In the early days, Driscoll recounts how some of their biggest challenges seemed to surround finding a good music leader. He recounts various musicians, drummers, and guitarists who filled the positions at various points in the history of Mars Hill. While I grew up in a fairly contemporary Christian worship music scene (true confessions: I played bass guitar for our church’s worship team for a few years), I have over the years become more and more convinced that most of what is offered under that name is less than helpful, even though I am always open to finding good, new worship music (and I think the church should be committed to producing quality, new worship music/songs).
I have some familiarity with the worship music scene at Mars Hill — I’ve listened to a few of the recordings posted on the Resurgence website — (so I wasn’t really surprised), but my initial reaction was honestly still that these “struggles” seemed trivial, sort of part of the immaturity of the early days of the church plant. Sort of like a young high school punk complaining that his garage band hasn’t gotten any gigs. I’m tempted to tell the kid to grow up and get a job. Get married, have some kids, and join the *real* world. I admit that I was *tempted* to feel the same away about the Mars Hill music leader struggles. Grow up and find a hymnal, I sort of wanted to say. But on second thought, it’s just a fact that music and worship is really important to God, and even though I would quibble with the electric guitars and garage band style of worship music, it dawned on me that this concern and trial was actually in some ways a really good sign that the church was on the right track.
Worship is central; God loves music. God loves when His people sing to Him with joy and love in their hearts. This doesn’t dismiss the quality and culture issues, but the fact of the matter is that there are many believers who worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth with guitars and drums who will entire the Kingdom before the proud antics of Christians with high brow organs and violins. And furthermore, in so far as these struggles were borne out of a heartfelt love for Jesus and a desire to worship Him, Jesus was pleased with their baby steps and believers who walk in the obsessed love of Christ grow up into maturity. And this goes for all of us, whether we’re plinking out old hymns on a piano or making a glorious ruckus on a Fender.
You can read the first part of this review here.
Great post Toby – thanks my friend. Hope all is well.
Crystal Comis says
I like your blog Toby. I appreciate the topics you choose to speak on. I once lead worship in a band at Marshill. Back in the day I was a singer, and my convictions where very different from where I stand now. And though I wouldn't go back to that style of worship, it has been important for me to recognize that they are still Christians striving to worship God well. But that takes discipline, time, and good teaching on worship, all of which can be hard to come by. There are so many people who want to make a "new song to Lord," but it takes time to do that well. Maybe we will check back in 10-15 years and things will have grow up.
I recently suggested to my husband that it seems wise to me, that when starting a new CREC, not only should the church be courting preaching pastors, but worship pastors as well. What a great concept, if I do say so myself.