A View from a Cynical Critic
In Pop Goes the Church, I wrote about the power of using secular music in your church services: "The next week, when they hear that song on the radio, they may be instantly pulled back to the service. They may remember again that God has a plan for them, that he can help them start over..." (Page 151).
I experienced that a couple nights ago watching a Foo Fighters concert on TV. As soon as the first few notes of Best of You rang out, I was instantly pulled back to a service we did about two years ago when J Aquila delivered a flawless cover of the same song.
Then a couple days ago I received a letter from a man who lives several hundred miles away and doesn't attend church:
So, I was driving home late the other night and was scanning through the Kansas City radio stations and landed upon a random station playing a familiar song. Now, generally, I only listen to my iPod or NPR, so when this song caught my ear, I wasn't sure where I knew it from. I kept listening until I got to the chorus. The song was Disturbia. I finally pieced it all together, and realized that I knew it from Granger Community Church...
... I realized something as I was listening. I have NO IDEA who the original artist is, but I remember GCC's performance the great female lead, and the tie-in with Romans 7.
All that to say, I'm still not sure I'm fully on board with the methodology of GCC, but I fully recognize it's value and power. After all, I don't attend the church, am fairly skeptical, AND YET have been impacted for the good by it.
All that to say, thanks for your ministry and keep it up. It's reaching and influencing even the cynical critics, such as myself.
People who have always gone to church don't need this type of methodology. They are already "in" -- they are convinced. It is the cynics, the skeptics, the "I-don't-need-your-type-of-religion" people in our communities who are often impacted by the unexpected threading of a secular song with a spiritual truth.
I'll close with a great quote I read this morning from the blog of Jim Johnson: "We believe that in the expressions of our culture—music, film, books, TV—we can hear the heart cry of people asking the deep questions of life. When we acknowledge these sentiments and let them be heard in our weekend services, we create connection points with seekers that enable us then to speak God’s words of truth into their lives."
Your turn. What do you think?