Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Worship Service Full of Misery

Since we're on the topic of music, I remembered something from high school as I was listening to some music this weekend. OK, so I wasn't listening to Christian music... I have this soft spot in my heart for "The Big 90's Weekend" that is on 94.1 down here in Atlanta. It's actually quite disturbing to my wife at times (sorry honey!).

But I digress. A song came on and it made me think back to a time when I was very disappointed, to put it nicely, with a youth event I was attending with my church group. This was around 1995/96 and I was a high school senior when this event was going on, so if you're familiar with the Christian Music scene from the early 90's there wasn't exactly a whole lot happening that youth would really get into. In the mid 90's things started going pretty good (bands like Third Day and Audio Adrenaline were just getting started). This was the time of "Lord I Lift Your Name on High" being one of the big praise songs and "Shout to the Lord" wasn't written yet either. I guess I'm rambling possibly to excuse the fact that most of the songs played by the host church's youth band that night were not worship songs, much less Christian music. I remember then during the first part of the night thinking that I could let the lack of praising God at a church event with a focus on Bible teaching slide some.

But then we were done with the first half of evening and I still remember the gist of the prayer of the Youth Minister hosting the event before the band started playing again. He prayed that we would have hope and a blessed lesson, etc... But then a load of bricks hit me. Hard! Because on the opening chord I knew the song the band started playing. They played "Misery" by Soul Asylum. While the meaning of this song is debatable, the theme for any interpretation is that people are in misery and they try to bring other people down with them. Really? No. Really?!? I had to walk outside to think and compose myself.

That's not what the church should be about - not even youth events. Students want more than many adults may give them credit for. If they want to hear popular music and play games they can go just about anywhere. But this isn't what  we should give them in place of The Gospel. In some ways this experience was a turning point for me and I still feel strongly about this bait-and-switch trap churches often fall into - unwittingly as it may be at times. Of course I'm not saying that we should shun everything secular; as I started out with this post I mentioned listening to secular music and it reminding me of this. But I think you get the point - enough rambling.

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