Don’t Dumb It Down…But Please Liven It Up!

The Case for ECM—Energetic Christian Music

What's up with these laid-back, predictable church services? The religious culture in many congregations seemingly appeals to one type of people—phlegmatic Caucasians.

The early church did not target a single race or group of people. They embraced all cultures, races, and language groups. The Holy Spirit so overwhelmed them in the book of Acts that cultural prejudices and preferences were swept away in a sea of love.

In many conservative churches the song leader is often extremely staid. Overly cautious not to stir any emotion, the singing is perfunctory and at times very precise. This creates a clinical atmosphere that bleeds over into the preaching service. Let's be candid, if the song leader is barely one step above comatose, then the collective character of the meeting will likely be less than uplifting.

I am not suggesting that hyping the crowd is the way to go, but LIFE attracts while dullness deadens.

The style of music is secondary to the spirit of the congregation. When the hearts of the worshippers are drawn out in praise, this puts a spirit of joy and freedom on the service. Instead of enduring the song service, people ENJOY corporate worship. Gifted musicians who can transpose certainly help. When those leading the music are enjoying their worship of God, this gives permission for others to do the same.

"Where the Spirit of The Lord is, there is liberty." Corporate worship not only engages the mind and will, it touches the heart as well. Spirit-filled people are joyful. Joy is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Oswald Chambers said, "Joy is the one infallible proof of the Holy Ghost."

The main attraction in spiritual worship is not the platform, but God Himself. In fact, the real audience is not sitting in the auditorium, but in Heaven. Worship is a corporate endeavor that focuses on the Person of God and His praise, not performances.

We must get away from the notion that church is no place for spiritual encounter and experience—"O TASTE and see that the Lord is good." When our entire being enters the arena of praise, there is life in the air and this rubs off on everyone.

Jesus came to give us LIFE—life more abundant! And this is precisely what most churches need. The better we get to know God, the more livelier our services will be. "In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16:11).

Harold Vaughan
March 2016

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