change-or-die-book555As I see it you have seven options when it comes to music:

  1. You can stay with what you have.
  2. Transition.
  3. Freshening up.
  4. Blending.
  5. Change to a contemporary model. Don’t rule this option out. I’ve seen cases where this was marvelously successful. It does require a good deal of skill in change management. The key variable is the sense of urgency on the part of the church. I am thinking of one church that radically changed from a 1950s model to a contemporary model with much success. A key factor was the fact that the church was desperate. It was about to die, and it knew it. It knew that it must change or die. The pastor was given broad latitude to change the church radically and quickly. They quickly grew tenfold. Another factor was the setting. They are close to a university with an abundant supply of young people.
  6. Multiple services for different people. I am drawn to this option as well. One service for people who like contemporary music. One service for people who like traditional music. One service for people who like a blended approach. This approach is, of course, more work for the staff. It also has the problem of being more difficult to maintain unity in the church. But these problems can be overcome. Hopefully our unity is about a common Lord, not a common style of music.
  7. New church. Here is another good option. Start a new church with the new style to reach new people. Send a critical mass of your people to launch this church. I am thinking now of one church that did this with great success. The pastor telling me the story said there was a hidden benefit. He said the church was too diverse and it was going to be difficult to maintain unity. As he saw it, it was better for one group in the church to leave and start their own church than to stay and be a constant source of friction in the church. In this model everyone wins. The mother church wins because she is more unified. The daughter church wins, because she has the critical mass of people and resources to launch a church in a substantial way.