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?”
It is this cultural phenomenon of Dolly Parton – the woman, the myth, the legend – that the podcast production team of Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee jump into with both feet.
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.
If your favorite band were suddenly erased from the memory of the world, could you recall their lyrics accurately enough to do them justice on the world stage—and more importantly, would you dare?
The church’s musical imagination is limited by the vocabulary we use: traditional, contemporary, praise and worship, hymns, old, new.
What is it about some of the Christmas golden oldies that evoke such warm feelings of home and holiday?
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.
Our “estate planning” would do well to include equipping ourselves with songs that have nurtured the Church for decades and centuries.
As hymn books dissolve into digital catalogs and organs morph into macbooks, what do we make of the source of our songs? Who decides what gets written and what gets played (are the worship wars really over)?
The problem with the instantaneous switch from “regular music” to “all Christmas, all the time” is that this isn’t really what the season is about. It is time Advent is reclaimed for what it is really about.
An interview with music industry veteran, Derek Webb.
As I, like the narrators of his albums, work out the big questions, Springsteen’s music has been both a puzzle and provocation. Not every album was a home run, but for him, that wasn’t really the point as much as it was a true chronicle of his own questions and pursuit of better answers.
If you want to know what an honest song is then look to the Psalms. They cover every kind of human emotion. John Calvin talks about the Psalms as “an anatomy for all parts of the soul.” They are prayers that capture the totality of the human experience.
The question is obviously complex, and it surely involves our heart as much as our musical skill.