Should We Pursue Excellence In Musical Outreach?

Updated 23/03/10

Here’s the scenario. You live in a hip city, a bustling metropolis if you will. You are reaching out with the gospel to cultured people, artistically and aesthetically switched on. They’re not just urban they’re urbane. So what music are you going to use in your outreach? Or more to the point what level of quality?

Isn’t it obvious? These aren’t X-Factor loving binge drinkers you’re trying to win. You’re reaching out to discerning people. Surely you need cutting edge music performed by top quality musicians, industry-standard sound gear, maybe even stage lighting. Anything less will turn them off. Won’t it?

The thing is if you go through most people’s playlists, CD rack or vinyl collection you’ll probably find nestling among the multi-platinum perfectly produced classics some of the following

Punk
Early folk music
Blues
Grunge
Field recordings
Rock and roll
Live bootlegs

What characterises many (but by no means all) artists in these genres is poor recording quality and a ‘rough and ready’ level of technical proficiency. But something in them connects with the hearts of people, sophisticated and simple. And maybe that same thing would connect them to the music played in your church.

But what is it?

Leave me a comment…

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About mattblick

Songwriter/Singer from Nottingham, UK. My 2nd EP, Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky, is out now. I'm blogging (& podcasting) through the entire Beatles catalogue at Beatles Songwriting Academy. In my spare time I wish I had some spare time.
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5 Responses to Should We Pursue Excellence In Musical Outreach?

  1. timsimmonds.wordpress.com says:

    Great post. When you say "outreach" do you mean sunday meetings or something else?

  2. Matt Blick says:

    I guess I mean any meeting where you are intentionally reaching out to non christians. For our Church that would definitely include Sunday mornings. For others I guess it would mean 'special' meetings only.

    What's your methodology in Manchester?

  3. timsimmonds.wordpress.com says:

    Authenticity is important. So we (Alistair and the band) try to be as good as they can and as passionate as they can be. We are not particularly tied to a genre.

    Personally, I think you get people by being good (tight, polished, etc) and you keep them by being passionate and focussed on Jesus.

    By the way, I am a big punk fan and some of those guys are cracking musicians! I long for the day when I am in a church that has a worship band that sound like "Bomb the Music Industry" (Myspace them!). That would be heavenly.

  4. Matt Blick says:

    @ Tim

    You're absolutely right. There are incredible musicians in all of these genres. Which wasn't the impression the post was giving. Sloppy writing. I've revised the post.

    @ Tim & Mat
    What do you think 'passion and authenticity' sound like? (especially from a worship band)

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