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From Organ to Electric Guitar

From Organ to Electric Guitar

Insights from a Reformed Worship Leader on the History of Contemporary Music

Josh Hoekstra

Worship Director

Hudsonville Reformed Church

Published On:

January 6, 2024

As a young worship leader who helps lead public worship for two to four services every week in varying contexts; as a music student at a liberal arts college where the music department values and appreciates traditional hymnody, I have had the opportunity to observe a variety of traditions and styles. I grew up in a mainline Reformed denomination (Reformed Church in America) and currently work at a church in an evangelical Reformed denomination (Presbyterian Church in America). I’ve been able to attend the high church setting of a Catholic mass and the low church service of a common non-denominational church. 

I am not naive to the wide world of traditions and styles and consequent philosophies of worship services in America. As a worship director, I feel that it is my obligation and responsibility to be well-informed about the current state of the “worship world”. 

Subsequently, as a worship leader, I must know the history of music in the Church–old and new history. After all, I am required to choose songs for worship services, and I must know about the songs. But this isn’t only important for worship leaders, knowing the history of contemporary worship is relevant for pastors, elders, and church leaders alike.

The contexts in which I assist in helping lead worship are places where contemporary music and traditional music are used. It is not uncommon for me to be leading with a full band consisting of percussion, guitars, keyboards, etc. Nor is it uncommon for me to be making music with an organ. Perhaps surprisingly, it is not uncommon for me to be leading a “contemporary” worship song accompanied by an organ, nor is it uncommon for me to play older hymns with a worship band. I cannot ignore the rich history and tradition from which hymns originated, nor can I neglect the recent history and value of contemporary worship music. As a Reformed worship leader, I am unable to simply ignore the value of contemporary music in the church and therefore must take a biblical stance on how to engage with it.

Let’s look at the Contemporary Praise and Worship movement as well as the reactions of the Reformed movement/tradition to it with retuned hymns, modern hymns, and other distinctly Reformed songs. Along with the history, it is also important to highlight the key theologies and philosophies of each movement. In my opinion, it would be unfair to dismiss Contemporary Praise and Worship music because I disagree with small points of theology. Rather, I–and I dare say we–must consider them charitably; only after will we be able to come to a fair conclusion. Consequently, this will permit a deeper understanding for those who are tasked with leading services that incorporate modern worship music; it will also allow those who are participating in the services in any capacity to have a firm grasp of corporate worship that edifies and sanctifies the church for the glory of God.

Defining Key Terms

If you’re new to this space or you’re not a worship leader there are some terms that will be helpful to understand. The most obvious term is Contemporary Praise and Worship (CPW). This is the term that is used most in the paper and means simply the phenomenon resulting from the Praise & Worship movement and the Contemporary Worship movement both of which are described in Lester Ruth and Lim Swee Hong’s book A History of Contemporary Praise & Worship.

CPW is not to be confused with Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). CCM as used in this article is a genre of music that is not specifically written or performed in the Church. This genre is not written nor composed for corporate worship. Finally, modern worship music is the umbrella term for music in the church that is used with modern instruments and technology. If a song was written and produced in recent decades, it is considered modern worship. The music of the CPW movement as well as the music from the Reformed Reaction all fit under this term.

Now let’s look at its history.

History of Contemporary Praise and Worship Music

The history is more complex than simply containing one storyline that one could follow; Lester Ruth and Lim Swee Hong break down two dominating stories with their own uniqueness and commonalities. In their book, A History of Contemporary Praise and Worship, the first movement they identified is the “Praise & Worship” movement. The second is the “Contemporary Worship” movement (Ruth, Hong 2021, xiv).

Praise & Worship Movement

The first term was coined Praise & Worship. This movement had three main waves: 1945-65, 1965-85, and 1985-95. Praise & Worship describes the movement’s emphasis on the presence of God in worship. Presence “highlights how one theology prioritized praise as fulfilling biblical promises about how God’s people could expect to experience God’s presence in worship” (Ruth, Hong 2021, xii). Songs that would be characterized by this movement were songs that would emphasize personal relationship and intimacy with God. It “emerged from a particular biblical theology that saw God revitalizing the church by restoring praise as the way worshipers experience God’s presence” (3). 

At its heart, this movement was linked with Pentecostalism; Reg Layzell was a Pentecostal pastor in Canada and his theology spread like wildfire with the Latter Rain movement: a Pentecostal revival that began in 1948 in Canada and spread to America. While the Latter Rain movement was dismissed even by other Pentecostals as heresy, the theology that worship ushered people into God’s presence caught fire. This theology had vast effects on a typical worship service. It would be very common for there to be long periods of music in the service.

In 1965, there were new developments in the Praise & Worship movement with the second wave that would last until about 1985. There was the effect of the Jesus movement, the beginnings of songwriting, and the development of the worship leader. While originally and primarily a Pentecostal movement, the movement expanded even to some evangelicals and mainline charismatic traditions.

During the late 1960s in southern California, the Jesus movement began. It centered around a church called Calvary Chapel that opened its doors to the “hippie culture” of the youth during that time. As the movement gained popularity and momentum, passionate musicians infused their faith with their music and several praise bands emerged from the movement including a group called Love Song. Maranatha! Music also emerged as a popular record label for what would become records that musicians would begin producing.

The emergence of worship bands and artists resulted in an emergence in songwriting. “Musicians such as Karen Lafferty (“Seek Ye First,” 1972) wrote simple scripture-based choruses that quickly spread through youth groups and churches” (Scheer, 2019, 284).

Verse 1:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

And His righteousness

And all these things

Shall be added unto you

Allelu alleluia

Verse 2:

Man shall not live by bread alone

But by ev'ry word

That proceeds

From the mouth of God

Allelu alleluia

Verse 3:

Ask and it shall be given unto you

Seek and ye shall find

Knock and the door

Shall be opened unto you

Allelu alleluia (Lafferty, 1972)

Second Wave of the Praise & Worship Movement

During the second wave of the Praise & Worship movement, songwriting gathered much more momentum. The thematic focus of these songs would be personal relationships with Jesus and a sense of His presence in everyday life. We can also observe the lyrics diving into themes such as love, redemption, and transformative faith. As we have seen this movement’s premise lies heavily on the experiential presence of God during worship; unsurprisingly, a lot of these songs focused on intimacy with God. 

We can also observe during this period the inception of the worship leader. This development grew from the idea of the tabernacles in the Old Testament. Priests would stand in intercession for the Israelites by entering into the Holy of Holies and standing in the presence of God. This idea continued to a New Testament mentality in America where churches “morphed the earlier song leader into a ‘worship leader’ who facilitated the encounter with the presence of God” (Ruth, Hong 312). 

Third Wave of the Praise & Worship Movement 

The third wave of the Praise & Worship movement took place from 1985-95. As the phenomenon gathered more and more momentum, further developments in songwriting gained popularity while also deepening a need for organizations to publish the songs. Greg Scheer states that: 

[A]s the genre became more enmeshed with the church establishment, there was a notable turn from the intimate Scripture songs of the previous era toward the extroverted, even triumphalistic tone of the “praise chorus.” Praise choruses such as Jack Hayford’s “Majesty” (1981) and Rick Founds’ “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” (1989) were louder, faster, and more festive than anything of the previous era. This new musical confidence was supported by a fledgling worship industry that continued to flourish at Maranatha! Music and grew to new levels with the 1987 founding of Integrity Music (Scheer 2019, 285).

This is a very important turning point in the history of Contemporary Praise and Worship Music: this is where a shift begins with the use of technology in a service with the use of projectors or to print lyric sheets for congregants to use during the service (Ruth, Hong 2017, 46). Before this, churches almost exclusively used hymnals to be the largest tool for congregational worship. Now, the church needed a way to place newly written songs in the hands of those who would sing. The Christian Copyright Licensing International(CCLI) was formed in 1988 to fill this need. “CCLI created a blanket license agreement between churches and publishers that allowed churches to use the music legally and allowed publishers to collect royalties easily. In short order, CCLI-licensed song projection replaced hymnals in many churches” (Scheer 2019, 285). 

As the songwriting industry garnered more opportunities for artists to hone their skills in writing songs for the church, there was also an increasing output of resources to train musicians to be worship leaders during this wave of Praise and Worship (Ruth, Hong 2021, 313). The extent of this training was not only musical but theological as well. 

To reiterate–throughout all of these developments, this charismatic movement was defined by the conviction of God’s presence in worship. It was a new theology of the liturgical function of music in a service that bred a new theology of worship itself. This was the first movement of two that defined the history of Contemporary Praise and Worship Music. The exploration of the second movement–Contemporary Worship–is now appropriate.

Contemporary Worship Movement

Lester Ruth and Lim Swee Hong helpfully identify three eras within the Contemporary Worship movement: The first being pre-1965. Ruth and Hong would reach as far back as the 1800s with the Methodists who emphasized a pragmatic and numerical-oriented approach to ministry during the Second Great Awakening. This approach to ministry would continue throughout the history of America and be foundational in the justification of introducing new music to evangelize (Ruth, Hong 2021, 311).

Much of the focus of bridging the gap had lay with the youth of America. As far as youth culture can be observed, there were many changes, especially in the 1960’s. Those who were very concerned with evangelism would be prompted to adjust their ministries to the changing social climate as well.

Second wave of the Contemporary Worship Movement

The second era of Contemporary Worship was from 1965-85. Greg Scheer observed that “Evangelicals continued to orient themselves toward youth culture with a new focus on church youth groups and outreach organizations such as Youth for Christ. New music emerged in this context, including youth musicals such as Tell It Like It Is (1969)” (Scheer 2019, 283). During this time, mainline Christians also observed a discrepancy between popular culture and traditional worship. This observation was coupled with a growing distress of a surprising decline in attendance numbers in the church. 

In the midst of these troubling reports about numbers, there were those who trumpeted a more optimistic note as they sought to show the way to church growth. The solution, from both enterprising pastors and a growing body of thought called “Church Growth,” emphasized close attentiveness to the cultural dimensions of worship and the willingness to adapt worship in order to attract new people to the Christian faith. (Ruth, Hong 2021, 313)

This is where the Contemporary Worship movement catches fire. At this point, the music had not yet reached the level of being incorporated into a service. However, coupled with the need for fresh tactics in order to evangelize, new music began to be considered entering into the worship service. “As American congregations realized that they could attract new members—and not just youth, but adults as well—by inviting guitars and drums into their sanctuaries, they enthusiastically embraced C[ontemporary Worship music]” (Reagan, Citation, 265)

Third wave of the Contemporary Worship Movement

Thus begins the third wave of the Contemporary Worship movement which began in 1985 and lasted until the mid-1990s. During this time the Church Growth movement gave the idea of the fusion of modern music in the worship service a great deal of momentum: “Though the 1970s had seen the exportation of church rock music via parachurch campus ministries…, in the 1980s the church growth movement catalyzed American evangelicals importation of rock music into their sanctuaries” (Reagan 2015, 266). 

The Church Growth movement is also associated with the rise of “Seeker Sensitive” churches. The main ideas were similar. A previous pastor of a seeker-sensitive church named Paul Cater remarks that “[t]he basic logic of the seeker-sensitive movement was that we would get people in the door by playing contemporary music, singing contemporary songs, speaking contemporary jargon and addressing contemporary issues” (Carter 2018). While he would go on to critique his past philosophy, it is important to see how integral music was to the Church Growth and Seeker Sensitive movements. 

In this period we see the rise of the modern-day megachurch. It stands to reason that pastors of these churches as well as the churches themselves would be eager to adopt ministry methods conducive to growing churches; redesigning the worship service to fit the culture of America would be a clear way to make church more approachable. These large churches adopted Contemporary Worship and demonstrated that churches would indeed grow if they began to incorporate that style of worship into their services. This also served as a model for other churches to follow. Ruth and Hong add that not only did the megachurches demonstrate models but also “supplemented this modeling with an abundance of resources and opportunities to learn Contemporary Worship” (Ruth, Hong 2021, 313).

By the late 1990s, both the rivers of Praise and Worship and Contemporary Worship were flowing in full force. Because of each river’s influence, they would eventually merge with what is called the confluence of the rivers.

The Two Movements Collide

The first case of the merger of the two rivers was a union of theologies. Ruth and Hong identified a book called Worship Evangelism written by Sally Morgenthaler. Sally advocated for the evangelism of unbelievers in the church service but was not quite convinced of the seemingly secular or irreligious methods of some who would advocate for “seeker sensitivity” in worship services. Morgenthaler would then adopt a theology closely related to Praise and Worship. Ruth and Hong assert that “her focus on the centrality of praising gave what she saw as the proper fulfillment of a church worshiping in spirit and in truth. Her goal was to provide an alternative approach for evangelicals who had been sucked into a hyper-seeker-focused model…taken to extremes” (Ruth Hong 2021, 292-293). 

Another example of the confluence is an individual by the name of John Wimber: he was a large figure in the Church Growth movement and was associated with Praise and Worship at Calvary Chapels. He was also one of the founding leaders of the Vineyard Movement which was a charismatic movement of churches that grew from Southern California. His experience of navigating both rivers of Contemporary Praise and Worship movement contributed to the merging of the rivers.

Chuck Fromm was the president of Maranatha! Music and later launched the Worship Leader magazine led to resources and ideas being shared in a streamlined fashion (Ruth Hong, Citation, 296). Robert Webber was also influential in the middle ground by contributing to the Worship Leader magazine and other publications. Webber was especially known for “translating” the praise and worship ideas of Pentecostalism into evangelical spheres (Ruth Hong, Citation, 296). 

During the merge, we also see artists such as Darlene Zschech, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and many more who continued to push the movement forward with their songwriting and distinct style of leading worship. While there were many churches that still completely rejected the idea of modern worship, the majority of congregations began to adopt CPW music. Furthermore, this was an incredibly large change in the function and mission of a church service. For a new generation, it would become the new normal in church. 

The Reformed Reaction

The lyrics of most of the CPW songs tended to be uplifting and joyful; there were very few cases of themes of sorrow or lament or corporate confession. Accordingly, the services would follow the character of the music. A few case studies with that generation would reveal a longing for deeper experiences with the human condition; Greg Scheer offers some helpful insight into the experience of the youth in the 1990s in light of them being discipled and formed by modern worship services.

[T]hey seem to have felt a vacancy where creed, lament, and the deeper things of worship and life used to be. It was a space that couldn’t be filled with the stream of upbeat songs that flowed from the worship industry and flooded their families’ worship centers. These postmodern youth…longed for something more from their faith and their worship. (Scheer 2014)

Subsequently, among the conservative, evangelical, and broadly reformed denominations, there was a reaction against the Contemporary Praise and Worship movement. The reaction was not against the styles or genres of music nor against any technology or modern instruments. Rather, it was against the theologies and philosophies of the CPW movement. The Regulative Principle, the Neo-Calvinism movement and other Reformed dogmatics, and a desire to connect with the historic Christian faith spurred the reaction forward and into a movement in its own degree. 

Matt Merker describes the Regulative Principle as “God, by his Word, governs what the local church should do when it gathers” (Merker 2021, 78). The essence of the Regulative Principle was to guard against the practices of the evangelical Church Growth/Seeker Sensitive movement that would oftentimes shape their services to attract unbelievers rather than use the Bible as instruction. The framework that began to take hold in the Reformed Reaction was that the church service was for those a part of the Church (not unbelievers) and that the purpose of the gathering was to glorify God. Glorifying God (Merker would argue) is an even better form of evangelism, because the message of the Gospel does the work in conversion…not an experience (35-38).

Another influence on the Reformed Reaction was the spread of Neo-Calvinism. Bruce Benedict and Lester Ruth identified this as a reason for the spread of the Retuned Hymn Movement and arguably the Reformed Reaction (Benedict, Ruth 2019, 303-304). Collin Hansen, a well-known reformed thinker, wrote an article about Neo-Calvinism explaining the movement. Spearheaded by pastors and theologians including John Piper, Mark Dever, Joshua Harris, Tim Keller, and many more, there was a surge in the interest in Calvinism and how it helped Christians understand how they are saved (Hansen 2006). Calvinists across a range of traditions (Baptist, Presbyterian/Reformed, Charismatic) had a newfound unity based on this doctrine. 

However, an even more broad interest in Reformed theology would affect the reaction. A doctrine such as Substitutionary Atonement. It is one of the most prevailing theories of atonement in Orthodox Christianity. The belief is that “the most fundamental event of the atonement is that Jesus Christ took the full punishment that we deserved for our sins as a substitute in our place” (Schreiner 2020). In CPW music, the most prevailing atonement theory is Christus Victor which is the idea that Jesus defeated death and sin. While the two ideas are not mutually exclusive (many Christians believe both), Substitutionary Atonement is noticeably Reformed.

Lastly, another conviction of the Reformed Reaction was a desire to connect to the historic church. Jonathan Gibson and Mark Earngey collaborate on a book called Reformation Worship in the first few chapters they create a helpful biblical theology of worship and capture well the essence of the Reformed Reaction’s desire to connect with the past church: “the biblical, liturgical elements that were passed from ancient church to the medieval church, and which were then refined by the Reformers in light of Scripture, should once again, and hereafter, be integral to the weekly services of Christian worship” (Gibson, Earngey 2018). Greg Scheer describes some churches during the late 1990s that began to rediscover a more structured liturgical pattern of worship.

Synchronizing with these historical patterns made participants aware that worship wasn’t only a form of personal expression—it was a means for faith communities to be formed in the faith. That is, worship was not just something you did—it actually did something. Naturally, this understanding of the formative power of worship caused leaders to look more closely at the music they used in worship. (Scheer 2014)

Retuned Hymn Movement

Consequently, the Retuned Hymn Movement (RHM) began in the 1990s. Gaining most of its prominence in Nashville, Tennessee with a RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) at Belmont University. RUF was (and still is) a college-aged ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). “The most notable group associated with the catalyzing of this movement was Indelible Grace, a montage of musicians propelled by Rev. Kevin Twit, the RUF pastor at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee” (Benedict, Ruth 2019). “Twit says that the initial impetus for this new movement came from conversations he had in the late 1990s with fellow RUF pastors about the nature of contemporary worship music (CWM) and the fact that they were not addressing the spiritual struggles of their students” (Benedict 2017). Their primary goal was to provide more theologically (and even pastorally) robust avenues of modern worship. 

Bruce Benedict and Lester Ruth offer some influences that fueled the RHM in the chapter they co-wrote in the third volume of Hymns and Hymnody. The first is the “reaction against the commodification of worship music” (Benedict, Ruth 2019). It could seem that the publishing companies and record labels–coupled with the CCM industry–were just trying to produce a product. Another influence was the musical movement in step with the growing popularity of Americana music. During the early years of the RHM, many returned hymn records were released that resembled either a country or soft rock impression similar to what one would hear in Nashville or arrangements that resembled modern American folk music.

Benedict and Ruth also identified “the utilization of new technologies that facilitated creating and sharing music and musical resources from the grassroots” (Benedict, Ruth 2019). One of the distinctive features of the RHM is that (for the most part) the songs were written to edify and benefit the church. Because of this, the movement did not function like the rest of the music industry whether secular or CPW music. “Utilizing the invention of the mp3 and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, along with innovations in home recording software and technologies, the movement sidestepped the traditional record industry to create and share songs through a burgeoning independent music scene” (Benedict, Ruth 2019). 

By 2016 the RHM had produced over 150 albums mostly by college ministries and local churches (Benedict, Ruth 2019). In the 1990s Indelible Grace Music led the charge, but many have continued the work. For example, Bruce Benedict founded a record label/cooperative called Cardiphonia. Cardiphonia takes a distinctly liturgical objective with its mission. On its discography, one can find retuned hymns and original songs that are designed for specific parts of the worship service or Christian calendar such as communion, ascension songs, Pentecost, or songs based on the psalter. 

Modern Hymns

This leads to the next vein of the Reformed Reaction: modern hymnody. The melody, harmony, and lyrics of these songs are exactly what make them modern hymns. Early modern hymn writers included individuals like Keith and Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend. Keith and Kristyn continue to write hymns today as do artists such as Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, Matt Merker, CityAlight, and many more. 

Modern hymns are similar to ancient hymns thematically, there are commonly references to Total Depravity, Perseverance of the Saints (both of which are two of the five points of Calvinism), God’s Sovereignty, His kindness, Penal Substitution, and the Trinity. A great example of a modern hymn is “His Mercy is More” written by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa:


Praise the Lord His mercy is more 

Stronger than darkness new every morn 

Our sins they are many His mercy is more

Verse 1:

What love could remember no wrongs we have done 

Omniscient all knowing He counts not their sum 

Thrown into a sea without bottom or shore 

Our sins they are many His mercy is more

Verse 2

What patience would wait as we constantly roam 

What Father so tender is calling us home 

He welcomes the weakest the vilest the poor 

Our sins they are many His mercy is more

Verse 3

What riches of kindness He lavished on us 

His blood was the payment His life was the cost 

We stood 'neath a debt we could never afford 

Our sins they are many His mercy is more (Boswell, Papa 2016)

The chorus is a good example of the magnification of God’s Sovereignty when saying how God is stronger than the darkness. Verse two is a great example of referencing God's kindness toward sinners. The many sins are a great example of human sinfulness and Total Depravity. 

Verse three is a great instance of Substitutionary Atonement. The song mentions Christ’s blood as the payment for our sin and him paying it with His life. The very next line talks about the debt that sinners cannot pay themselves and therefore reinforces that Christ satisfies the debt. 

It is also important to note that most if not all of this song’s arrangements are with a contemporary band. Percussion, electric guitars, electric basses, and keyboards instead of grand pianos. While it would certainly be possible to play this song on the organ, modern hymnody is widely distinguishable with modern arrangements or orchestrations.

Modern Psalmody

Another effect of the Reformed Reaction is the surge in songs being written from the Psalms. Not to be confused with traditional psalmody but songs based off of While there are examples of using the psalms as lyrics in Contemporary Praise and Worship music such as Martin Nystrom’s “As The Deer”, the surge has been a more recent development with artists like Wendell Kimbrough who writes most of his songs based on Scripture, and even some artists that are also associated with retuned hymns or other genres within the general world of modern worship like Shane and Shane, Sovereign Grace, Cardiphonia, etc. 

While most songs based on Psalms are paraphrased, there are even artists like The Corner Room that write songs directly based on word-for-word translations of the ESV (English Standard Version) of the Bible. One of the most fruitful and edifying effects this has had and will have on the church is the confrontation of what are considered negative emotions in worship. 65 of the psalms are psalms of lament. There are themes of anger, confusion, sadness, etc. all over the Psalms. CPW songs rarely give the worshiper the ability to express those emotions helpfully and the psalms can teach the church to do that. 

There is also an intriguing intersection of CPW-styled songs with unmistakably Reformed lyrics. Artists such as CityAlight, Sovereign Grace Music, Shane and Shane, and Austin Stone Worship all have songs fitting into this category. These are songs that are similar in form and sound to CPW but lyrically are intentionally different from the mainstream CPW movement. A great example of this is CityAlight’s “Saved My Soul”:


You my God have saved my soul 

I am Yours forevermore 

I won't be moved of this I'm sure 

You are my God and You saved my soul

Verse 1:

I was lost when You came for me 

Held in chains by the enemy 

But You broke them in victory 

Now I'm free I am free

Verse 2:

You’re my joy and You are my hope 

I am saved by Your grace alone 

I will sing of Your love for me 

I am free I am free

Verse 3:

Now I stand with the Kings of kings 

He has paid for my every sin 

And from now through eternity 

I am free I am free


What once was dead is now alive 

You gave to me the breath of life 

You brought me up out from the grave 

I'm bursting out with songs of praise (Smith, Ferguson, Thompson 2016)

The entirety of the song is focused on how God saves sinners unto salvation but some key theological elements make this reformed: the first verse has themes of Total Depravity as well as God’s sovereign working of releasing the chains of sin. Verse three demonstrates Substitutionary Atonement very clearly as well. 

There is certainly some ambiguity when it comes to the specific topic of contemporary-style songs with Reformed lyrics, there are plenty of Big Four (Hillsong, Elevation, Passion, Bethel) songs that talk about God being in control or how he would stand in our place on the cross. However, a large difference is what the different groups or artists tend to emphasize in their songs; when one can zoom out and look at the big picture of themes and theological emphasis, clarity in this differentiation is accessible.


I hope that the history of CPW and the Reformed Reaction will fascinate you even a fraction of the amount it has fascinated me. There is much that I have left out, whole books have been written on these topics!

More importantly, my hope is that the reading of this history would encourage more conversation and thought about worship music in the Church. The importance of this is substantial: In every service where music is used, worship leaders and their pastors are putting words into the mouths of their congregation. For the majority of those attending, the words of the songs will be remembered more than the sermon. This is a large responsibility that churches must take seriously. Knowing the history is a great first step.

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