I’m not sure if you remember the series I did last spring on what worship looks like, so to jog your memory a little bit let’s remind us what was discussed. In short, we talked a lot about the whole issue of having a “blended” service and I made the comment that I wanted us to move away from the term “blended” and more toward the word “unified” in how we described our service. Here’s the definition I gave last year in regards to what a “unified” service means,
“I prefer the term ‘Unified’ worship over ‘Blended’ worship because our intention should be to reflect the scriptural teaching of unity in diversity. (Gal. 3:28; 1 Cor. 12:12-14) The term ‘Blended’ worship does not necessarily mean that it is ‘unified’ worship. The best way to describe ‘unified’ worship is to say it is anchored in the church’s historic worship and seasoned with the fresh winds of the Spirit’s movement in the present using the ‘best of the best’ from the past and the present.” (Scott Wesley Brown)
This summer in my studies I “stumbled” across this verse in Matthew (and I put stumbled in quotation marks because if you believe it happened by chance I would tell you I don’t believe in chance…)
“Then [Jesus] added, ‘Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.’” (NLT)
That verse is Matthew 13:52. When I read it I had a picture of what music in a church should look like – it should be a unification of the “old” and the “new”, which for music in our terms means the “traditional” and the “contemporary”.
Which is one reason why choir will not sing in every service in the fall. We’ve decided to try something new in our effort to unify the worship experience at Landmark. What you’re going to see beginning October are two different musical styles in the worship service. On the First and Third Sunday of every month we’ll have a traditional service, which will include the choir and orchestra – similar to our current setup but a little more traditional than we are doing. On the Second and Fourth Sunday you’ll experience a more “contemporary” service with a praise band – those are the weeks the choir will not sing in the service. For those months with a Fifth Sunday the youth will lead our musical selections.
We’re attempting to balance the two facets of worship: that facet that says worship is vertical and God-centered while also understanding the equally important truth that corporate worship is horizontal and is supposed to allow us to minister to each other. By offering these two different “styles” in musical options we’re trying to better reflection the diversity that exists within our congregation. Please pray for discernment and wisdom for your church leadership, and for me as the music director, as we journey down this uncharted path together.