conviction not to listen to secular music, you have heard Coldplay. You often hear about Christian bands ripping off U2 (I’ve written about it HERE) but the truth is that they’ve been influenced by Coldplay just as much. Yet, again and again, I’ve been in a worship band practice and said “it’s kinda like Coldplay” and received nothing but a blank expression back. It’s been 13 years.

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Playing For The Prodigal

I’m not sure how helpful this post will be. It’s not even something that I do intentionally anymore. But maybe, somewhere out there, this will help someone out.

Every church has prodigals; people who once professed Christ and dwelled with us in community but who are now wandering, rebellious, and living wild in the world. Several years ago I was leading worship at a church where I did not have a long history, but almost weekly I would hear someone mention a prodigal son or daughter of the church who had “popped in” out of nowhere. Some of them stayed, some of them did not. After a while I realized two things. First, for whatever reason, in that season of the church’s life there was a returning generation of those who had wandered. I didn’t know why or how long it had been happening or it would last, only that it was going on. The second thing I realized is that not every prodigal was being recognized. If this many were being noticed (and hopefully embraced and ministered to) how many more were slipping in and out (it was a fairly large church).

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Q&A

Every so often I like to look over the Google searches that bring people to this blog. It’s interesting what people look for, and what brings them my way. There are a few great questions, and a few ridiculous questions. What questions are people who stumble upon this blog asking? Let’s find out.

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Hymns and Worship Culture

The Gospel Coalition had a great discussion about Hymns and Church culture. I recommend this video as well worth 10 minutes of your time.

Here’s what I took from it:

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Personal Vs. Corporate Worship Pt. 1: The Church As A Whole

A while back, I had a conversation with a lady from another church. When she found out I was a worship leader, she asked what worship music I listen to during the week? It’s kind of a tricky question to answer. I find the hip-hop of artists like Lecrae and Thi’sl to be very worshipful. I find that I worship Jesus to heavy metal bands like August Burns Red and War of Ages. But I really doubt that this very nice older lady would find any of these artists helpful for her. I also doubt that the heavy metal or rap worship would go over well at my church.

Why? Because the question of what worship music I listen to is a question of personal worship. This is the music that I listen to on my own that helps me to worship Jesus and turn my heart and mind towards God. What about when it’s not just me, but a whole church full of people? What music and expression should we use towards the same ends. The problem we come to is when confuse personal worship with corporate worship.

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What Is Worship?

A few weeks back I watched an episode of the Exchange, a webcast that Lifeway puts out each Tuesday, where Mike Cosper from Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky talked about worship. What is it? What does it look like? Why do we sing? As well as other topics.

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Secular Music In Church?

I saw an article on the Worship Links blog about the legalities of secular music in the church. I thought it was a worthwhile topic and since they only talked about the legalities, I’ll try to cover the broader issue. More and more churches are playing “secular music” in their services. It’s happening both with the live band on stage, and in the background music. What was once unthinkable to many is now a common place in churches all across the Western World. What’s going on? Why is this happening? Should we be worried or is it no big deal?

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This Was Fun

Here’s a video of worship at my church a few weeks back. We had to change things up because it was VBS week, so the stage was totally stripped from it’s normal set up and we had a lot less room than we normally do. It was not a normal Sunday.

There’s a few reasons that I’m posting this:

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