Are Today's Worship Songs As Anointed As Those From The 80s-90s?

But  if the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart too

Hossana/Maranantha/Vineyard/Hillsongs of the 80s-90s I wish we could bring it back afresh

why?;

1)Scriptural

2)Anointed

3)Prophetic

4)Excited about our Lord in song

5)Orchestral(when possible)

6)Congregational

7) Lifted up the Lord

I just feel back then it was all about God...Im not saying we dont have great stuff today,we do and I use it as a pianist/keyboardist worship team player but it seems todays its more what we can get from God than what we should be offering to God       (Romans 12:1True Worship)

Anyone else feel this way or is it just me?

KURZWEIL PC-3/KORG KROME 88/YAMAHA MOTIF XS SOUND MODULE/ROLAND I7 MODULE/ROLAND VK8M ORGAN MODULE/ROLAND A8OO MIDI CONTROLLER........UNFORTUNATLY WISH MY TALENT COULD MATCH MY GEAR:(

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It's not just you, Steve. The thread titled "The 100 best worship songs of all time" which then set exclusion criteria for 'modern' worship as post Delirious made me think again about what was being missed. It's not the music especially or the style, so much as the spirit (small S) that seemed behind the songs. The church has changed too, and a mainstream that wanted nothing to do with the Holy Spirit at one time has now embraced and rendered safe the Spirit-lead worship styles that were once rejected.

There are songs written still with that same heart, but the pipeline has become HUGE and you have to fish through all kinds of stuff now to find the nuggets that will help people thrive & grow. For me, a good test is whether a song is about God or us, and if it's about us, to ask why we are wanting to use it to worship God?

Maybe it is was we "grew up" on playing in church, so it is the same for me - this style of music worship. Less razza matazz and more to me (dare I say) anointed. But, others would disagree if they only have heard todays worship lists.

There are still some really spirit filled and anoited songs being written please don't get me wrong, just a few less used around my way.

As you get older you do tend to focus on an era that seemed to connect with your spirit and hang on to it. Maybe I am showing my age a little now; he he.

To me, a lot of the Maranatha / Vineyard / Hosanna songs we used to do just seem very dated (and I never have been a fan of Hillsongs stuff)... though if you look at our Easter setlists (other thread) there are a lot of oldies we're using this Sunday.

One thing that has changed is that nobody seems to be writing SHORT songs anymore - everything has to have three verses, a chorus, two versions of the bridge... and there are times when what I want is something that doesn't go on and on... many of the more current songs we do, we've dropped the bridge to get the song down to a useful (for us) length.

The other thing that I've noticed about a lot of the newer songs is that they are about the "act of worship" rather than about the "God who is being worshiped."  Like what Toni said.  Yeah, there were a lot of "I Will Exalt..." songs back in the old days, but, to me, a lot of the more recent songs really focus on the (can I call it emotional?) experience the worshiper is aiming for, and at my church, we just don't have much use for songs about that.

Interesting thread! 

@Charles - fascinating point about the short songs. I hadn't put two and two together there but now you mention it there don't seem to be many/any examples of these in recent years.


Allan Midgley said:

Maybe it is was we "grew up" on playing in church, so it is the same for me - this style of music worship. Less razza matazz and more to me (dare I say) anointed. But, others would disagree if they only have heard todays worship lists.

There are still some really spirit filled and anoited songs being written please don't get me wrong, just a few less used around my way.

As you get older you do tend to focus on an era that seemed to connect with your spirit and hang on to it. Maybe I am showing my age a little now; he he


Getting 'stuck in an era' really bothers me. I don't want to be like the guys who had church up the road from me in a tin shack who would only sing songs by Ira Sankey and his contemporaries. A few of the songs from the 60s/70s/80s/90s still seem to carry anointing, and I'm happy to use them, but many were given for an era (some seemed to have a shelf-life of about 6 months or less before they stank) and the Spirit has very plainly moved on. I won't hold on to those, just like I wouldn't want to sing some of the dross in the Baptist hymn books at the church I grew up in, even though some of those old hymns still carry an anointing to this day.

As worship leaders, we need to be vigilant about what we present to our congregations for them to use in worship. not to be controlling, but to make sure it always points them toward God rather than men.





Charles Wolff said:

To me, a lot of the Maranatha / Vineyard / Hosanna songs we used to do just seem very dated (and I never have been a fan of Hillsongs stuff)... though if you look at our Easter setlists (other thread) there are a lot of oldies we're using this Sunday.

One thing that has changed is that nobody seems to be writing SHORT songs anymore - everything has to have three verses, a chorus, two versions of the bridge... and there are times when what I want is something that doesn't go on and on... many of the more current songs we do, we've dropped the bridge to get the song down to a useful (for us) length.

The other thing that I've noticed about a lot of the newer songs is that they are about the "act of worship" rather than about the "God who is being worshiped."  Like what Toni said.  Yeah, there were a lot of "I Will Exalt..." songs back in the old days, but, to me, a lot of the more recent songs really focus on the (can I call it emotional?) experience the worshiper is aiming for, and at my church, we just don't have much use for songs about that.

Thanks for this Charles, it helps explain a comment you made in the 'deeper worship' thread about emotion and deeper worship that seemed somewhat at odds with what I'd seen of you elsewhere on here.



Toni said:

 

As worship leaders, we need to be vigilant about what we present to our congregations for them to use in worship. not to be controlling, but to make sure it always points them toward God rather than men.


 
Yes, I agree Toni.

As the author of the 100 Best Worship Songs of All Time blog, I have to agree that beginning at Delirious is arbitrary, AND it misses some great, great songs. I mention this omission many times on my blog.

I personally wasn't exposed to that type of worship music until the late 1990s when I began the youth ministry, so much of that music is outside of my experience. However, when I started the youth ministry, I was gifted dozens of songs that I would need to be able to lead worship. They were labeled CD #1 - CD # 6 in my CD case, and I still have them in tact today. Most of what I was given at the time was late 80s to late 90s Vineyard type stuff.

Even though I wasn't personally involved prior to the late 1990s, one of the biggest differences I see in the eras (apart from some of them sounding dated), is that much of the great stuff of the last century was TO God or ABOUT God, and who He is, while a lot of 21st century stuff seems to be about what I experience or how I feel when I sing the songs.

I'm not sure this is solely about the worship music, but maybe the church culture in general, and it's likely not a change for the better. Simply, it used to be: God You are great, and now it's, God, you make me feel great.

Yes, I agree Charles and Phil, there are not many short songs around.  Shame, because they can be learned in no time and you can focus so much more on God instead of concentrating on the complications of bridges, codas, instrumental bits in the middle and pre-chorus's etc.  Plus, short songs don't need to be boring or tedious as there is so much room for improvisation both from the musicians and the congregation.  You can change chords and tempo til your heart is content and when your heart is content you may let go of all inhibitions and think 'Wow, where did that come from'.

Phil Williams said:

Interesting thread! 

@Charles - fascinating point about the short songs. I hadn't put two and two together there but now you mention it there don't seem to be many/any examples of these in recent years.

There has been first a slow, now accelerating desire among many Christians for a church that doesn't reverence the huge, loud, pushy and overblown, but "turns its eyes upon Jesus" needing no one else.  Not long ago, I turned on the radio and heard a person wailing out "The Heart of Worship", probably the cornerstone song for this sort of simpler, Jesus-oriented mind of worship, but wrenching it about like a rock star.  I think that sort of thing is diminishing.

Toni's comment about the Big Pipeline is very valid -- there simply is a huge amount of music around, and the old songs have not vanished.  But it sometimes takes courage -- even a LOT of courage -- to sing them again.  You may encounter "young lions" for whom anything old is a "step backwards."  You may have musicians that don't understand a simple, gentle song; or they don't understand that drums can be supportive (or absent totally) instead of driving everything.  It's risky business, even scary or dangerous to your job in some churches.

You may want to (in fact, I highly recommend) try arranging those songs so they both somehow keep their basic character - the beauty, grace, simplicity, directness of message, truth to Scripture - and clothe it with current-day instrumentation.  Or sing just one of these wonderful Oldies in a service very close to its original, and the beauty will stand out like a diamond.

There was a time in the 70's when these little bitty wonderful praise and worship choruses were piling up into huge collections, and because they were short, people were getting tired of singing them over and over, and the rockers were tired of staying quiet with their drums and electric guitars.  Remember, if you are old enough, electric guitars were forbidden in the 70's in many, many locales; and drummers used brushes instead of sticks (we built an acoustic fortress around the drummer).  The Hammond Organ with Leslie was your normal organ in the smaller church, and it was part of the worship team, which was not called worship or praise anything except the "group."  If you had an instrument and were willing to play it, that was good enough; your desire alone was holy and dedicated to the Lord, and you had a chair.  This welcoming attitude towards not only congregational but instrumental participation is probably the farthest distance between the music of the 70's and the 15's.  We have fallen in love with exquisite, polished, CD-ready performance; and that love is a jealous one, and needs to be handled with God's love and care. 

Completely agree with this - dug out some older worship books recently and it's amazing how they do indeed seem dated!

Charles Wolff said:

To me, a lot of the Maranatha / Vineyard / Hosanna songs we used to do just seem very dated (and I never have been a fan of Hillsongs stuff)... though if you look at our Easter setlists (other thread) there are a lot of oldies we're using this Sunday.

I think the larger palette used on most contemporary worship songs take advantage of the vastly improved visual media.  The classic Scripture song was just that - it presented a Scripture, sometimes just by its own KJV self, sometimes with a little personal thought, or you might have a few verses, the second connecting it to another scripture.  They were pruned and growing stub of what we are doing today, which is Hymns with Bridges and Codas, with the melody syncopated (syncopation was optional in the 70's, required today).  This larger format enables the development of thought on the Scripture subject (Isaac Watts' basic concept in inventing the modern hymn) - thus the songwriter becomes expositor and even preacher as well as praise-er. 

Lots of words enable you to set a scene, to give color and perhaps a few rhymes besides the standard, weary ones.

Still, though we have gone from short songs which were essentially praise and worship to longer songs which preach and teach more, and some which are, as Robert Webber says, "therapeutic" (God helps, heals or fixes me) - following in the footsteps of Ps. 91 or 103.  Note the Psalms themselves - NONE of them are short.  Virtually every one has more words, more even than "Thrive"!

The downside is that perhaps having all these crayolas in the box has dis-enabled us from thinking small, wonderful and beautiful.  When's the last time you had the drummer sit out a song?

Phil Williams said:

Interesting thread! 

@Charles - fascinating point about the short songs. I hadn't put two and two together there but now you mention it there don't seem to be many/any examples of these in recent years.

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