Music Style During our Larger Meetings
I am raising a question. Please understand that that’s all it is, a question. I’m not pushing an agenda and would really just like to start some thinking and maybe a short discussion.
The question has to do with the music we choose to use in our worship times during Presbytery and Synod meetings. Personally, I still like and am moved and inspired by the old, traditional hymns from the Presbyterian Hymnal. But, I also am finding more and more the presence of the Holy Spirit within me during times when we’re singing the more current, contemporary music .
The preference in worship music between traditional and contemporary isn’t just an age thing; I am 73 years old and actually have preferred the more contemporary for about 12 to 15 years now. So the conversation isn’t confined to comparing age groupings. But there is a strong element of that in our demographics. When we conversation about why younger people aren’t as committed to church today as we think we were at their age, the choice of music nearly always is one of the offered answers.
It leads me to wonder: why, at nearly all meetings of our Presbytery and Synod, the choice of worship music is pretty traditional and right out of the hymnal. Actually, at this last meeting of the Western National Leadership Training Event in Jackson, WY, much of the music was not the traditional. It was somewhat old, maybe ten years and more, but it was not the typical “traditional” music. The point, though, is that except for that particular occasion, worship music at these events is pretty traditional.
Does it matter? Perhaps not. Yet I do wonder if we are missing something here. Aren’t we trying to include younger people, people with new ideas and energy in our leadership? Aren’t we also trying to move a little toward the more modern ways of doing things, including doing church? Isn’t that part of the impetus behind our current reinvention of the way we “do Presbytery?”
I guess I’m a little surprised that our music and worship hasn’t also, and very deliberately, moved a little in that direction.
Anyway, “I’m just askin’.”