With such an eclectic group of people in our congregation, there are bound to be a wide variety of musical preferences. Some might like classical, country, or bluegrass music, while others might like jazz, blues, rock, folk, or my favorites, funk and soul. Some like the old hymns while others prefer contemporary Christian music. It would be impossible to appease everyone with the perfect worship song if it weren't for the common denominator of our praise....the Holy Trinity.
One question I am sometimes asked is why we change the songs around, play them faster or slower, or change the style of the song from the original? There are a couple of reasons.
I grew up on the old hymns. I love ‘em! They were written to be played on an organ or a piano though. The songs don't translate that well to guitar (well, my guitar anyway). By tweaking them a bit we can introduce them to a whole new, younger generation that may have never heard them before. For those of us that know them, it's fun to bring them back and sing them in a little different but still familiar way.
There are some wonderful older contemporary worship songs that we all know so well but have sang so many times that the Spirit gets lost in ritual. We sometimes put it on auto-pilot and never engage with the words and meaning of the song. It's difficult for the Holy Spirit to do His thing when we are merely going through the motions. A slight tweak, whether it be tempo or chord voicing, sometimes helps us to dig in a little more. We then think about the words we are singing and HEAR it in a different way. We concentrate and be more present in the moment, but still have a familiar song on our lips. It also keeps it fresh for the worship team so that we aren't just playing that "same ol' song.” We love to worship too. We don't mess with all of them. Just a few here and there on occasion. Most of us get a little sentimental with our favorites and like to hear them as they were originally written. It is important to remember that you have around 167 hours a week to listen to your favorite CD and worship however the Spirit moves you. Let’s concentrate on worshiping the Lord on Sunday and the words we are singing, even if the music isn’t quite our cup of tea. After all, worship is about satisfying our Father’s want of hearing from His children, not satisfying our want of the perfect praise tune. It’s ultimately about Him, not us. My prayer for CTK worship is that along the way we will all feel the blessing of the Holy Spirit raining down on us and feel His presence during and after our worship.
I will sing to The Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being!
- Psalm 104:33