The kids don't like to sing

I have been having an interesting debate with a friend about how to 'do' music at an event geared towards youth who don't know Jesus. I'll present the two views here and let you think about it. Give me your thoughts.

View 1/ We shouldn't do music on 'evangelistic' nights because non-christian teens are already weirded out enough by sitting through a talk on the Bible. They don't know why they are singing and for them to sing would basically be blasphemy anyway. If we are gearing a night towards them then it would make more sense to just have a couple of items. This isn't to say we should never sing, but rather on these special nights we should make youth as accessible as possible. Paul became a Jew to the jews and a Gentile to the Gentiles.

View 2/ People are drawn to Jesus as they see his people worshipping him- in their lives, and as they meet together. Therefore, it's important that on 'evangelistic' nights we do things the way we always do, but with more explanation for why we do it. When we sing we explain that as christians we are so overcome by God's glory that we have to sing. The other thing is that you choose songs that teach those who hear them. Songs that present the gospel in a simple way. The New Testament expects that people will observe the way that we do things and think that they are foolish. There is no point in hiding. However the spirit makes sense of the Gospel and with their eyes opened, people see the importance of worshipping God and praising Jesus.

This is interesting stuff to think about as we plan for doing music at events. Thoughts?

Posted byDan at 5:19 PM  


Andrew said... 8:10 PM  

interesting question for me: the last year, 2 of my friends have come with me to youth and each one fitted exactly into one of those views.
One guy didn't like singing in public at all, and really didn't like the singing part.
The other guy thought it was awesome and really got into it.

So I think you will never please everyone. My view is this:
I really enjoy singing. If someone comes to an evangelistic youth and sees people enjoying themselves, they are more likely to enjoy themselves or be interested in finding out more.
I think that, even if singing makes some people uncomfortable, it really helps the vibe.

Something John Piper says would apply here: "God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him"

Anonymous said... 9:42 PM  

as long when you sing you do look and sound like you are overcome by Gods glory. Most will just observe and listen

Lachlan said... 10:25 AM  

Not sure if you noticed this article from Jodie McNeill on the Sydney Anglicans site in March, but I think he pretty much nails it.

Dan said... 10:57 AM  

Thanks for that link Lachlan, it was really helpful. I second Lachlan's reccomendation.

JoelC said... 4:02 PM  

Dan, from the way this is written I am guessing you would personally be leaning more towards the second option?
The first option seems a bit too safe but I think when going through with the second option, it should be emphasized why we sing and we should also let the newbies know they are not pressured to sing and should take in what the words are saying instead. Now off I go to read the Jodie article...

P.S. Dan I wasn't awake when you called me this morning.

Andrew said... 6:01 PM  

Good site LG!

"We must be militant against using lyrics that fail to proclaim the gospel with truth and clarity. Whilst we may be tempted to include a song in our church’s repertoire due to its catchy tune or memorable ‘hook,’"

Maybe 'Shout it out' will have to sit it out at CYRevolution...

Dan said... 7:48 AM  

haha. Agreed. But shout it out raises other issues that I'll tackle in a later post.

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