The Imminent Decline of Contemporary Worship Music


There is an interesting blog concerning the decline of Contemporary Worship Music. Click here to read it all, or just read the following synopsis.

1. Compared to the last several centuries of hymns, the contemporary songs were, for the most part, poorly written. Gordon (the author of the blog) indicates that if less than 1% of Wesley’s hymns are still sung, how many of the contemporary songs will remain for the next generation?

2. A sizable portion of the contemporary songs are old songs set to new melodies. Why? It’s hard to write something as theologically accurate and hymnologically appealing as the old songs. Writing good music takes work.

3. Since there are only a few really good contemporary songs, they get sung over and over, until the church grows tired of them.

4. Since so many churches now use contemporary songs, it is no longer a drawing card. Those churches that depended on their music to draw a crowd now have to depend on other aspects of church life to draw or maintain their congregation.

5. Now that the novelty has worn off, the contemporary songs have to compete with the more traditional songs, something they are not that well equipped to do.

6. Contemporary worship music is the child of the boomer generation; it’s the continuation of Woodstock and the Jesus freaks of the 60’s.

7. The contemporary worship scene has still not figured out whether a worship team is  there for the entertainment of the audience or to assist the congregation in singing praises to God.

8. The contemporary church has purposely set itself against historic Christianity, but even theologically untrained people sense the fact that they have a connection with God’s people of all ages. Contemporary worship is an oxymoron. The angels and believers have been worshipping God for generations, and that worship tends to be eschatological. Our songs have historically looked more to the future than to the present.

While you won’t agree with everything in this blog, it is an interesting discussion. I read recently in Christianity Today that an emerging church, in order to be different than the rest of the emerging churches in its neighborhood, did something “radically” out of the ordinary – they switched to a hymnbook for their song service!