In the previous post, I referred to the music we experienced at Church Visit #2 as "phenomenal." Let me explain a few things.
I am a lifelong musician. I love all kinds of music. I know the differences among excellent, good, fair, bad and bodaciously horrible "music."
I had just blissfully enjoyed three full days of great live music at Spirit West Coast - Thursday thru Saturday - before I participated at this church on Sunday. Saturday night had been a stupendous night with Matt Redman, David Crowder and the Newsboys. So - for me to characterize the music at that church as "phenomenal" has to mean something, no?
Here's the deal.
1. They had an outstanding organist. OK, wow. Let me just say that I have been a party to wholesale efforts to get the organs out of our churches! But of course that was because in the churches of which I have been a part, the organ is no way, no how used in any way even closely resembling what I saw, heard and felt last Sunday. Whoa.
2. They had a drummer and a guitarist. A simple rhythm section, but they added more than you'd think. No orchestra. No strings. No horns. Two unassuming guys keeping the beat and bringing their best to Jesus.
3. They had a choir consisting of six women and two men. The Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers should sound so good. No, really; they were technically "okay" but their SPIRIT was through the roof.
4. They sang HYMNS! Gasp! That's right. The closest they came to singing a "praise song" was "Because He Lives." (I am NOT a fan of making a distinction between "hymns" and "choruses" and I am SOOO tired of hearing about "contemporary praise and worship.") In a few cases, they sang their hymns ("Amazing Grace" and "I Need Thee Every Hour") more slowly than I have heard them sung IN MY LIFE EVER! but it was purposeful and glorious and beautiful and indescribably sweet.
5. The congregation were not a bunch of logbumps. They were totally INTO IT! The music was not a performance, it was an offering of praise and adoration.
So. The point: Although the music at church this past Sunday was not as spectacular as what I had been listening to (dancing to, singing along with, applauding, worshipping during) at Spirit West Coast, it managed to outclass it by the simple act of being utterly heartdriven.