I feel like an old church lady. I don’t like the music at my church. It’s too loud. It distracts me. I can’t focus when the music is so loud and I don’t know the words. I don’t listen to loud, fast music when I am in my car or when I’m in my house. Usually when I worship God alone, I’m listening to classical music with no lyrics, or old hymns by modern artists like Chris Rice or Michael Card. I really like some modern worship music, but just not loud, fast music. It’s just not my style.
I am a sucker for old church music. It brings me back to my childhood. When I sing those songs, I am suddenly transported back to church with my Grandma, or standing between my two parents with my three brothers on either side, singing to Jesus together as a family. The old songs run through the deepest part of me, assuring me to the deepest parts that my faith is sure, God has always been there, and always will be. There is tremendous security for me in liturgy, familiar words both spoken and sung over the centuries.
Would I go back? Would I trade in my church for my church experience growing up? Nope. Not on my life. Why?
Because other people matter.
From time to time I hear or read a comment that says something like “I am an athiest. I don’t really believe in God, but this church is a safe place for me to check things out.” Or, “This is the only church that has ever spoken the same language as me. I can understand what you are trying to say.” or, “I met Jesus here. Your words made Him come alive to me.”
Other people matter.
I can sneak away to the security of my childhood any old day on my pink Zune. I can hear my Grandma’s voice singing "then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee…How Great thou art…” or my Mom singing “O Holy Night” in front of church, or my Dad Pointing to his nose every time we sang, “till the whole world knows…” making me laugh so hard I could vomit. Those are all great memories.
But we’re making new memories with our own kids here at GCC.
Memories that for them will mean security. Memories that will bring them back to the very place that they took communion for the first time, got baptized, saw their friends come to know Jesus.
It’s worth giving up what I like. Other people matter.