"when sung by people who care, and when song boldly and with great joy, hymns make our contemporary lyrics and rock ballads sound like Junior High band practice"

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Wayne Wilson's picture

The line about Jr. High band practice is unfair, but the thrust of the article definitely strikes a cord with me, especially about the human voice.

Or maybe it’s because the human voice remains the most beautiful instrument on earth. Because it is the only instrument made by God Himself, and not man,

Two Sundays ago a visitor told me, "There's something wrong with the volume of your music. You need to turn it up...I can hear people singing near me." He was joking based on his recent search for a local church. Came back yesterday.

For me, the saddest element in much contemporary worship and even church sanctuary acoustic design, is the effort to diminish and drown out the voices of God's people. I tell our worship people, "I don't care what style of music you play, but I want to hear the people around me singing!" That actually keeps style issues in check.

gdwightlarson's picture

Again, seems contemporary music is stereotyped by being held in comparison with the best of hymnsinging. It's obvious that the table can be turned and the best contemporary music can be contrasted with the worst hymnsinging(???). I've experienced the wonder and powerful ministry of hymnsinging from the hearts. This past Sunday included both. Everyone deeply appreciated the hymns. Can't say why--but the contemporary hymn just drew us out of our seats to stand in awe of the Lord without manipulation from the platform Wow! The sound from the "band" and singers is just enough to make people comfortable with singing out. Oh, I was blessed by it all!


"You can be my brother without being my twin."

Shaynus's picture

I love Indelible Grace.

Here's a new documentary about their movement to write new music for hymns that have fallen out of use. We had one of their musicians who is a friend of mine come do a Sunday School class on how old hymns give us "roots and wings." It was excellent. We sing some of their arranged hymns and have been blown away by how well the congregation sings the tunes at the top of their lungs. I too am all about congregational singing.