Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Churches, ‘It’s Not About You’ is a Poor Response to Worship Concerns

A popular response when someone complains about something at church is, “It’s not about you, it’s about God.“ But what’s that really telling someone?

A recent visitor left a comment about being told, essentially, “It’s not about you” when she raised concerns about the volume of worship music at her church.

That’s been a popular topic here at Patrick’s Place and I’ve written about the increasing volume of music at contemporary churches for a while now.

I’ve also written about the response some of those who complain about near-deafening decibel levels have received when they raise concerns.

Earlier this week, in response to my post, “When Worship Music is Too Loud, What Do Worshippers to Do?” one of my readers, Jenna, said this:

I have had to stop attending church primarily because of this issue. The loud rock concert type music gives me migraines and causes me to be physically ill. When I mentioned to someone that I prefer piano and acoustic guitar, I got told that it’s not about what I like; it’s for God’s ears. So my concerns do not matter. Maybe someday I can find a church with music like that of my youth that didn’t make me ill.

Church folk, we have to do better than this.

Yes, the purpose of worship is to worship God. It is, to a degree for His ears. I don’t dispute that.

But I can’t honestly believe that God expects us to sit through a service where the volume is so loud that it causes physical symptoms just to accomplish that worship. Nor can I find any such statement in the Bible that tells us we are so obligated.

Too often, the old “it’s not about you, it’s about God” excuse is a display of pride: “How dare you question what we do? We’re the church. We’re right.”

When a church makes someone who raises a legitimate concern feel like they’re going against the entire body — or worse, God Himself — they’re demonstrating that they’re not interested in the concern being expressed. They’re not even considering it.

They just want to win the argument.

The point here is simple: most of the people who are complaining about these modern worship services aren’t complaining about the type of music or even the songs. They’re complaining about the loudness. Churches could do everything they’re already doing with no changes necessary…other than simply turning it down a little.

If that simple thing, particularly when it’s causing migraines or potentially causing hearing loss, is too much to ask, then we have a serious problem in our church leadership.

Put yourself in Jenna’s place: how would you feel if you’d been treated that way? Why would you feel you’d want to continue attending a church that behaved that way?

And if the love of God’s people isn’t shown any better than that in a church, how can God honestly believe that it’s about Him in those four walls?

Yes, we have to do better. We can’t possibly love one another to the same degree God loves us, but we can certainly make an effort.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.