Exactly! That's what I was trying to say in my reply to the topic "...de-railed worship..."
Yes, Yes, Yes
I feel strongly that so there are so many people out there who would respond to honest songs about our belief. In the UK we have one Sunday programme called "Songs of Praise" this is a wonderful program for the house bound Christian. However it was called the most negative thing against the progress of evangelism today.
There is a lack of singing in Churchs and out in the pubs, prisons, hospitals, gig venues that matches the issues facing many Christians and Non-Christians by Christians. You know issues the ones in the Psalms and Prophets.
It seems to me like there are plenty of non-worship Christian songs; isn't yer typical Christian radio station split about half and half these days between worship music and, umm, the other stuff? WtR is specifically about worship music, though, so most of what gets posted here is worship-oriented. When I critique a song on the songwriters' circle, I usually do so from a "worship music" perspective, again, since that's what WtR is about.
And, to me, the difference is that worship music puts words into the mouth of the congregational singer to help them worship; the other stuff speaks a message to the non-Christian to try to convince them to become a Christian. Musically, there's not a whole lot of difference, other than trying to keep worship music "singable" by untrained singers.
I can't give you any pointers, but I'm sure there are songwriter boards out there that are oriented to non-worship music, if that's what you're looking for. And, yeah, sure, evangelistic songs should be as well written and recorded as worship songs - maybe more so, since they're competing with secular music for the listener's attention.
I remember one church I was at where Sunday morning was for the congregation to worship, Sunday evening was the "evangelism" service, and Wednesday night was for study and edification. I don't know how many churches split things up like that these days; it seems like evangelism tends to mean going outside the church building to spread the message, rather than trying to get the unsaved to come to our churches to hear it.
Here in the UK many Churches are not evangelising or teaching with other services.
The Congregation that I'm a member of have youth Football, Family Days, Theme Park Days, Alpha courses a Mens Group for men who are not yet Christians.
From my own experiance I feel that if you drag non-christians into a standard church service there is often a hugh culture shock.
But surely worship is how we live our lives and this must mean want to learn more about God. So not just songs of Worship there needs to be songs of Teaching.
I thought Worship the Rock was for Christians involved in Christian Music and about living a life of worship and supporting each other in fellowship.
Because of this discussion, I introduced a Christian song to the musicians I play secular music with. Ok, as experienced musicians, they may well have seen it as a decent song, so were happy to do it, but just maybe, something in the song could have touched them.
I can't see any reason not to use some the Christian songs that already exist to play to non Chistians. I've done it before, and you know what, it led to a non Christian friend writing a beautiful song with a Christian message.
Besides seeing people catering to their presumed ignorance or lack of interest in Chrstian things, I think non-Christians may welcome any music that honestly and attractively tells truth; and truth is God's thing.
Further, non-Christians such as myself at one time, appreciated people with the guts to do what other people deemed silly (singing a hymn, for instance).
I've tried subtly promoting the idea that Christian songs ought to include teaching; that learning about Christ is part of our maturing as a Body together; that music makes the learning beautiful. Most of the songs I write are to reveal some aspect of life in Christ, life in the Spirit; however, getting them sung is quite another thing.
Except for the choirs, who understand this, the concept falls on deaf ears. "Teaching Songs" seem to be relegated to Children's Church and to the Jesus Movement of the 70's, when un-Bibled hippies found joy in memorizing Scipture together; but not for our sophisticated world today.
I'm not dissing the entire music world! There are indeed quite a few songs which convey Biblical thought powerfully and in a connected way.
There is also a species of song which I shall call "teachy." You know the characteristics -- the author tries to cram\ a whole sermon or lesson, kicking and screaming, into four verses, and if he has half a thought left over, pens a fifth. The reaction against this sort of didacticism can be fierce! The writing of a Teaching Song is way more difficult than that of a Standard Worship Song, because you can't just tote out favourite rhymes and repeat a phrase to fill up a space. The first song I wrote on the Fruit of the Spirit I had to repeat a Fruit, because because I had no idea of how to fill up the phrase; so there were those repeat fruits, making you do a doubloetake, like the Doublemint Twins (remember how IRRITATING they were? Maybe you were spared Doublemint in the UK; but we got it full force.
Well, there's a few thoughts, and it's midnight. I hope some of them are helpful.
Go to open Mic Nights
Go to pubs, fundraising events, hospitals, local radio, prisons:
We include in our set of songs a lot of self pennd songs that have a Christian view point:
Death is Waiting (Jolly and humourous - everyone is going to Die) this song gets more people asking us about our faith than any other
Atmospheric Pressure (Being in the world and not part of it)
Rainbows (about the search for meaning (God) and finding Jesus)
Things you did last night (Emptyness of Drinking and being with people who don't really care for you)
Staring at the Face of Jesus (Young people are needing a Father/Brother/Friend
Weird (Why do I do the things I don't want to do/I'm a believer)
Internal Job Vacancy Blues (Casting Pearls before Swine)
Flying (Addictive Sin and needing someone (Jesus) to save you)
BlackClouds (Depression -True Experiance - Jesus got me through it)
Beside these we do popular covers that we feel can be either seen as a Christian point of view or to bring the audience back to full attention (classic songs) or reflect problems of life were the God shaped hole is filled with things that are not good, Including:
Happy Hour - House Martins
Good Riddance - Green Day
Help - Beatles
Johnny Be Goode - Chuck Berry (Pubs love this now we got them we do "Staring at the face of Jesus")
Stand Up - James
Wall of Death - Richard Thompson
Days - Kinks
Everybodys Talking at Me - Nilsson
Only You -Yazzo
We did "Away in a Manger" in a Pub last Christmas