I was out for an evening walk at dusk last night listening to some music that I recently downloaded. Much of the music was composed, produced, and performed by the son of a dear pastor friend of mine (Mack Brock with Elevation Worship: Nothing is Wasted). When he told me about it at lunch a few weeks ago, I immediately downloaded it as we sat together in the restaurant.
We laughed at how amazing it was that technology was so advanced that we no longer have to go to a store to buy a record, tape, or CD. In a matter of seconds, someone can recommend an album and I can own a copy of it in my phone.
Maybe I’m showing my age, but it still amazes me when I think about the changes in the music industry in my lifetime.
Thirty-five years ago, I began my journey with God. At the time, I loved rock music but in those days I was warned that rock music was sinful, evil – even Satanic. I tried to resist it but I still listened to AC/DC on the way to church sometimes and I justified why it was okay for me to hear it. What I really wanted was some Christian music that met my taste in music.
That was hard to come by.
The 1980′s had a lot of new, upstart Christian bands who were trying to help people like me with a taste for rock and roll and a desire to please God with the lyrics going into our brains. There were a lot of bad Christian bands. There were a few good ones.
In those days, Beth and I would travel to the few good concerts in our area. I subscribed to Contemporary Christian Music magazine mainly to find out when concerts would be nearby. There were no radio stations or other outlets to let us know these things. We experienced great worship in a music style that we enjoyed on a Saturday night and then we attended our church on Sunday mornings stoically singing hymns from a hymnal accompanied by an organ.
We desperately wished that we could experience on Sunday mornings what we experienced on Saturday nights.
Thankfully, the Baby-boomer generation (the group that gave birth to rock and roll) had gotten old enough to start leading churches in a new direction. I’ve been involved in these kinds of churches for most of my life. While there is still resistance out there in church world about certain music styles, I think it’s safe to say that almost every city in the country has at least one “contemporary” church and churches from around the world are enjoying this new movement of writing and creating new songs for a new church era.
So back to my friend’s new album that I downloaded on my phone…
It occurred to me while walking and listening last night that while my pastor friend and I were early adopters of this new movement, it really has begun to take shape and mature in our children’s generation. The change we sought and pursued is now mainstream.
But it didn’t happen overnight. Sometimes change takes time.
Changes can come quickly. Unexpected events can turn our lives upside down in a matter of moments.
But other changes take time to ripen and mature. The change in church music didn’t happen fast enough for me, but I’m glad it happened. Now, my children are involved in the music ministries at their churches singing music that I longed for over thirty years ago. For that, I am grateful.
What changes are you hoping for? What changes are you going through? What things can’t change fast enough for you?
You may need a little patience. It may take time for those changes to transpire. But when change happens, watch out. It may explode into a worldwide movement.
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