Some times I find myself questioning worship music.
I have friends that play other types of music. Most play rock-n-roll. A good portion of those friends are not apart of a church nor do they even attend church.
It’s difficult to explain to them what it is I do and why [most] worship music sounds the way it does (including mine). They argue that, for the most part, it sounds rather simple. The structure is kind of mundane and the lyrics are repetitive.
You know, as much as I want to argue against that, I simply can’t. In regards to the majority of worship music, they are correct. and for the longest time that has bothered me. I have discredited my own writing and the writing of countless others. I thought,” How can we call ourselves professional writers and musicians with such simplistic material?”
The other night I was driving around my hometown of Norfolk, VA with a friend. During that drive we had this very discussion. Once I was alone I began to really process the topic. This night happened to be quite a snowy night. As I was driving I looked around and was mesmerized by the beautiful streets of fresh, powdery, white snow. I looked at the clean lines the snow created. The way it followed along the waters edge. It was such a beautiful sight. (If you havent figured it out, I love snow!)
I wondered what made it so beautiful to look at. Then i had an epiphany. It’s the simplicity of it all. All of the clutter is covered in just one simple look. All of the neon glow and was overtaken by the the simplest of colors. All of the streets were empty because the snow caused people to stay home and off the streets. It forced people to slow down and think and spend time with loved ones.
I believe this is the same for the simplicity of worship music. There’s beauty in the simple. Just to have a simple heart-felt conversation with the creator. There’s
powerful that can take place with our worship. Getting lost in worship can cause everything to be covered by our love for God and His love for us. It covers al of the clutter and neon lights that try to constantly grab our attention. It can cause us to slow down and think and spend time with him.
I am all for more complex music. However, I fear that if we try to add too much complexity to worship music we may get lost in what its truly about in the first place.
If i am writing with the intention of writing a song for the church body to sing it needs to be something that can easily be understood and to some degree, easily played. All the while still containing depth and intimacy. It’s a delicate balance of simple and complex. It is much like Christianity itself. It’s a paradox.
Even though a lot of my friends don’t understand I still value their input and advice. After all I dont strive to only be able reach fellow Christians through my music.
What are your thoughts? How do you feel about worship music? Do you feel it lacks complexity in a negative or do you also find that to be where the beauty of worship music is?