Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I am not a part of a cover band

1st I will say: Molly this is me being serious as you say.

Here is my soapbox for the day: Churches that find the need to be a cover band. I play about 7 songs per week at church on Sunday morning. We play a gathering song (which is often a hymn/song about Jesus that isn’t a great congregational song. Sometimes we just play an instrumental as a band), we corporately sing 5 songs (mostly hymns, some newer songs, we sing red mountain songs, IG songs and passion stuff, small bit of hillsongs), we sing or play an instrumental during communion (often slower and fits the vibe of communion). One thing we do not do is fit in songs that are on pop radio into our gatherings. Why you ask? What does the song Glamorous by Fergie have to do with Jesus? In my mind my job is to use music to help people express their feelings/hopes/fears/joys/shame/longings to a God that often feels far away. It is not my job to show people that Jesus is my homeboy. Or that I am cool because I can play songs you have heard on the radio. Maybe it’s cool to your teenager that I listen to and can play some Nickelback or U2? A friend of mine said “it's just a bunch of bullshit and bad art and games.” Is that what church has become? We would probably all agree that we serve the ultimate Creator of art. Most pictures in people’s homes are attempts at capturing the art that God created. So why then do we try and pass off sub par art like cover songs in Church as gimmicks to attract people to Jesus? The reality is yes I think I could pull of some covers. I could do “My Best Was Never Good Enough” by Bruce Springsteen, ‘Waiting on the World to Change’ by John Mayer or ‘say it to me now’ by my boy Glen Hansard. Ok, he is not my boy. I don’t know him. I just love him. I can pull those off…but it’s not mine. And honestly I guess the song Amazing Grace isn’t mine either. BUT here is the difference, when I sing words like

Come boldly to the throne of grace,
Though lost, and blind, and lame;
Jehovah is the sinner's Friend,
And ever was the same.

Or words like:

Come, every soul by sin oppressed;
There’s mercy with the Lord
And He will surely give you rest
By trusting in His Word.

These words speak of truths that I need to hear, that I need and want to sing. I would say there are songs not about Jesus that we identify with. That’s what is so magical about music. I just don’t see the need to be a cover band in a church environment. Let cover bands rock out with their bad selves in the local venues and pubs. I hope anyone reading this would hear my heart. We have enough original art out there that is better than any cover art that we as the church can copy, so lets stick to what we can do, make much of Jesus with the gifts we have. Stop trying to dress up Jesus in a pretty dress and make people feel good about themselves. You can take cultural things(like music) and try and claim them as your own but you become the butt of many jokes, which makes me the butt of many jokes since we both call ourselves Christians. If I want to see a band go to www.ticketmaster.com. Our church is not the church for you if you want a cover band because I am not a part of a cover band. If you want to be a part of a movement find a Bible preaching church that sings more songs about Jesus and the reality of the ups and downs of the Christian life.


Springer & Laura Susan said...

Booyah... I am reading "Worship Matters" by Bob Kauflin right now, and I think if he read your blog, he would say "Amen".

jimpharr. said...

daddy like what you said... me being daddy!