By Gary Zandstra
The emotional attachment to music that we humans have amazes me.
I can hear a song that I listened to in junior high school, and boom—my mind goes back there. I can remember where I was, see who was with me, and sometimes even relive the emotion that I experienced almost 30 years ago.
Recently I interview Gary Matthews, Pastor of Worship at Christ Memorial Church in Holland, MI, and we talked about this attachment to music.
Gary made some points that I think are very valid—one of them is, “when we eliminate a style or genre of music, we eliminate memories.” The me, at least, he’s right on with that statement!
Recently I was in a worship service where we sang the 1980s chorus “All Hail King Jesus” and I was “transported” to 20 years ago, standing in the sound booth at the church I served at that time, praising God for the blessings he had given me, in particular our first child that was born the week before. What a great and powerful memory.
Gary talked about the hymn sings that he led at Christ Memorial, noting that a highlight was “request time.” I attended a number of those hymn sings with my family, and request time was also the highlight for us. The key was that Gary asked each person requesting a song to share why it was important to them. To hear “older” saints talk about an event that happened almost a half century earlier was deeply moving.
So if music is so powerful, how does it apply to the technical side?
1) It calls each of us, TnT (Tech and Talent), to bring our “A game” to the table every time.
2) It calls us to be prepared, rehearsed and ready to go.
3) It gives us the opportunity to participate in the worship in a way that also ministers to us, the technicians and musicians.
4) It allows us to be involved in something way bigger than we actually are.
5) It allows us to be a part of something that touches people and may very well bring them to a place, a memory, and in doing so, it strengthen our faith.
6) The opportunity is there for someone who has “strayed from the church” to be called back to a time when they were involved and connected to God, helping call them to that place again.
Enjoy my conversation with Gary Matthews.
Gary Zandstra is a professional AV systems integrator with Parkway Electric and has been involved with sound at his church for more than 25 years.