One of the most difficult drives to make late at night is not winding curves or steep mountain grades. But rather, an 8 hour drive on flat terrain on the interstate where you set the cruise on 70 and just go. There is a huge potential of ‘zoning out’ once you get used to the terrain.

Stuck in a rut. We’ve heard that phrase before.

snow rut



One of the challenges worship pastors face is trying to create a consistent worship environment while not becoming stuck in a ‘one style’ sort of sound for the worship music.

I moved to Nashville 20 years ago (January 1996). When I first moved to town to ‘make it’ in the music industry, I was content to eat Ramen noodles every day if that’s what it took to survive here. Fortunately, that didn’t have to happen. I stepped up. I ate ham and cheese hot pockets literally every day at work for the first 2 weeks. And honestly, it didn’t bother me. For the first month, that was basically all I ate at work. There was a microwave, they weren’t terribly expensive, and quite honestly, I really liked them. But there came a point where, though I enjoyed them, I found myself wanting something different every now and then.

Whether your church is based around a modern worship set-up of rhythm and a couple vocals (and a dub step video for ‘cool’ factor) or if you are a more traditional church and have a full orchestra (or somewhere in between), it never hurts to change things up once in awhile for some variety. When I talk with folks about Retro Hymns 2 in regards to their ‘style’ of music, I like to ask one simple question:


What 1 style of music is on your iPod?


1 Style Only


If you have an iphone, look back at the last 20 or so songs or albums of music you have listened to. What style of music is it? There’s not one style. There’s diversity. And possibly a whole lot of it!


Ok…I personally just did it to see the Top 25 Most Played on my iPhone. Here are some of the songs/artists that I have apparently listened to a bunch:

John Williams – Boston Pops Orchestra

Dave Grusin – The Firm (I LOVE this score!)

Rich Mullins – A liturgy, a legacy & a ragamuffin band

Lake Street Dive

Rob Mathes

Train (Marry Me and Soul Sister)

And then there’s also Harry Connick, Jr and Adele

And quite honestly, there’s usually a Kenny Chesney or Brad Paisley song or 2 that’s always up there.


Folks today are used to ‘on demand’ tv programming. I remember when CDs came out, it meant you could skip tracks you didn’t like and get to the ‘good stuff.’ And with iTunes now, so many folks have playlists of music from a ton of different records playing back to back. What all of that means for you as a worship pastor is that folks are used to hearing, experiencing and being a part of many different styles of music, often times on a daily basis. So you do NOT need to do the ‘modern worship’ sound on every song every week. Not at all. Your congregation will, without question, go along with you.

RH2 This is for you 2

Retro Hymns 2 is different

The main reason I say this is just to say, diversity is ok. It’s alright if the ‘style’ may be different from the sound your folks hear every Sunday. The reality is, that’s probably a good thing. It helps folks not get too comfortable and get to the point where they know exactly what to expect when they walk in.

The secondary reason that Retro Hymns 2 being different is a good thing is for your players. Your band guys could also fall into a rut where they pull up the songs on Planning Center Monday night, glancing over them and just show up on Wedneday night (or whenever you rehearse). BUT if you send them the mp3s to Retro Hymns and say “We’re looking at ‘Nothing But the Blood’ and ‘Power in the Blood’ at the next rehearsal. YOU NEED to look at this before rehearsal’, I believe a number of fun things will happen:

•  They’ll love the charts! These are some fun, funky arrangements that rhythm AND horn guys will LOVE playing.

•  They’ll for SURE look at the music because they’ll want to make sure they’re ready for that first run through.

•  And they’ll probably come to rehearsal smiling because you ‘changed things up a little’.

The last blog I said that “Retro Hymns 2 – This is for you – Because it’s familiar”. This time, I say “This is for you – Because it’s different”.

There is no rub there at all. Not one bit. There is a comfortability (across ALL generations) with the hymns because they are familiar but you’ll get everybody smiling when they realize ‘this is different’. My prayer is that all those involved in your music ministry will be encouraged and uplifted hearing and playing these arrangements. And then that the congregation’s hearts will be lifted and encouraged and that they might, in turn, be more receptive to what God is saying to them that day/week.

Retro Hymns 2 – This is for you


Because it’s different!


For today, I think the hash tag should be:

It's Here - Retro Hymns 2


If you want more information about the arrangements, click here




Retro Hymns 2 is now available on iTunes! Click here to go to iTunes to preview AND purchase (and then post a review) of the record