I’ve never felt comfortable singing at a mega church. I don’t mean any disrespect. It’s just that for me, as an East Indian gal who is more used to Asian house churches and small Baptist gatherings, both the general selection of songs at these bigger churches as well as the way in which these songs are sung is far from what I naturally enjoy. I struggle with feeling like the music is more of a performance than an invitation to communal worship; the sanctuary is too dark; the colored, flashing lights appear inauthentic; and the energy of the singers seems over-hyped. In short, whenever I visit a mega church, my traditional mode of worship is challenged by new forms of music, and I don’t like it.
But isn’t that true of most of us?
Many Christians have a preferred musical expression. Perhaps it is CCM (Contemporary Christian Music), hymns, songs in Spanish, Gospel, acapella, or even rap. Many of us grew up in a denomination that only sang one of these types of music, and that is what we’re used to, what we’re comfortable with, and what we prefer. The trouble, though, is that when we attend a different church with a different expression of music, we don’t always like the new music we hear. Maybe we don’t know the words to the songs, or perhaps we just don’t like that genre of music. Or perhaps you are new to faith and attending a church service for the first time, and all the music is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Whatever the case, the result can often be that we struggle to sing the songs genuinely. They feel meaningless to us, so we choose to sing begrudgingly or to not sing at all.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Tanja Heffner