The Songs or the Instrumentation?

Do any others out there (particularly worship leaders, choir & team members) notice that it isn’t the type of songs that matters so much when it comes to “contemporary” versus “traditional” worship “styles” as much as the configuration of singers, instrumentalists, & how worship is led?

For example, we have a traditional [music] service as well as a contemporary [music] service, but we use both hymns & more modern songs in both at times. In fact, the traditional service enjoys the praise choruses (often these are older contemporary songs however), & the contemporary service enjoys hymns in a more contemporary style.

What matters, or so it seems, is the configuration of singers & instrumentalists, as I mentioned above. For the contemporary service, just about anything is okay — 4-6 singers (sometimes a choir also), guitars, bass, drums, keys, & one person leading, usually from guitar & singing; as for the traditional, it’s a full choir, piano, sometimes organ, & one person up front singing or conducting to lead both congregation & choir. If we do a song such as, He Knows My Name or I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous), it could work in either service without much issue.

I’ve noticed this in many churches that have separate services of differing musical styles, or churches that are trying to go more contemporary. I must honestly admit that I don’t have enough exposure of checking out or asking about what too many other churches do in such configurations though to know for sure — I don’t know of many churches with both styles of music doing separate services that I hear about knowingly.

Probably other churches will do the services completely differently in every aspect… & of course, this could just be how most like things at our church. :)

All this aside, it personally doesn’t bother me either way — the point is to be worshiping & glorifying God first & foremost. :)

What are your thoughts? How are services done at your church if any differently service-to-service? Has anyone else ever noticed this also?

2 thoughts on “The Songs or the Instrumentation?

  1. I’m not sure about configuration, but I do know that different worship styles appeal to different types of people and different age groups. I’m a member of a young, non-denominational church which currently doesn’t have enough people to put together a band, so we use the CD. If you want to know what kind of music we listen to, just go to http://www.955thefish.com.

    Now that I think more about your question, it occurs to me that configuration makes sense, as hymns were meant for choirs and most contemporary music by and for one person or a small group (like a rock band).

    So yes, think about and choose your configuration carefully, but remember as you said, the most important thing is that we praise and worship the Lord!

  2. It appears that configuration does matter.

    I visit about 6-8 different churches each month (for work actually) and have noticed that most of these churches have choirs and they mostly stick to hymns. To me it almost seems unnatural for a choir to do contemporary praise music (not sure why but it’s more of a visual thing with me). However, the way it is at my home church isn’t so bad (probably b/c it is older stuff) and people do appear to be engaged with God through the music. When I do visit a “younger, contemporary” church they almost always have a band, a few singers (some also have a small praise choir) and tend to stay current with the latest praise music. Occasionally they throw in a hymn done with the band and in a different style (some, like myself, might not even recognize it as a hymn). I do agree that each style of music will potentially attract a different group of people and I’m thankful the church I attend has two styles (worship music anyway). Whatever the dynamics, if God is honored, the words to the song will get through.

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