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“Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done wonderful deeds.” (Palms 98:1 NLT) Music in church is one of the most highly contested elements of any churches life. The reason for this is music is a very personal preference. Music takes us to many places and times. We connect with music on an emotional and mental level.
I love country music. Whenever I hear the song Austin by Blake Shelton it takes me back to a yard I mowed in high school. For whatever reason the summer that song was new every week when I mowed that particular yard that song came on the radio in my headphones. When I hear the song Breath I am taken to Ohio Teens for Christ when David Crowder lead worship and introduced it to us the first time. When I hear the song Don’t Take The Girl by Tim McGraw I am taken to Myrtle Beach summer of 1994 where I bought that cassette tape as a nine year old.
Church music is highly contested in church because we all have an emotional and mental connection to it. We remember the song that was being sung as we walked down the isle to give our life to Christ. When we sing a familiar song we remember the first time the lyrics spoke to us and the worship that ensued because of it. We connect and are protective of music because it speaks to us in ways other things do not.
So how do we balance this encouragement of “Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds” with our connection to “old” music that has already spoken to us. I think the answer is this, new songs have the ability to connect us with God in worship in a way another song did not. New songs have the ability to teach us new truths about God. New songs come from a new perspective, and new view point, a new joy, and even new heartaches, allowing us new insights into God’s character. Rejecting new songs means you are saying you have arrived in your understanding of who God is and indicates an unwillingness to grow as a disciple.
The beauty of it all is when the old songs merge with the new to paint a complete picture of who God is in our lives. The blending of the old and new allow us to more fully express our worship with God in new and old ways. Finally what is really exciting to me is that a new song gives me a new opportunity to make a new emotional and mental connection with God!
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