Church music philosophy

There are many challenges when it comes to the church. Yes, I know, that's the understatement of the year. The one that nearly every church has to fight is that of music style. Notice that I didn't say "worship style." That's a whole different thing. Anyway, the musical style categories have been out there for a while. You've got Liturgical, Traditional, Blended, Contemporary, Gen-X/Postmod. And each of those categories covers a pretty big swath of ground. Does anybody really know what contemporary means when it comes to church music? And lets not even try to define postmodern - for obvious reasons. This post, from Scott Magdalein takes a different look at the categories of church music style. This doesn't look so much at musical style/content as it does church music philosophy. You could look at it as production style. I think that Harvest fits into the "Concert Corporate" category. Although we have attenders who might prefer either of the other two. Personally, my philosophy would likely fall closer the "Album Corporate" group. But that's not Harvest. Maybe it's my age. Maybe it's a subconscious desire to be a preacher - let the songs bring the message. I don't know. What I do know is that I think it is wise to understand these different philosophies. Know which philosophy you hold. And know which one your church really is. If we all thought these things through it might just ease some of the heartache that happens when the church in our heart and the church on the corner don't match up.

Not Tomlin.

This album is not Tomlin. It's not Hughes or Powell or Camp. It's a nice change of pace. Some good loud expressions of praise. Thanks, Lee, for giving the church some singable, rockin' songs. Harvest will definitely be hearing some of these in the weeks to come. Go get this one.

Guitar pic for the Ken

Here's a pic for you Ken. The guitar is the black thing with strings. That's me looking through the cutaway. Just to clarify.

Yet another guitar in the arsonal

Got a new guitar last week. Nothing too spectacular, but way cool nonetheless. Picked up an Epiphone Les Paul, Studio at GC. Got a good deal 'cause it needs a little TLC. But sounds hot and the solid black is a nice contrast to the fuzzy white lining in the case. Got the straplocks on it the first night so it's solid. No fancy inlays. No cool sunburst paint. No pretty maple top. Just black, and lots of it.

Easter week reflections

Been a busy couple of weeks. So, now it's back to the blog. Easter week was awesome! We had several church-wide activities that were really great. Sadly, we had to cancel the Path on Friday night due to the 14 plus inches of snow that pounded in on Friday. Thursday night was a great success as we presented an unusual look at Pilate and his response to Christ. "Pilate on the Beach" was a great presentation. Simple production but powerful message. Not your typical cheesy church drama. At just over 40 minutes, this one dealt with guilt and personal responsibility. The weekend was awesome! The Sunday crowds came ready to celebrate. And celebrate we did! Lots of upbeat music and songs of grace and power and the love of Christ. We have a father/son duo on electric guitars/keys and the Cornell guys rocked! (As always...) Really, we have some very talented musicians here at Harvest. And this weekend really drove the point home. Thanks to all our teams. Musicians, techies, producers, usher teams, everyone - you make serving with you a blessing. Looking forward to a little down(ish) time, but also looking forward to what God is going to do in the weeks to come.

Love Revolution

I like Lenny Kravitz. As a musician, he puts out some great high energy music as well as some cool ballads. I just downloaded "Love Revolution" and I'm genuinely intrigued by some of his lyrical content. I've read that Lenny claims to be a Christian and got the tat to let people know. But the lyrics of the first two songs on this album (Love Revolution, and Bring it On) could easily have been written by some of my favorite Christian musicians. That said, I'm enjoying my first shot through the album. It all hearkens back to the 70's. With sounds from the Beatles, Zeplin, a little Motown. But all with a definite Kravitz sound. I'll be rockin to this for a while.

Gatlin Elms Band

My Friend, Taco turned me on to a guy he knows who has a new album out and it's tasty. Gatlin Elms Band's freshman release is produced by Robbie Seay and has a comfortable feel for this Seay fan. Evidently the guy is only 17 and wrote the majority of the songs on this album. Way deeper than I ever thought at that age. Plus, it's just plain good music. I could see sitting at St. arbux on a rainy day and listening. Props to Taco for the song "Something".


I've been having a blogversation with my cousin, Kevin, over the last couple weeks regarding the church, denominations, and church growth/health. He's involved at Gracepoint, a great church in Wichita. They've been pushing the envelope on a number of fronts. They're intentionally focused on attracting and changing the lives of the unchurched, as well as impacting their community in the name of Christ. Gracepoint's pastor, Bryson, has a great post about Wesley and church health. If 46% of UMC churches had no conversions last year, what does that tell us about the reason many churches exist today. Social clubs are great. But don't masquerade as Christ's church. Make disciples! Change the world! When the church gets comfortable it gets lazy. And when it gets lazy, it gets self-centered. That leads to the Christian Social Club. Don't be afraid to stir the pot, to stretch beyond what's comfortable. Do what we've been empowered by the Holy Spirit to do. Show the world the undeniable attractiveness of Jesus, and teach them to follow Him.

Early Memories

What's your earliest memory? I have this vague memory from our house on Community Dr. in Derby, KS. There's not much too it, a hall and a door, and light streaming through the window. I remember almost getting my finger cut off in the piano bench when I was 3 or 4. I remember my mom chasing me through the music room when I was trying to get away after having done something I shouldn't. Last night, as I was breaking the 3 to 4 inches of ice off of the sidewalk in front of our house, I heard a soft knocking and turned to see Regina and Amelia at the window. Amelia was smiling and waving. So, I stopped and waved back and smiled really big back at her. This went on for about 20 minutes or so. I would break ice and shovel, she would knock, I would turn and we would wave at each other. It struck me that this could be the first memory she has. And if so, I wanted it to be a good memory. I had things that I needed to do. But stopping to smile and wave was much more important. I want her to remember that her dad stopped what he was doing for her - just to smile and wave. I don't want to get to the point that work (or play, for that matter) is so important that I can't stop for a moment to be the daddy that she needs. How many times have you found yourself too busy to stop, smile and wave? Few things are really that important. Life, schedule, work, responsibilities, fixing dinner, getting there on time. Are they really that important?