What Will Church Music Look Like in 10 Years?

Posted by on Oct 20, 2011 in Church Music | 4 Comments

Historically, church music seems to follow/mimic/react to mainstream trends.

So, if we look at indie music today, can we predict what our church music will look like 10 years from now?

Here are two potential paths I see the evolution of indie music performance taking us.

Foster the People – Pumped up Kicks (Live on SNL) 

Typhoon – Sickness Unto Death and The Honest Truth medley


Both great songs. Incredibly different performance styles.

Which one would you prefer your church be 10 years from now? And did you know you get to help decide?


  1. Andres Torres
    October 20, 2011

    I think this thread of discussion is critically important.

    As I just attended a members class at my church (Grace Bible Church), I heard my pastor say that we’re seeking to “move at the speed of culture”. If this is a main cry of our churches and how we as the body of Christ seek to be relevant to our culture while remaining reverent to our God, then this question needs to be addressed, and the sooner the better. Is church worship music stale? Don’t misconstrue my question, because I’m not referring to God and His Holy Spirit that can move through and use anything. Has our service to our [church] services attained a plateaued complacency? God chose to reveal Himself in multiple ways, many of them being unique (some would even categorize them as ‘theatrical’). We’re made in HIS image; shouldn’t we chose to do the same?

    After being motivated to action, however, before we can even shift our weight in anticipation of change, we’re stopped by the ever-present obstacle of reconciling the different tastes, preferences, and opinions of an entire congregation. What do we do about the nature of this beast?

    P.S. If this thread started off as a vote between the two styles, throw one on the board for Typhoon. Beautiful.

  2. Robert B. Frost
    October 20, 2011

    I thank you for raising the question!
    10 years from now, as you pointed out, the culture
    around the world will be vastly different than today.

    Just look at the technology from the last decade
    versus now!

    We are awash in newer, higher, stronger, faster.

    Your videos were an excellent representation of experimenting with
    the clashes of ancient and modern technology. Acoustic instruments
    vs. the digital…

    I think that we need to be able to “receive” the trends as best as possible
    without diluting the simple message of salvation.

    When you think of how Jesus’ message is now over 2,000 years old,
    it behooves us who are leaders of Godly worship to “keep the main thing
    the main thing” while being sensitive to our congregations that we serve,
    and give our all to.

  3. Martha
    October 22, 2011

    I would prefer my church to have both! (But maybe that’s just my eclectic taste coming through.) I think the future depends on songwriters writing in the style in which they’re best able to sing to and about God and encourage their congregations. I don’t know if we should aim for a particular style as much as let it come naturally–follow the gifts God gave you as an artist and not try to force it in a certain way to be cool or to copy the trendiest music of the day.
    Anyway, some people have already gotten to this future you speak of. Typhoon reminds me an awful lot of The Welcome Wagon.

  4. Joel Strode
    October 23, 2011

    I’ll just vote first and say that the direction of Typhoon would be my choice.

    But it is going to depend a lot on the church itself and its leaders. I believe that this decade is a pivotal point in worship music. No longer are churches growing up with the “church standards.” They are experimenting with relatively new styles of worship music and every couple months they are cycling in new songs and slowly removing the old ones. Our church’s’ youth is just fine with this and even encouraging it while some of their parents are on the opposite end of this. I’ve even had a conversation with one person who said that “it isn’t even worship music anymore.” And in a sense, maybe he was right. I have been to some “worship” services where it was directed to non-believers. If this is the direction of future worship in the church, then I think we’re missing the point. Non-believers can NOT worship. It is impossible without a true relationship with God. We need to realize that worship is for those with a relationship with Christ first and then we can review our style and see if it is effectively bringing them to a true worship experience. From there we can decided which direction our particular church can go in terms of style of music we use to worship. As far as which direction worship music will take, it is going to depend on the community of believers our church is located in.