Song Selection/Multi-Generational Church: The Life of a Worship Pastor

relevant churchI 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).

Hi Tyler-

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.

How would you respond to this comment?