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A Structure Runs Through It

Both free-flowing praise and traditional hymns can be included in an extended time of worship.

Some musicians, not to mention some longtime church members, find the move to worship choruses in today's churches threatening.

Organists, for example, can have difficulty getting the proper feel for choruses with a pipe organ, and they fear they will eventually find themselves on the periphery of the music ministry.

Others, raised on traditional hymns, find choruses repetitive and boring, the free-flowing praise format undisciplined and aimless.

At the same time, still others find the "hymn/announcements/hymn/offering" order of service disjointed and distracting. And some younger musicians don't identify with the style of hymns and gospel songs, and they contend that hymns and choruses don't mix.

All are legitimate concerns. Can they be allayed? Yes!

I'm not out to persuade anyone to adopt any particular style, but I believe we benefit by understanding and occasionally blending the strengths of diverse styles. If we become more comprehensively skilled, we are more valuable instruments for ...

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