"I think special music smacks too much of a variety show. I assume the choir is the congregation. I'd rather not spend the short time we have together listening to someone else sing."
I thought that was very interesting and kind of sums up my feelings about special music in our worship service. It's funny, because back in the day, I programmed special music for almost every service at Seacoast. I prided myself in being able to put together the hippest, latest song that would set-up the message perfectly - or at least close enough. We once went to a conference at Fellowship Church and they did 3 different Creed songs! We had to have us some of that!!
Here is what I began to see when I really took a look at it:
- As good as we could do the songs, they always came off as bar/karaoke versions of the originals. Every time I hear a church (no matter how good they are) doing a "cover" song, I end up wishing it was the original artist doing it.
- When it was done, it always ended up being 4 minutes of people just staring at us on stage. We typically have around 70 minutes for a service. 45-50 of those minutes are the message. That leaves 20 minutes to connect people's hearts to God through worship. Why would we want to waste 4 of those staring at someone singing someone else's song?
- It's much more fun to have the audience participate with you! It's like a great concert where everyone sings along with the band.
In the end, it just has to be authentic to who are you are and the mission that God has called your church to. Doing Creed songs was definitely not who we were. :)