If We Moneyball’d Church, Would We Still Sing Songs?

If We Moneyball’d Church, Would We Still Sing Songs?

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in Church Music | 3 Comments

For those who saw the film adaptation of Michael Lewis’ brilliant book “Moneyball” this past year, you probably shared my reaction when you saw the old baseball scouts sitting around the table talking about how to find the next great ball player.

Superstitions and traditions based on the best technology available 40 years ago – their gut instinct.

And we smile and shake our heads realizing that our own industries we work for suffer from the same myopia, because they too were created before the dawn of the technological revolution. We write press releases the way we did 40 years ago. We teach children the same way we did 40 years ago.

And if Moneyball has taught us anything, it’s that, rather than tweaking, the only sensible thing to do is say,

“If were starting over from scratch today, what would we build?”

So, what about the church?

If it’s possible to forget about our recently created Americanized traditions, start over and say,

“If the role of the church is to create disciples, what should our weekly gatherings look like?”

And if you start from scratch, with no preconceived notions, do you really put music there?

How to Select Worship Songs for “Your” Church

How to Select Worship Songs for “Your” Church

Church song selection has a lot to do with your philosophy on the power of music.

If you merely want songs to be theologically accurate and emotionally powerful, most CCM songs will do.

But, if you believe that music can be more powerful than the sermon – that the words in the songs we sing can be more impactful than the big 3 takeaways on our handout – song selection becomes a greater responsibility.

Then you choose songs with lyrics that match the spiritual reality you want your congregation to embrace.

For a church struggling with humility, sing songs about the depravity of man and the need of repentance.

For a church struggling with faith, sing songs about the sovereignty of God.

For a church struggling with love, sing songs about community and connection.

And if you can’t find songs to match what your congregation needs to cry out, write them.

The Manipulative Power of Worship Music

The Manipulative Power of Worship Music

Posted by on Oct 27, 2011 in Worship Music | One Comment

One common argument I hear from both Christians and not-yet-believers is the idea that worship music can wrongly catch people up into a emotional trance or tizzy in which they too readily accept anything being said from the pulpit.

This is absolutely true.

But, removing music doesn’t solve that problem.

Consider Martin Luther King Jr.’s unique speaking ability. Is it manipulative? Absolutely. The cadence. The repetition. It’s breathtaking. It sounds so good that it immediately sounds right.

But neither does removing rhetoric solve that problem – in the sense that we might disqualify a pastor based on their speaking gifts, which might too easily manipulate the masses.

The problem only rests if truth is not being spoken. If our worship music soars with lyrics that simply aren’t true. If our pastors’ language stirs our hearts with words that are empty.