We play quite a lotta secular stuff at church, often with lyrics changed to Christian content. Which is great as many people recognise them and enjoy them

I see a lotta people here don't listen to secular music. So i just want to see what people feel in general about playing secular stuff in church?

Any comments welcome :)

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check out this link to the Lisa Coles band. watch the youtube video. in the middle, they do something cool to a popular hip hop track, but change the lyrics around and make it a lot of fun. these guys are awesome!

We play secular stuff at church with no harm. But it's not for every church.

The three biggest complaints of the church today is we are hypocrites, we are out of touch and we would rather fight about principles than tell someone about our hope in Christ.

So we play some secular background music during the handshake welcome time. Most people have no idea we're doing it since we just do the music, no words. But I can point to a whole lot of people who joined our church saying, "You know, thanks for having fun and making this all seem real." We've done "Deacon Blues", "Call me Al", "I will Survive" (Cake version), "What a Fool Believes", "This Love" and the most popular song we've done is "Tuesday's Gone with the Wind" by Skynyrd (we're in the south).

Actually many of us play secular music without even knowing it since "Lord, I lift Your Name on High" is Steve Miller's "The Joker", and "Give Thanks" is the Jackson 5's "I'll be There" and "We will Dance on the Streets that are Golden" is "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

For special music this year we've done "Get Together" by The Youngbloods, "Anyway" by Martina McBride and for graduation day we did "You're Going to Miss This" by Trace Adkins. We did Transiberian Sunday last Christmas to much hurrah which was a selection of Transiberian Orchestra songs.

The absolute best service I've ever seen was from New Spring Church in South Carolina where they opened Easter Morning with the Foo Fighters "My Hero" and "The Passion" playing in the background. I couldn't make that work but that church is baptizing like 600 people every month. See http://www.newspring.cc/resources and drop into resources then look for 2008, March 23.

Again, it's up to where God is leading you. I wouldn't do it just to be playing secular music or making a point or being a rebel. I do it to be real to our community and it works right now.

Or as I tell people - the Bible is real stuff, about real people, who were real messed up sometimes....just like me. So maybe that's why I do it. JJP
I think if you are going to do it, you might as well do it with a bang. I remember years ago Michael W Smith did a version of Crown Him with Many Crowns that had a bassline that sounded like 'breakout' from Swing Out Sister. O boy, my band went balistic with that one! :) I never had a chance to quote the horn riff from 'Call Me Al" in church, though I did use 'Jump' from Van Halen (and the rest of the band violently objected!)

Yup, I was young once... :)
Your purpose as a leader of worship is to assist believers to enter true (selfless) worship of our King. What material you use (as well as your intent) is to be prayed over and agreed as 'worthy' of an offering to our GOD.

It is my steadfast belief that music is a 'Spiritual' language which can be used to engage the spirit in meaningful worship pleasing to our Father in Heaven.
I think you have to do what the Lord puts on your heart to do. But that being said I don't feel it's from Him if we do things with compromise. If we are going to change someone's lyrics we should do it legally. Which means seek permission and have a copyright liscence. How can we do a ministry if, even at the basic core, we are not trusting in God.
It's cool that we are re-hashing a debate that has gone one throughout the ages of the church.

When Paul quotes the song "Sleeper awake, rise from the grave, and Christ will shine on you" in Ephesians 5, I have a feeling this was a popular worship song. But it also may very easily have been one written to a popular 'secular' tune.

Popular tunes have been used throughout history for hymn texts - even tunes originally written for bawdy and irreverent uses.

The reality is that music exists (as does everything) to glorify God. If we can use music in that way, I think it's permissible, definitely. Then the conscience comes into play.

I write music to perform for non-christians in bars, coffeehouses, other events. I find that many of the people listening connect with my music because it speaks to human realities discussed in scripture. there is a lot of music written from an unredeemed perspective that does the same, and in its grasp of Truth and the realities of life, it also Glorifies God, though perhaps not intentionally.

My question would be: do the music and lyrics bring us to a deeper understanding of Truth and who God is, and does it enable us to truly worship, with gratitude for the Grace bestowed on us by God through Jesus Christ?
I am totally against using secular music during Worship.
In my opinion, I don't care for playing secular songs at church. I am not judging you, it's just my preference. I just feel that when somebody writes a Christian song, I hope that they are prayed up and have asked the Holy Spirit to lead them. I understand the words have been changed, and that might have been done with the Holy Spirit leading, but writing the instrument side of it is just as important. I feel that the Holy Spirit is writing with the instruments as well. I have heard that people have been healed without a single word said, just music.

Take care and God bless,
I quit a church over this, and don't regret it. The pastor had a target 'audience' but I found something in scripture ( forgive me my marked-bible isn't close by ) NASB paraphrased:" If a fool comes in and sees people speaking tongues, won't he think them a fool, but if he hears the truth, he'll fall down and be convicted." If the song isn't presenting truth, then what's the point? On that note, when our Music Leader left us a couple of months ago, we did " Come on People now, smile for your brother, let's love one another . . ." as our prelude, and I got emails complimenting the choice. It can be the exception, but shouldn't be a common rule. - JC
I think you have to really be careful about your motivation to use secular music. I was on the worship team of a church where the pastor was passionate about reaching the truly lost. Most of our congregation was not saved, and we catered to them. We were the classic "Seeker Sensitive" church. Initially I thought it was a good idea to play secular songs that they would recognize. The idea was to present a popular secular song that fit with the message in hopes that they might hear the song during the week and remember the message. Sounds good in theory.

The problem was that we never really got to the TRUTH, and real worship rarely occurred. We sang plenty of praise songs, but in our effort to reach the lost, we lost focus on God. Jesus loved the sinner, and he preached the truth to them without sugar coating it. We should do the same in our churches. We should welcome the unbeliever but we should provide an atmosphere of genuine worship, we should preach the truth, and we should call sin sin and in some cases offend those who disagree.

In First Corithians 14:23-25 it is talking specifically about using tongues, but it says that if the unbeliever comes in and sees a group of people prophesying (ie speeking the truth) they will be convicted and fall to their knees declaring the presence of God. THAT is what church is supposed to do.
I'm puzzled as to the statement "often with lyrics changed". So then it's not secular anymore is it? Would that be like taking "Highway to hell" from AC/DC and changing the words to Highway to Heaven? I for one feel ther are waaaayyyy too many Praise and Worshp songs around to do something secular in any sense. If I'm a new creation and my past is "my past", then I have no need to sing the old songs anymore.
If people are getting saved, seeing God in all His glory, being ushered into His presence by it, then I can't say much. But if you're just having fun doing it, and people are having fun doing it, I'd say "drop it like it's hot".
There are wayyyyy too many worship songs to choose from. They are so awesome! When I hear secular songs like Highway to hell, I think of the "sin" I was doing at the time. When I am worshipping God, I don't want to think about anything BUT HIM.

I appreciate your response Elman.


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