“There are several reasons for opposing this new church music. Firstly, it’s too new. Then, it’s often worldly, even blasphemous. The new Christian music is not as pleasant as the more established style. There are so many new songs you can’t learn them all. It puts too much emphasis on instrumental music rather than Godly lyrics. This new music creates disturbances making people act indecently and disorderly. The preceding generation got along without it. It’s a money making scam and some of these new upstarts are lewd and loose.”
They weren’t attacking today’s Christian music, but the hymn writer Isaac Watts, famous for writing, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” in 1723!!
Did you know that many churches across our country are engaged in war? They are called “Worship wars.” Wars where music directors challenge the pastor and the congregation by demanding to do the music they want. Wars between the congregation and the worship team and leader.
The Barna Group (Research and Pollster) writes, “Most of the church people who fight about their musical preference do so because they don't understand the relationship between music, communication, God and worship. Church leaders foster the problem by focusing on how to please people with music or how to offer enough styles of music to meet everyone's tastes rather dealing with the underlying issues of limited interest in, comprehension of, and investment in fervent worship of a holy, deserving God. The real issue is not the choice of music by churches but rather people's interest in, understanding of, and engagement in the act of worshiping God. Music is just a tool meant to enable people to express themselves to God, yet we sometimes spend more time arguing over the tool than over the product and purpose of the tool."
There are two dangers I face as a worship leader. First, if we introduce too many new songs, then it isn’t conducive to entering into worship…we are too busy just trying to keep up with the words. So, I pace out the new songs over the course of a year to make sure the congregation isn’t overwhelmed.
The other danger is in repeating the same songs to a point where we mindlessly mouth the words without catching the message… that’s why I encourage other leaders to incorporate a calendar that has approximately a 3 month rotation.
The word “repetition” has become synonomous with “outdated,” “ineffective,” and “it doesn’t move me anymore.” I believe God anoints songs, just as He anoints singers. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. In other words, the Lord is not an indian giver! The words of an anointed song will always have the same power as when it was first created. We can become complacent, but if the “old songs” (repeated contemporary songs) fail to “move” us anymore, it is not the fault of the song, but rather, with us. God doesn’t take back His anointing.
We must be taught that we are not singing the songs for the congregation… the congregation is here to give to God, not to receive. Secondly, the Worship Leader, choir and musicians must seek the face of God so that His Spirit would anoint their ministry. We don’t seek the anointing, we seek the Anointer…when we do that, the songs, (whether old or new) will have the anointing and power to move individuals to worship God.
As we learn new powerful and anointed songs, let’s insure that they have the same power and anointing two years from now as they do when we first hear them!!!
I envision an hourglass set on it’s side half way through it’s run. The sand has stopped and there’s no movement between what happened, what’s happening, and what is yet to be. That’s what happens during spirit worship. It becomes timeless, and affects everything else we do.
My prayer for Worship Leaders and their teams: “Lord, your Word says, ‘Whosever will may come!’ Help us to be vessels of your Spirit to change the hearts of those who “won’t,” to be those who “will!”