My journey away from contemporary worship music

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by Revmitchell, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    ....It was during these formative years in my experience as a worship leader that I began to introduce even more contemporary songs to our youth group. It was then that I discovered artists like Delirious, Darrel Evans, Matt Redman, and Vineyard Music with their songs Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble, Trading My Sorrows, Heart of Worship, and Hungry.

    As a young musician who desired to honor Christ, I found these songs to be particularly compelling. I felt different when we sang them. The way Nirvana gave voice to the angst of Generation X, bands like Delirious were giving voice to a generation of young Christians who didn’t feel they could relate to the songs of their parents and grandparents.

    Over the years when I would occasionally hear a hymn, the language was always strikingly foreign, with Ebenezers and bulwarks, diadems and fetters. Which only served to confirm my bias that hymns were simply out-of-date. They had served their purpose. They had run their course.

    The problem with my youthful logic only began to dawn on me about seven years ago. I had come to recognize that these ancient hymns accomplished something that the new songs weren’t. While contemporary worship seemed to take the listener on an exciting and emotional rollercoaster, the old hymns engaged the mind with deep and glorious truths that when sincerely pondered caused a regenerated heart to humbly bow before its King....

    ...First, hymns have been sung by the giants of the faith who have gone on before us over the last two millennia. ...


    ...Second, the content of hymns is almost always vastly more theologically rich. ....

    ...So I make this plea to my fellow ministers, do not neglect these milestones from ages past. In fact, I would make the case for the abandonment of most contemporary songs. If you choose a song for congregational worship based on it’s content (say you have chosen a contemporary song because of it’s focus on the Cross), do the hard work of finding a hymn that more than likely addresses the same topic or doctrine in a much deeper way. If on the other hand you have chosen a song because of the way it feels or the emotion it evokes, ask yourself whether you are depending upon the Holy Spirit or your own skills to engage our brothers and sisters in singing to our King.


    http://www.dancogan.com/my-journey-away-from-contemporary-worship-music
     
  2. annsni

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    I guess he never heard a good, solid theologically strong modern song like the ones the Getty's do. In Christ Alone is just one example of a great modern worship song.
     
  3. Salty

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    But would that be considered the exception to the rule.
    and I do agree with the statement in the OP
    While contemporary worship seemed to take the listener on an exciting and emotional rollercoaster.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  4. Scarlett O.

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    Can I be honest?

    Every time we sing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God", I get on a HUGE emotional roller coaster. I am swept away by the glory of God that this song conveys.

    And the line, "the body they may kill, His truth abideth still" stirs me greatly.

    Is there anything wrong with being moved emotionally by a hymn or modern song?
     
  5. JonC

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    I was thinking the same thing.
     
  6. annsni

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    I agree!! Heck, reading the Bible gives me that huge emotional roller coaster at times!! I don't think that's wrong at all! If we are not stirred by the thought of our sin and the great price that Christ paid for us and His glory forever, well then I'd wonder just where our hearts were!
     
  7. matt wade

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    Really? This guy thinks that the hymns his church is singing have been sung for 2 thousand years?
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    Really? You don't get hyperbole
     
  9. matt wade

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    He repeats the same "hyperbole" again in the same paragraph:

    "Indeed, this should birth in us a desire to sing the songs that our Family has sung together for two-thousand years "

    He's not using hyperbole. You are just looking for a way to criticize what I said. You need to let go of your anger against me.
     
  10. blessedwife318

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    I think this guy's journey pre-dated the Gettys. When he talks about the music he sang he is talking about the contemporary songs of the 80s and 90s. I'm also one who 9 times out of 10 will pick a traditional hymn over any of the contemporary worship music especially that from the 80s and 90s. Now that is changing with song writers like the Getty's who I think looked at some of the criticism that CCM got and then looked at old hymns and have created a wonderful blending of rich theology with modern music. They are modern hymn writer and I do believe will be in future hymn books. It seems from my limited study of hymns and looking at dates in hymnals that Christendom seems to rotate between rich theological hymns and more emotional, songs. And there are even some songs in the hymnals that I pretty much refuse to sing because I don't think they are appropriate yet the one I'm thinking of is considered a great hymn in older people who tend to be more hymn only. Ok I did just read through the whole post and he does post date the Getty's which I think its a shame that he didn't mention them. I can't think of a hymn that says what In Christ Alone says, better then that song.
     
  11. InTheLight

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    Songs are meant to evoke emotion. That's why they exist. I dare anyone to list a popularly sung traditional hymn that is heavy on doctrine.
     
  12. Bro. Curtis

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    Hark The Herald Angels Sing.
     
  13. InTheLight

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    OK, that one covers a lot of ground, especially in the 2nd and 3rd verses.
     
  14. Bro. Curtis

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    It's a solid tune.
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    You need to actually read the op. No one said they shouldn't.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    The op is about songs that only evoke emotion but have little to no theology in them.

    The op did not say:

    1. Songs should never evoke emotion

    2. Never use contemporary music ever

    You have to read the entire op. He went from contemporary only to mainly hymns. Myself I make sure we have a blended music service.
     
  17. JamesL

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    I like the way some hymns have been recomposed to a contemporary style if music.

    I agree with the sentiment the writer held before his journey, that a lot of hymn language is outdated. If the lyrics aren't understood, then what are we singing?

    Is it enough to open a book of "Christian" songs and take a shot in the dark? Hoping that what we sing is biblically accurate? Or should we be able to test them?

    Should we sing overtly Post-Millennial hymns if we're Pre-Millennial in theology? All in the name of singing what others before us sang?
     
  18. matt wade

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    Weren't all our traditional hymns contemporary hymns at some point?
     
  19. JonC

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    I remember thinking, as we sang a CCM worship song in church, how much I hated that type of music. About the second verse I realized that it was a Psalm set to music and that my objection was based on preference. That pretty much put my opinion in its place for me. I do think that we miss out on tradition (which does have, IMHO, value when it comes to worship - at least in that we have songs that we can lean upon which the younger generation lacks as their worship is a moving target).
     
  20. Jerome

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    Charles Spurgeon, "Beware of Unbelief"

     

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