Sing Unto the Lord

the problem with ‘good music’
February 11, 2008, 9:12 am
Filed under: Thinking Music

I am really blessed by the encouragement and criticism many give in Nitechurch towards our music team. One thing I am becoming frustrated with in my own attitude is the way that I seek out comments like: ‘good music’ or ‘I found the guitar a bit loud’. Pragmatic stuff that is about the musical process. Lots of the comment cards that the music team get given have that sort of thing written on them.

But this is not why we play. We aren’t just the entertainment on either side of the sermon. We are singing powerful truths that aren’t to be taken lightly. We sing because we must! I would love to see my own heart change so that I think less and less of the pragmtic side of making music work and think more and more of Christ. I’d love to see comments come into my inbox like ‘The picture that song presented of Jesus helped me see his glory’, or ‘I have never thought about God’s love in that way before we sung it tonight’. I’d even like it if people were less put off by bad music and were more put off by the confronting nature of what they were singing. If we are really singing the gospel than we expect people to find it offensive and confronting. We never get comments like ‘That song presented God as too holy for my liking’ (as if we would).

We used to sing a song that many people would comment on. Some found it so confronting that it was offensive. It was written by a lady in our morning church as a poem that was put to music. These are the words:

I need to live in you alone,
so hold my sin before my face –
till shame and horror overwhelm me
and I glory in your grace.
Until I fall in humble weakness
and I’m crying, hopeless in my pain
and knowing I have nothing else to give
I find your mercy lifts me up again.

O that we would write more songs that taught people that their sin is horrible indeed and that Christs love is infinitely wonderful.


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

More gold! Keep up the good posting and thinking about how we can best glorify God!

Comment by hayesy

What was the lady’s name. That poem is going into journler.

Comment by Toby Neal

Her name is Karen Willson.

Comment by danielgodden

I loved that song!!! I remember wondering a while ago why we haven’t sung it.

Comment by Jackson

Great stuff Dan.

I have been thinking about how it’s so easy to focus on the mechanics of the music, particularly as a muso, and so be distracted from the very reason we sing and play.

Also the idea of songs being confronting is great. One thing I’ve noticed over many years of being involved in a church worship team, the songs that ‘take off’ in church are most often the ones that challenge or say something in way that causes people to think about what they’re singing.

In many ways it’s too easy to sing “I love you God” and not think about it… we should be striving for something deeper and more challenging.

Comment by Felix

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