I have always had an eclectic taste in music the only genre I didn’t take too was country but even some of those songs appealed to me. When it comes to worship music I lean heavily towards new modern music but there are hymns that are very special to my heart. What has always bothered me though was the debate between the two. I know where I stand, firmly on the side of modern music, but I could never put my finger on why that was or what about modern music was so appealing to me. It wasn’t until I heard of a conversation that took place in my church and then seeing a video a friend of mine posted that the wheels began to turn in my head.
The conversation went like this, the church wanted to buy the new Baptist hymnal and the music minister was campaigning to raise money for the purchase when a man came to him and explained that we already had plenty of hymnals in the church with over five hundred songs in them and that was as much music as we would ever need. The video was of a village in Africa and the villagers were singing “Jesus Loves Me”. Now the man had a point we do have a lot of hymnals and we have never sung all the songs in the hymnal I am sure. And do not get me wrong I love the song “Jesus Loves Me” BUT there is a problem that I see that is occurring. We as the people of God have mistakenly assumed that all the songs that were meant to be written have already been written and that god has closed the book ! When the truth is that God has just begun to write music through us! I believe Psalms 40:3 is true for every Christian and that in each culture God is raising up those with the gift of music to write beautiful music to Him but unfortunately we are not doing that. The case of the villagers is most disturbing to me. There they were with a native man trained to preach and singing a song written by an American women almost 150 years ago. Did any one think to teach the villagers to express their praise to God through songs that came from their own hearts? Surely they are not reading prayers and sermons of other people publicly. There is no doubt that they are encouraged to be open and true with God in those areas….but music is another story While God has obviously used this music and I will not deny that how much more impact would be felt if the words were from the hearts of their fellow villagers?
The reason I am a modern music guy is because it takes restriction out of the equation and I think you will see if you are watching that some of the most modern churches throw in a hymn and a choir every once and a while because they can not because they have to. There is a place for all of it. What we cannot do is attempt to silence the Spirit of God speaking through us or others in any form whether that be prayer, preaching, or song writing. Too many churches have left this out and I believe it has left a void in the souls of many musicians within the church.
We must remember the book is not closed!!! Keep writing keep praising keep showing God you affection!