Can We Even Sing in the Same Room?

In a previous post I referenced a message I gave at WorshipGod09 on “The Future of Worship,” based on Psalm 78.

Here’s a 3 1/2 minute excerpt from the message where I talk about the importance of finding musical styles that multiple generations can sing together.

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8 Responses to Can We Even Sing in the Same Room?

  1. Zac Hicks October 23, 2009 at 9:46 AM #

    Thank you! I work in a church that is extremely multi-generational. It’s interesting to plan worship with multiple generations in mind. At this juncture in American church music history, I’m noticing a huge discrepancy between what’s comfortable for the average older person to sing and what’s comfortable for younger people (it’s hard to pin it down to two categories). Many older people did not grow up with the synchopated vocal rhythms that the younger folk find not only easy, but natural. Many of the younger generations find on-beat vocal rhythms stiff and un-expressive. It is so interesting that just the rhythm ALONE poses unique challenges to coming together musically.

  2. Mike Ruel October 26, 2009 at 9:17 AM #

    Thank you Bob…it was great to hear it live at WG09 and a great reminder…it’s so awesome that you guys video’d everything for us to keep coming back to as a resource.

    This is a very complicated issue, but yet it shouldn’t be…right? It has more to do with our spiritual maturity and our view of God and the complete perfect work of Christ on the cross than anything.

    I’ve had church members of 30 years plus come up to me with tears in their eyes and say they can’t worship with drums in the room. Are we then putting a stumbling block in their way?

    How do we all get to the point of worshiping in the same room?

    By all gathering at the foot of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! the great Mediator – who for ALL gave himself as a sacrifice for all of our sins…including the sins of personal preference, or perhaps even selfishness – on both sides.

    Thank you again for the reminder, Bob and for always pointing to that cross, may we not ever show contempt for the riches of the kindness of his grace, may it always lead us to repentance – and seek to find evidences of His grace in all.

    -M

  3. Jonathan Treeby October 28, 2009 at 2:39 AM #

    Thanks for posting this excerpt. We need to hear it again.

    My local church defends the case for simultaneous services in the same building, one very “traditional” and one “contemporary.”

    We could all fit in the main sanctuary at the same hour – space is not the issue.

    I’m not the only church member who is heartbroken that we can’t sing, pray, exhort, take communion, or hear the sermon together as a church family.

    “Diversity” is cited as justification for this practice of separation, a practice strongly defended by our pastors and elders. But our so-called “diversity” looks more like segregation and “cultural narcissism,” as you described it. It is anything but diverse, in my opinion. I have heard church members and even some music team members express disgust about the possibility of attending or serving the other congregation.

    As we consider Biblical diversity in worship, we see something quite different. Here are just two examples:

    Heb 12 – “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant…” that is all of us, with innumerable angels, and the assembly of ALL previous generations of saints from every tribe and tongue. That is the reality of our present worship, if we are in Christ, only with Him as the mediator.

    Rev 5 – “…the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands saying with a loud voice, a “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”” along with “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever…””

    Now THAT is diversity. May our churches reflect that kind of diversity, TOGETHER. Even in future worship, we never graduate from the gospel, worshiping the Lamb who was slain. May the gospel unite us even now as we gather together in local congregations.

    Bob, keep preaching, blogging, and writing about gospel-centered corporate worship. Thanks for your ministry not only to Sovereign Grace, but also to those of us who aren’t, or can’t be part of a Sovereign Grace church. Your work is another means of God’s grace to the church, for which I thank Him.

    Hebrews 10:24-25
    “…let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet TOGETHER, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

  4. Thomas Wright February 6, 2010 at 7:41 AM #

    I am new to this blog so I am late to weigh in on some of these. An elder at my church heard something on the local radio by Bob and recommended I look into this ministry.

    I have served in several churches with many different worship styles. I agree that it is disheartening than often we can not sing in the same room. However, I feel that the majority of the burden of the problem is thrust on those of us who prefer and respond to traditional worship. I have to silence the organ so that the band can play new versions of traditional hymns. It has been my experience that I have to give up ground, and there is much less grace, understanding, or tolerance from the contemporary music side.

  5. Amy August 9, 2010 at 11:39 PM #

    I am fairly new to this site as well – there is SO MUCH useful stuff on here, thank you for posting all this!

    I am thankful to serve in a church that doesn’t split services between traditional and contemporary styles….we cram both of them into all our services. Which I think is good because the younger generations need to hear the solid foundations of the hymns and the older generations need to ‘loosen up’ and ‘have fun’ a bit. haha

    But, we do have battles over preferences: it took quite awhile before we had drums at our church and even now, after 9 years (yes, only 9 years ago) we have to be careful to not use them ‘too much’ or have them be ‘too loud’. Also, the usage of other instruments doesn’t necessarily go over well the first couple of times. I still remember the time we had a sax out on its stand for the whole service (we were just getting people warmed up to the idea of a sax) and afterwards someone complained to our leader that the saxophone was TOO LOUD. haha

    It is unfortunate that we do have battles in the church over worship preferences instead of following biblical worship examples.

    Thomas Wright, I too see that the ‘traditional-loving’ worshippers have to give more than the contemporary ones. We used to do a good balance of hymns and contemp songs and now, under our current worship deacon we have moved to maybe 1, sometimes 2, hymns per service.

    Amy

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