Think For A Minute

“Think for a minute

Stop for a minute”

From “Think For A Minute” by The Housemartins


Duncan has been instigating a great discussion on the whole concept of what makes a good worship song on his blog.  You can check it out here.

So think for a minute.

Stop for a minute. 

Of all the songs you have ever sung in a church, what is your favourite?

What makes it your favourite?

Will you revisit it in your latter years in the same way Johnny Cash did?  (For context see my previous post “Hymn To Her”?)

To respond, please click on the text which notes how many (or few) comments have been made at the start of this post.  Then fill in the details and leave your thoughts.


13 Responses to “Think For A Minute”

  1. 1 Gavin August 5, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I don’t think I have an overall favourite. I have favoured ones but it is usually influenced by how often I am listening/singing to them at a particular moment. It is great to go back over some old favourites every now and then rediscovering them and thinking about why they were so important or meaningful to you at that time.

    At the moment I am quite keen on a couple new songs I have been listening to on a CD I picked up off Amazon for the DVD it accompanies. And somewhat frustratingly I can’t even remember their names now!

  2. 2 thestatethatiamin August 5, 2008 at 11:38 am

    So, it sounds to me as though there are songs that have formed part of your own soundtrack to life or journeying and that sometimes by looking back on them they remind you of places or circumstances.

    That is certainly true for me – not just of “worship” songs, but of music generally.

    I’m just beginning to wonder whether “worship” songs are just as disposeable as modern “pop music”?

    Do hymns have a longer shelf-life? Are the words better? Are they confusing? Are they helpful and relevant? Do we connect better with stuff that sounds more modern and uses a language we use in our everyday converstaion and expression?

  3. 3 Hannah August 5, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    sorry i wrote so much…

    i think one of my favourites is ‘before the throne of god above’ which is fairly hymmy. i remember singing it for the very first time in church, and being hit by this sense of belonging to God, belonging to a church family. Probably would revisit it in a few years, i think that being ‘hymn like’ it makes it a bit more weather wearing… but like gavin and yourself, i have many songs that have journeyed me through…

    i reckon hymns have a longer shelf-life, but not all hymns. take amazing grace… when that came out john newton was slated for having over emotional lyrics, and the tune (which he didn’t write… the one we now know and has been around since 1830) encouraged ‘unsightly behaviour’.

    some of the ‘hymn’ like songs coming out at the moment i love for making words re-accessible but containing amazing truth and exploring theology. take vicky beechings ‘wonder of the cross’ for example. some old hymns to be honest i often don’t have a clue what some lines are about.

    i reckon maybe a mixture of ‘old’ or ‘hymn like’ and ‘new’ songs are good for engaging with a congregation as diverse as mbc.. . also to vary the word content of songs… to have some that are very theologically explicit and tell a story etc… and then some that simply echo our praise to Jesus. What do you think?

  4. 4 brunettekoala August 6, 2008 at 12:40 am

    I have more than one favourite.

    There is a Day – Phatfish is one of them, because it is the song I sang to encourage the church the day I was baptised. God did something powerful that day.

    I Can Only Imagine – because my friend and I used to sing it in her car driving to all the schools and youth projects we worked in.

    In Christ Alone, You Shine, Blessed Be The Name, To the God Above All Circumstances – all songs which help me to choose to worship God and remind me of who He is in difficult times.

    There will always be a minority of worship songs/hymns which stand the test of time…

    examples that spring to mind…

    In Christ Alone
    Amazing Grace
    Be Thou My Vision
    Before the throne of God Above
    The Lord is my Shepherd

  5. 5 thestatethatiamin August 6, 2008 at 4:58 am

    I love the idea that previous generations sang some of the songs we still sing today and we find the same truths in them. I like the idea that we affirm truths together when we join collectively and sing and we intentionally turn our gaze towards heaven.

    Many of the songs we sing hold eternal truths. I find it easier to remember words to a song for instance than to recite passages of scripture, so i find them important tools for retaining beliefs.

    Who tests or approves the theological content of what we sing? Do we sing some less than sound things without recognising that?

    Are there new songs being written in our day that will be passed down to future generations to recount how great our God is?

  6. 6 anna August 6, 2008 at 10:34 am

    i like some of the songs on sinead o’connors album theology. they are biblical songs sung from a very different perspective and with an extremely different motive, but they still speak to me.
    songs which directly quote the bible are pretty sweet too..that way you know they are theologically sound!

  7. 7 thestatethatiamin August 6, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I like Anna’s pont about Sinead O’Connor. I’ve never been someone who just listens to “christian” bands or “worship” music. Do such classifications mean, that other music, art, self expression are not worship or are not spiritual in some way?

    One of my all time favourite bands are from Dulith in the States and are called Low. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them play live more times than I care to remember. They are a three-piece band comprising husband and wife and varying bass-players. They are Mormons, and whilst their faith perspective is different to mine, they often quote scripture in song lyrics or sing about biblical things.

    I appreciate we need to be careful to not buy into false teachings, but the way their harmonies intertwine with the quiet music they make really connects with me. The way they conduct themselves as a group often seems more authentic than the way some “christian” bands I can think of behave. Interviews with them in the music press always demonstrate humility, well chosen language to express themselves and a fairly transparent lifestyle – always a stark contrast with most interviews in the music press.

    I can find truth in songs like that. I guess it reminds me of the nation’s favourite lyric, “We’re one but we’re not the same” which Bono penned when asked to perform at an inter-faith concert hosted by the Dhali Lamma. U2 were suffering writers block and the song “One” unlocked a whole new era for them and the sound of a band “chopping down the Joshua Tree”…

    I now await an email rendering my services of worship leading null and void for listening to dodgy Mormon music…mind you, Brandon Flowers of the Killers seems to allude to a Mormon faith in the odd interview and I’m sure their music is on the iPods of plenty of folks at our church gatherings…

  8. 8 brunettekoala August 6, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    I hope that we’re still singing ‘Our God is Great Big God’ in years to come!! lol

  9. 9 anna August 7, 2008 at 4:34 am

    i think it is the book bono on bono that he describes worship as an act which describes part of God’s creation. I like that thought…anything sung or written or painted which describes an aspect of God’s creation can be worship….wish i had the book with me now to look up the quote..

  10. 10 thestatethatiamin August 7, 2008 at 4:55 am

    That book is full of great quotes and insights…

    Maybe more of our daily acts sgould point to or describe or reflect God’s creation. Can we intentionally make the hum-drum things of our evertday lives worshipful?

  11. 11 duncanmcf August 7, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    I heard the Fray in NYC and they talked of how their faith is still all through their songs, but they don’t class themsleves as a Christian band, and they’ve taken pelters for it. Maybe we should sing “how to save a life” every Sunday.

  12. 12 thestatethatiamin August 7, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    I know a fair few musicians who started out playing in “Christian” bands (myself included) and who actually found the “Christian” audience more critical of artistic expression than those who just loved music. Sadly, sometimes Christians have crucified artists and turned them away from faith…

  13. 13 duncanmcf August 17, 2008 at 8:49 am

    p.s. thanks for the link!

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