About

Blending Lutheran Doctrine and Gospel Proclamation
with a contemporary style of music

 

I play acoustic guitar for a WELS Blended Worship band in Wisconsin. I am a graduate from Northwestern College in Watertown,WI. In the early 1980’s I was co-editor of the CCM column of the WELS youth magazine “Generations”. I listened to 1000’s of CCM songs from the radio, tapes, records and concerts. I analyzed and reviewed many of these songs to recommend or not recommend these CCM songs and artists as an alternative to the secular and sometimes unChristian songs that were being broadcast and sold by the secular media.

Since 2004 I have been playing guitar for a Saturday WELS Blended Worship service. These CCM songs are being used as an alternative to the solid CW hymns for church. Therefore these CCM songs should be held to a higher standard; will they have the same substance and gospel message as the hymns that they replace. I eventually saw a need for more resources for Blended Worship, including good articles on Blended Worship and songlists of good CCM songs with a solid gospel or Biblical message. I spent over 2 years searching for good CCM songs for Blended Worship and good articles on the subject. This is the result of that effort. I hope that it may be some use to the readers of this website. 

A special thanks to Steve Brown for his inspiration, encouragement and help in making this Blended Worship website.  Steve Brown also contributed many articles and posts to this website.  Steve Brown’s website is “Worship Ideas You Can Use”.

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4 responses to “About

  1. I’m proud to be the first one to leave a comment.
    A great web site!!! Loaded with lots of useful
    resource material for those interested in good,
    trustworthy contemporary Christian music.
    Fantastic work, John!!!

  2. John,

    Congratulations on your new website. It looks like its going to be a great resource for anyone exploring contemporary music and blended worship in general. It says in Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” I believe that God can use technology to spread His word. Martin Luther capitalized on this in the 1500’s by making use of the printing press. We are now making use of this by using the Internet. I believe that if Martin Luther were alive today, he would be broadcasting his thoughts all over the WEB. What you are doing is important, and it does matter, and it will help someone, and God’s will, will be done. I will dedicate a post at my BLOG to your new BLOG with the hope of sending some of my readers over to you. This is the least that I can do given the fact that you have told many people about my BLOG in the past.

    God’s abundant blessings on your work, your ministry, your musical craft and the success of Mt. Olive Church in reaching the lost. May it all be magnified through this effort.

    Steve

  3. John:

    I was recently made aware of your Web site and what you are trying to do to educate and equip WELS members and congregations who are looking for biblically sound worship options. What you are doing is meeting needs that I see from my work in the WELS national youth discipleship office.

    ITEM: On the question, “When it comes to weekly group/public worship, what would you like your church to offer?” the 2007 WELS Youth Discipleship (CYD) survey of over 400 WELS teens found these results:

    –11.9% prefer historic worship using only the orders of service and hymns from the hymnal, led by an organ.

    –50.5% prefer creative worship using the hymnal along with a variety of other resources, led often by an organ but also regularly involving other instruments.

    –21.0% prefer contemporary worship, informal, with nothing from the hymnal, with praise choruses and a praise band of various instruments.

    –16.7% were not sure what they wanted.

    The data from 71.5% of the teen survey respondents seems to validate what you are trying to do.

    ITEM: The 2005 CYD directed, national research study “Why Young People Leave WELS” carried these recommendations from the non-WELS researcher who conducted the study for CYD:

    –(Recommendation) Reduce the degree of repetitiveness in worship services and consider some music variation.
    —-(Researcher comment) Clearly, this suggestion is closely aligned with [the recommendation] regarding recognizing congregations’ needs and interests. While probably not applicable to all congregations, there were enough complaints/comments related to repetitive services that the topic deserves some consideration.

    –(Recommendation) [E]valuate opportunities/potential to incorporate some contemporary aspects into religious services.
    —-(Researcher comment) Music is a big portion of this, however, there are also considerations related to allowing a more uplifting environment. While the survey research did not get into this level of detail, the young adult focus group expressed a desire to “loosen up” a little and be able to sway or clap to some more contemporary music. Whether this involves integrating some different music into existing services or holding some separate more contemporary style services, this consideration carries substantial interest and deserves careful consideration. Young people do not necessarily want to alter substance, however, style is where some changes would be welcome. It appears that some WELS churches have moved in this direction; it would be helpful to identify them and evaluate how it has affected membership and worship attendance.

    Again, the input of WELS youth themselves and the findings of an unbiased researcher seem to validate what you are trying to do.

    If we are going to keep WELS youth interested and engaged in their congregations, we need to honestly and openly reflect on what they are saying. And to me, the perceptions of a significant number of WELS teens and young adults suggest that what you are doing via this Web site is very timely.

    Dr. Joel A. Nelson, Administrator
    WELS Commission on Youth Discipleship

  4. John,
    Enjoying the website, keep up the work. Blended worship is growing exponentially, and you had the tricks of the trade down before most started considering this type of service.
    Talk to you soon,
    -Matt

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