Tuesday, April 25, 2006

For Pastors and "Worship Leaders"

Caedmon's Call once again proves that they've got the glory of God and the good of the church at the core of their music. They are currently offering a free copy of "In the Company of Angels II: the world will sing" to all pastors/"worship leaders". All they ask is that you give a few listens and give them your opinion.

Quite a few of their songs on this second installment of their modern/reworked hymns are great for congregational singing. You'll notice many familiar names in the liner if you're familiar with Indelible Grace or Red Mountain Music.

Here at Windham Baptist Church, we've been singing Indelible Grace's arrangements for almost a year with great acceptance and excitement. They have stoked the fires of faith and awakened a Spirit-ual desire to exult in the excellency and supremacy of God.

What's your church do for music? Only choruses? Hymns? Newly arranged hymns? Specialized services? Have you heard Caedmon's new cd? What do you think?

In the Company of Angels II


corey thomas said...

thanks for the link! I signed up for it. at my church we have 2 separate services on Sunday. one contemporary and one traditional, i.e. praise chrouses and hymns. I use modern arrangements of the hymns in the contemporary service and they are very effective. In the traditional service i am required to basically interpret directly from our hymnal and any deviation i have already tried has been met with great opposition. hopefully some of you out there have some suggestions for me?

Josh said...

It's a good cd. Not as full of potential songs for corporate worship, at least at with our congregation. I think "I Surrender All" is the best. Where are you getting your modern arrangements for your hymns you use for the contemporary service? Do they have new melodies, too? Have you used any Indelible Grace music?

Too bad that there has been opposition with the traditional service. Best advice: proceed with humility and patience. Praise God that the leadership sees a need to have more relevant musical forms in at least one service. In the past I used to be very adamant against churches promoting separate services distinguished mainly by musical form. I still think that (in many cases) it hinders intergenerational ministry, promotes self-interest and preference, and clouds what biblical worship truly is.

That said, I don't know all the reasons why your church deciced to have these two separate services. No doubt things are quite different in Calif. than in Maine! Also, there is much more to corporate worship than music. We are privileged to worship God through music, not because of music. So look for other opportunities in the service that you might be able to influence to be more bible-saturated and Christ-exalting.

Josh said...

Advice for Corey and other corporate worship leaders who desire to be a catalyst for biblical change:

1. Talk to your pastor(s) and elders. Find out why they made or allowed the services to be the way they are: traditional only, contemporary only, blended, different services with differet styles. This may allow you to voice your concerns immediately or at least open doors for further conversations. At least you will better understand why things are the way they are. If you are not a pastor or an elder then you must gracefully submit to their leadership.

2. Be aware of the emotional "can of worms" you might open if you try to change the music of corporate worship. Explain any and all changes to the pastors and leadership team before implementing. Then upon approval take time to explain any and all changes to the congregation. They will be much more receptive if they understand that it is not chang for change's sake, but the glory of God and the good of the church.

3. Music doesn't = worship but it is still important. Bible-saturated, Christ exalting music does not belong only to contemporary or traditional music, so some sort of blended service would probably be our goal. Modern arrangements of hymns are a good start. New songs/choruses should be chosen with great discernement: weeding out the good and choosing the best.

4. Music doesn't = worship so introduce other elements of biblical worship: Scripture readings, responsive readings of Scripture, affirmations of our faith, Lord's Supper, Baptism, etc. Take time regularly to highlight some element of corporate worship so that everyone understands why we do what we do on Sunday morning.

That'll do for now.