Hymnals and Looking Backwards

Should Churches Go Back To Using Hymnals?

This post from the Ponder Anew blog has been floating around the interwebs recently. It’s technically well written (good grammar choices, punctuation, etc) but it falls flat on the lack of strength in it’s own arguments.

I’m sure the author is a nice guy, good husband, and a brother to me in Jesus. But he’s also holding the flag for a past tradition. According to his argument, it’s not enough just to sing hymns. We have to sing them using traditional (old outdated) technology in church buildings with traditional (old outdated) architectural styles. Why? Because that’s the way the author likes it.

The authors post is summed up with three foundational principles:

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Finding Maturity In Worship Ministry

My Pastor, Bill Walden, wrote a great post this week on his own blog that is worth sharing. Many of us deal with raising up new worship players and we struggle sometimes with people who have such great and genuine hearts to serve, but it seems like they can’t help but trip over themselves and others.

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The Next Worship Leaders

Editor’s Note: This post while written by me, originally appeared over at the Worship Links blog, so check them out.

Eight thoughts on bringing the next generation into your worship community.

1. IT’S NOT AN OPTION

The church has two main callings: 1. To preach the gospel 2. To make disciples. The discipleship process isn’t all spiritual, it’s also practical. Paul, Peter, Barnabas, and other major players in the early church always travelled with young men, letting them learn in a practical, hands on setting how to fulfill the ministry that was given to them (1 Timothy 4:14). The same is true for those of us who minister in music. I’m always looking for my replacement. Who’s the young man or woman that God is raising up in my church? Discipleship is not optional for the christian, neither is making disciples. As worship leaders, music directors, and worship pastors, we need to have our eyes, ears, and hearts open to see who will lead the next generation in praise and worship of our King.

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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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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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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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