After the so-called “worship wars” and the uneasy truce that followed, after several generations of faithful North American Christians being raised completely on contemporary worship music, after a flood of new technologies in church music ministries, an emerging understanding of how Millennials and Gen Z actually think, and an accelerating diversity of peoples, cultures, and ideas, it is reasonable to ask of congregational worship, “What’s next?”
Church musicians are prompt to assert that the musical practices of communal Christian worship shape us: What we sing and how we sing together forms us powerfully. Given the wealth of resources available on the topics of congregational worship and the music heard in our churches today, it is easy to be overwhelmed with new trends, new technologies, and new innovations.
Hope cannot be divorced from lament; our hope for tomorrow has a context in the suffering and sorrow that surround us today.
John MacInnis offers some historical perspective and practical ideas for how the power of music can foster cultural inclusivity in our church communities while keeping all our eyes where they belong—forever on Jesus.
The question is obviously complex, and it surely involves our heart as much as our musical skill.
If every human has been given some measure of imagination and creativeness, what keeps some people from living creatively?