In the midst of changing times, music and worship have been dramatically transformed in many churches during the past two decades. It is commonly referred to as "Contemporary Christian Music and Worship" which includes dressing casually, music that is upbeat, with a band, lead singers, praise lyrics projected on video screens, drama, and a brief message.

As I have observed this dramatic shift in approach to music and worship styles, I have been concerned that we may have lost sight of our essential focus for worship. It is my personal conviction that our primary Call to Worship is from God and needs to be “God-Centered.”

What is happening to those who have grown up in the church and appreciated a more traditional style of worship? Many are older and have invested their lives and resources in the church like generations before them. Gradually, they are disregarded because they are not willing to go along with the changing times and trends in the 21st century church.

“In the 1990’s this (Contemporary Christian Music – CCM) blew into our church services accompanied by powerful forces, and anyone who got in the way was like the butterfly, swept away by its proponents, wounded during the violent journey, and finally dumped on the beach to perish,” wrote author Dan Lucarini. “Some may never fly again, because their spirits were too tattered and torn by the storm’s forces. Others had their souls weighed down by the immorality, deception and divisiveness that accompanied the CCM storm.”

Lucarini continues, “mixing certain contemporary music styles into our worship services is at best a questionable practice for the saints of God...this includes music styles such as soft rock, pop/rock, easy listening or classic rock, but could also include other forms of heavily syncopated music with rock influences such as jazz, rap, blues, hip-hop, punk, ska or modern country and western...the Praise and Worship movement of CCM...This music style also has a strong rock influence.”

Lucarini concludes, “I believe that the use of CCM in praise and worship is a man-made phenomenon and should be exposed as such because it lacks a strong biblical foundation and ignores God’s Instructions for acceptable worship.”
(Excerpts taken from Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement, Confessions of a Former Worship Leader, by Dan Lucarini, Evangelical Press, Auburn, MA.

The Hebrew writer declares these powerful words,
"Let us DRAW NEAR TO GOD with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us NOT give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER - all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:22-25, NIV)

Timothy Dwight, 18th Century hymn writer, penned these powerful words,

    I love Thy Kingdom, Lord! The house of Thine abode 
    The  Church our blest Redeemer
    saved with His own precious blood.

    I love Thy Church, O God! Her walls before Thee stand,          
    Dear as the apple of Thine eye
    and graven on Thy Hand.

    Beyond my highest joy I prize her Heavenly ways
    Her sweet communion, solemn vows,

    her hymns of love and praise.

(Words and Music from Amazing Grace, 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions, Kenneth W. Osbeck, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI)
(Excerpts taken from an article by David L. Cowles, o riginally published in the “Your Faith” section, t he Newark Advocate, 7-23-2000)