by Pastor Terry Gee
Music on demand. iTunes. Youtube. Spotify. Thousands upon thousands of songs, ready for your consumption. Listen to a new album every single day and you won’t exhaust the music available to you.
And not only is it readily available, there is countless variety, easily seen in the Christian music arena alone. Like rock n’ roll worship? You got it. Folksy worship your thing? Easy. How about Christian Dubstep or Christian Norwegian Prog Metal? Yep, it’s all there. Everyone can get what works for them - and get it instantly.
And this is a wonderful thing. The variety of music highlights the various facets of God and His glory in different ways. Worship music being widely and easily available has made worship music common, from the car to the kitchen, not just something we have to wait until Sunday morning to hear and sing, storing up the songs in our hearts and minds.
But has this also hindered Sunday morning worship?
I would contend that there is a dark side to the current worship culture that we must guard ourselves against. While having pitch-perfect, professionally mixed, studio quality recordings in our ears all week is great, do we then easily become disappointed with the music on Sunday? And while listening to whatever song I want in the style I like is marvelous, am I then put off when my tastes aren’t met in service? I listen to a new album every week, as the same old songs are played Sunday after Sunday, or I stick to my favorite album over and over, never being bothered by singing along to any new, unfamiliar songs either. In short, I’m in control, and that includes the all important volume knob. Enough said.
All of these things can subtly add up to a Sunday morning letdown of a worship time if we’re not careful. No favorite songs. Too loud. Too soft. Not as good as the recording.
So what should we do? In the middle of whirlwind of preferences, how do we guard against becoming spectators or unintentional critics of Sunday worship singing?
Remember What It Is.
It’s not a concert. It’s not a coffee house.
It is the chosen people of God - the One who upholds the entire universe - coming together as one to offer up their hearts and bodies in praise that is God-exalting, Christ-adoring, Spirit-empowered, flesh-crucifying, and hell-shaking, that moves the heart of heaven and unifies the church on earth to carry out the mission of God into all the world. It is a company of pilgrims together on a dark and painful journey towards everlasting joy, and when we come together, in one heart and one voice, to declare the praises of Him who drew us out of death and darkness and into His marvelous light, we are strengthened to press on with the name of God exalted and honored above all things.
So don’t lose the vision. Don’t let preferences for new songs, old songs or musical styles keep you from wholeheartedly worshiping the One who loved us and gave himself up for us. Remember what worship is, and you will be able to worship God in any and all circumstances, with any and every musical style and song that confesses His praise, and so delight in Your Savior with His people every single Sunday