Past Tense #4

Past Tense Chapter 4


A few weeks ago I visited a church at which I used to serve. There was a special worship time for a celebration they were having that weekend, and it rocked. I haven’t been to a service at this church for a long time, and very good things were happening.

One exceptional thing was a vocalist I’d worked with 15 years before. At that time, she was having trouble with the contemporary style; classically trained, she just didn’t feel it the way we were playing it. But now she was amazing: she moved with stylistic ease and grace. Now in her 40’s, she blended visually and vocally with people half her age. In fact, the platform featured a team with ages ranging from 20’s to 60’s with dynamic unity.

Someone had a vision for her, and she ran with it. We need to carry that kind of vision for our people, so that they can run with it. We call out their greatness by looking beneath the surface to the potential deep within.

This church also has a situation that I find disappointing. The backing tracks they used had brass instruments, but they, like so many other churches, have decided not to use live brass or other such instrumental ensembles. They are rich with that kind of talent, but choose not to use it.

On a brighter note, they have a tremendous praise choir, with a broad age range and wonderful expression.

I believe in the arts. Let’s use them all, even the ones that aren’t in style. They haven’t gone out of style with God, right? We want to appeal to our culture, but not at the expense of our calling to “Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the LORD!” (Psalm 150)

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