That's part of the reason why we often do a song from the radio in The Surge weekly services. We have a focused service, centered around a theme.... and the idea is the "special" will ask the question, that hopefully, the message will thoughtfully and biblically address.
So, for the topic at hand, we'll do a song from the radio, or popular culture that is related. That will be good, or bad, or insightful, or alarming, sometimes ringing with wisdom and sometimes, ringing with the power of a negative example.
This is a risk, but one we believe has such a strong upside, that it's worth doing, Here are a few of the pros and cons:
- It strikes a familiar note with people who may have been unchurched previously
- Good or bad, it is a voice in culture commenting on the topic at hand
- It is often unexpected and helps break down barriers and pre-conceptions about the church
- It can be a lot of fun
- It stretches the band, making them better and engages them in interesting ways musically
- It sets the stage for the gospel to speak in the context of our culture in a relevant way
- People who don't do church, are often intrigued by this exercise - and it becomes a conversation that has a lot of healthy potential
The Bad (or potential bad):
- If the band doesn't pull it off, it can be a negative
- Sometimes the message will be disturbing enough to cause signiicant worry or concern
- It can be perceived as an endorsement, or worse, a celebration of a view that is potentially dangerous
- It takes a significant amount of prep and energy, personally and in band rehearsal
For us, for now, the good greatly outweighs the bad. It provides a connection point and a way to resonate with real people in a real way that is imminently healthy. Our commitment is to the truth and our primary expression of that truth is a close look at Scripture and trying to find the mind of God in the context of practical relationship.
Music can help that cause.