Church Music

Point out the weaknesses in some, maybe most, praise music sung in churches today and what happens? A long rant-fest.

“‘Lord to give you up I’d be a fool’ almost literally gag-making”

“the lyrics of praise music is meaningless pop gestures”

“As the character in the Simpsons said, you can turn praise music into a love song merely by changing ‘Jesus’ to ‘Baby.'”

“Most “praise music” stinks. Use the Psalter or use the psalms of David in meter.”

“I remember the whole ‘rock music is evil’ debate. The same debate happens every time a new music genre enters the Christian space”

7 thoughts on “Church Music”

  1. I think when you’re in church and a worship song is played (provided it’s not heretical), you have two choices:

    1) Worship

    2) Criticize, evaluate, and engage in pompous elitism.

    While 1 isn’t always the easiest for me, I know for a fact it’s the best.

    And “All in All” is a good song. I just can’t argue with “Jesus, Lamb of God, worthy is Your name”.

  2. When they first introduced a praise music segment in our Sunday worship, I defended it (I was a deacon at the time). I saw no reason why music that meant something to a number of our worshipers should be rejected just because it was new.

    As time went on, I came to regret my support. I dislike 1) standing for 20 minutes (I know it’s lazy of me, but I’m getting old), 2) the banality and general lousy writing in the lyrics, and 3) the endless, tedious repetiton. We have reached a strange place in church history, where the older people are complaining that the young people’s worship is boring.

  3. Bill blogged on this on his site and here’s my comment on that thread:

    “I think what we need to do is just worship.” AMEN

    All of us, worship leaders, preachers, nursery workers, and congregates–we all need thoughtfully, whole-heartedly worship the Lord. And sometimes that means pulling the worship leader aside to say “All in All” is a lame song. Of course, the guy will have to take comments with a grain of salt, but, Jared, your concerns are very important. Worship leaders must be the most humble performers in the church. We aren’t here to be entertained. We’re here to worship the Lord who loves us more than we understand and asks from us more than we are ready to give. A worship leader must pray and work to usher in that attitude.

    An interesting note, I heard a family in my church say they could not find a similar worshipful attitude in any church they visited while they are out of town for a few years. I’m sure taste plays a factor, but prayer, theology, and submission by the worship leader is vital for that kind of attitude in a church.

    ————-

    We sing hymns in our church mostly.

  4. One thing I have noticed in my seeker-sensitive, celebratory “worship” church is that when they break out hymns (which they do quite often, actually, and for that I’m thankful), the mood is noticeably different. People respond to them very, very well. I think it says something that even those allegedly burnt out on church (which is our target demographic) respond so well to music with a spiritual heritage behind it. We have people who really crave worship music with meaning.

    That said, I like newer stuff too, especially if it is somewhat hymnodic (is that a word?). I like contemporary type music with theologically rich lyrics. I hope a younger generation, as they appear to be, will bring a reformation of that kind of worship to the Church.

    The guy who is our worhsip leader for our 18-30somethings ministry is great and really does this well.

  5. My husband was a worship leader for 19 years. He was always careful to follow this advice: “…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord…” Colossians 3:16

    We know what the psalms are (too bad we don’t know the melodies), but the rest is subject to interpretation. My husband’s greatest skill (I always thought) was in combining psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in sets. That included using contemporary choruses, usually as a set-up to the others.

    Some churches want all traditional hymns and want none of the others, which I find confusing when so many of the little choruses are lifted right out of the Psalms.

    If the worship leader is making the congregation stand for 20 minutes, then someone needs to take him aside for a session of “teaching and admonishing.” (in Texas we call that a “Come to Jesus meeting 🙂

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