Christian worship is the act whereby followers of Christ join in giving thanks for the Good News of God’s love and grace in our Lord Jesus – it is an encounter with God that transforms us to do God’s work in the world. This communal event is not passive, but should be a joyous celebration of sharing in Word and Sacrament, prayer and song, faith and new life. By coming together in this sacred time, we strengthen our personal journey of love and prepare ourselves to serve the world.
We worship because we long to have that encounter with the holy, and we would label worship “good” when we are having that intimate encounter with God at some point in the worship service. For many people, the music can complement the spoken word and even draw them into that encounter more strongly than any other aspect of worship. This is why we see new and inspiring music as a major component that can bring new energy into the worship life of congregations.
Unfortunately, many participants in traditional Sunday morning services are not making an intimate encounter with God during worship. Uninspired or mediocre music is often one of the main contributing factors. For many of the youth and younger members, a steady stream of organ music and traditional hymns is a complete turn-off that doesn’t speak to their more contemporary lives. For others, the repetition in the music style from one week to the next has become monotonous, leading them to lose touch with the intended meaning of the hymns. Continuing to do the same thing is likely to lead to further dissociation of members and erosion of congregational enthusiasm.