Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way

“Lord it’s the same old tune, fiddle and guitar;
where do we take it from here?
Rhinestone suits and new shiny cars,
it’s been the same way for years.
We need to change.”

– – Waylon Jennings

Those are the opening lines to the Waylon Jennings song Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.  The other afternoon I was enjoying the Florida sun and this song shuffled on and filled our backyard.  I was struck by how the song’s criticism of Nashville and country music is just as pointed today as it was in 1975.  Waylon was singing about how the Nashville machine had gotten away from the roots of country music – the song – and things like radio play, new cars, and those rhinestone suits had become more important.  The same things could be said about any genre of music today.  Is the commercialism of the song or artist more important than the songs being written?

But I spend my days playing music in the church and I was struck by how those thoughts might be just as true for our churches, we may also need a change.

Is today’s church using the (metaphorical) same old tune, fiddle and guitar from 10, 20, 30, or even 50 years ago and expecting the same results?  Or are we doing the same thing and expecting something new to happen?  Are we seeking to be relevant for today’s generation, or are we expecting today’s folks to adhere to the practices of the past?  This doesn’t mean that the actions and traditions of the past are no longer valid – quite the contrary – they are highly important because the faith of past generations are what today’s church stands upon.  But is today’s church getting a little hung up on the rhinestone suits and new shiny cars?

Many of our churches are at a generational and cultural crossroad.  Doing things the same way they’ve always been done will surely please those who lived through the past – but in doing so are we responding to the needs of today’s seeker?

Are we going to journey together into the future or will our churches fixate on how things were done in the past and ignore the needs of today’s generation longing for the Love of Christ.

We need to change.

Let’s end with a little Waylon…

Standing in the Need of Prayer

During planning for worship a while back Bob, the pastor at Oakland Baptist Church in Rock Hill, mentioned he was going to make use of the old hymn ​Standing in the Need of Prayer​ for this past week’s sermon.

On Jordan’s Stormy Banks

This past Sunday at Oakland Baptist we sang an arrangement of the classic hymn ​On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand​. This is an arrangement I came up with a while back, but one that I could not get to work right. It just never really settled into what the song should be. It always felt a little forced and the changes never seemed to feel right…

Bon Iver

Two times a year I am inundated with albums from my wife. Christmas and my birthday. This year was no exception, my wife got me many wonderful albums that I have really enjoyed listening to. One of which is from the group Bon Iver. I had read about them in Relevant Magazine a while back, and then seen them on Jimmy Fallon a couple times and was really intrigued.

a raucous Silent Night!

Oh, how I love Christmas.

Now, I’m not a crazy holiday shopper, or someone who has a nutty sweater for each of the 12 Days of Christmas, though I do have a red sweater that I tend to wear around now… I especially love Christmas and this season of Advent because of the music! So many songs during this time are just so joyful – I love it!