Today’s churches are having a find time holding onto their worship leaders, and at times it seems that every song rubs someone the wrong way. Why is this?
Kenny Lamm, the Worship Consultant for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, has this to say about the situation:
“Take a look at this excerpt from an U.S newspaper objecting to the new trends in church music:
There are several reasons for opposing it.
One, it’s too new.
Two, it’s often worldly, even blasphemous.
The new Christian music is not as pleasant as the more established style.
Because there are so many songs, you can’t learn them all.
It puts too much emphasis on instrumental music rather than Godly lyrics.
This new music creates disturbances making people act indecently and disorderly.
The preceding generation got along without it.
It’s a money making scene and some of these new music upstarts are lewd and loose.
Does this sound like some of the “fan” mail you receive the week after you have pushed the envelope in worship with some new worship songs?
This was written by a pastor in 1723 attacking Isaac Watts, the writer of great hymns like When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Joy to the World, and O God, Our Help in Ages Past.
You see, “worship wars” are nothing new to our decade. As long as we have had organized church and people with personal preferences, there has been conflict. As
James 4:1 says,
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle with you?”
Until we reach Heaven, people will always find a reason to bicker with one another about one issue or another. Unfortunately, this “Worship War” mentality can inhibit God’s praises in far too many churches today.
So what can we do about it? I love to see different generations setting their differences aside and coming together to praise the name of Jesus as one body – united in heart and in spirit.
One incredible example is the recent album by Travis Cottrell, The Reason, where he sings several praise songs alongside his own daughter, Lily Cottrell. This father/daughter duo set a breathtaking example for the rest of us. We’re really not so different. We all want to praise God in spirit and in truth, and when we do work together wonderful things can happen.
Take a minute to listen to the following video of this family team singing What a Beautiful Name, and you’ll see what I mean:
Isn’t it beautiful to see different generations coming together to praise God with one united voice? I imagine this is just a hint of what Heaven will be like – where people of every tribe, nation, and tongue (and yes – of every age) – will come together and finally praise the LORD of hosts with one voice.
Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the hype (or the burden) of worrying about those who insist on waging a “Worship War” in your church. Focus on the name of Jesus (and what a Beautiful Name it is!) and let’s heal our Generation Gap… one song at a time.