Can I be honest? I get tired of hearing the same songs over and over again in church. And if we're all honest, I think we all feel that way. The truth is that when worship leaders play the same songs over and over again, the songs get old. And it doesn't matter how good a song is, how catchy the beat is, or how meaningful the lyrics are. If a song is overplayed, it leaves a bad taste in our mouths. And the problem I have with modern day radio and modern day worship leaders is that they overplay and thus kill really good songs. At the moment, I'm thinking of How He Loves, Our God, Revelation Song, Mighty To Save, How Great Is Our God, From the Inside Out, Indescribable, and Forever Reign, to name just a few.
Am I alone in wishing that the worship leaders at our churches decided to play worship songs that are new, fresh, and up-to-date? I mean, today in my church, we played How He Loves and the Heart of Worship, among others. As good as these songs are and as much as these lyrics once meant something to me, I'm tired of hearing them constantly in church. I have heard them so many times now that they no longer hold the same the meaning.
There is a reason the psalmist wrote six times something like, "Sing to the Lord a new song" (Ps. 33:3; Ps. 40:3; Ps. 96:1; Ps. 98:1; Ps. 144:9; Ps. 149:1), emphasis mine. So if David, the writer of these Psalms, the great lyricist, the great songwriter, the man after God's own heart, said to sing new songs to the Lord, don't you think there's something to it? If you play the same song over and over again, if you preach the same sermon over and over again, if you watch the same movie over and over again, if you go to the same restaurant over and over again, if you play the same video game over and over again, if you read the same book over and over again, it's bound to get old. There's no way around that, and there's no denying that. If you do something so often that it becomes routine, you'll probably end up losing your passion for it. You have to keep your experiences new and fresh.
If you don't sing new songs in church, your worship experience will become routine and eventually, lifeless. You have to keep your worship music fresh and new, otherwise you will eventually get tired of it and lose your passion for it, or worse, for the One you're singing about.
Now I know that in their defense, worship leaders would tell me that they play songs that everyone knows because, well, everyone knows them. And every good worship leader knows it is so much easier and safer to just play songs that everyone knows, right? (Note the sarcasm.) To this I would say: even though they all know this song now, there was a time when no one knew this song and someone had to teach it to them; what songs are they missing out on now because you aren't leading them in new songs?
There's really no excuse for worship leaders to have a small repertoire of songs that they play. The truth is that there are a lot of incredible worship artists out there who are putting out some absolutely amazing worship songs. Just listen to Hillsong Live and Hillsong United, Kristian Stanfill, Elevation Worship, John Mark McMillian, Fee, Passion, Christy Nockles and Kari Jobe and you will find some amazing songs, songs that aren't hard to learn and that can easily be played in your church whether you have a full band or not.
So people, we don't have to put up with routine, mundane, and boring worship services! Get out of the rut and play some new stuff! I am tired of staying quiet about this and putting up with it because it isn't something we as Christians should have to deal with. To me, it's common sense that if you overplay worship songs, they lose their meaning. Let's not cheapen our worship experiences with overplayed, cliche Christian worship songs. It's high time the worship in our churches and in our youth groups changed for the better.
We should approach the throne with a hunger for His presence and a hunger to glorify His name with our voices and our instruments. We should have a spirit of excellence about us, a desire to lay our all down at the cross, both in heart and in performance. To cheapen the King with half-hearted worship and half-hearted effort is a sin. It's a half-hearted effort to praise and glorify and worship a God who deserves more than what we can offer Him. So how can we be okay with settling for just-okay worship songs and just-like-last-week's worship services?
"Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy."