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Do We Really Need Another Worship Song?

Do We Really Need Another Worship Song?

The worship leader concluded the familiar praise song and strummed his guitar as he spoke about a new song, one he’d just written and wanted to sing with us. He told us about the moment when the words came to him, and the synergy he felt as his band created the melody. He said he felt God in the creation of this new song.

So he began, and we followed. After a verse or two it felt as if we’d been singing it for years. Which raised the question in my little busy brain: why create a new song with pretty much the same words, meaning pretty much the same meaning, as all the other old songs? Our hymn books and iPods are full of treasured songs already. Do we really need another worship song?

As the worship leader led this song I wrestled with this question, for I too rearrange words in different patterns and rhythms for people to embrace. The cynic in me said this is just our consumeristic drive—another song, another album, another book, another blog—same words in a different arrangement. I wondered if the whole thing is simply us building empires of repetition. I wondered if the whole thing is about the need for organizations to have something new to sell.

Then the Lord reminded me of the Psalms. It’s the eighty pages in the middle of my Bible. It looks like it’s probably the longest book in my Bible. There’s 150 psalms. Not 22 or 47 or even 93. 150! They are praises, poems, and laments to the Lord. Most of them have similar words, communicating similar themes. Many are penned by different authors or sometimes the same author in a different season of life.

So, why not 7 psalms? I think we could condense the grand themes of the psalms into 7 psalms, or maybe 23. I could definitely whittle it down to under 40.

But God wanted 150.

Perhaps some of us need all 150 to finally get the message. I think the writers needed to write all 150 and probably many more. I know I needed 150 to get the point about new songs—that we need new verses and voices. We need to be reminded again of His goodness in a different way, with a different chorus and a different line.

The vital things in life need to be resaid.

The vital things in life need to be resaid.

Russ Masterson is a husband, father, child, friend and pastor. He also teaches, through talking and typing. Visit his blog at  

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