Why My Church Sings New Songs
So, if we're not singing new songs for the unchurched, why are we?
Here are a few reasons my church (and many others) sing mostly new songs:
- The church constantly needs an infusion of new songs of praise
- It's the music that most of the people who attend my church prefer – not just the youth
- It's the music our musicians know how to play
- It supports what God is laying on the hearts of today's worshippers and songwriters
- It touches the hearts of today's believers just like older music touched the hearts of yesterday's believers
- New songs give a voice to how people express worship today
- There is no such thing as "church music" outside of the lyrical content
- New music often builds on the foundation laid by older songs
- New music involves more musicians because it uses the instruments more people play today
- It tells aspiring songwriters that they can use their gifts to bless the church
- I preach new sermons using eternal truths, why can't musicians do the same?
Every Old Song Used to Be a New Song
Every time musical styles change, a lot of church people get upset about it. And they scramble to find a theological justification for what is little more than a musical preference.
The main complaint? Today's songs are musically inferior and theologically shallow.
Is there a lot of shallow music today? Sure. I cringe over the singing-about-Jesus-like-he's-my-boyfriend songs, too.
Shallow songs have been written in every generation. The only reason we think yesterday's songs are deeper than today's is because only the great ones from yesterday have survived.
So we keep them, sing them, and build on the foundation they laid for us as we write and sing new songs.
That will happen with today's songs for future generations. The poorly written and theologically shallow songs will fade away, while the better ones will stick around for a while.
So no, not every new song is on a par with Amazing Grace. But, when you think about it, only one old song was Amazing Grace. There were some other great songs from that era that stuck around for us to sing today, but there were a lot that didn’t. Either they weren’t that good, or they were right for that era, but not for today.
Today's Amazing Grace may be out there right now. And I don’t want to miss it. So we’re opening our arms, hearts, voices and churches to sing new songs.
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