Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Music

Christmas.  It's almost here.  But can I tell you something?  I dislike Christmas music.  Is that okay to admit?  Christmas is the “most wonderful time of the year” unless you are a worship/music pastor in a church.  Why?  Because everyone loves Christmas music, just not “church” Christmas music.  If
you were to ask random church goers their favorite Christmas songs, they would list off about 15 secular Christmas songs before they listed one church song.  Everyone loves singing “Let It Snow”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, or even “Silver Bells”, but very few people want to sing “We Three Kings” or “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child”.  Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t some very good, even great “church” Christmas songs (“O Come, All Ye Faithful”, “Angels We Have Heard on High”, and “Silent Night”), but the only time people hear them is in church on Sundays.  The rest of the Christmas season, they are bombarded with secular Christmas songs everywhere they go.  So, it’s hard to get excited about singing Christmas music at church.

The other thing that makes “church” Christmas music difficult is that you only sing these songs once or twice a year, tops.  Our praise team/band and worship choir learn one new song a month.  That means we spend 4 or 5 Wednesdays (depending on the month) learning a new song to teach the congregation.  We will then take 3 Sundays over the next month to teach the new song to the congregation.  After that, we will sing/play the song whenever it fits into a particular Sunday’s worship set.  But Christmas songs aren’t like that.  We still take 4 or 5 Wednesdays to learn them, but then we only sing them one or two times leading up to Christmas.  Then we wait eleven months before we break them out again.  It’s really kind of frustrating.

So, what do we do?  I mean, it’s Christmas, we have to sing something. Thankfully, a few years ago some worship artists started coming out with “Christmas” versions of their worship songs.  Sometimes, they would change the lyrics on a verse to something about Christmas and the birth of Jesus.  Other times they would take a traditional Christmas hymn and put it with the chorus of one of their songs.  Either way, it’s a win/win situation.  People get to sing songs about Christmas and the birth of Jesus, but they also get to worship with songs they are familiar with. 

The artist who is the best at this (in my opinion) is Paul Baloche.  He has actually published a couple of Christmas worship albums where he has taken traditional Christmas hymns and joined them with his modern worship songs.  But my favorite modern Christmas worship song is his Christmas version of “Offering”.  He added a new (Christmas) verse to his song and came up with something that feels new, familiar, and "Christmasy" all at the same time.  The video is below.  Enjoy!

video


Worship Big!

Brad

Monday, November 7, 2016

God Hears the Soul

I have been involved in music since I was around 7 years old and for me it is easy to pick up on who is a good singer, who is in tune, and as the old saying goes “who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket”.  But I have come to understand that God doesn’t give a “hoot” about what someone sounds like, you see God hears the soul.  

Psalm 100:1 says “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands”.  
Make a joyful noise, not a harmonious chord. There is a big difference in a noise and music.  God sees and hears our heart and soul when we sing, no matter what it sounds like to others.  The person that we hear every Sunday who loves to sing out in that awful voice is actually honoring God and it is very pleasing to him.  On the other hand if we sing every note perfectly and we are not doing it for the right reasons then it actually sounds bad to God.  

Matthew 15:8 says, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  

If you are a person who knows you really are not a good singer don’t worry about it, sing out!  If your heart and soul is in the right place, then God will hear your voice as something beautiful.  If you are one of the folks who think you are a good singer and you get distracted by the folks around you who aren’t as good as you, GET OVER IT. God may actually prefer to hear your neighbor’s voice over yours because He actually hears the soul.  

My prayer is that I will be right with God so that when I make a noise He hears my soul and that when I hear those awful notes from others that I will hear what He hears. I will hear someone praising God through a heart and soul that is prepared to worship.  

Geoff

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Unbelievable

About 8 months ago, we started the official MPBC Facebook page after deciding to use social media as another avenue to reach people.  We started off with different ideas on content and timing of our posts.  Well, I'm sure that those of us on social media know it's power and how quickly things can spread.  Here at MPBC, we recently began to experience that with a post of a certain special music.  

We like to post our Wednesday night special music video's so that people that weren't here can experience it.  This particular video was posted on a Thursday and by the end of that same day, it had 800 views.  That was already far more that any other post had yet.  By the end of the weekend, it had it nearly 7,000 views.  Today, one week later, it has 8,300 views, reached 16,000 people, 224 reactions, 132 shares and 35 wonderful comments.  Check it out:



That's pretty cool.  Not only has that post performed extremely well, it has boosted the activity on every other post with another video currently at 5,000 views!  


Our page likes and shares have soared in the last week as well.  I would love for that to continue and for us to hit 500 page likes by the end of November!  This has also driven more traffic to the website, which is the goal of our page.  

Love it or hate it, social media is an extremely powerful influential tool to reach people of all ages and types and does so at incredibly fast rates.  Who knew that a church in Wilkesboro, NC could do what we do?  Who knew that our Facebook page would blow up in a matter of a weekend?  I've enjoyed seeing God's hand in what we do here and I pray it continues in ways we can't fathom.  

Of course, if you're on social media and haven't already, Like and Share us @ facebook.com/MPBCNC  !

Peace, 

Justin