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February 28, 2008 / David Lindner

Gaining Some Perspective

Yesterday I had the privilege of sharing a few minutes with a friend of mine. It’s a friend I don’t get to see very often, and I also don’t get to communicate with him very often because he’s a missionary to Indonesia. He was telling a story about a fund-raiser his church did over there, and while culturally acceptable there, there are certain activist groups here that would consider their activities murder.

However, another thing that I heard and observed is what’s really sticking with me. Another one of his friends was at the table and gave him 60 worship albums, and an iTunes gift card to buy some more. He did this after looking in my friend’s ipod and saw all of the old worship music he had on it.

In America, we get so hung up on the petty. I’m not talking about my church right now, I’m talking about the American church. There are churches in the world that are thrilled to sing songs based on their content, not on their style.

How many articles have been written over the years about blending worship or about how to lead your church through a music transition? How much time have church leaders wasted trying to keep the people in their church happy with the music? If we get just get people to see the reality that we are so blessed to have the freedom we do to worship, if we could just get people to see that we’re so fortunate to get to go to Christian bookstores and buy the music they like, that we’re so lucky to be here, many of our church wars would be done with.

Of course, the reality is that this is not the case, and very few churches are able to have an attitude like this. That’s why we have church leadership. If people just did what we wanted them to with nothing more than us asking them, we’d be unnecessary.

I’ll talk more about this in future posts, but for now, the most import thing to know, (in my opinion) is that the arts in the church must be relevant. It’s not an option. For churches that want to reach people (which by the way is the most foundational purpose for the church, the first command given by Jesus to to the church), we must always be learning from culture, we must always be learning from society and redeeming culture for God’s Kingdom. A lot of people talk about this as optional, I don’t. I think it’s a must.

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