Found this interesting article and it has some great points regarding music and singing.  How in many churches this has changed and the challenges today with technology, rock band driven music and even singablity.

Just sharing and interested in thoughts/discussion

The challenge to keep the music/singing alive and people engaged

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It’s funny because when I started to write my first response, I initially wrote “why do we feel the need to measure?”  But I toned it down to just point toward things less… well measurable.  I sometimes look at the way we “do Church” and think God is looking down on us chuckling to himself.  We seem to have the need to measure everything, even the things we can’t (or possibly shouldn’t measure). 

Sometimes I think we apply a business mentality and model to church and it personally makes me uncomfortable.  Don’t get me wrong, there are things we must keep track of in order to be good stewards of what we are given, but I think we feed ourselves a little when we start counting and measuring. 

If God’s hand is in it, it will grow.  If He wills it, it will happen.  I think we give ourselves a little more credit than we are due sometimes (I’m cringing as I write this… should I duck?).  In God’s economy where the last are first, I wonder sometimes if we are missing the point. 

When I clicked "enter" on my previous response and left the page, I thought, "boy, am I going to start a firestorm here?" 

But note, a comment from Paul in his letter to Corinth (10:7 ff.)    Do you look at things according to the outward appearance?  If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ's, let him again consider this in himself [i.e., "think again, buddy"], that just as he is Christ's, even so, we are Christ's.  For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed -- lest I seem to terrify you by letters [e.g., Corinthians].  "For his letters", they say, "are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible."  Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

     For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves.  But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.  We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within limits of the sphere which God appointed us - a sphere which especially includes you.

We might note that while there is a yardstick, the Great Yardstick, Christ Himself, our "measurements" tend to stray into measuring by human standards (or what we think is cool or nice or pretty or useful).  Paul gives us some pretty good ideas as to how to combat this tendency.

Good point.  Yeah, I like it when the congregation sings along with our worship songs (confession: especially if it's one I wrote), but in our church it's more important that the congregation participates in mission projects, food bank donations, VBS, Bible studies, etc.  I think that if we were convinced that we could increase participation in those other things by adopting a "performance" approach to our worship music, we would at least consider switching.  In our traditional service, singing the good ol' hymns (1870s stuff) is part of the appeal, and we've sorta assumed that the contemporary service should be participatory as well.  But now that "performance worship" is on the outs, it may be time for the Methodists to decide that it's what we should be doing :-)

Ohhhhhhhhkay... since I'm now a Methodist, I guess I'll weigh in!  This week, we're singing "Lord of the Dance", not just in the traditional service, but in the "contemporary" as well.  (hey, since over half the people in the contemporary service are over 60, they'll know it, and it becomes 'contemporary' since it's new to the others).  But what's important is that the week before Palm Sunday, everybody gets to sing this compact, fun - and powerful - resume of what Jesus did, and why, and how we responded.  Will they sing, or just stand there is amazement (when you see those flash-mob videos, people do both)?  We have no idea, but we're goin' for it!

I grew up in Chicago, and assumed that cows went out in the day and came back from the fields to be safe in the barn at night.  But actually, at least in warm climates like Arizona, or in summer, they like to stay out and moo and munch at night, and come back home to get milked in the morning. (That's why Granddad got so furious about "Roosevelt Time", because the city folk opened their stores at the same clock hour when Daylight Savings was enforced, but the cows still came home on God's Time, thus shrinking milking time by one hour).  There are traditions that are there for good reason!

Maybe I should have said "till Jesus returns".  There's not too many cows where I'm at here in New Jersey.


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