I remember the first time I heard the song “In the Secret” by Andy Park. It was a whole new concept in worship music. It was a simple song. It didn’t have four verses and a chorus. The music brought the style of what I loved in worldly music into the church. Many people were appalled that we were allowing the world to infect the church.
Then I read how Charles Wesley took bar songs and gave them new lyrics. “O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing” or “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” could have first been sung in a pub! I no longer felt guilty because I tapped my foot, clapped my hands, and even shuffled my feet a bit in church.
Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dances. Miriam answered them,
- “Sing to Yahweh, for he has triumphed gloriously.
- The horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.” Exodus 15:20-21 (WEB)
It is Biblical to worship God with our songs. Over the centuries the ‘transportation’ of the worship has evolved in various stringed instruments, percussion, horns, and yes, even our demeanor in the worship. Each step in the evolution has brought with it concerns. Some concerns are well-founded as we, the Church, questioned whether we were influencing the world or the world was influencing Church. Some concerns were based in fear; in a rigidness that did not want to allow change because change is scarey and often unknown. Change upsets the balance of what has always been.
Hillsong United, David Crowder, Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Charlie Hall, Jesus Culture, Christy Nockels, The Glorious Unseen Have you heard of them? They are some of the Miriam’s, David’s, and the Charles Wesley’s of today. And there are so many more who bring us forward into worship. If you are like me and are not familiar with most of these names and attend a corporate worship that includes unfamiliar songs, before you stomp your foot and complain – stop, look around, and ask God what He thinks. Are there more new people, especially young (under 50) people, coming and staying in your fellowship? Corporate worship is by far the usual ‘front door’ for visitors in the church. If the style of worship or specific songs do not ‘work’ for you, buy yourself some CDs and worship in your car! Is God showing you how to be a ‘grown-up Christian, a leader who thinks of others before him/herself?