This fall my wife and I have been on a journey to find a new church home. After 27 years of being a Worship Pastor at the same church, I moved into a different position in a much bigger city. We moved from a town of 12,000 to a city of 450,000. It is sometimes overwhelming to think about finding a new church home when there is such a wide variety to choose. Being on the flip side of the service, I find myself longing for certain songs I like singing. For years I tried to teach my congregation that worship should not be limited to our personal taste in music. Now it is time for me to practice some of what I have been teaching for years.
In the contemporary church we expect those who love hymns to compromise and be OK with singing all the newer worship songs and leaving “the old” behind. We use the argument that hymns aren’t relevant anymore. They are songs that are great for the older generation, but if we want to attract younger people to the church we need to use contemporary worship. The great thing we tend to over look is how those hymns could be the very songs that bring all generations together. I am not a hymns only worshipper. There are great new songs I find myself singing at the top of my voice (especially when they are in a lower key I can comfortably sing). Let’s face it, we have spent most of our time asking the older members of our congregation to please be willing to learn the new songs and change the worship they grew up with. What would happen if we asked the younger members if they would be willing to sing a few of the great hymns of the faith? It seems compromise, when it comes to worship, needs to be a two way street where both sides are willing to give in order to honor each other.
We have not found a church home… yet. We will take some time and not be in a hurry to call someplace home. I pray that we can find a place to worship where both the old and new are present. What an example we could be to the world if we could stand side by side, no matter our age, and sings praises to the One who gave us the gift of song.
Sing on, friend!