In the Undiscovered Country we sing a lot of hymns. For a greater church culture overwhelmed with praise and worship music, that may seem old school. Perhaps even archaic. For a while I struggled to understand the specific appeal of hymns. That was until someone explained it to me.
For people who spend their entire lives outside church, hymns are fresh. They reflect the change Christ makes in their lives; a break from the culture of their old lives. I was surprised to learn that, for our Undiscovered Country, folks looked for something beyond their old, unfulfilling experiences. That includes the music of their past.
Hymns speak to a new reality, a life of faith in Christ. They encourage our folks and speak deeply of the things of God. Through hymns we learn and grow.
Our love of hymns doesn’t mean we reject praise and worship music. In fact, one of our favorite praise and worships songs is written by Bruce, our music leader. I enjoy it because it is born from our church family. It expresses glory to God for his mercy and greatness. It reflects the shared experience of our church family.
Worship is corporate. The power of worship comes from thanksgiving for who God is and his great works among his people. It’s just like the Psalms that speak of God’s mighty deeds through the people of Israel.
Worship should be specific. We ought to express worship based on our own unique experience. Each church has it’s own culture and history. Worship should reflect how God has led each group through the years, making thanksgiving it’s central focus.
In a culture of individualism, the Undiscovered Country focuses on the body. We exist for each other, and need each other. Worship should reflect God’s great work through his people.
That’s worship in the Undiscovered Country.