People over preference… those words have been coming to mind frequently this week!
When there is conflict in our lives that doesn’t involve sin, the best thing to remember is to value people over preferences. Pastor Jack shared some very valuable words with us this past Sunday to help us avoid conflict over things like how to fold towels or, on a more serious note, what songs we should sing in our worship services.
Can I just take a moment to say thank you, Grace Community Church, for allowing us to lead in worship through song without making a huge deal about preferences! I receive way more encouragement than complaints or suggestions to play certain songs.
We are leading the church in a way that was decided upon by the Elders many years before I arrived. Our official style is blended, leaning towards contemporary. You can even read the document the Elders wrote addressing this here.
When I choose songs for Sunday, I’m not thinking about the number of contemporary songs compared to the number of old hymns. I’m trying to reinforce the main points of the sermon to increase retention and application of God’s truth throughout the week.
I simply choose songs from our repertoire, which has a blend of hymns and contemporary songs. The worship council critiques the songs we add to our repertoire and I’m confident that the newer songs we’ve added are most often just as rich as the old hymns. In fact, many of the new songs we sing have a “hymn” feel to them and could be described as modern hymns.
Because I choose songs based on key words or themes and not how old or new they are, I was curious to see what songs we’ve sang the most since I arrived here a little over 4 years ago. There are 22 songs that we’ve sung 15 or more times since I’ve been here. Eight of those songs are old hymns and a few more are contemporary hymns like “In Christ Alone” or “How Deep the Father’s Love”.
Any guesses on the song we’ve sung the most in the past 4 years?
“Only King Forever” is the winner!
Part of my philosophy of worship through song is to use the talents within the local church as opposed to trying to imitate the songs on the radio. This means that we use our talented woodwind-, brass-, string players, and vocalists that sing harmonies. We sing some songs that you hear on the radio, but we don’t play them the same way because we don’t have the same instruments and we love vocal harmonies! Thus, we have our own unique flavor that reflects how God has gifted our congregation!
Our style of worship through song has been key in valuing people over preferences! I’m thankful for so many young families that call Grace home and for an older generation that is willing to learn new songs! It’s such a joy seeing so many of you eagerly engage in worship through song week after week!
My RightNow Media pick of the month is a short series on Apologetics helping us to see the rationality of believing in God.
This Sunday we’ll continue with the theme of conflict, only this time we’ll look at conflict caused by sin.
I’m looking forward to Sunday!