Recently, I read an article entitled, Why God Has Never Done a NEW Thing Using OLD Songs. When I saw this article, I was fearful that it was in reference to the “music wars” that have plague the church. There are those who desire to throw out the “old sleep in your pew” music and replace it with the newest contemporary music. Of course, there are those on the opposite side of the pew who dig their feet into the carpet and do everything in their power to resist “devil’s music.” Sadly, my concerns about the article were correct.
The article’s author begins his thesis by pointing out that there is a a generation of young people that the church is failing to reach. I agree that the church is doing a poor job of reaching this upcoming generation and that every effort needs to be undertaken to reach them. However, he attempts to tie the younger generation’s resistance to church to the style of music that a church plays, and this is were I take issue with him.
It isn’t the music or even the preaching (God forbid) that is going to draw individuals to Christ. The drawing and keeping power comes only from the presence of God. Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32) Jesus wasn’t referring to praise and worship when He declared that. He was referring to His death, burial and resurrection. Praise and worship prepares us to hear and receive from the Lord, but it isn’t like the genie’s lamp that you rub in order to summon God’s presence.
Let me be frank and roll over some toes for a second, the reason the church is losing its young people to the influences of the world has nothing to do with the style of music it plays. It has everything to do with the fact that the presence of God is missing from our churches. If we want to reach and keep this younger generation, then we need to stop playing church and get on our knees and seek the Lord until His presence has once again inhabited our lives and our churches.
Seeking His presence–James