Blended Worship?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Pastorba, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Pastorba

    Pastorba
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    I have read much on this forum with regards to debating music. That is not the intention of this thread. I want to know how many of you who were at one time a "hymn" only church and began a "blended" music service (to include some newer P&W Choruses)?

    Also how did that affect your attendance?

    I minister in a small community with a large university.

    As a church we have many people who want to change our music to include some of the more popular praise and worship choruses (at least most do!) I am just looking for experiences both positive and negative.

    I strongly believe that we should never get rid of hymns as they do teach great doctrine and our young people need to be willing to sing and come to love them as well as the others being exposed to newer music.

    Again, please I do not want to debate. Just looking for those who have done this and the effects of the change.

    God bless.
     
  2. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
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    Pastor,

    I now serve and lead worship in a church that is in a blended worship format. It's wonderful... the people genuinely seem to respond to all of the music, as we guide the worship thematically and not "3 old ones/3 new ones" like some other churches I've been a part of.

    When I moved here, they had already been blended for 3 years. I have been in two churches where we were making the change, and it was considerably harder. Not that (most) people were necessarily bucking the change, but that it's just different when you start teaching new songs. And then there's always the people that wouldn't change if it meant saving their lives. These people can be hard for me to relate to, but I have learned in recent years to accept that not everyone will like the blended format.

    As i said, it works well here, using great songs of the faith, gospel songs, old-generation choruses and modern praise and worship. But every church is different. God bless you as you pray about this decision. If there's any other help I can be, please let me know. I'll be praying for you and your congregation.

    In His Grip,
    joshua
     
  3. Molly

    Molly
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    Different kinds of songs are fine...just make there is depth and biblical usage of words....use discernment to decide which songs are okay for corporate worship...too many who try to do a blended service end up sounding more like a youth retreat instead of one of excellence in lyrics,music,etc.

    Molly
     
  4. Pastorba

    Pastorba
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    Thanks for the input Molly! I certainly am discerning when it comes to the newer songs. I know there is a lot that isn't biblical or for that matter even any good!

    Joshua. Could you give me an example of a "thematic" song service. I know what you are talking about I just wouldn't mind seeing a specific order of service with song titles.

    Thanks.
     
  5. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
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    OPENING (CHANGE ME, GOD):
    Here I Am to Worship by Tim Hughes (C) 2000 Kingsway's Thankyou Music
    Change My Heart, O God by Eddie Espinosa (C) 1982 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing

    GUIDANCE:
    All the Way My Savior Leads Me by Fanny Crosby/Robert Lowry
    He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Thought! by Joseph Gilmore/William Bradbury
    I Have Decided to Follow Jesus by Garo Christians, John Clark/Indian Folk Song (C) 1987 Broadman Press

    SACRIFICE OF THE CROSS:
    Amazing Love by Graham Kendrick (C) 1989 Make Way Music
    How Deep the Father's Love for Us by Stuart Townend (C) 1995 Kingsways Thankyou Music
    The Wonderful Cross by Isaac Watts, Refrain Lyrics by Chris Tomlin and J.D. Walt

    Sermon on the Cross and Christ's Sacrifice

    INVITATION:
    I Surrender All by Judson W. VanDeVenter/Winfield Weedem
    Jesus is Tenderly Calling by Fanny Crosby/George Stebbins


    This is just an example of a recent service we had. Hope it helps.

    In His Grip,
    joshua
     
  6. Pete

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    G'day Pastorba, welcome to BB [​IMG]

    One Church I attended used a mix of 5-7ish Scripture In Song choruses at start of service and 2-4 hymns through middle. It's a couple of years ago so I can't get the details exact, however it was growing, Hillsongs were introduced at around about the same time.

    After a while the playlist went from hymns and SIS to mainly Hills and SIS, with hymns getting rarer. Those who would have liked a hymn or two on Sunday were called selfish by those who were getting everything their way.

    If things were not "interesting" enough at the time, the leaders brought in guest speakers from similar places to Hills, who brought in the 'slain in the spirit' practice and other things. The congregation went down by half or so over a few month period. Last I heard numbers had picked up a bit there again, have no idea wether it is sane or 'ga-ga' though.


    Last Church I attended was very small, with 20ish in congregation when we went there. It was trying to recover from similar events.

    I was picking songs for start of service and playing guitar there, I used SIS and hymnbook and hardly repeated myself in the year and a bit I was there, except when teaching a few 'new' ones. I used one Hillsong there at request of bossman's wife.


    Current Church (hopefully last [​IMG] ) uses all sorts of things at start of service. Choruses with piano and organ, everything from hymns to Hillsongs with CD, one song a capella every few weeks.


    I think the secret is don't look at the age of the songs, or who wrote them, or anything like that. If it is a good solid song, go for it. If it is garbage, dump it. If anything un-Biblical tries to hitch a ride in, squash it [​IMG]

    God bless [​IMG]

    Pete
     
  7. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
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    I would agree with Pete... because the hymns have been around, some for hundreds of years, the dross has been sifted out over time. In this day and age, we don't have that luxury with the new songs. We must be descerning and pray for guidance as worship is set everyweek. And listening to the Spirit's whisper, I have seen better worship sets and themes than I could ever have dreamed. This week's message is "Kingdom People are Free Indeed". I can't wait to put it together!

    In His Grip,
    joshua
     
  8. Molly

    Molly
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    I agree with the others on thematic song choices. Our music pastor does this very well....our pastor/teacher preaches expositorally,but still usually has a theme of emphasis for his message...if it is on the fear of the Lord,then all the songs tie into that.

    It is very meaningful when it(the music) emphasizes the teaching for that day.

    Of course,that is JMO!


    Glad to see others on the music board committed top keeping things biblical! That is refreshing....some may say they do that,but the proof is in the puddin'.....You have got to know the Bible first to see if it is biblical.

    Molly
     
  9. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Found that blending was very very difficult. The older members did not know or care much for the modern "rock sound". The younger members did not know or care much for the older "organ sound".

    Our church (where my interim just ended) found the solution by NOT blending worship but having two different worship teams - one month with the focus on hymns/traditional music, the next month with focus on CCM.

    This keeps inherent conflict of ideas (in the music team) and personalities from dividing the church . . further than the music does already.
     
  10. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Ours is mixed, it sounds very similar to what Joshua's church does. It was that way when I got there, and the contemp seemed to be taking over, but now it seems to be getting back to more traditional music, which is fine with me.
    People seem to tolerate it just fine. Some of the older people look confused on some of the newer songs. I'm not *too* thrilled with some of the choices for music in the kids programs, but I deal with it. Better than I did the first time I heard it anyhow. (left the first time as soon as I was able to without causing disturbance) LOL
    Gina
     
  11. Kelly Todd

    Kelly Todd
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    I attended a church while in Bible School for about 5 years. They have blended music. In fact they had 2 praise teams who would lead praise music 1-2 times a month. No one complained. They also sing hymns and bought a new organ. They were able to mix the two areas without problems.

    The church that we attended after that did not have any praise music. We were disappointed. Espescially, since we would sing the same hymns all the time.

    Balance is good. [​IMG]
     
  12. donnA

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    We haev blended worship music, and hymns are not just a passingthing to keep the older people hapy like as been said before. Personally I like it, I have learned so much more about worshipping God, and where the old hymns were once boring and confusing to me, now I can worship God equally with hymns or p&w, and I look forward to worship even when we have all hymn Sundays. For me it has been a plus.
     
  13. Dale McNamee

    Dale McNamee
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    Dear Pastorba,

    My church has the "blended" service as our 11am service and the music usually follows this pattern:

    Prelude - (instrumental,classical music),

    Introit - (sung a capella by four members of the choir, might be a verse from a hymn or another sacred music text),

    Praise song - (after the opening prayer),

    Praise song - (before Scripture reading),

    Gospel Hymn - (sung before the Gospel),

    Offeratory - (may be contemporary song or traditional hymn),

    Communion - (4 contemporary song set sung during communion. On morning prayer Sundays, the same format is followed as people come to the altar rail for prayer),

    Recessional hymn,

    Postlude.

    All of the music,traditional,classical,and contemporary is prayerfully chosen to reflect the readings and the sermon by my music director and my pastor.

    I play the conga drum in the praise band along with my music director,who is the pianist as well as the organist and choir director. We also have a set drummer,bassist,and guitarist and 4 vocalists (guitarist,my music director,and 2 ladies from the choir).

    The 11am service is very well attended by young families,teens/young adults,and we "older" folk. [​IMG] And everybody likes the music!

    In Christ,

    Dale
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    Our church used to be hymns only. Then we got a music director that took it blended. He indeed got a lot of criticism from the older group. but he got a lot of criticism all around, so I cannot say that it was solely because of the music.

    But then we got a new music minister. He took it more blended/contemporary. Our early service is traditional. Our late service is more contemporary, though it doesn't outright go full comtemporary yet. I hate going to the early service because it seems so rock solid dead. I wouldn't even say it was the music, but everyone seems to sing by rote, not their heart.

    I hate going to the traditional service.
     
  15. computerjunkie

    computerjunkie
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    I was raised "hymns only"! The church I attend now was "hymns only" until a couple of years ago and we began slowly converting to blended. I didn't like it at first. I love the old hymns of the faith!!

    However, I have begun to get used to it, and find myself actually liking the blended worship. Since I did not know a lot of the "melody" of the P&W songs at first, I began to just concentrate on the words and saw that the words really WERE "praise and worship" to the Father.

    I am rather unique in my church, though. Blended has had a hard time catching on with the senior adults (as well as some not-so-senior adults). Unfortunately, it has created strife among the members and has stressed out the staff unnecessarily.

    So, beginning in the fall, we are going to two different worship service styles. The first service will be traditional; the second service blended. We are in the process of adjusting the Sunday School classes to accommodate the change in worship style.
     

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