Hear the sound of a generation…

Can a generation have its own sound?

Did you see the movie  Let Hope Rise? It’s the story of the worship band Hillsong United of Sydney, Australia. I’m guessing you’ve heard their music and most are singing it in church {even if you don’t realize it}.

The movie is awesome. I realize everyone may not agree. For those who have been in the church your whole life – and especially if you are of the “older” generation – you may find it difficult to wrap your head around this being…awesome.

Even though I’m middle-aged, I’m probably more willing to embrace modern worship than some my age. But I do see how some of you act during worship. And you said you were not into it. 😉

He breathes a new sound into each generation #worship Click To Tweet

One reason I say I’m probably more willing is I saw my parents welcome the sound of a new generation, back in the day. One of my most vivid memories from my early teen years is of Dad taking us to an Andrae’ Crouch concert. At the time, this was major cutting edge and NOT received well by a large segment of the Church.

Also, and I’ve shared this before, my parents were both accomplished musicians-singers and songwriters. Music has been a large part of their life-long ministry in the Church. And we had a family band. So, I grew up hearing, singing, and introducing the sound of a generation.

But, a movie?

How can this happen and is it really okay? Here’s why I believe it’s more than okay.

#1 – This band’s members are young men and women using their gifts to lift up the name of Jesus.

Yes, in the process, their names and faces have become known around the world, but if their main purpose is to make the name of Jesus famous, can we be okay with this?

#2 – This film creates an opportunity for people to experience Christian worship who may never go inside a traditional church setting.

Yes, it’s true it sounds and looks an awful lot like a rock concert, but if it gets our children and grandchildren worshiping God, can we be okay with this?

#3 – The making of this movie impacted individuals in the film industry who are self-proclaimed agnostics and committed non-believers.

That impact is reaching beyond them {even if they’ve not yet decided to follow Jesus}. Can we be okay with this?

#4 – This film represents the sound of a generation.

The music was God-breathed into the lives of these band members. They then set it to a melody and lyrics the people of their generation can relate to and enjoy. Can we be okay with this?

God continues to breathe a new sound into each generation. It’s the same Word – same God – same promises – same gospel – same salvation…but a new sound.

The new sound is always controversial and encounters opposition. One thing I plan to do in heaven {after I’ve worshiped around the throne for a thousand years or so} is to form a round-table discussion on the music and worship of the Church.

Who shall sit at the round-table?

  • King David – Wouldn’t you love to hear his first-hand experience of the day he broke out dancing before the Ark of the Covenant? Now this received some opposition. And it became the sound of a generation.
  • Martin Luther – He stirred up some controversy when this former monk and leader of the Protestant Reformation introduced congregational singing in the Church? It was the sound of a generation.
  • Andrae’ Crouch – Can you imagine the opposition created by the ¹“Jesus music” movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s [which helped bring] contemporary Christian music into the church, of which Crouch was a major contributor? This was the sound of a generation and it continues to impact our worship, today.

There are others, too numerous to list here, who might come to my heavenly round-table. Many paved the way well, hearing from God and introducing the song of their generation.

It seems only yesterday I cut my worship-leading-teeth on the music coming out of Hillsong Church and others, releasing a new sound from heaven. Nothing quite makes my heart swell like hearing the first few notes of those worship songs of twenty years ago. But that was then.

There’s always a new sound.God gives a new sound to every generation. Can you hear it? Will your kids and grand kids remember you heard their sound?

Here’s what I’ve decided. I want my children and grandchildren to remember me as one willing to worship to the sound of their generation.

Do you want your kids and grand kids hearing you complain about the lights and smoke, or asking why it’s so loud? If you need to {because I do understand the volume is uncomfortable for some} grab your ear plugs. If you miss the old songs, get your fix of the sounds of your own generation by listening at home or in the car.

But don’t criticize what the next generation {and some of us “older” ones} are worshiping to. It’s the sound of heaven being born anew. It is a God-breathed sound created for today.

It is the sound of a new generation of Jesus followers.

So, the next time I see you during worship, I hope you look like you’re enjoying it {ear plugs and all}. We’ll talk about it again, one day – at the round-table in heaven. {I wonder what style of worship music we’ll be singing. I wonder if we’ll care.}

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¹Andrae’ Crouch – Wikipedia

14 thoughts on “Hear the sound of a generation…

  1. I haven’t seen this movie, Karlene – but I want to. I love Hillsong! In fact, I had the opportunity to visit Hillsong Church when I was in New York a few years ago and it was an amazing experience. There are a lot of folks who simply can’t handle change, especially within the church, but God moves in beautiful ways and worship is certainly a place where we can welcome liberty and flexibility. And if it comes with a chance to dance in my kitchen – well that’s great too! 😉 Thanks for the ringing endorsement.

    I’m relaunching my blog today, and I’d love to invite you to come join the celebration! So glad to visit from #RaRalinkup today.

    • Thank you, Tiffany. He is always doing a new thing, isn’t He? Maybe it’s fear that keeps some from opening their eyes to this – or the protection of what they hold dear. And I love to dance in the kitchen, too! I’ll definitely be over to check out your relaunch!

  2. Karlene –

    I love you post and love that you brought out that God releases a new sound to each generation. Jesus is relevant and He wants to be relevant to each generation.. those of us more mature believers can and should learn to embrace what God is doing inthe future generations – for we too were once “that” generations. thanks for your post and so glad we are neighbors at #RARALinkup today

    • Your encouragement means so much, Debbie. I well remember the early days of the “worship revolution” and speaking negative words from my own mouth about the “new” sound and music being sung in our churches. Thank God we’ve seen the light! 🙂 Bless you, friend.

  3. Wonderful post, Karlene! I remember Andre Crouch, too!

    Music styles change just as the meanings of words changes over time. We need to be willing to accept changes. It doesn’t mean we have to throw out the old familiar hymns, we just add to our collection of songs to use in our worship of God.

    Thanks for sharing these needed thoughts! I’m your neighbor at #MomentsofHope

    • I totally agree, Gayl. What God has given in the past is part of our foundation of faith. We must not discard it, but be willing to add to it as He gives new revelation.

  4. There’s so much that I appreciate about this post. I’m an instrumentalist in my church’s orchestra, so the topic of music and the Church is important to me. I’m so thankful for your gracious voice on this important issue, and that you shared it with us at Grace & Truth!

  5. Hi Karlene, my son is a young worship pastor, and worship has changed so much from when my husband and I began in ministry. But the passion for God is there in this next generation, and I love to see them worship with abandon. My son just told us how amazing and inspiring this movie was for him, and I can’t wait to see it this week. Your message is full of wisdom as we help to usher in this next generation. Thanks for visiting my site, and here is your official invite to join the Fresh Market Friday link-up:) Blessings, Crystal

  6. I’m with you, friend, a new sound based on glorifying Him is still worship, and sometimes we need to be open to how God is moving through the next generation… it can be exciting and transforming. But no matter what we prefer, when we listen we still listen with the ear of the Spirit… is there truth there, scripture there, His Spirit there? I’m looking forward to seeing this movie! Glad to read your thoughts on it!

    • I agree, Christine. When I hear and sing the southern gospel music of my growing up years, I often sense His Spirit and am blessed. We need not forsake those styles or hymns we love so well that have ministered to us, and still do. Yet, there is a new sound… Thanks for your comments. Hugs…

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