<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Perhaps, this thread should have been titled, Showing What Has Happened to a Congregation with the Implementation of Instruments as quoted in the article below. But the last few words of that lengthy title would have been truncated. Perhaps, Transition to IM A Personal Story as in its original title; but then where the transition has actually taken place would cause the reader a bit of anxiety, it seems:</font>
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<font class="option" style="font-size: 10pt">By wave runner
Posted on 6/28 9:26 AM
Most of you know that I am a member of Oak Hills Church (of Christ) in San Antonio. (The congregation where Max Lucado preaches.) I have been a member of this congregation for 24 years and have been very active in various ministries throughout this time. I have personally witnessed the slow in-roads that instrumental music has made into Oak Hills during this time.
About two years ago, the Elders decided to move to a mostly instrumental worship service in four of the five main worship services on the weekends, two on Saturday night and two on Sunday morning. One service remained totally non-instrumental. During this period, I have chosen to worship at the non-instumental service, because that is my preference and I personally find the singing to be much better without instruments. As a former song leader at Oak Hills, I have always been impressed at the song service there and have found it to be moving and inspirational.
Two weeks ago, due to schedule conflicts, we had to attend an instrumental service. I was actually shocked and appalled at what I witnessed in that service. The bottom line was that very few of the 1500 people or so in attendance were singing. It was as if everyone came to listen and not participate in the service, other than being a member of an audience who was there to watch, not worship. The difference was dramatic. A building that used to be filled with voices blending was filled with the sound of instruments and very little voices discernable.
I am posting this not as a way of arguing one way or the other biblically, but trying to approach this from a realistic method of showing what has happened to a congregation with the implementation of instruments. (I think it is a result that many could have predicted, but nonetheless is shocking to actually see in person.)
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>FYI, the above article came from another website. I believe it is the intent of the author that no deviation from the topic of instrumental music is allowed in discussing this thread. We would like to honor that intent and reserve the discretion not to post certain responses concerning Oak Hills. Responses that pertain to experiences with instrumental music in certain congregations in the brotherhood will be acceptable.
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Wave Runner:
In The Story of Oak Hills Church [ http://oakhillschurchsa.org/about/
], I read:
- . . . Max Lucado, world-renowned Christian author, has been minister at Oak Hills since 1988. Today's attendance numbers about 3,500. Under Max's ministry, a profound shift has occurred in that new members are coming from increasingly diverse faith backgrounds.
I get the impression that diverse faith backgrounds signifies inclusivenessacceptance of folks from various denominationsperhaps, one reason for accommodating those from other faiths where instrumental music is commonly practiced. Aside from HOW [denoting the purpose of baptisman important issue but is not discussed here] these folks are accepted, it appears that providing the use of instrumental music in the assembly was intended to be a gateway to accepting these folks as members of Oak Hills. Would you agree or disagree with this assessment? And, perhaps, one way to increase this churchs membership countundoubtedly a primary objective (a cause at any cost) in the minds of the elders?
The menu item About Us that points to the Max Lucado page [ http://oakhillschurchsa.org/about/Max/
], it is stated:
- . . . Max and the Oak Hills leadership believe that God is blessing the work of this church. Together, they dream of impacting the city of San Antonio by raising up 10,000 members who will pray for 10 people a day, thereby interceding for at least a tenth of the city.
Such a bold objective prompts me to ask further question(s). How accurate or recent is the count of 3,500 as todays attendance mentioned earlier? I could be misstating this, but I recall that attendance has reached somewhere around 4,500 a couple of years agoseemingly prior to dropping the precious name of Christ
considered a stumbling block to open fellowship with those of other religious faiths. Could you please confirm or deny that a decrease in attendance has occurred recentlywhich leads me to believe that folks have left and are still leaving for obvious reasons?
My other questions deal with the schedule of worship servicesand Im still trying not to deviate from, but to relate this to, the instrumental music issue. You have mentioned that the only scheduled period for the non-instrumental gathering is at 8:30 a.m. on Sundayconsidered by you and others as the most inconvenient.
I notice in particular the two of all 5 periods being on Saturday: (1) at 5:00 p.m. and (2) at 6:30 p.m. [cf. http://www.oakhillschurchsa.org/about/w ... ndclasses/
]. Since the likelihood is that a solo performance [or at least some singing] during the partaking of the Lords Supper occurs within these periods on Saturdaya part of the innovative, radical movement among the spiritual mavericks in a FEW postmodern churches of Christ [take a breath, my question is this
], how do the leaders determine when the SUNDOWN on Saturday that they consider the official beginning of Sunday really BEGINS so that members can partake of the Lords Supper? Silly addendum: How does the sunset on Saturdays factor in during the DST (Daylight Savings Time) when it changes? (Please note that Im acknowledging that the observance of the Communion is only a side issue hereand youre not obligated to comment on this.)
Wave Runner, I hope that you will take time to answer my questions as you deem necessary.