A little back story for this post…last May I was attending a conference and one of the Pastors at the church walked up and gave me a word about me flowing in the gift of prophetic. I’ll be honest at first I didn’t really understand what that meant or looked like for me. Not imagining me walking up to people prophesying, etc. But in the weeks that followed I received a couple other confirmations from people that had no idea of this previous word. One of those was a ministry friend who in speaking about me said “a prophet is like someone with a rock in their shoe. There’s always something a little uncomfortable as you walk” to which was a light bulb. There are things I see in ministry and the church especially in the arena of worship where that is completely me. I see things in reality that pain me because I see visions of greater and grander of what could be and what I believe should be. Another confirmation was as I sat on stage with a handful of “famous” artists and one of those spoke about how artists in writing songs flow in a prophetic writing these truth. This was a version of me and prophecy that I could wrap my mind around and confidently walk in. I’m slowly understanding that I see things….and I have a view of this world where I see things differently. So I wanted to share…
About ten days ago I took my family to the TobyMac Hits Deep tour. We all know (or at least most of us do) that he’s been around awhile. He had a previous successful career before being just TobyMac as dcTalk. He’s 54 years old. He’s still got it: in style and edge. He’s super creative and wise which is why he’s been creating “hits” for thirty years. I have not been able to shake the fact that around this arena there were ALL ages. Young kids like my Sparrow who only has days left of being 7. There were students behind me. There were families there with kids of all ages and then what I haven’t been able to shake is there were so many adults there with no kids. And when I say adults I mean adults that far exceed my 38.5 years of living. (Catch my drift?) I’m talking people in their fifties and sixties there with no children or grandchildren. Using their smart phone to take photos and videos right along with the rest of them. These people had clearly come because they are fans. They enjoy the music which brings me to my point.
In a lot of American (I specify since that’s where I live and have the most knowledge) churches Sunday church sounds nothing like what plays on our stereos, radios and headphones Monday-Saturday. And that bugs me beyond what many of you can even fathom. It grieves my spirit and is the pebble I walk around with in my shoe. It is the burden that I walk with and try my best, in the things I create, to be an answer to. This is a huge motivating reason I do what I do.
There’s a lot of churches that use the word “CONTEMPORARY” on their website or to define a style of church services out there. Clearly those boards and staffs have never looked up the definition of the word. It means ‘belonging to or occurring in the present.” Music that sounds like the past or what has become “acceptable” over time is NOT contemporary. Worship that sounds like the 90’s and the early 00’s I repeat is NOT contemporary. (Does it mean those songs or bad? No. A great song is always a great song. The package in which we display and wrap the item is what changes. Think about every successful brand out there and the “re-brands” they have done along the way to shift with the times and attract a new generation to become loyal devotees to their company. The package is the style .The gift doesn’t have to change. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. I feel a responsibility to display a version of Jesus that preteens and students and young adults will see and get excited about. I want them to see Jesus is relevant for their right now, their week ahead and the life they are still dreaming about that they will live.) I know music is something that everyone has an opinion on. Shoot, Baskin Robbins and it’s 31 flavors was probably inspired by a group of people’s musical differences and tastes. (Ha!) I truly wish churches would stop lying to themselves about how “hip” they’ve gotten and stop to smell the roses of what it will truly take to pass this faith on to the future generations. Psalm 79:13 “Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise.” Most of us aren’t worshiping with a harp as David did. We have “oldies” stations and blended hits stations for a reason. I think there is a time and place for tradition. Just because the music you pipe out sounds like what you think comfortable and safe sounds like doesn’t make it MORE holy or LESS anointed than a song full of faith, wonder and worship for the Lord that was produced to sound like it should be played in 2019.
Here’s an awesome post I’ve read in the past that has come to my thoughts over these past ten days as I try to wrap my mind around all those adults who had bought a ticket to go see Toby Mac. Who according to so many churches “his music would be too cool or hip and totally not what our older congregation wants to hear.”
I love you all which is why I will keep holding a light high to shine and point the way. Time is ticking and what we do matters.