(A VISION FOR CHRISTIAN SONG, by Ken Bible; p.56)
eventually, the ever-changing music scene will leave the songs unsupported by constant
recorded exposure. Complex songs, when not heard regularly, ultimately prove too forgettable.
Left unexposed, and by that time, out of style, most of the songs will die.
Hymns must cross barriers of time and culture to serve the diverse and enduring Body of Christ.
Musical simplicity is a must.
Does that mean that the styles themselves are unsuitable for our hymnody? Do we have to
abandon popular styles and limit our hymns to traditional styles? Absolutely not! Down through
history the Church has regularly enriched its hymnody by adapting popular music. But our
congregational songs must submit to the discipline of simplicity. Our hymns must appeal across
cultural and stylistic lines, and they must endure beyond the recorded support provided by
If you are choosing and leading congregational songs, consider your entire congregation. The
Church has a wealth of quality hymns in a wide range of styles. It may take some looking and
careful thought to integrate them into your service. But approach the task prayerfully, and the
Spirit will faithfully enable you to do what He wants you to do.
For you writers, accept simplicity as a creative challenge. Composers have usually had to write
within the limits of their own situation. Such limits have often become a creative stimulus rather
than a hindrance. Many great masterpieces have flowed from narrow circumstances.
No, it isn’t easy to compose hymn tunes that are expressive and musically interesting yet
comfortably singable by a diverse group of untrained singers. Yet for two millennia now, the