If you are a part of North Side or follow my Sunday’s set list on my blog, you might have noticed I have reintroduced some hymns lately. While we have always sung hymns over the years, we mainly have used arrangements that others have used, but lately we have been adding some original twists on some classics.
Why might you ask?
Because I believe that Chris Tomlin and Charles Wesley are both my brothers in Christ and both have been blessed to write songs for the Church. Too many people get stuck in a particular style of worship music that they can’t appreciate how God has gifted the entire Body of Christ over its entire life.
I think there is something special about when we sing “Worship You” at North Side. I wrote that song for our church to make sure we always understand worship as a lifestyle.
I think there is something unique when Chris Tomlin writes “All to Us” for Passion City Church and it speaks perfectly to the end of North Side’s Sunday’s service.
I think it’s amazing that God can use “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” written by Charles Wesley hundreds of years ago to speak to my heart so powerfully in my own personal worship time last week.
I truly believe that younger generations could benefit by worshiping to some older songs. I believe that older generations could benefit by worshiping to some newer songs. When the Body of Christ loves diversity, it is amazing what can happen!
I struggle selecting songs because I wonder what people are thinking. Do the young people think we lose edge when we lead more hymns? Does a certain crowd “worship better” when those hymns are played? Are visitors to our church making a judgment call on our church by our set list? Do people even understand some of the language (“bring forth the royal diadem”)?
During our Overcome writing process, I felt the Holy Spirit’s leading concerning a next project (hint, hint) for our church, but I do know that I don’t want to ever disqualify a song based upon its age. I don’t want to neglect a hymn because it is old, and I don’t want to overlook a worship song because it is new.
I want to help use all of God’s children to help teach God’s truth through music, because that is our calling.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. -Colossians 3:16
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
8 thoughts on “Why We Have Been Leading So Many Hymns Lately”
There is a reason those wonderful hymns have stood the test of time-their words are powerful and are especially meaningful when you know some of the background of why they were wwritten. Songs of old?-songs of new? Doesn't matter to me-they all reflect the Glory of my Lord. Thanks for leading us in amazing worship each week. Your job can't be easy yet you do it with such ease and grace. Thank you Father for the blessing of Travis and the Praise Team and their supportive families.
I completely understand your dilemma in selecting songs that appeal to the congregation as a whole. I really pray and hope that we will move past what I like and what you like…and let's never mix the two together. We talked about this a few week ago, and I still feel the same way. I think we should model our earthly worship services on the heavenly scene of worship we see displayed in the book of Revelation. All generations, tribes, races, people groups, and nations come together with one voice to offer praise to God. I don't see a completely separate room for contemporary music, or liturgical services, or southern gospel. All I see is the body of Christ coming together in love and unity to worship Jesus.That is what I long for.
i love hymns and old timey mountain gospel stuff…i just wish i could play and sing it
I love it!! My grandmother played the organ at the church where I grew up and this was all I knew. Could you squeeze in To God Be the Glory one Sunday???
Betsy, I'll have to see what I can do.
I love all of it!
Of course-I don't think it really matters what worship music we play and sing as long as it's led by our awesome Praise Team it will be a blessing.
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