Contemporary Worship Songs

(Contemporary Worship Songs) Bible Question (Comment).

Comment:

“I enjoy the new songs. I like their style and our young people (even those not in church) enjoy them much more. I think we could reach the lost better if we stuck to these new songs.”

Reply:

As you will see in the Scripture references I list below, we are authorized to . . .

  • speak in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
  • teach one another with psalms hymns and spiritual songs
  • sing
  • sing with spirit
  • make music in our hearts
  • have an understanding of what we are singing
  • admonish one another
  • sing with gratitude in our hearts to God

speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father. – Ephesians 5:19, 20 (New American Standard Bible)

What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.” – 1 Corinthians 14:15

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians 3:16

God doesn’t give any commands on the style of music to be used. But one of the purposes of singing is to teach and encourage others. Unfortunately, we often think it is just to build us up. Singing that is sincere and honors God will strengthen the individual; but it should do much more than that.

As with most things God asks of us in our public worship (or our daily service) to Him, singing is to be done with others in mind. That calls on us to consider the people we are trying to teach, whether it is other Christians or the lost. Worship leader must take into account the character the assembly and how best to minister to them (conduct an audience analysis). That may require singing “traditional” hymns that people will be edified. It might require singing newer, “contemporary” songs to build others up.

The real issue is not “what do I get from the song service?” But, “what do I give in the songs that I sing?” When you look at our congregational singing from that stand point, you will see that you can:

  • sing the newer songs and the older songs
  • put your heart, mind and spirit into it
  • offer God a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15)
  • teach, reach and bless many different kinds of people

.

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2 comments on “Contemporary Worship Songs

  1. Great article! There are many in the church telling the “younger” generation that the more contemporary songs are “camp” songs for teens and kids, not proper for worship. It is such a shame. The difference I see in the teens of our congregation when they sing the more contemporary songs, when they are able are like night and day. They get it. They feel it. They connect to it. We need to encourage them, by learning these songs ourselves, to fully worship our Creator with songs that move us to do just that.

    • Thank you Ashley. I agree. When I was youth director (and later education director) at my previous congregation, I queried my teen and young adult students on a least a biannual basis about the worship songs used (“traditional” and “contemporary”). I intentionally talked to them about which songs meant the most to them and why. Then I looked for ways to allow them latitude to express their preferences. The regularly scheduled worship services led by the young men of the congregation is one example. Practical suggestions on how to better relate to their non-Christian peers is another example. We need to encourage church leadership to be always be open to the input of younger Christians. They are members too. Their voices, ideas and experiences must be considered and incorporated where appropriate.

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