[color=#0000FF" size="4" face="times]Please note the date of this article. It's been almost 2 years. How is progress coming along? Does anyone know?[/color]
Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... /24499691/
[color=#000000" size="5" face="times]Church of Christ opens door to musical instruments
Heidi Hall, The Tennessean 12:47 p.m. EST March 6, 2015[/color]
<font size="4">BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — A Nashville-area church is starting something radical — at least by Church of Christ standards — allowing musical instruments at one of its Sunday services.
It's such a switch for Otter Creek Church, a 1,800-member traditionally a cappella congregation, that its leadership team spent months deciding a strategy and will take months more putting it in place.
About 20 of 12,000 Church of Christ congregations nationwide offer instrumental music, said Carl H. Royster, author of a survey published by Nashville-based 21st Century Christian publishers.
The first handful started making the change about a decade ago, including popular megachurch leader Max Lucado's Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. Some faced backlash from other congregations.
Church music wars battle for souls with song (In many U.S. churches today, worship musicians bang the drums for God and singers croon as if Christ were their boyfriend .... http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/rel ... 51247368/1 )
Even now, 13 years after The Branch, a multicampus Church of Christ congregation in Dallas, introduced instrumental music, Google searches on it and senior minister Chris Seidman yield scathing denunciations.
"A lot of churches from our heritage cut us off," said Seidman, whom Otter Creek leaders consulted leading up to this week's announcement. "But the larger Churches of Christ, they were actually very firm in embracing us."
Tennessee has the second-highest number of Church of Christ congregations in the USA with nearly 150 in Nashville's home county of Davidson and Williamson County, where Brentwood is located, alone.
Church of Christ commitment to a cappella dates to the faith's emergence in the 1800s Restoration Movement.
Churches of Christ don't consider themselves a denomination since they have no central hierarchy, but from the beginning, autonomous congregations shared a commitment to simplicity and mirroring first-century Christians. That included not purchasing organs or organizing bands.
Scriptural citations backing the a cappella tradition include a passage in Ephesians about singing hymns and making music in the heart. But Otter Creek's preaching and teaching minister, Josh Graves, said church history is a stronger influence.
"A cappella is like Latin," Graves said. "It is beautiful. It speaks to people at a certain level, but the problem is that a lot of people don't speak Latin.
A cappella voices carry a growing trend to mainstream - USATODAY: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/mus ... rend_N.htm )
"What people in the Churches of Christ call instrumental music, other people just call music," he said. "It's English."
And in Music City, the appeal of instrumental music is undeniable. Graves said his church has no intention of alienating other congregations, only of better connecting to the community in Nashville and Brentwood.
Otter Creek, where the congregation's average age is 27, already experimented with instrumental music in a Wednesday vespers service; young adult, children's ministry, and student ministry gatherings; and special worship for Good Friday, Christmas and other holidays.
Beginning in September, one of the two Sunday services will feature instruments, Graves said.</font>