This blogpost has been periodically reposted on social media ever since it was written a year and a half ago. I share it again with the excellent commentary of my friend Dan Gordon:
As the church continues to make honest efforts to reinvigorate attendance and appeal to the unchurched, we have probably missed the point for the inclusion of great congregational song in worship. I urge my former students to read this article with an open mind. Then think about some questions like: Are you teaching children to sing properly at your church? Would a classically trained musician be able to contribute to your music, or is there no place for the most carefully trained musicians unless they play an instrument designed for rock music? In what way is the music played in your church actually connected to the message or the scripture readings? Do people sing or are they content to listen to you? If a really good, well-trained singer or musician came to your church, would they sing or do you have to be listening to the "in" music of your church community? In what ways do we diminish the potential of our most musical congregation members because they don't play a rock instrument? Why is musical notation so incredibly threatening? (Note here that the Church has everything to do with the invention of musical notation in the first place.) Is church music at its best when it is "mood" music, or is it at its best when there is a profound point being made in the text? When does the beat/rhythm/timbre of the band overwhelm the text. Can church music be soft, slow, and contemplative without being saccharine and passe musically and in terms of text? Please think about these issues.
Head over to Patheos to read the original article.