I love music. LOVE music. It was a huge part of my childhood and continues to move me in my faith and in my ministry.
Sometimes I think music is simply the Holy Spirit moving through song. It can and should be an integral part of your worship service. It adds another dimension and creates an emotional connection for those in the congregation.
More often than not I think that there should be some sort of music for reflection following the sermon. The congregation needs the opportunity to let the message sink in before they transition into a time of prayer (and truthfully, the preacher needs a moment to make that transition as well!). Often times my Music Director simply plays a few lines of a hymn or song that connects to the service; sometimes, however, I feel drawn to use something more.
I will play (almost) anything in worship. Hymns, contemporary praise & worship music, secular music, Disney songs, showtunes … nothing is off limits. I have played everything from Point of Grace to James Taylor to Martina McBride on a Sunday morning. I presided over a funeral once where we played Coldplay and Phillip Phillips. I had my sister sing Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas after a sermon once and I used Lady Gaga in a worship service for last year’s confirmation class. In 2014, we debuted “Beatles Sunday,” where we had an entire worship service with nothing but Beatles music.
Music aids in my effort to help people experience their faith outside of the walls of the church. I love the idea of someone driving down the road and hearing a song on the radio that I once played in church and thinking about the message that day. I also love the idea of someone hearing a song and thinking about HOW it could be used in worship or meditation! Like I said – it just adds another dimension to the service.
Here are links to posts that I have done about music in worship. May the walls in your church that surround traditional church music be broken down so that the secular can become sacred!
If We Are The Body, by Casting Crowns
21 Guns, by Green Day (featuring the cast of The American Idiot)
I’ll Stand By You, recorded by the cast of Glee
He Lives In You, The Broadway Recording of The Lion King
Hold On To The Rock