Honestly I don’t know what to write for this chapter so I’m just going to give an overview of what Bob is sharing. He says that old worship songs and new worship songs play different roles in a worship service. He says that old songs join the generations together because everyone knows them. The old songs are like old truths that are still good; they’ve stood the test of time and their message is still as valid as ever. Old songs connect us to our history as a church reminding us where we’ve come from. Finally old songs are familiar and comfortable because we know them well and we enjoy singing them.
Conversely, new songs have different qualities of their own that are also valuable. For one they’re new and fresh. They bring with them a newness of life and power helping us to breakthrough and touch God or rather to be touched by God. Bob says that they can be a little uncomfortable for those learning to sing them at first and I agree. There is somewhat of a learning curve and a breaking in of the new song until it’s accepted and enjoyed like the old songs are. I feel like everyone is kind of hesitant with new things until they get used to them. Ecclesiastes says that there is “nothing new under the sun” which isn’t entirely true in some regards, but as far as songs are concerned I think some of the new songs we sing are just the same truths we already know, just sung in a different style with different words. Although there may also be truths we haven’t bothered to sing about yet.
The Bible exhorts us many times to, “sing to the Lord a new song.” The great thing about new songs is that the best ones are often spontaneous, unplanned and unrehearsed. They’re created as they’re being sung. Bob says these songs come “directly from the heart of a lovesick worshipper.” They come from deep within the soul of a child of God caught up in the moment of gazing upon our beautiful God. They’re formed from within, from one’s experience, struggle, trials, and from the refining work of the fire of the Holy Spirit within them. Spontaneous songs carry great power with them by causing us to break through the fog and to encounter God again in a new way. We listen to them as they’re being sung and we think to ourselves, “this is so true and so good and so pure.” When we see and hear the person through whom they come we see how God has caused their hearts to burn for Him and it encourages us to seek the same passion. I believe these songs bring with them a tremendous amount of hope and strength from the Lord to continue in faith, obedience and love towards Him. New songs have great power to awaken us again to the realities and promises of God.
Old songs and new songs are both vital in our worship services. Bob shares the importance of having a balanced mix of the two and the effectiveness of doing so. He tells us that the role of old songs is often to gather everyone together because of their familiarity. They unite us as one to flow down the river of God together. The role of the new songs is to propel us into the greater things the Lord has for us. These songs launch us into the deep waters of the Holy Spirit and His ministry. So the next time your worship find comfort in the old songs that remind you of the truth, and don’t be afraid of the new songs, for they may just thrust you into a greater knowledge and experience of God.