Church Attendance: This May Be As Good As It Gets

. . . . . . .

Tone Deaf” — Those were my thoughts on Easter Sunday morning, as I attended church this past Easter Sunday.  Those words speak of. . . .

“. . . . having or showing
an obtuse insensitivity
or lack of perception
particularly in matters of
public sentiment, opinion, or taste.”

. . . . . . .

  • After a year of a pandemic lockdown . . . .
  • After the decision by many to make this Easter Sunday the first in-person church service they attend . . . .
  • Because Easter/Resurrection Sunday is one of the holiest days of the religious calendar. . . . .
  • Because of the increased likelihood that many of the less-regular and/or new people will be attending . . . .

. . . what would you plan as the first hymn sung by the congregation-choir-singer?

If you are tone-deaf . . . . the answer is  . . . . a hymn or song which addresses anything other than the resurrection of Christ!

If you are tone-deaf, you will begin (and continue through much of the service) with music that fails to connect with the anticipatory thinking and sentiments of God’s people on Easter 2021.

Instead of beginning with possible hymns such as . . . . .

  • Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
  • Christ Arose
  • The Old Rugged Cross
  • He Lives
  • He Is Lord
  • I Know that My Redeemer Liveth
  • My Hope Is In The Lord
  • Rise Again
  • Crown Him With Many Crows
  • In The Garden
  • Were You There
  • et al.

. . . some will have begun the service with music that celebrates their obtuse insensitivity and/or lack of perception.

. . . . . 

If you are tone-deaf, Easter Sunday will start with and/or use contemporary songs that have nothing to do with the resurrection.

If you are tone-deaf, Easter Sunday will start with and/or use contemporary songs that few even know.

If you are tone-deaf, you will begin with and/or use music and songs that you might enjoy, but fail to effectively minister. [1]

If you are tone-deaf, you employ well-known hymns, but you put them to an upbeat musical score that changes the traditional tempo, wording, or pace, and appreciation by that audience.

If you are tone-deaf, you add roving and flashing lighting effects regardless of any reasonable musical,  practical, or theological justification.

If you are tone-deaf, you will begin with and/or use well-known hymns to a different musical score that fails to carry the emotions and feelings in could and would.

If you are tone-deaf, you will throw the musical balance in the direction of what does not connect with your audience, in favor of your musical preferences. [2]

If you are tone-deaf, Easter Sunday will focus more on the death than on the resurrection.

. . . . . 

Easter Sunday 2021 — after one of the most “affective years” that has deeply impacted church ministries, when many made Easter Sunday the day when they would return to a congregational in-person meeting, after the loss of loved ones and friends, after . . . after . . . .

Easter Sunday 2021 should have been one of the most sermonicly and musically inspiring days for God’s people who decided to be there again, in-person!

Easter Sunday 2021 should have been the beginning of a growing in-person attendance and return to local church worship, ministry, and fellowship.

Easter Sunday 2021 should have been a time when God’s people said — “This is what the church is about.  This is the worship experience I have been missed due to this tragic pandemic.”

But for too many — it may well have failed to accomplish that!
Why?  — Because of Tin Ears.

The Results:  Sunday’s attendance may be the highpoint, as good as it is going to get for the next year(s) in this-or-that local church ministry!  The conclusion may be — “Listening online (to you and/or others) works!”

P.S. “The Easter Sunday Sermon” — That is another discussion — unfortunately, a sad discussion of a missed-failed opportunity to congregationally rejoice in the defeat of our last enemy — death, the grave, and hell!

. . . . . 

1. An effective music ministry can be is jettisoned by using music that is . . .

  • unfamiliar or totally new
  • unsuited or difficult for congregational singing
  • misfocused and ignores the appreciation of those worshiping
  • traditional or contemporary, but unrelatable musically
  • well-known, but employing a different musical score
  • an arrangement that moves so far away from the original composition
  • new/unknown (contemporary or classical in form) and poorly worded and/or written
  • et al.

2. It is not that music that is new, different, unfamiliar, an arrangement of, classical or contemporary, known or unknown cannot be used or introduced in a local church setting.  Nevertheless, if the balance is driven by the musical leader’s “taste-opinions-position-convictions-theology-education-appreciation” — whether that results in a “contemporary” or “classical”  outcome — it is self-serving!

With too many, the music ministry is about them.  The selection of songs has little-to-nothing to do with the service, the message, the day, or the audience assembled.  It is about their musical appreciation — “Just stand up and be quiet and sing!.  Start loving the music I love, listen to, and appreciate!  No criticism will be permitted!  I am the paid music director.”  Some who criticize the CC music movement, are as musically self-serving as those they criticize!  They operate with the same selfish mentality.

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