This morning I saw a video of a church band doing an edited cover of the song “Some Nights” by Fun. for a worship service last month. They did a good job with the song and the lyrics work in that context … sort of … it all depends on the message that morning. It got me to thinking about using pop culture as a “hook” as a way of opening hearts that normally are closed to the simple message of gospel. It’s creative. We in the Church are trying to connect with our world with the language of the world to express the beauty of life in Christ. However, I have been present a couple of times where it all goes horribly wrong.
I went to worship one Sunday where the band played “nothing else matters” by Metallica. It was the youth Sunday choice and it kind of fit. However, I have to admit the whole time I was thinking about the music video which shows the band members in their studio surrounded by Playboy centerfold pictures… not the image you want to have while sitting in church.
I have tried to connect with culture by using Johnny Cash’s music video of his rendition of the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt” as a our time of confession. Needless to say, what I thought was great earlier in the week, did not connect with the people like I thought. The message of hope in Christ had a steep road to climb after that one. I think I remember one parishioner asking me afterwards why did you make us watch that, I already feel unworthy of God and that didn’t help.” UGH. Lesson learned.
That does not mean there aren’t times when it is a massive hit and people really connect with it. I was not there when the church band played “Some Nights” and maybe it had an incredible impact that enhanced the message and the Spirit of God used it to blow open hearts for Christ. The Church has had a long history of using pop culture to the glory of God. I mean seriously, how many of our precious old hymns were dirty bar songs reimagined?
What do you think?
Pandering to the masses to sell something?
Would you like your church to try it?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
May God bless you with peace in your home and heart!