I got an email last Monday from a couple who attend (most often) our 11am service at Sunset. It was in response to the acoustic weekend I helped lead on June 7th (I have received permission to post their email).
First of all I want to express my appreciation as to how the worship service was conducted yesterday. This is the first Sunday morning that I can recall, that a worship service was conducted without snare drums, piano and a keyboard. Nice change of pace especially for the 11:00 service.
I would like to offer a suggestion regarding song selections. As you were commenting several times throughout the songs to sing out, I believe it is also important that you select songs that people can really sing and praise at the same time. Case in point, was the first song. My wife and I both felt that most of the congregation didn’t connect with the song. As I looked around, many were not singing and were unfamiliar with the lyrics and music. You could have possibly started with a Bill Gaither song or a Michael W. Smith or with “Majesty” written by Jack Hayford. If you want your congregation to connect from the get go, then I would start with a familiar song. The first song that was sung could have been your second song. By the way, some of our old standards are still GREAT songs to use for a communion style service.
Anyway, these are mere suggestions, and ideas to possibly use in the future. I come from a ministerial family that has worked in churches for over 60 years. Like I said from the outset, I liked the format that was used and the sincerity that you portrayed. You definitely have a real gift from the Lord.
Some thoughts of mine:
- These emails and comments are definitely not uncommon, nor would I expect them to be. I know when I get a response like this that people care. I’d much rather be at a church where people care than a church full of people who are unhappy and never say anything.
- I don’t know who Jack Hayford is, and I don’t think I’ve ever listened to Bill Gaither (though I have heard of him). If my church is trying to reach all ages, I should probably know that music.
- Most of you would probably say Gaither/MWS/Jack Hayford music is not relevant enough to be used today. I wonder if being relevant is all it is cracked up to be. I doubt everyone in church listens to the kind of music I do. And it is isn’t like the songs that kids are listening to sound anything like Hillsong or Chris Tomlin. Maybe we’ve all totally missed the “relevant” mark.