Last night this news story aired (read a transcript).
We’re incredibly grateful and can only attribute it to God that a big local news station considered it newsworthy to report on our “innovations” in church music (see a previous post for why this isn’t all that innovative). We’re thankful for Fox 31 News and Tammy Vigil for sharing this story. We’re also appreciative that they gave us a fair shake. So often the equation goes: Christianity + News = another black mark on Jesus’ name. Last night was a beautiful exception. Our conversation with Tammy was genuine and authentic, and Fox 31 captured very well the spirit of our heart and message. They graciously kept in one of the most critical statements made in the entire interview—a statement made by Don Sweeting, our Senior Pastor: “The bottom line is to exalt Jesus Christ.” Fox 31 gave us quite a lengthy segment, considering the fact it was weekend evening news. Even more, we had a great off-camera conversation with Tammy about church music, “hype,” and authenticity. Tammy had some great insights that we really value. Thank you, Fox 31!
I wanted to take this opportunity to add some things that didn’t necessarily come across in the interview or could have been misunderstood.
#1: As a church that strongly believes in the power of the Word of God, we believe that God “attracts” people to His church primarily through His timeless, glorious message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
No matter how any one church dresses itself up on the exterior (fun music, flashing lights, exciting preaching), the true, authentic church only grows as the message of the gospel transforms and shapes people’s lives. The reason the church is relevant is because the GOSPEL is relevant to every human being. Period.
#2: It is more accurate to say that our church has “added to” rather than “changed” our music.
We’re a church completely committed to historic, classical worship. In fact, the whole point of The Glad Sound is to create a bridge for churches that worship in an exclusively modern style to take a loving, gentle step toward the historic hymnody that many have abandoned. Even more, contrary to other trends, our classical service continues to thrive and grow, and its appreciators are not merely the silver-headed, but young people like me. So, to reshape Tammy’s words, “You CAN expect to hear the sounds of an organ and choir here.” And you will…every Sunday morning!
#3: “The church turned to the twenty-nine-year-old to help attract more young people to the nearly thirty-year-old-church” is an overstatement.
It makes it sound like we were desperately losing our grip on the younger generation and that my joining the ministry of CCPC was to be an attracting agent for this vacant demographic. While this may be a blessed by-product of my time here (one can certainly debate this!), the subject of who I would or would not attract never came up in conversations and job interviews. It was all about whether the gifts and skills God had given me were consonant with the vision and mission of the church…and they were…and are, thank God. CCPC is not interested in raising up “attractive,” charismatic personalities to woo people to Jesus. We’re interested, instead, on pointing people to the only “personality” worth exalting—Jesus Christ: our Lord and the world’s King.
Thanks again, Fox 31. Soli Deo Gloria.
PS: I regret saying “sort of” not only once, but twice in the initial quote…sort of.