Slideshow image

Music blog

June 13,2024

Out With the Old


Psalm 79:13 (NKJV) says, "So we, Your people . . . will show forth Your praise to all generations." Psalm 145:4 (NLT) says, "Let each generation tell its …Aug 9, 2018

Deuteronomy 32.7: Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.

Psalm 78:4. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.

As I sit here in my room at camp, my mind is going over some of the things I have heard and observed this week at children’s camp.

The focus is definitely on telling the next generation. The staff is highly skilled and motivated. Every precaution has been taken to make this week safe and impactful. The Bible studies are integrated into everything so that even the games and recreation activities point the children to the days lesson.

Our camp pastor is from a large church in Wilmington NC. It is one of those big box churches that believe new is where it’s at. They write their own songs, write their own literature and their pastor and founder is an up and coming go getter. Our camp pastor is a full time staff member in the children’s area and they let him work here in the mountains of NC during the week. He is excellent and relatable.

He was speaking to our leadership about the importance of new things in our worship.  I get that. I’ve been doing music and worship ministry since before this kid was born. New is a vital part of keeping things fresh. But I’ve noticed something that disturbs me in the implementation of the New. As I listened to the children singing it struck me; they are singing with an excitement and energy that they do not sing with at home. Maybe it’s the lights, or band or the smoke machine, but something is different. The songs we sing are typical of young and growing churches which take on a different kind of energy. I own that!  What I notice in addition is the lack of any “traditional” music. I see the piano that once led worship for the multitudes cowering in a stairwell. There are no acoustic instruments. All music is driven by a sound system (I use the word driven with purpose) It seems that in our effort to be made new in worship we have done it without care or thought of two thousand years of worship which has preceded us. Pastors and many musicians have absentmindedly or purposefully divorced an entire generation from their parents and grandparents, musically speaking. Some have done this to determine and remain “on brand” others have simply followed like lemmings, the new things that’s happening.

I’m not an expert nor am I a theologian. I’m only saying that music in my youth was still church music. We had a different beat and new expression but it was most often the same hymn texts which had ungirded the Christian faith for longer than 5 or 10 years.

I’m old musically speaking. I looked at my expiration date this week. I’m feeling a bit like that carton of milk in the fridge. “Do I dare use it?” When you look at the date it seems to scream, “use at your own risk!”

But I’ll be back home tomorrow and Sunday I’ll be teaching the generations all together for now and until God calls me home.

Reality, be faithful doing what God called you to do. Maybe the person who will turn this ship around is in your care right now.