Thursday, April 8, 2010

Best of the Best: cont'

As it turns out, my last post really planted a seed in my heart and gave me direction for my MWS 501 final project. With the help of five other individuals we are analyzing the top 15 CCLI Hot 100 songs. CCLI is the licencing body of all Christian music recorded for "worship." If you want to legally use that (insert totally awesome new worship song here) you have to go through CCLI. They also keep track of all of these songs. So if you want to use that (insert same totally awesome new worship song) song, CCLI will either keep track of how many pages or charts of the song you downloaded or you have to keep track yourself and report to CCLI monthly. It all sounds kind of bizzar, but it goes with the whole getting recording artists their pay check and doing everything in a legit fashion. We won't get into what I think of the philosophy of CCLI, that is a post for another day. Mostly I respect CCLI and would encourage all churches to sign up. If we are going to be Christlike we might as well make our praises legal, right?

Sooo... CCLI has a top 100 of the most sung songs for worship and the 6 of us are going over the top 15. I have been learning a lot about Christianity, (specifically Evangelical American Christianity), church culture, worship culture and theology from this exercise. Honestly my findings aren't encouraging. What I am learning most of all is that no matter how "good" or "bad" a song is most of these songs for worship are valuable in the proper context. No matter what you feel, "Come, Now is the time to Worship" has it's place. On the other hand even a good song like "Jesus Messiah," can be used inappropriately. The issue is that most songs, worship, Christian or otherwise were written with a context in mind and these context specific songs are being sung all of the time (lets be honest, these are the top 15 sung songs for worship). This over-saturation of general content is causing a very shallow understanding of the story of Christ, the implications a Trinitarian godhead and what God is really all about. Sometimes I just want to sit these song writers down and ask"tell me, what do you REALLY think about God."
I will always say this; what we sing about God is what we think about God. For spiritual growth and worship renewal songs need to be selected for content and context and not for popularity.