I remember hearing a survey revealing that one of the most common issues over which people feel separated from their church is the music style of the worship.
I can relate. I don’t like the music at most churches I’ve gone to. In fact, I get downright mad if the music is not what I like. Can you imagine that? I actually stand there during worship, mad about the music. There have even been times I was so hot under the collar, I actually had to walk out until it was over! Having grown up in the 60s and raised in the church, I love hymns. Along came the Jesus Movement of the 70s and suddenly all the music seemed to change—and so did I. I haven’t been happy since.
But it was just a few years ago that as I sat down in church, a good friend of mine happened to be in the next seat over. As it was time to stand and sing, he raised a hand of praise. I strained my peripheral view to get a glimpse of his face. Could he possibly really like this music enough to be closing his eyes and getting into it so much?
Could he possibly really like this music enough to be closing his eyes and getting into it so much?
As we were walking out, I thought it might be a good time to criticize the music, you know, just to feel him out about how he could actually like that cringe-worthy din. Perhaps I could get him to see and agree with my point of view.
“You know what your problem is?” he said to me. I was caught off guard.
“You think worship time is about you.”
I stopped in my tracks.
“I know,” he continued, “because I have felt that way before. But now I tell God before I sing that I am recognizing that this time is all about Him—and it has nothing to do with me. Then I open my mouth and give Him His due.”
Today I am better about it. Not great, but better. I still don’t really like the music, but I see my role differently now. I am not really a consumer of it so much as I am an amplifier for it. I lend my voice to increase the volume to God’s ears, who is so worthy of our praise. And along the way, I sometimes feel very touched and moved. I hope God feels that way too. Either way, I realize that my main mistake was allowing my critical spirit to roam free about me. But worship is certainly no time for that.
The cross is God’s love song to us. The least we can do is shut down our critical spirit long enough to sing a love song to Him.