Why can’t you just sing some of the older songs? If you’ve been a worship leader for more than two weeks, you’ve likely had this question. It’s rarely asked in a sincere tone and usually comes with a sting of harsh judgment.
I’ve been involved in worship ministry since I was a teenager. I watched the birth of what we would call the “modern worship music” and have seen it’s blessings over the years. I’ve also been caught up in the crossfire of the arguments and wars over musical style and selection.
I love new songs. I firmly believe in introducing new songs to our congregations. The final “Amen” at the end of the Book of Revelation was not the final “Amen” for those of us who are crafting songs to tell the great story of the Kingdom.
There is also something stirring and powerful about singing the old songs. Many worship leaders just don’t want to hear this. If that’s you and you feel a resistance building up as you read this, I hope you’ll take a deep breath and listen.
A few days ago, I was driving my kid to school and we were playing around with Spotify on my iPhone. He was playing some of his favorite songs for me. I decided to have him search for some of my favorite songs from the past. The conversation went something like this:
“Jon Michael, see if you can find this one … it’s called “The Way It Is,” and it will be by Bruce Hornsby and The Range.”
“Sure, Dad, I found it … do you want me to play it?”
“Yes — you may recognize this. It’s one of the most awesome piano tunes ever.”
As the opening piano riff started my 12-year-old lit up and recognized it immediately. I felt this overwhelming joy rise up in me as memories from the past flooded into my soul. I’ve had so much fun not only listening to this tune, but also playing it. I used to spend countless hours with that cassette tape (yes, cassette tape) rewinding it over and over and pausing it so I could learn the piano solo note by note.
I dropped JM off at Glynn Middle and enjoyed the song three more times at very high volume on the drive back to St. Simons Island. I was elated. I hadn’t enjoyed that tune in a while. It set the mood for the day.
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Source: Church Leaders