Hymns, praise choruses, contemporary Christian and now classic country? What’s on stage during your Sunday praise and worship time?
I was surprised, a few Sundays back, when during the offertory an unfamiliar face took the stage and belted out something about a truck, a dog, a good woman and a tender child.
The audience roared with laughter, not so much due to the lyrics, but the setting. The pastor had asked him to come up with a song befitting his sermon. That meant something from classic country.
His vocalists and band did an excellent job. However, I noticed a few unsettled folks in the pews and some whispers about it being “off-putting.”
I’m not from the Bible Belt but spent some time in North Carolina. I can’t say that I recall any country music during praise and worship at the two churches I attended.
My mother-in-law played her Loretta Lynn albums almost daily. That’s when I first noted that country singers made gospel albums. And many lived a corresponding life.
Loretta sang one of my grandmother’s favorite songs, “In The Garden.” And although she sang it with beauty and spirit, I thought she could never sound as wonderful as my granny; who’s aging voice practically whispered it words.
Yet, for all the classic country singers that recorded their renditions of old hymns I had yet to hear the opposite–classic country used for worship.
What are you singing as you stand in the pews?
Churches are changing. It seems they progress or digress with societal changes. Depending on your point of view.
When I was growing up, my dad led praise and worship with a songbook in hand. The piano and organ played behind and the people stood still out front.
Years later, the overhead projector was added with transparencies introducing the latest praise choruses. I remember wondering where all those verses went.
By the time contemporary Christian made its appearance at church, I had teenagers and they had well introduced me to it on the radio.
Now, many churches have full bands, to include drums and bass guitars, and vocalists that can rival the best. Or at least mimic them.
I can’t say I’d like much country music to enter in on Sunday morning, but for that moment it fit.
What do you think?