Loving God…Loving Each Other…

This is the title of a great Southern Gospel song made famous by the Gaither Vocal Band as well as the Oak Ridge Boys.  And as I’ve been on a little southern Gospel “kick” here of late, it got me “a thinkin’…”  What if we applied that principle to how our congregants think about worship.  A case study…

#1-There is a sixty-five year old man…a long time “song-leader” in “the church…”  He doesn’t like the new songs very much…so when it comes time to sing them in worship, he just doesn’t sing.  But oh, man, if it’s an “oldie,” he’ll sing at the top of his lungs.

#2-There is a young couple who love contemporary hymns like “In Christ Alone,” and many others…they’d just as well sing songs like that exclusively…throwing all that old happy-clappy “Stamps-Baxter” music out with the rest of what they perceive to be stale, old, bathwater.

There seems to me to be a lot of this within our churches…this vast chasm that exists between groups of people who’ve forgotten what Worship & Praise and singing is all about.  Whatever happened to building each other up?  Don’t we all realize that every song was new at one point or another?  Each group should have the maturity and discipline to realize that they can’t expect “the other group” to respect their preferences if they don’t respect each other preferences.  Each should, in the spirit of sacrificial service, Loving God and Loving others, come willing and with an open heart to sing songs that honor God even if they aren’t their favorite style.  It’s heartbreaking to worship leaders and worship planners to look out and see folks not singing just because something is new or not in their favorite style.  Not only that, but it’s sinful to have such a disposition.  Planning worship for a group of people that is extremely diverse in style in preference means that worship is not going to always look the same and that it is going to encompass various styles of music, language and atmosphere…

My question is this…will you get over yourself enough to remember that worship is not at all about you?  But rather, that worship is first and foremost about God, and second about others…I think there’s something in the bible about that.

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