Friday, 11 May 2012

We don't need more music groups

Wearing my missioner hat one of the biggest errors that crops up with monotonous regularity is the perceived need for that most wondrous of all of God's creations, the music group! This wonderful creature does all the 'worship' (worship in this case being of course the music bits!) and draws people 'back to church' (please note this apparently includes those who have never been to church as well. Yes, everyone comes back with a music group!)

A few points for consideration:

1. I visit more small or declining churches with music groups than choirs.

2. The desire to have a music group is very similar to the young people who pass our doors. Each of them, in their quest to be valid and different wear the same clothes and have the same number of multiple piercings, shades of hair dye and the like.

3. If church were restaurants then the road to bringing in the clientele would be to do whatever you were doing 'well'. Add to this the fact that doing something different attracts those who want something other than, for instance, Chinese (here Chinese is taken to be the culinary equivalent of the music group) food.

4. Robed choirs, organ music, standard hymns (I'd rather have 'Love divine' sung to Stainer's setting than 'Call for the elders of the Church', but I would imagine this is an almost universal view), cassock albs, Chasubles and even bells and smells are attractive and effective church for a great many - doing this would indeed bring some back!

Four simple points, but points that are often missed (or should that be ignored) as clergy and congregations put their money on the panacea to all ills that is the music group.

Where there are a number of churches in a town there is much mileage in looking at what style of services are on offer and where the service is in terms of being high, low, chip shop! After all, if we were paralleling church with restaurant we'd be considering steak house, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Chicken (mmm . . . Nandos) and more besides. After all there's a fantastic milkshake bar opened in Tamworth and a really great Gurkha restaurant in Derby (Mount Everest) that indicates even more variety in terms of taste. Why do we have this belief that we need to be doing the same?

What we need is unity in belief not sameness in style (uniformity) to make church valid - what sort of congregation/s should you be providing for?

Find out and prepare to grow :-)


ps. You will also need prayer, Bible and compassion


Elaine Evans said...

Wise words Vic. Thank you.

David Cloake said...

Cracking post, brother!

Thank you

UKViewer said...

You're so right. Variety in worship is available, you just need to be adventurous and go to a church other than your own, now and again.

I love my Parish, but happen to like a local Evangelical branch of the Church of God, who have a brilliant music group. In another context, another local church does traditional, very well, even with a lovely mid-week BCP.

I go to the Cathedral quite often and also occasionally to another denomination that can do latin rather well.

We worship God together, in different ways, and experiencing other traditions and forms is part of growing and learning as a Christian. Respect, overworked word, but Respect for others is really central to Christianity, and if they are different, so much the better - we live, share and learn from each other.