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I need some advice on contemporary worship music

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  • I need some advice on contemporary worship music

    I am the worship chair of the contemporary service at my United Methodist church. The contemporary service at this church has been in existence for about 17 years. I have only been the worship chair for a little over a year. I do know that when the service first started, they were using CD recordings of songs and singing along with those. The songs that they picked at the time were old then -- songs from the 1960's, 1970's, and a few from the 1980's. I didn't like most of the songs that they played because they were an older style of worship and song.

    Then the man who was the choir director at the traditional service kicked out the people who were leading worship before, and started leading worship himself. He picked songs from the 1960's, 1970's, 1980's and a couple from the 1990's. Still, it was sing along with the CD and with the choir director. That choir director left. I'm not sure what they did at that point because I was in college at the time. I assume they continued to use the same CDs that they used before. I didn't like most of the songs that they played because they were an older style of worship and song.

    Eventually, the church got a new associate pastor. Her husband played the bass guitar, and picking the music for the service fell to him. He really liked old Hillsong songs -- songs that not many other churches knew at the time (and still don't play). I personally did not like a lot of his choices. However, he worked really hard at picking songs. He also started live music at that service, which was a plus. He played the bass and he brought in some people to play other instruments. I think the live worship worked well. I just didn't care for the style of songs that he generally chose. In the meantime, his wife moved up to become senior pastor of the church.

    Several years went by, and that pastor was reassigned to another church. She and her husband left. The person who was playing the keyboard at the time took over selecting songs for the service. She tended to choose mostly all hymns, most of them being written in the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's. She chose a few songs that were from the 1980's and 1990's. Because she was choosing mostly hymns, and did not really use a computer, the church allowed its SongSelect subscription to expire during the time that she was choosing songs. She worked really hard at picking songs as well. However, again I did not really like much of what she selected because I did not really consider it contemporary worship. I am sure that she considered it contemporary because that is what was contemporary at the time that she was a young adult, and that is what she liked. Some of the songs that picked I did like, though. I just wished that she could have mixed in a few more songs from the 1990's and 2000's and 2010's. I felt like if we advertised it as a contemporary service, then we should have a few contemporary songs.

    The keyboardist's husband had a serious fall last spring, and he has been off his feet since then. She has to take a lot of care of him. She decided that picking the songs and playing in the praise band on Sunday mornings was too much for her. She resigned from that volunteer position at the end of January of 2017. Along with her playing, our current senior pastor was playing the bass guitar. His son played the guitar.

    In the past year, the church has renewed its subscription to SongSelect, and that subscription is still active.

    Starting in the fall, the sound system in our worship space for the contemporary service started failing badly. The microphones are near end of life. The sound board is losing channels. The amplifiers go in and out, etc. We are trying to get professionals to take a look and give us an estimate of how much it would take to fix and replace all of this equipment. Until all of this equipment gets fixed, we are using CDs, and I am picking the songs that we sing on Sundays.

    In my high school, college, and graduate school days, I regularly attended contemporary church services in other places. My first real exposure to contemporary worship was my senior year of high school when I went to an event called Niagara 2000. My friends in college had a contemporary worship service on campus every Sunday night and Wednesday night. I went to several Campus Crusade For Christ conferences during my college years where contemporary worship music was played. I attended a few Vineyard churches in my post college and graduate school days.

    I know the style of worship that I like, and that was used in those settings. I would like to bring it into my church's contemporary worship. I have tried for the past month to do so by selecting CD recordings of some of the songs that I heard being played in real worship settings. However, there are several people in the church who have expressed their extreme dislike of my choices. I know that I can't make everyone happy. However, I do want to make the contemporary service better with more up to date music.

    I picked CD recordings of Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, and some Vineyard artists, along with others. The two ladies who lead the singing along with the tape sing very low. However, they are older, and are used to the "contemporary" worship style of the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's. They are finding it almost impossible to sing along with the recorded worship leaders. They claim that there is too much "embellishment" that these worship leaders use. I am not exactly sure what they mean by that. I know what "embellish" means in other contexts. To me, it's just contemporary worship.

    Are there any CD worship recordings of Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, or Vineyard songs done by a group of people singing that isn't a big name? Are there any recordings of these songs that are for the purpose of singing along with? I am just trying to see if there is something that we can do.

    One more thing -- once the sound system gets fixed, what would be the best key to put songs in that would make it easy for people to sing along with? We will go back to live worship with the pastor playing the bass guitar and his son playing the guitar as soon as the sound is fixed. I don't want people to hate the songs that I pick, because they are good songs. I just want people to be able to worship, and I want it to truly be a contemporary worship service.

    I can provide a list of songs that I would like to use, if someone can tell me where I can find a recording of them.

    And, yes, I am aware that the United Methodist Church has a list of CCLI songs that they have "approved" for contemporary worship. However, I am much more conservative theologically then the people who rated the songs, and some of their criteria and opinions I found to be ridiculous.

  • #2
    A few questions:

    1) Are you a musician/vocalist and will you be helping to lead the worship on stage, or are you simply the "worship chair"?

    2) "I do want to make the contemporary service better" - Better for whom? Better for the majority of your church who will like the new music? Better for the majority of the church who will dislike the new music but need to be dragged into the 21st century? Better for the community around your church whom you are trying to attract?

    Nate
    Practical Worship

    Please Pray For My Wife

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by milepost13 View Post
      A few questions:

      1) Are you a musician/vocalist and will you be helping to lead the worship on stage, or are you simply the "worship chair"?

      2) "I do want to make the contemporary service better" - Better for whom? Better for the majority of your church who will like the new music? Better for the majority of the church who will dislike the new music but need to be dragged into the 21st century? Better for the community around your church whom you are trying to attract?

      Nate
      Thank you for responding.

      1.) I am simply the worship chair. I am not musical at all.

      2.) There is a wide variation, I think, of personal worship preference for the contemporary service. When all they were playing was hymns, there were several people who were not happy about that. Some people wanted songs that were from the 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, and 2010's. Some people didn't like the lyrics of the older songs because they were very repetitive. Some people just attend the contemporary service because of the time. It is at 8:30 AM, and they just want to get church over with for the day. Some people like just hymns. Some people like the older contemporary songs that were written in the 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's. I know that there is no way to satisfy all of these groups of people.

      I'd like it to be better for the majority of the people who attend the contemporary service. I would like to introduce new music that most other churches that have contemporary services are singing. And, yes, I would like to be able to attract new people to the service. If they see that we have a contemporary service advertised, but yet we are not playing the music that they might find at other churches in the area, then I feel like we are falsely advertising. It would be great to get people from around the neighborhood who are uncomfortable in our extremely traditional service into our church. We actually have had prayer walks and put flyers out about our church in the neighborhood. We are actively trying to attract the unchurched in the church's neighborhood.

      Moreover, I feel like the theology and the lyrics in some of the newer songs by such people as Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, and some of the Vineyard songs is very good. If feel like the songs have more content than some of the older songs from the 1970's and 1980's.

      However, if the majority of the people who attend the contemporary service want to only do hymns and songs up to 1990, then I will have to concede to how they are comfortable worshiping. I just wanted to see how they would like some of the newer songs to see if I could introduce them because I do think that it would make the service better for everyone.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't want to sound like a jerk, so please hear my heart in this. I want to help you. I commend your desire to help lead your church in this way, and I encourage you to consider my advice below.

        What you're describing is a classic issue in the modern church...something we've been dealing with for the past 25 years for sure, and certainly going much further back than that. From what you've described, most of the people complaining are doing so based on their own personal preferences. The only legitimate complaint, IMO, is that of the lyrics and theological soundness of the songs. Music is about personal preference. It's the lyrics that define a song as "worship".

        Here are a few suggestions for you.

        1) Invite somebody who understands music (a musician) and has the vision like you have to take over in this “worship chair” position, or at the very least, co-lead with you.

        Having a non-musical person make musical decisions is like having a person who doesn't know how to turn on an oven give the baker instructions for the cake. That person probably knows what kind of cake he likes, and might even know some of the basic ingredients to make the cake, but he has no clue how to make the cake or what the baker’s level of skill and experience is. I believe this is the issue you've described above concerning your vocalists having difficulties with the songs you've chosen for them.

        For example, I know very little about how a car engine works…I know what a car engine sounds like when it’s working well, and I know what it might sound like if there was a problem. But if I were put in charge of my church’s automotive ministry and authorized to give our mechanics the tools and parts that I thought they needed, they’d surely end up complaining just the same as your vocalists are because I’d be giving them what I thought they needed to fix the car the way I thought it needed to be fixed, even though, again, I don’t know much about car engines. If I wanted to lead well, I’d at the very least ask an experienced mechanic to co-lead with me and take over the job of ordering tools and parts for the mechanics while I continued to cast the vision for what I wanted our automotive ministry to look like in the future.

        The quickest way to kill the vision you have for your church is to frustrate the people who can actually help you (your current musicians and vocalists). You need to have these people on your side. You need to be sure they are part of the decision making to get from where you are to where you want to be. You need them to buy into what you’re doing and be certain you are communicating to them that they are valued.

        2) Move SLOWLY!!! You’re looking to make a HUGE change, and as it has been said and proven time and again by other churches, it takes a long time to turn the Titanic around.

        You’ll get yourself fired from your chair position if you try to make too many changes too quickly. If you’re in this for the long-haul, map yourself a 3-5 year plan and come up with some goals. Again, include the boots on the ground in this process. The way you’ve described it, you’re basically wanting to move your church from the 70’s to 2017 in one bold, swift move. I don’t know any living organism that could survive that kind of quick, massive change. You’re probably going to need to first move them from the 70’s to the 80’s, then after they’re all happy with that, from the 80’s to the 90’s and so on.

        I’ll be honest, I have never understood how a UMC church can ever sustain growth and change with the way the denomination moves pastors around like they do. There’s a UMC church at the end of my street, and I’ve been watching for nearly 30 years as they bring in a new pastor every few years, and with every new pastor, comes a new vision, and every time the vision changes, they lose and restart momentum all over again. I’m not saying what you’re wanting to do is impossible, but you’ve got some serious speed bumps ahead of you that are completely out of your control. So, either decide now that you’re willing to invest years into this process, or surrender your chair position to somebody who is.

        3) If you want to be “contemporary” in a way that attracts the unchurched, don’t just look at other local churches as your guide. Look to the people (who aren’t already attending another local church for a reason) you are trying to attract. What kind of music are THEY listening to?

        No matter how contemporary a church may be, they are almost always a few steps behind what is actually happening in the real world. Contemporary literally means “with what is happening right now”. And to be conTEMPORARY means that you will always be changing…new, by definition, is always temporary.

        4) Perhaps most importantly, you need to lead a revolution in your church concerning what the Bible has to say about worship. You need a culture change before you can make a music change.

        Worship is so much more than music. Music is only a tool to worship God. Worshipping together as a church on Sunday morning is about singing to about God side by side. There are plenty or good books and podcasts out there, but begin with what the Bible says about worship (and know that the Bible says very little about music).

        You’ll never get past the complaints about music style in your church until your church understands what worship really is and how music relates to worship. Even though this is my last suggestion, I’d highly recommend you begin with this, because nothing else I or anybody else suggest is going to work until your church starts with this.
        Practical Worship

        Please Pray For My Wife

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by milepost13 View Post
          I don't want to sound like a jerk, so please hear my heart in this. I want to help you. I commend your desire to help lead your church in this way, and I encourage you to consider my advice below.
          Thank you again for responding to me.

          I agree that the lyrics and theological soundness of the song are the most important things about a worship song.

          Part of the problem is that there are not many people who are musicians who attend the contemporary service. The pastor and his son and the two women who sing are a little more knowledgeable than anyone else. I do have a co-worship chair person, but her focus is on the traditional service. I know that I can ask her for advice as well, though. She doesn't normally attend the contemporary service, so it will be hard to get her opinion of the music that I have chosen so far.

          Since we are having trouble finding a keyboard player to step into where the previous keyboard player was, our pastor has suggested that we look into hiring a worship leader. I don't see how we can do this right now until the sound problem is fixed. I can't imagine paying someone to lead worship and have all kinds of sound problems to go along with it. Once the sound problem is fixed, the problem will be that we will need to come up with the money to pay the person. Our church was unable to pay our apportionments last year, and I think we will struggle this year as well. I'm not sure that we can get someone to come into the church to lead worship without being able to pay them. We will definitely be praying about it, though.

          If we are able to find someone who is able to be an actual worship leader, then choosing the songs and everything would then fall to them. I agree that it would be best if someone who was more knowledgeable than me were to do this.

          I told the vocalists that they are welcome to come to the monthly worship meetings, as is anyone who attends the service. However, what ends up happening is usually ends up happening is worship chair of the traditional service and myself and the woman who is in charge of the refreshments for the first service show up. I was able to get a larger group of people to show up when we needed to discuss the sound problem in the first service. I would welcome other people's input -- it is just that they don't really seem to want to give it, except to complain or comment at other times.

          Now I feel like I need some help from outside my church, which is why I posted on here.

          Another issue within the United Methodist Church as a denomination is the wide theological differences that exist. We currently have three official hymnals that we can pull from -- the 1989 hymnal, The Faith We Sing supplement, and the Worship & Song supplement. The 1989 hymnal, of course, is limited to songs that were written before 1989. The Faith We Sing supplement came out around the year 2000, and it contains mostly praise and worship songs written from the 1970's and 1980's. The Worship & Song supplement came out about in 2011. It definitely contains some more contemporary songs -- some of the ones that I really like and want to use. However, it also contains some that are just not what I consider good at all -- ones that could easily be sung at some pagan creation celebration. Of course we can use other resources other than the official hymnals for worship, such as SongSelect.

          The UMC is in the process of trying to create a new hymnal, but I am not exactly sure what that will look like. I'm concerned about the theological direction it may take, based on how they rated some of the contemporary songs on CCLI's top 100 lists from the last two years. I will have to wait and see what they do. It sounds like they would really prefer it if United Methodist churches would use their new hymnal resource (once it comes out) over SongSelect. This is another reason that I would like to introduce some songs now -- there are no bans or strong recommendations of what kinds of songs we are allowed to use. Although I do not know much about musical topics, I do know about theology, and I strongly care about it.

          Finally, I am not sure how long the United Methodist Church will be able to stay together. There has been talk of a split for several years now. Some people are convinced it will happen within the next few months. I personally think it won't happen until a General Conference can decide that. If the church splits, I don't know where my particular congregation will end up. Depending on what we decide, I may not feel able to attend my current church.

          There are definitely deep theological issues within the denomination, and it is not confined to just one social issue. The social issue is only a tiny issue within a much larger issue. However, unfortunately, most of the attention is being paid to that one social issue, and not the deeper theological differences. For example, if you have people who strongly believe in the blood atonement and Jesus' bodily resurrection, and yet, you have others in the denomination who strongly don't believe in these, I don't see how the denomination can hold together. If you have people who think that the most important thing in church should be to take care of the earth, and others who strongly believe that the gospel should be the most important thing, then how can the denomination hold together?

          What you said in regard to how the UMC changes pastors I think is true, especially in congregations that depend too heavily on their pastors. If there is a strong lay leadership in the church, then a change of pastor would not be so devastating. I think it depends on how committed the people in the congregation are, and how involved they want to be.


          3) If you want to be “contemporary” in a way that attracts the unchurched, don’t just look at other local churches as your guide. Look to the people (who aren’t already attending another local church for a reason) you are trying to attract. What kind of music are THEY listening to?

          No matter how contemporary a church may be, they are almost always a few steps behind what is actually happening in the real world. Contemporary literally means “with what is happening right now”. And to be conTEMPORARY means that you will always be changing…new, by definition, is always temporary.
          Maybe I did not explain myself well. I didn't mean to suggest that I wanted to copy other churches for the sake of copying them. I meant that I believe that we should be in line with how other churches/Christian groups use contemporary worship -- not so much to appear relevant, but because it shows what contemporary worship is. If someone is visiting from another church, or has attended church in the past somewhere, it would be nice if they could attend our church and feel like they know what we're doing in our service. I don't know if I explained myself any better here.

          You are right that contemporary is always changing.

          As far as what kind of music the unchurched are listening to currently - that will vary widely depending on what they like. However, I do think that some of them may feel more at home in a church that is singing songs that are more recent, rather than attending the traditional service, which under the current pastor, is extremely formal. Some people, though, are more comfortable with traditional/formal services, so they might feel more comfortable in that service. That's why I think it's great that we offer two very different services with very different worship styles.



          4) Perhaps most importantly, you need to lead a revolution in your church concerning what the Bible has to say about worship. You need a culture change before you can make a music change.

          Worship is so much more than music. Music is only a tool to worship God. Worshipping together as a church on Sunday morning is about singing to about God side by side. There are plenty or good books and podcasts out there, but begin with what the Bible says about worship (and know that the Bible says very little about music).

          You’ll never get past the complaints about music style in your church until your church understands what worship really is and how music relates to worship. Even though this is my last suggestion, I’d highly recommend you begin with this, because nothing else I or anybody else suggest is going to work until your church starts with this.
          Yes, I have realized this as well. It took me going outside the congregation when I was in high school to realize this -- and I learned more in college and afterwards about worship and what it is to worship God. I know that I still have a lot to learn on the subject.

          This particular congregation has definitely moved in the right direction since I was a child, but it still has a lot more to go.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sounds like you have a tough dilemma.

            What I am picking up on is a major disconnect on what your church is calling 'contemporary'. Calling stuff that's 30 years old 'contemporary' would be like calling disco music 'hip hop'. It sounds like the church is stuck in a time warp. Quite frankly, as long as the prevailing attitude is '90s- early 2000's Hillsong is pushing the envelope and '70s hymns are the staple, you won't have many musicians that will attend.

            Another thing to keep in mind- if you look at most of these old and revered hymns, what we've called 'sacred music', most of it got it's start as pagan music that someone added 'Christian' lyrics to. There was major drama when the church wanted to start using pianos- pianos were pagan, in every den of sin, the church should never have a piano, yadda yadda. Now, 100 years later, the piano is a 'sacred instrument' and we are having that drama over guitars and drums. Music, especially contemporary music, is always going to share elements with 'secular' music. That's not a bad thing. It may sound pagan, but play it at a pagan event. Go try it, see what happens. I have done that- even though it 'sounds' like modern rock, every Christ rejecter and every unrepentant, hard-hearted individual in the place will lose their mind. I've had people flip out- normal, calm people get instantly mad and yell "TURN THAT {expletive} OFF!" Even though it 'sounds' like pagan stuff, it has a solid Gospel message. In all fairness, not all music in the contemporary Christian catalog has a solid Gospel message rooted in the truths of the Word. That's up to the leaders to sort through and find what's solid theologically and what supports church doctrine.

            The other issue that Nate touched on is the people aspect. Someone will always complain. People will always resist change. My dad was pretty set in his ways- he had a license plate that said "If it ain't country, it ain't music". Many church people would fly a bumper sticker that says "if it ain't hymnal, it ain't music". It will be hard to change their minds. The others are somewhere in the middle. They are more open but it takes a lot of convincing and small steps to measure progress. It needs to be slow, steady, consistent, and (most importantly) church leadership will have to support it. Often times, someone like you will come along and try to change things for the better, only to have leadership cave when people start complaining. Then everyone loses- the people that were complaining are going to find something else to bellyache about, the people who were behind the change and supported it are upset because a small faction of the 'old guard' derailed their hope. They frustrated at leadership for being the tail instead of the head so several of them leave, and everyone blames YOU. If YOU hadn't started this mess...

            Part of other things I see as issues is 'lay leadership' that have no business leading anything- elders and deacons who have no formal training or education but they are self-proclaimed experts and theologians. The tendency is to form a faction that's more agenda/political than spiritual. These situations are often a by-product of 'familiarity'- the lay-people think they are on par with the pastors and spiritual leaders and they aren't. It's like when Jesus went to minister in his hometown and was not effective because everyone said 'oh, this cat's the carpenter's son, he's no one special'- because they thought they were on par with him, he couldn't minister and perform miracles.

            Punch line- even Jesus understood (through the parable of the sower) that trying to win over the hard hearted and stubborn was often futile. There's a point in any situation where you realize "it is what it is" and trying to change it will cause more harm than good. This might be one of those situations.
            If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike on Bass View Post
              Sounds like you have a tough dilemma.

              What I am picking up on is a major disconnect on what your church is calling 'contemporary'. Calling stuff that's 30 years old 'contemporary' would be like calling disco music 'hip hop'. It sounds like the church is stuck in a time warp. Quite frankly, as long as the prevailing attitude is '90s- early 2000's Hillsong is pushing the envelope and '70s hymns are the staple, you won't have many musicians that will attend.
              That sums the situation up pretty well.

              Music, especially contemporary music, is always going to share elements with 'secular' music. That's not a bad thing. It may sound pagan, but play it at a pagan event. Go try it, see what happens. I have done that- even though it 'sounds' like modern rock, every Christ rejecter and every unrepentant, hard-hearted individual in the place will lose their mind. I've had people flip out- normal, calm people get instantly mad and yell "TURN THAT {expletive} OFF!" Even though it 'sounds' like pagan stuff, it has a solid Gospel message. In all fairness, not all music in the contemporary Christian catalog has a solid Gospel message rooted in the truths of the Word. That's up to the leaders to sort through and find what's solid theologically and what supports church doctrine.
              Yes, I am aware that not all contemporary Christian music has a solid Gospel message, or is biblically sound. I want to avoid music that comes from certain artists and/or publishers because I find these artists/churches to be off.

              Part of other things I see as issues is 'lay leadership' that have no business leading anything- elders and deacons who have no formal training or education but they are self-proclaimed experts and theologians. The tendency is to form a faction that's more agenda/political than spiritual. These situations are often a by-product of 'familiarity'- the lay-people think they are on par with the pastors and spiritual leaders and they aren't. It's like when Jesus went to minister in his hometown and was not effective because everyone said 'oh, this cat's the carpenter's son, he's no one special'- because they thought they were on par with him, he couldn't minister and perform miracles.
              In my denomination, the pastors are the elders. Both elders and deacons are ordained clergy. I think we could be talking about two slightly different ideas here. I'm not saying that the pastor shouldn't be in charge, or that the pastor shouldn't be in authority. What I meant was that often times, in many churches -- both denominational and non-denominational, people tend to put the pastor on a pedestal, and look to the pastor for everything. It's like only the pastor can have answers, only the pastor can make spiritual decisions, only the pastor can lead prayer at any gathering, only the pastor can lead Bible studies, only the pastor has the correct understanding of Scripture and people aren't reading the Bible at home, etc.

              I think that the pastor should definitely oversee all this, but at the same time, I believe that the laity should be able to make some decisions, and can do small things within the church, like lead Bible studies, or start ministries within the church. If people who are strong in their faith in Christ get together, come up with an idea, then take it to the pastor for approval, I think that is healthy. At the same time, the pastor definitely needs to know what is being taught or done in that ministry.

              I think that there are two extremes that can be equally dangerous:
              1.) The pastor and/or a group of people dictates everything to the congregation, and there is no room to check the pastor or leadership. What they say goes, no matter what. Everyone believes that they have to follow whatever the pastor says. The pastor has complete authority in all areas of the church. This can get into an abuse of power situation, or make the congregation so dependent on the pastor that they are incapable of discernment on any matter related to faith or the church. This can be okay if the pastor and/or leaders are theologically sound. However, if they aren't, then there is no one in the congregation that can say, "hey, that doesn't sound quite right."

              2.) The pastor and/or group of people gives little to no direction in the church at all. The people do everything, and the pastor/leaders just go along with whatever the people decide. Obviously, this is not healthy, and can lead to heresies and all kinds of things coming into the church, unchecked by the pastor or church leadership.




              Punch line- even Jesus understood (through the parable of the sower) that trying to win over the hard hearted and stubborn was often futile. There's a point in any situation where you realize "it is what it is" and trying to change it will cause more harm than good. This might be one of those situations.
              Perhaps. We will see. Thank you for your response to me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok, thanks for clarifying some points. I read it as the laity were trying to have too much influence.

                I noticed you are from the Fremont OH area- I'm familiar with that part of Ohio. In my younger days I spent a lot of time between Toledo, Lima & Fort Wayne. I grew up dead smack in the middle of Farm Country not far from where Michigan, Indiana and Ohio meet. I went to college/tech school in Lima (UNOH as they call it now- I will be back there in July). From what I remember, that part of Ohio is a lot of farmland communities, traditional values, etc. That's a good thing- that's partly why I chose Lima to go to school. One of my most memorable college experiences is back-roading it back to MI and my roommate and I stopped ata bar in some 4-corners blinking light town and they had a bar, all that was on tap was Pabst and Stroh's...

                But it helps put the context in perspective. Regional culture plays a lot into it. Meaning, part of what we need to do is 'understand our audience'. If it's the traditional farming community, it's a lifestyle rooted in tradition and routine. Change (especially in church) is not easy to implement. That's why I say 'it is what it is". Not that change can't be done, but it takes a lot of time, and small steps. You might get some footing with newer Tomlin and Redman, maybe some Jesus Culture, but probably not Jeremy Camp or T-Mac.

                Hopefully it works out where you can bring in some music that works good for your congregation.
                If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mike on Bass View Post
                  Ok, thanks for clarifying some points. I read it as the laity were trying to have too much influence.

                  I noticed you are from the Fremont OH area- I'm familiar with that part of Ohio. In my younger days I spent a lot of time between Toledo, Lima & Fort Wayne. I grew up dead smack in the middle of Farm Country not far from where Michigan, Indiana and Ohio meet. I went to college/tech school in Lima (UNOH as they call it now- I will be back there in July). From what I remember, that part of Ohio is a lot of farmland communities, traditional values, etc. That's a good thing- that's partly why I chose Lima to go to school. One of my most memorable college experiences is back-roading it back to MI and my roommate and I stopped ata bar in some 4-corners blinking light town and they had a bar, all that was on tap was Pabst and Stroh's...

                  But it helps put the context in perspective. Regional culture plays a lot into it. Meaning, part of what we need to do is 'understand our audience'. If it's the traditional farming community, it's a lifestyle rooted in tradition and routine. Change (especially in church) is not easy to implement. That's why I say 'it is what it is". Not that change can't be done, but it takes a lot of time, and small steps. You might get some footing with newer Tomlin and Redman, maybe some Jesus Culture, but probably not Jeremy Camp or T-Mac.

                  Hopefully it works out where you can bring in some music that works good for your congregation.
                  My dad grew up in Lima. There is some farmland around Fremont, and yes, people tend to hold to traditional values here.

                  Sure, it does take a lot of time and small steps. Yes, I have some newer Tomlin and Redman songs. I am not going to use Jesus Culture, though, as I strongly disagree with the theology in the church that Jesus Culture is a part of. I know that some of Jesus Culture's songs are very popular, but I'm going to try to steer clear of it. (This applies to only songs that they themselves have written. I don't care if they cover a song written by someone else.) I just can't bring myself to support Jesus Culture in any way.

                  Thank you. I hope so.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Arwen4CJ View Post
                    I
                    I picked CD recordings of Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, and some Vineyard artists, along with others. The two ladies who lead the singing along with the tape sing very low. However, they are older, and are used to the "contemporary" worship style of the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's. They are finding it almost impossible to sing along with the recorded worship leaders. They claim that there is too much "embellishment" that these worship leaders use. I am not exactly sure what they mean by that. I know what "embellish" means in other contexts. To me, it's just contemporary worship.

                    Are there any CD worship recordings of Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, or Vineyard songs done by a group of people singing that isn't a big name? Are there any recordings of these songs that are for the purpose of singing along with? I am just trying to see if there is something that we can do.

                    One more thing -- once the sound system gets fixed, what would be the best key to put songs in that would make it easy for people to sing along with? We will go back to live worship with the pastor playing the bass guitar and his son playing the guitar as soon as the sound is fixed. I don't want people to hate the songs that I pick, because they are good songs. I just want people to be able to worship, and I want it to truly be a contemporary worship service.

                    theologically then the people who rated the songs, and some of their criteria and opinions I found to be ridiculous.
                    Musicademy sells split track DVDs that might cover a lot of what you are looking for, as well as other products you can use like multitracks:

                    http://www.musicademy.com/store/back...rack-dvds.html


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MarkSnyder View Post

                      Musicademy sells split track DVDs that might cover a lot of what you are looking for, as well as other products you can use like multitracks:

                      http://www.musicademy.com/store/back...rack-dvds.html

                      Thank you. That looks like pretty much what I am looking for. It seems like things have calmed down a bit, and people are getting a little more used to the new stuff. I'm hoping that the sound system can be fixed soon, and I think we are getting an associate pastor who might be able to play the keyboard for us. It is good to know that this kind of stuff is out there, and if we need to use it, we can

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