I have probably mentioned music in my posts about my church over the past, oh, 25 weeks. However, today I want to emphasize it more so than I have in the past.
We normally sing several contemporary songs during our services. I love these songs. They build me up and lead my heart in a direction I don’t see on a daily basis (some might say turn your radio on the right station. Fair point!!!0
Today, though, there were a couple of songs that were different.
One was what many call a hymn from the old red hymnal. It was called Heaven’s Jubilee. I never went to a church that actually used one of these, but I know plenty of people who did. And I went to enough “Mull’s Singing Conventions” as a kid for this song to sound like something out of my youth. It was very enjoyable.
The last one was the traditional hymn, It Is Well With My Soul. This happens to my daughter’s favorite hymn. Two of my favorite memories are singing this with the entire audience at two Rich Mullins concerts.
One of the things I love about my church is that we are not locked into any type of music wars. Our church loves to sing the old stuff. Our church loves to sing the old stuff. Most of all, our church loves to sing what honors Christ.
Now if Bobby would just play my favorite hymn, Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing.
What style of music does your church sing? How was your church service this week?
I’ve been a hater for more of my life than I care to admit. You name it, I’ve hated it.
With the advent of social media, I thought it was my job, nay, my responsibility to let everyone know which musician I couldn’t stand while watching the Country Music Awards. Or whatever other awards show that happened to be on. Or whoever was running for office. Or for whichever team I was for, I had to make double sure that everyone knew which one I hated.
Not any more.
I’ve done with that.
I’m afraid that by doing this, we often become known more for what we hate than what we love. I’m tired of it.
I love Christ. There can’t be room for hate. Not for anything, any person, any team, any entertainer or any politician.
I love my Vols. That’s enough. I don’t need to hate other teams.
Lots of people hated on Taylor Swift last week during the CMA Awards. I like Taylor Swift. I love to sing her songs with my daughter. So what? I don’t have to hate anyone else in country music. And I sure don’t have to broadcast it on Twitter and Facebook.
I quit being a hater.
How about you? Will you join me in my quest to end “hating”?
Today I continue my series on our church search visits. Yesterday was our second Sunday back in corporate worship after taking eleven weeks off after leaving our previous church.
Like last week I am leaving the name of the church we visited out. I don’t want our visit while searching to influence anyone either way.
The first thing I have to say is that this church was unlike any that we have ever been to. We have normally been in traditional style churches all of our life together. This church would have to be classified as anything but traditional.
The music was very contemporary with a band and praise singers leading the music. The words were broadcast on a screen behind the singers, allowing us to sing without looking in a book. I like this as it allows you to connect with the singers and everyone around as you sing without having to hold a hymnal open. Two or three songs were sung before moving to the next portion of the service.
Next was a an informative skit that was shown on the screen. It had been pre-recorded and seemed to “advertise” an upcoming production the church is having.
The campus pastor came up and discussed a few things. This was definitely different as this church is a satellite location of a church in another county. There was some more singing and then perhaps the thing that is most different about this church happened.
The pastor from the main campus appeared on the screen and began to speak. I’m not sure if it was being broadcast live or if it was recorded from a previous service. I was not able to determine that. The pastor spoke for a few minutes. Then the service moved to another time of music and singing.
The pastor appeared again on the screen and spoke again. This was followed by a final time of singing and music. During this time someone was also baptized (they baptize immediately, which is pretty neat). A final song was sung and the service ended.
One of the neatest things about attending this church service was seeing someone who was my neighbor when I was a teenager. I had not seen her in well over a decade, perhaps closer to two.
I suppose the main question that most people would like to hear is whether we liked it. There was certainly a lot about the service we liked. There were some things that were not to our liking, but I’ve never been to a service that was 100% to my liking. That’s not something that is really important to me.
Another thing about this church is that it is a fairly new church in our area. It already surpasses in attendance the church that I attended for basically the past seventeen years. This was also only one of their services yesterday morning. Another service followed the one we attended.
Next Sunday, we move back to a more traditional church. It will be interesting for us to compare what we have visited so far. Two weeks from now will be the final church of the initial four that we are visiting.
Have you ever been to a church service that was totally unlike any other you have been to?
Maybe you read my blog the other day about special music not being special. I admit, I have an odd way of looking at things, but I have another question that goes along with it. I guess this is the sequel.
Why do we clap after the special music, which may or may not be so special, is over?
Who are we clapping for? What are we clapping for?
Listen, I understand wanting to express joy and happiness over a song. But what are we really doing when we clap for an individual performance? Are we celebrating their skill in singing the song? Are we happy that it’s over because it really wasn’t such special music? Are we clapping because the song drew us closer to God?
I don’t really want to sound like a contrarian all of the time, but when was the last time you gave your pastor a big hand after he delivered a sermon? I know that there is always someone in traditional churches that will say, “Amen!!!” at a certain point. How about at contemporary churches? Are people allowed to say, “Amen!!!” Does it happen? Do the deacons show up to escort the troublemaker out? I really want to know. How should we respond to the music and worship in our church services? David got so excited over the ark entering Jerusalem that he stripped naked and boogied in the streets. That would give a whole new connotation to bewaring of the naked preacher. Or anyone else for that matter.
How about you? Do you clap? Should we clap? If so, when? And what should our response to worship be?
I want to begin today’s post with a picture. I’ll be back with you in just a moment.
I saw this sign as I was running with my daughter on Friday. At first I chuckled about how cheap the sign looked. As I continued past it, though, I couldn’t get this sign out of my mind. Slowly, I began to see the genius of it. Then I thought about it in terms of my faith in Christ and realized that it was a great picture of what Christ has done with me.
FREE!!! The gift of life that Christ gives us is free…..to us. It cost Him His life, but for us the gift of God, eternal life, is free. That is much better that gaining the wages of sin, Death, isn’t it?
LIVE!!! Christ came to give us life. Not just any old life. Eternal life. Abundant life. That means that life is lot more, well, LIVE now. It doesn’t mean that I just got my ticket punched for heaven. It means that everything is more LIVE here now. Faith? Live. Family? Live. Football? Live. Foolishness? Live. It’s all LIVE now.
MUSIC!!! In Ephesians, Paul said that we should speak to each other in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. We should talk to each other in music. A group of friends and I who used to go to break together would sometimes break out in spontaneous hymns or gospel songs. I thought it was strange at first. I’ve come to realize that this is how we, as believers, are wired. To sing songs about our Lord to each other. It doesn’t matter if we can sing well or not. We should just be singing the new song He has placed within our hearts.
Now, here is the best thing. The sign above said that the Free Live Music was from 8:00 to 11:00. Our Free Live Music doesn’t stop. It’s eternal. It never stops.
Do you have Free Live Music in your life? Do you know someone who needs it?