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September 2018


Re: 'More (modern) hymns, please'

Many worship songs evidence little acknowledgement of a congregation element, and reflect an Old Testament based theology. Just like the associated preaching would be acceptable to a devout Jew. What happened to the love of Jesus and his words? All only in my view of course.
Barrie Duke (via Facebook)

Maybe there’s a mix. Paul talked of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We need new ‘hymns’ that are content-rich without the dreariness of some Georgian or Victorian era hymns (with obvious go-to exceptions). 
But IMHO we also need the ‘spiritual songs’ of the likes of Jesus Culture, Rend Collective et al. They are not ‘hymns’. Do issues arise when we judge them (and attempt to classically/ awkwardly sing them) as if they are? It seems every generation often thinks the younger generation is some how worse (they’re not like us). 
But with Paul’s challenge in Eph 5:18-20, the younger generation today consume less alcohol than their elders (me) and they seem more at ease with a passionate worship and intimacy with God than many of their elders. We need content-rich ‘hymns’, but we also need expressive/ intimate ‘spiritual songs’. It’d be such a pity if it came down to an older generation muttering simply because the style of ‘spiritual song’ doesn’t conform in rhythm, beats, scansion, phrasing, volume, instruments, clothing, hair style etc to what we had in ‘our day’ (and I’m 50). And what then of ‘psalms’?
Danny Brierley (via Facebook)

I was discussing this with my son who leads the music at Audacious Church in Manchester. They write most of their own songs. I think it depends on your congregation. His congregation sings the songs at the top of their lungs that seem unsingable to me. And would be unsingable at our church. What we agree on is that songs and hymns need to communicate biblical truth as well as possible.
Andrew Gosden (via Facebook)

This is a fascinating thread with no real rights and wrongs imo, but really important. I confess often to choosing music because I really like the tune rather than for the words. I think when hymns became popular (before Charles Wesley!) they were vehicles for communicating biblical truth in a memorable way for congregations of varying literacy. Perhaps we don't have that problem too much now, so worship music can reflect things like emotions etc. OK so far, but then I reflect on what seems to me the theological and biblical illiteracy of so much of modern church life and wonder whether we need a return to music that teaches theology. No easy answers for me, but the debate is really important I think.
Paul Richards (via Facebook)

So many new songs are “performance” songs and not suitable for congregations and the quality of some of the music is poor. Too much repetition as well, we are past the “nursery rhymes” lets have some good quality stuff, there is already some out there but some poor songs also.
Mary Harden (via Facebook)

There have been five volumes of 'Songs Of Fellowship' over the years since 1991 and in successive volumes, the proportion of memorable, sing-able and inspirational songs with good melodies compared to the total number of songs has steadily decreased, so that today in our Church, and I suspect many others, we are still using many songs from the earlier volumes and comparatively few from the later ones. Bring back Kendrick, Fellingham, Bowater, Richards et al!
Ken Lowe (via Facebook)

Not sure it’s subtle...
Jonathan Fillis (via Facebook)


Re: The Blaby story - lessons from church growth 
Amazing story, we are a small congregation mostly 70s/80s and our church is struggling. I have become a member ( from Baptist to Methodist) as I feel The Lord wants me to help in that Church. Lord willing I will do a worship leaders course to be able partake in the services. I’m still learning the Methodist rules....etc. Thankful for teaching I received in the Baptist Church as a new Christian 34yrs ago, now in my 70s.
Margaret Ostley (via Facebook) 

A wonderfully inspiring piece . Many thanks for sharing.
Barbara Williams (via Facebook) 

Amazing story.
Richard Carter (Via Facebook)

What an encouragement. We (Montacute) have a membership of 18, all but one aged 70/80’s seeking God’s way forward. Please pray for us as we rejoice with your good news.
Heather Andrews

Wonderfully encouraging. If only all churches valued older people not necessarily because they are gifted but for their years of knowing Christ and their valuable life-experience both as believers and as older citizens.
Carol Anne Stunell


Re: Uniformed groups and social integration
Here is another thought...in Fresh expressions talk...would these and similar groups be named 'congregations' in their own right?
Stuart Blythe (via Twitter)

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State matters
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