Being Contextually Aware

The past month I had the wonderful privilege of leading music at 2 incredibly different conferences. The first was the EFCA Theology Conference in Chicago, where over 300 pastors gathered from across the country to hear lectures on the Reformation. The time was rich and deep, and we sang many hymns that are hundreds of  years old, as well as some new hymns. The instrumentation was just me playing piano. There is something incredibly unique about 300 men raising their voices together! Then, this past weekend, I got to lead the music for our district Middle School retreat where something like 500 middle schoolers gathered in Estes Park hyped up on energy drinks and excited to be away from parents for the weekend. This time I had my wife singing, an electric guitar, a drummer and myself and we only did songs that have been written within the past 10 years! Instead of sitting behind a piano this time, I got to dance around and jump along to upbeat energetic songs, and it was a blast! But it was funny to me to compare the 2 situations, and reminded me of the need for both in our corporate worship.

Some services we need time to dance and get excited about what God is doing among us! And other times we’re going to need the simplicity of 1 instrument and 1 lead vocal singing songs that are a thousand years old. This is the beauty of singing the gospel together: it covers every spectrum of the human emotion. There is no right or wrong way to join together in worshipping God, and we should all allow and encourage those around us to continue worshipping God with their whole lives! God is worthy of our dancing, and our piano playing, and I hope that whatever is played and sung is an opportunity for us to be made more like Christ.

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