Can you think of one song that could be earnestly and rapturously sung in every church in the world (aside from Christmas carols)? A song that every believer would know by heart no matter what language you spoke or what country you lived in? A song that has been sung throughout the ages and handed down from father to son?
The sheer volume of praise and worship songs out there makes it difficult for any of them to become a song that unites the Body of Christ. Even if they do reach the heights of popularity, their stay there is typically short lived as the song is overplayed and then quickly replaced by the next song climbing the charts. And there’s also our ever-important preferences that drive our music selection. Instead of writing music that appeals to the entire church, we are now writing songs that appeal to ‘my’ type of church or ‘your’ type of congregation. And the fact that people write these new songs as part of their job and work for record companies that force them to write more music only complicates the matter further.
Though I certainly believe that any song, old or new, could very easily become one of “our” songs, I don’t understand why we would be writing new ones when we have perfectly good hymns that are gathering dust. We certainly don’t need to eliminate contemporary songs, I’d just prefer to not see “our” songs get lost in the litany of ‘my’ songs. I want our hymns back. We need our hymns back.