Thursday, October 4, 2007

"The Issue of Balance"

Dan Betzer, prominent pastor in Ft Meyers, Florida, has written a daily by-line. He is retiring from his column soon, but this is one of his by-lines on worship, from 2004.
"ByLine with Dan Betzer" Program #2751
Monday, April 19, 2004
"The issue of balance"

I have been deluged with responses to my ByLines concerning hymns in the church. They have run about ten to one in favor of singing at least one hymn in every service. It is interesting that the no’s have come from young worship leaders who have protested that their church would lose its young people if hymns were sung.

None of the protesters mentioned the older adults they are losing in the meantime. Why is it so hard to understand that this is not a “one or the other” situation. I love the chorus, “Like a rose trampled on the ground He took the fall and thought of me above all.”

Wonderful song! But then so is “The Old Rugged Cross.” The detractors tell me that attendance declines if hymns are sung. Not so. Our church is filled with thousands of people, over half of whom are under the age of 30. Only 15% of them are my age.

The issue, it seems to me, is balance. As a pastor, it is my responsibility to reach as many of our area’s half million residents as possible. That means our approach has to be varied, anointed, interesting and relevant.

I suspect that if many of the young worship leaders would lead the singing worship with their eyes open, they would see many folks not singing, not responding, some even leaving. One other question: is there some scriptural admonition demanding that we sing the choruses six or seven times in a row?

If we are really singing them to God, do you not think He understood the lyric the first time around? Oh, by the way, it is possible to sing sitting down.


Drummer Chris said...

Thanks for the article, I love the part about singing the chorus over and over again (just something borrowed from secular music I guess). I'm trying to pull more hymns into our service...A few weeks ago we did "It is Well", this week we are singing "How Great Thou Art" and next week we will add "Holy, Holy, Holy". Like I said in my last post, you can't be the lyrics to those hymns.........

Don Howard said...

That's great..I like the issue of balance...there are many beautiful worship choruses.