Friday, February 02, 2007

All change!

Has it really been that long?! For those who check my blog when they're bored (I cannot think of another earthly reason for reading it otherwise!) I apologise for a month of nothing new! But...here it is...all new!

So, my research has kinda shifted direction a little. I decided that there was already plenty of people who had looked into the purposes of music, and why it has been so important to worship. So...having had this debate a couple of times in the pub, and realising that it was a viable tangent to vere off on, i've decided to move to look at music in the emerging church...ie...Is music necessary in worship?

So, i'd love any comments, observations or similar on this topic! Many emerging church contexts have abandoned the use, in particular, of congregational singing, the use of hymns or 'worship songs' is highly limited, as both the practice of singing and the use of this genre specific music is 'culturally irrelevant'. But, as history has shown, and Methodist hymnody has coined...'God's people have always been singing.' So are we missing out on something key by not singing in worship?

Have a think and let me know!

R x

7 comments:

Paul Saxton said...

Not really sure how relevant you would find this but one interesting thing that some emerging churches look at is the place of men! Men (apparently) do not like to sing worship songs that speak of love and devotion to God because it is not culturally relevant or manly!!!! The whole argument that church has become feminised and music in particular has enabled that.

May to a different tangent, but certainly worth a look particularly at books by Baz Gasgoyne and Lee Jackson, forgive my spelling

Pete Lev said...

I can't buy this whole "no singning" thing. Perhaps we need to hear it to counteract the over dependence and potential manipulation through music of some of the charismatic streams, alongside the rise in "performance" worship. But you have to ignore vast lumps of scripture to do away with singing.
As for the increasingly common stuff about men and singing - it seems perfectly OK to sing at sports events!
I think there's something about communal singing that echoes heaven.
Just some rambling thoughts!

Pete Lev said...

You might find this:
http://odyssey.blogs.com/odyssey/2007/02/worship_as_host.html
of interest!

James Church said...

I think in terms of traditional church planting - people have begun with the church i.e. Sunday Worship and tried to replicate that in a new setting. As Fresh Expressions/ the Emerging Church try to begin where people are at they generally don't start with the worship service (it normally begins with fellowship, service, or evangelism)... but that doesn't mean it won't end in singing!

The one E.C. group which does begin with worship are alternative worship communities but very often they radically detach themselves from previous 'song-based worship' and engage with video, poetry, visual effects, meditative exercises, and liturgy. I think these activities can be quite individual-ised (if that's a word) whereas singing is very much a communal activity.

I think it would be interesting to see how singing in worship might be used to connect the un-initiated with the one true God. It is clearly a powerful tool, both evoking emotion, reminding us of God's action in the world, and helping us to touch heaven...

Paul Saxton said...

I think its interesting that you put 10 men in a church and none of them would sing, you put 10 women in and 9 out of 10 of them will sing the worship songs. Most would agree that the church has been feminised and some way men should show more of that side. I am quite in touch with my feminine side and have problems admitting that, but where do you start with men that are not feminine in the slightest.

Poetry and all the alternative worship that James mentioned is great, but does it relate to aload of burly blokes? James and I are not qualified to answer, being like a pair of women, lol! I suppose I am saying that this is a way to look, further or deepen your research, is music in worship a vehicle that all people/genders can relate to? Particularly in terms of evangelism and outreach, or am I just speaking aload of crap that doesnt help your research at all.

At the end of the day, I find it quite interesting, the whole concept, Church is more for women than men....so they say!

Paul Walker said...

Perhaps part of the problem is the excessive over-feminization of contemporary worship (as hinted at in the post above). Do I really want to be singing 'Jesus, I love you' or 'in your arms I would lay' - perhaps more importantly, do I want to be seen to be singing those words in front of my mates :)

Mike Frost talks about this in his recent Exiles book - there's a chapter called 'Jesus ain't my boyfriend'. I did a summary on my site.

I know that Iona worship can be a bit of an acquired taste, but at least you get some strikingly different or more earthy imagery

Paul Saxton said...

I suppose Men's ministry is quite difficult, in fact ministry in all aspects is difficult when considering everybody's different abilities and styles of worshipping. In many ways, the real challenge is getting everybody to worship together, appriciating all our unique styles, but giving praise and glory to the Big Man Upstaris!!