Suddenly, churches could project song lyrics for all to see. Hymnals became obsolete. No longer were Christians limited to 1,000 songs handed down by our elders.
At first, churches simply projected the songs everyone knew—hymns and a few simple praise songs that had come out of the Jesus Movement.
People sang robustly.
But that began to change about 10 years ago.
Worship leaders realized they could project anything on that screen.
So, they brought in new songs each week. They drew from the radio, the Internet and Worship conferences. Some began composing their own songs, performing them during worship and selling them on CD after church.
In short order, we went from 250 songs everyone knows to more than 250,000 songs nobody knows.
Years ago, worship leaders used to prepare their flocks when introducing a new song. “We’re going to do a new song for you now,” they would say. “We’ll go through it twice, and then we invite you to join in.”
That kind of coaching is rare today.
Songs get switched out so frequently that it’s impossible to learn them. People can’t sing songs they’ve never heard. And with no musical notes to follow, how is a person supposed to pick up the tune?
And so, the church has returned to the 14th century.
Worshippers stand mute as professional-caliber musicians play complex instruments, sung in an obscure language.
Martin Luther is turning over in his grave.
What does this mean for when men worship?