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May 30, 2004
Welcome to yet another edition of my now-patented Sunday Ramblings. It’s a time for me to throw disorganized thoughts together and call it blogging.
Today we start at The Journey Church which had its second preview service this morning. As with their first preview which was held last month, I was priveleged to be part of it as once again I ran the sound for them. It was a great little service and their numbers were up from last time. They had 13 college-aged kids who had formed a missions team and come to Toronto from Memphis, Tennessee to help out. I must say, they were one of the nicest groups of kids I’ve ever met. Most of them made an effort to come over and introduce themselves to me and thank me for taking the time to help out with the service. I wonder if everyone in Memphis is so polite…
It’s funny to see a church in the very early stages of development. The sermons are so very basic and geared towards “seekers,” trying to help people understand just what Christianity is all about. Though it is neat to see such a church begin, I am just as happy not to have to “start over” doctrinally again. I would find it difficult to have to go back to the beginnings after just being part of a new church. Growth is good!
I just noticed there is a new church in town (at least I think it’s a new church) that has an evening service - quite a rare commodity these days. The motto for their church is “teaching the Bible - book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. The full cousel of God.” So that sounds neat. I may just go and visit some evening to see what they are all about. The lazy part of me often rejoices that my church has no evening service, but the spiritual part of me often regrets that we do not.
When you take music lessons as a Christian, when do you learn to play “altar call music?” You know that I mean, I’m sure. The slow, pensive music usually played on keyboard (though guitar can substitute) that is often played during the altar call or response time.
A few weeks ago I was in church and someone (whose name will go unmentioned) leaned over to me and whispered, “You know, we try to say that our music needs to be relevant to the culture, but this music isn’t any closer to what unchurched people listen to than hymns.” And you know, that person may have been right. Of all the tens of thousands of Christian songs that are published every year, only a select few make it into the churches. Are they the best ones? Not necessarily. Are they the ones with the best lyrics? Nope. So what makes people choose them? Probably the fact that they are easily singable. Some songs would be quite difficult for your average person to learn and even more difficult for groups to sing together. So really maybe what we do is just take the instruments that are popular in the culture around us and make songs on them that are perhaps vaguely similar to what they listen to. We then think we’re being culturally relevant. Strange, though, that we don’t sing any songs in church that sound like something we’d find on a Britney Spears album or on a U2 album…
That’s about it for today. I’m signing off until tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your Lord’s Day.