Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I'm regressing. Church music-wise. I grew up in a fairly small church where I knew just about everyone and we sang hymns on Sunday mornings accompanied by a piano and absolutely no drums. As I got older, the church got smaller and the hymns seemed to get old and boring. 80% of the regular attenders were over the age of 60 and as a result, the music never changed (with the exception of the nixing of the organ at some point). This always made me so angry. They were basically ignoring the rest of the world and not even worrying about the fact that young people were leaving the church and we were attracting absolutely no new people. We did start to sing some "choruses" instead of hymns and we eventually dropped the hymnals for slides projected on the screen, but the music was still uninspiring. There were so many new worship songs that they refused to acknowledge. Not to mention the fact that it seemed very little work was put into changing the music in any way from week to week (or year to year). There was one woman who played the piano and had been doing so for possibly 250 years. Every so often there would be a random wind instrument and sometimes even...gasp!...a guitar, but basically these songs were being played the exact same way they were played 50 years ago.

So I left that church (not just because of the music issue) and I started attending The Evangelical Free Church of Naperville. This place is amazing and I love it. I was especially happy that they offered two services with two worship styles: blended and contemporary. I realize having two worship styles is pretty typical, but I hadn't had that luxury before. So I started attending the contemporary service—it was everything I'd ever hoped for. The music was excellent, and I loved the new songs.

Then something went awry (not in the church ... in my head).

I've been attending the contemporary service for at least 3 or 4 years now and I'm officially admitting today that I want to sing hymns again. What's more, I'm now complaining about the very things that I got so mad at the old people for complaining about at the old church. This is disturbing to say the least. I'm not sure what's happening to me. I remember when someone complained about the fact that we stopped using the hymnals and it seemed so silly to me. But lately, I've found myself missing the hymnals! I kind of like opening them up, finding the song, and having all the music and lyrics right there in front of me. (When I was a child, I thought it was funny to sing the words to the wrong verse. For example, the church would be singing verse 1, while I'd be happily singing verse 3. Ah, the things we do to entertain ourselves in church.)

One of the things I really love about my church now is the orchestra. I've played in it for the majority of my time at EFCN and we generally only play in the blended service. I've been able to enjoy some hymns that way, but I rarely get to actually sing them (though I can sing the flute parts to most of them). So I think I'm ready to make the switch. Contemporary to Blended. Can I do it? I'm not sure. All my friends go to the contemporary service. Even my own mother prefers the contermporary service. I'm going to be sitting alone, singing hymns with a bunch of old people. Plus, the blended service is earlier, which is kind of rough. I have enjoyed being able to sleep in a bit on Sundays. But I have to at least give the blended service a try. I never thought I'd say it, but I can't wait to sing hyms!

So there you have it. I've regressed. I can't say it's surprising considering most of my interests resemble those of an 80 year old. In fact, it's probably more surprising that I've been going to the contemporary service for so long.

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