Over the last few months, I have visited a variety of wonderful churches and have enjoyed their music. Some churches have the huge pipe organ and traditional robed choirs. Their music dates back to John Wesley, Martin Luther, and Isaac Watts, with a Shakespearean expression. The congregation is mainly older but few actually sing.
Other churches have a contemporary band and singers that wear t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops. Their music dates back to the debut of the Apple SmartwatchOS2 and includes a lot of “oooh’s,” “ahhhs,” and “yeahs.” The congregation is mainly younger but few actually sing, either.
Many churches have a blended style, mixing in old favorites with new praise songs. A few try to update old hymns with a voguish beat. I must admit it’s intriguing to sing “How Great Thou Art” with a hip-hop Beyoncé’ rhythm. Overall, I just love music that is presented as a sweet sacrifice to Jesus. The style and genre is less important to me than is the spirit and message.
The conflict over which music to have in church is well known. But I did not know that there was also a discussion over what kind of music was played at megastores. A few weeks ago, I visited my local big box store and quickly realized that the music was too loud, irritating, obnoxious, and disgusting. It was some combination of 50’s Ozark country and 60’s hootenanny with a 70’s disco beat. If they were trying to clear the aisles, they could not have selected better music (IMO).
As I got to checkout, the cashier knew me and asked the big question: “How do you like our music?” Before I could think of a diplomatic response, she told me that the employees had voted for it and were thrilled. Apparently about a year ago, there was a fuss over the music, and the manager banned all music from being played. Eventually the employees complained so the manager let them pick the music for a week to see what happened. What happened? If you go there now, there is no music! The employees are on Mp3 earphones and can listen to whatever they want.
Certainly this is not a good answer for churches. But, you never know!