Monday, April 28, 2008

Whoa...We're Halfway There...

There have been debates for years about whether or not "secular" music belongs in church worship services.

But, here's the deal. God can be found in all kinds of music - even (GASP) Top 40 music!

If you don't think so, ask the millions of people whose hearts have been touched by Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel." And, that is just one example out of thousands of songs that God has used to speak to us.

Yesterday morning, we opened our services with an old ditty that you will not find in your hymnal. It was Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer." We even had the dude doing the voice-changer thingy between verses. It was spot on! And, it was a terrific way to kick off the morning!

Now, before you get all up in arms, understand that we are in the middle of a sermon series about prayer at NorthStar. When we choose to perform a "secular" song, we don't just do it because it's cool. We have intentionality.

And, as I watched a little old lady in her 70's raising her hand and swaying to "take my hand, and we'll make it I on a prayer," you can't help but see God in it. At first, I chuckled, but then I was hit like a ton of bricks by the presence of God.

He can use a 20-year old song by a rock band to touch lives - including mine.
Before you totally discount using Pop/ Rock tunes in church, know this: many people are likely in church for the first time, and they have never heard a worship song or hymn. They already have their guard up, and they are looking for a reason to never come back. So, a familiar Top 40 tune (or even an "oldie" like Living on a Prayer) can disarm people that God desperately wants to build a relationship with.

Second, a fun song that everyone knows the words to shows people that your church can have, well...FUN! We don't always have to take church so seriously. Yes, we want to have reverence for our Lord and Savior. But, God created FUN also! And, he wants us to express joy in a variety of ways - even in worship services by singing "non-churchy" songs.

Now, I am not saying that churches should ever do only "secular" songs. In fact, I wouldn't be a proponent of that at all. But, every now and then, it's great to throw a song in the mix that people are used to singing in their cars with the windows rolled down.

And, remember, it's not only FUN - it's EFFECTIVE. Because God can use almost anything to draw people closer to Him.

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