Friday, June 26, 2009

Worship Music Gone Bad

Music in the church has always been the subject of debate among Christians. Should you use guitars? Should you sing modern hymns or only traditional hymns? Should you even use instruments? I think all that depends on your denomination, but may I suggest one thing?


Ever go to a church where the worship leader will stretch out a short hymn for over ten minutes? The usually the less lyrics the song has, the more the worship leader will stretch it out. For example, "This is the Air I Breathe." Often the worship leader will make the congregation repeat the chorus ("And I'm lost without you/ and I'm desperate for you") for three solid minutes, with their hands in the air. It's supposed to make you feel humble, and realize how lost you are without God (hence the lyrics). Instead, I often want to scream, "Okay, we get it! We're lost without Him! Can we get to the sermon now? I've got crap to do!"

This is why I like going to a Lutheran Church. We stick to how the music's written out in the hymnal. If the hymnal doesn't tell us to repeat a single sentence over and over again, we won't do it. Sometimes the pastor will even tell us to skip the last couple of verses, depending on how long the hymn is. Lutherans don't mess around!

Now if you're attending a Christian music concert, that's different. At a concert, you're supposed to have a transcendental experience with the music, so it makes sense to extend a song for over five minutes. But at church, people are a bit more anxious on time. We want to get to Panera Bread early before the place gets too crowded.

So if you are a worship leader, and the congregations is getting a little antsy during the 8th minute of "Shout to the Lord," maybe it's time to rap it up.


  1. I agree that the songs can drag out too long sometimes,but I don't go to church with the mindset of "Let's get on with this, I have stuff to do." Sometimes the sermon runs long, or who knows what God has in store for me that day! I try to check my cynacism at the door...

  2. What if its November Rain and your guitarist is really getting into?

  3. my church, they take in interns from the bible college for the worship leaders, and they not only stretch out a 3-minute song to a 10-minute song like that, but they always (always) feel the need to start some songs off with a 5-minute mini-sermon to "introduce" the song, usually about how the song makes 'em feel all warm and squishy and worshipful and stuff...yeesh...