I was once a dead person attending a church. I was stone-hearted and far from God. Although during College I joined a community of Christians, I was still lost. I was lost because I let ‘Christian’ music save my life. But it can never save me nor the teenagers nowadays that look up to Contemporary ‘Christian’ music so highly.
THE WRONG WAY OF WORSHIPPING
You may not be aware of it, but music plays a big role in a life of a teenager. They love listening to catchy music or something that triggers their emotions. I often describe adolescence as ‘the hormonal stage’, given that most teenagers make decision out of what they feel rather than what God think is right.
Sadly, some churches use music to attract teenagers. They want it to be the driving force for people to become a part of their congregation. It has become the mentality of the Millennials to make the music the center of church gatherings rather than promoting a community that is faithful to God and to the teachings of the Scripture.
JUST BECAUSE IT’S LABELED AS ‘CHRISTIAN’
If you’ll look at my old laptop back in College, you’ll see that it is full of ‘Christian’ music that comes in many genres. I even had a folder of ‘Metal Rock Christian Music’. I even used ‘Christian’ music to drive me into ‘feeling’ God’s presence and foolishly thought that I was already filled just by listening to it.
I was taught to do those things. I was never taught properly that reading God’s Word and embracing the richness of it is what is more important. I was taught to use God’s Word like a ‘First-Aid Kit’ wherein I can get and choose the verses that comfort me, rather than studying every bit of it even if it will hurt me.
For a moment, I was fooled to believe that just because it says it is ‘Christian’, I can listen to it. But sadly, welcoming such thought didn’t taught me to differentiate what is truly Christian and what is secular.
I even encountered a person who told me that God is the author of music that’s why we make ‘Christian’ music out of all kinds of genres (including Metal Rock), but there is a danger in believing that because there is more room to feed your flesh in any man-centered music even if it’s labeled as ‘Christian’.
I encountered another person who said that at least she’s listening to a ‘Christian’ music rather than a secular one. But that is quite dangerous because eventually you cannot differentiate anymore what is owned by the world and what is not.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE?
But when I learned to embrace the richness of hymns and psalms, I realized that any modern man-centered/emotion-triggering ‘Christian’ music are nothing compared to any old yet God-glorifying songs.
Most young people nowadays laugh at the ‘weirdness’ of hymns. Some label it as out-dated and cannot attract the younger ones. But just dwelling on that thought makes me ponder on what have we done to our youth.
Four years ago, I had a very unforgettable argument with another youth leader. We cannot see eye to eye unto how ‘Worship’ should be during our youth camp. I cannot understand why they have to turn off the lights just to make them feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. That is not how it should be! The Holy Spirit is already inside of you once you are saved. You don’t have to seek help from songs to feel His presence. You don’t have to search for Him like He is lost. He is there teaching and convicting you to understand God’s Word and point you to Christ. You don’t need to act like He is lost and that you need to call Him to fill you during your Worship Service.
What have we done? Why did we teach the younger generation that hymns and psalms are out-dated? Why did we choose to forget the richness of theology in those old songs? Why did we choose to let the secular music destroy worship and in the process, destroy our youth?
We don’t need to change the music that was richly provided by the faithful believers from the past. We don’t need to brainwash this generation just for your congregation to grow in quantity yet lack the foundation that they need.
DON’T TEACH THEM TO MAKE AN IDOL
If you believe that God should be the center of your life, let the music inside your Church speak about God and nothing else.
Let’s stop making modern ‘Christian’ music an idol and the highlight of our church gatherings. We must teach the younger generation the richness of God’s Word. Teach them that hymns and psalms are beautiful, and that old Christian music is not something that we must mock and ridicule.
I loathe deeply the deception that I was into during my teenage days. I can’t believe that ‘youth leaders’ taught me to approach God that way. I was thirsty for God. I was seeking for the truth yet I wasn’t fed rightly. I know how heinous it is not to truly know God just because you were taught differently.
Don’t teach them to depend their relationship with God through music that triggers their emotions yet doesn’t point them to Christ.
It’s now our time to make a move – to rebuke this dying generation that doesn’t love God’s Word. Let’s teach them that theology isn’t just for our Pastors, and that there is joy studying God’s Word earnestly.
It’s time to raise a generation full of discernment, truly firm in their faith and does not let the world influence the way they see Christianity.
If you are a youth leader reading this, evaluate the way you lead them. It’s not about the music. Not even about the quantity. It’s about being faithful to God’s Word and be God’s instrument in raising a generation that truly loves Christ and praise Him with their lives.
Note: Below this is a short documentary film about worship. I hope it will help you understand what it truly means to worship God in Spirit and in truth.