Christian music is losing its meaning in an effort to sound like pop, according to long-time church goers in Canada.
The Christian music sang in churches these days is more “secular” than sacred, being “very uplifting musically,” but the melody of songs sometimes is a bigger focus than the meaning of the lyrics, said Diana Shu, a long-time churchgoer at OneChurch.to.
Diana Shu has been attending services at OneChurch.to since 80s and 90s and remembered in the beginning music was mainly gospel and hymns.
“I felt a stronger connection with God,” Shu said, “God’s presence is much more intense” when the whole church praises God together, as opposed to today’s approach of catchy songs over deep meanings.
Nowadays, the most popular style of Christian worship is contemporary pop, according to Steve Smith, the music and sound technician at north Humber College’s’ Embassy church.
Some of the hymns and songs of past worship music were written from “a place of such faith in God that you can almost envision God’s Word and love for us while singing,” Smith said.
Richard Taninderung, the music team lead at OneChurch.to said, “I think we’ve evolved to adjust with the contemporary scene, to best draw in the young generation that is currently attending the church and who will be the future of our church.”
Shu believes that since the church leadership is becoming increasingly younger, they prefer sounds that move them and attract non-Christ believers by making church “relatable.”
“The generation that appreciates the old hymns are dying off,” Shu said, “the modern Christian pop seem to be lacking these meaningful lyrics, and they tend to be more self-focused rather than God-focused.”
Hillsong Worship is an Australian Christian praise and worship group that started making music in 1983, with 12 albums charting on the Billboard magazine charts in America, according to Matthew Hann, the creative pastor for Hillsong Canada.
Hann thinks that the message in the music is still the same way as it’s always been, but is just translated for easier understanding and to be more accessible for all people – Christ believers and non-believers alike.