Why Churches Should Ditch The Projector Screens And Bring Back Hymnals

A couple of decades ago, churches split in a grand debate over worship. Contentious arguments raged over every aspect of worship style, components, decorum, and practically everything else. Every church seemed to be choosing between opposites—organ or praise band, historic liturgy or rock liturgies, contemporary songs or historic hymns. The fallout was ugly. Assemblies erupted in dissonance and members on the losing side transferred out.

Years later, the voices have calmed and the dust has settled. Some pastors declared a sort of “separate peace” by establishing rival worship services—one traditional, one modern. Others went the “blended worship” route. While this included enough elements from both styles to at least keep the group together, everyone was left a little dissatisfied. Mixing pipe organs with electric guitars tends to do that.

Perhaps we no longer hear about the worship debate because everyone is simply tired of fighting. Positions have calcified. No matter how well-intentioned, few minds are being changed. Bringing up the subject only tears open wounds that haven’t quite healed.

More likely, the reason you don’t hear much about the worship wars is that one side has won. It may not be a total victory, but one side is clearly winning while the other is cowering in a back pew hoping a pack of millennials doesn’t make them wave their arms in the air and sing whatever Chris Tomlin or Bethel Music wrote that morning.

Informality at Church Is Increasing

The Federalist: Published in 2015, The National Congregations Study undertaken by researchers at Duke University surveyed nearly 4,000 congregations across the Christian spectrum. It found that traditional aspects of worship were in decline. Between 1998 and 2012, congregations that used choirs in worship decreased from 54 to 45 percent; those using organs dropped from 53 to 42 percent. Use of drums increased from 20 percent to 34 percent of congregations between 1998 and 2012.

While churches printing bulletins fell from 72 to 62 percent, the use of projected images rose by 23 percent. Informality in worship is way up (shouting “Amen,” wearing shorts to church) and formality is way down (calling the minister “Pastor So and So,” dressing up for services).

The survey didn’t come right out and say it, but informal worship with contemporary Christian music (CCM) seems to have won the worship war. All the megachurches are doing it. It’s hard to find many churches that haven’t bowed at least one knee to the modern, informal trend. read more

23 Comments on Why Churches Should Ditch The Projector Screens And Bring Back Hymnals

  1. There’s a lot of songs that shouldn’t be sung in worship services…….but somehow, the church needs to be relevant…….

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  2. The prophecies tell us that in the last days before the return the Church will fall away from truth and follow unsound doctrines.

    What is taught and carried to others -the Gospel itself- is more important than the style of worship, and is what needs to be centered on by the Church over all other things.

    IMO, I don’t claim to be a holy man or anything close to it.

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  3. The worst was attending Protestant worship services in Navy boot camp on Sunday mornings in the Fall of 1972. I’m not kidding you, they made us sing folk songs for worship like Michael Row The Boat Ashore etc. I swear it was a lousy Kumbaya moment in worshipping God, it sucked. The Lutheran services were better, I went with a friend to a Lutheran service once and they actually sang A Mighty Force Is Our God which was much better.

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  4. anamous please explain again about a note with a square head or a triangle end in the hymnal are Susposte to work.

  5. …. wearing shorts to church) and formality is way down (calling the minister “Pastor So and So,” dressing up for services).

    One thing I taught our kids, especially our son who picked up wrinkled clothes from the floor and wore them to school saying, “Mom, I guaranty within a couple of hours the wrinkles will be gone”, was that there are two places you always dress up for – court and church. LOL Seems that is now old news. I prefer hymnals, BTW.

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  6. Ah yes, let us quibble over which sour milk tastes better. There are over 30K denominations of “churchianity”, is there any wonder how haSatan has been able to use the evil heart of man to slice to the thickness of a hair, the body of the Messiah.

    Just as Judah was blinded to the Word of YHWH standing in front of them, so today, “the church” is blinded to the Torah (Word, Yahshuah).

    Removing the Torah allows men to define (interpret) what Yahshuah “means” in His testament (the so called “new” testament). You cannot remove the Primer (Tanak) for all of the teachings in the Apostolic Writings (“new testament”) and come away with a clear view of what YHWH is doing to, through and for us.

    The Torah was NEVER meant to bring anything other than blessings to those who strove to walk in it (not UNDER it). They would not be perfect (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David), we cannot be, but the desire to do the things from the heart, that which is good and right in the eyes of YHWH, are rewarded with peace and blessings of YHWH (not of the world). This does not mean that you would not see tribulation, we all must deal with spiritual warfare, but mostly, since we are not perfect, will receive blessed chastening, for YHWH chastens those whom He loves.

    It is faith and trusting in YHWH and Moshiach Yahshuah, for ALL things and that His Word is Holy and true. His promises will be fulfilled and His Word will not return to Him unfulfilled.

    To Him be the power, honor, praise, glory and blessings for ever and ever. Amen.

    Peace be unto you (and yours) / Shalom Aleichem

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  7. I do not get into Church as often as I should.
    My personal preference is hymns sung by the congregation, although I have attended services with bands and/or the video
    OK, Lazlo has been an sound guy for many times many moons. I have worked in a lot of churches installing sound reinforcement, working orchestrated productions at Christmas and Easter, revamping systems and production for touring Christian bands.
    Here is my take as an outsider:
    The instant you go down the rabbit hole of adding stuff to attract the younger set it weakens the Church.
    Let’s look at the video thing first: You need screens, projectors sound reinforcement. You can do it cheaply, but never well. I have seen congregations dwindled because they had crappy sound with bad acoustics and the hearing aid set has to abandon the field due to actual discomfort. Then it takes some serious dough to do over (the usual case), and try to win back the old parishioners from other Churches.
    Then the whole band thing: Once again be prepared to spend the congregations money like a drunken sailor.
    First: A drum set either needs a containment structure for sound or you need a digital drum set
    You need mixing desks and support gear. A decent microphone is easily a hundred bucks. Ten grand later..
    Then add ego. You can tear a church apart with that crap alone

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  8. Lazlo the Hearing Aid set was preceded by the smaller Pacemaker set at my old church. The percussion of the drums was literally messing with them.

    When they few spoke up, they were told they could download the sermon from the website. Just keep tithing please…

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  9. I read this last week, on a fairly culturally conservative site so, I figured, sure, the traditionalists would be of this opinion. Then, I saw that it had originally been posted on a fairly liberal site, so I thought, hmmm… maybe the opinion is more widespread. Which would be a good thing because, IMHO, screens and bands in church are not.

    A nice young local man told me a few years ago he had gone to college a few hours away and faithfully went to Mass there which, unlike our traditional Gothic church, was modern architecture, and had screens and slide shows and projected lyrics during the service. He thought it was hokey. Said by the time the church was built, the cutting edge technology was outdated by the standards of the young people. Besides, he didn’t want church to compete with the entertainment value of the secular world; he went to church to get away from worldly distractions and the latest trends, and to focus on eternal truth.

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  10. I find that hymns are usually sung in notes that are too high for me to sing, comfortably.
    Psalm 22:3 …God inhabits the praises of his people. I don’t believe he’s as limited, or judgey, as we are. I believe that what’s important is WHO we worship, not, how we worship.
    That said, this is my favorite version of “Holy, holy, holy”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf4Ji1vE-HA

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  11. Romans 12:1–2
    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    What are the elements of true worship? First, is it not motivation to worship: “the mercies of God.” God’s mercies are everything He has given us that we don’t deserve: eternal love, eternal grace, the Holy Spirit, everlasting peace, eternal joy, saving faith, comfort, strength, wisdom, hope, patience, kindness, honor, glory, righteousness, security, eternal life, forgiveness, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, freedom, intercession and so much more. The knowledge and understanding of these incredible gifts motivate us to pour forth praise and thanksgiving—in other words, worship!

    Does it matter whether you are in formal dress or casual, whether you bow, kneel on one knee or two, lay prostrate, sit stationary in the pew, stand, raise your hands, sing traditional hymns or contemporary music, speak in tongues or sit in quiet solitude, worship by song, by speaking or in the Spirit?

    The One True God knows your Heart, Praise, Glorify and Honor Him and He alone. True worship is the acknowledgment of God and all His power and glory in everything we do. The highest form of praise and worship is obedience to Him and His Word.

    God will be Pleased with your acknowledgement, Praise and worship, regardless.

    At least that’s the way I see it. I will worship in any form that Pleases my Lord.

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  12. I am especially stunned by the tithing kiosks/ reverse ATMs set up in the lobby, as well as the on-line automatic deduction from your account.

    Kids today have no idea what the heck the plate is being passed for.

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  13. Guess I shoulda clicked this story earlier this afternoon. This topic is a bit related to the preachers sermon this evening. Churches wherein they no longer mention Chiist, Holy Spirit or need for saving grace. Churches where any topic goes other than the primary important ones.

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  14. I was in Paris in Feb and my wife and I went to a church in the Latin Quarter that was “occupied” by the traditionalist Society Of Saint Pious X. The mass was in Latin, included ancient chants, also included organ and a choir singing music composed by Camille Saint Saens. It was the most beautiful service I’d ever attended. My wife grew up being taken to the Sunday worship of many different Protestant sects. She was literally in tears at the stunning beauty of the experience. I might also add that the church was packed with all ages and a surprising amount of young people. I never thought that I would feel hope for Europe, until then.

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  15. My wife and I left a megachurch. We didnt know anybody there and no one made an effort to reach out to us even though we were tithing.

    We left for a much smaller, start-up church that is Southern Baptist Convention. We are 300 strong now and growing. I enjoy Sundays and our Bible Group meetings midweek, and this from a former Catholic who was a lifelong ChEaster (Christmas & Easter only)

  16. Q: when you invite a Southern Baptist to go fishing, how do you make sure he doesnt drink all your beer?

    A: invite another Southern Baptist!

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