THE ANTHEM PROBLEM

Below, you'll find two videos of the same song.

This is Good Good Father by Housefires. If you're a worship leader, you've most likely heard (or heard of) the song. Since it hit YouTube a year ago, the song has spread to churches everywhere. It's one of those rare songs that seems to work in worship context. (If you're not leading it, give it a try...the song connects.)

Now, here's another version.

This is the new album cut by the band Zealand. Minus a few extra chord changes, the mechanics of this version is pretty much the same. But the intensity is way different. The original version is a softer, more subtle performance and the new version is an anthem, complete with driving drums and a big chorus of "oh-ohs" in the turnarounds. You could like the original version to a living room song and the second to an arena.

There's a lesson for worship leaders in this, by the way. Regardless of which version you like (and would lead) remember this as you plan your services...YOU NEED BOTH.

Our corporate singing should be be passionate and anthemic, no matter what sort of musical context we have. But our corporate singing should also be pensive and quieter. Every song you lead doesn't have to get "big." Add some soft songs that don't go huge in the last chorus. Don't jump the octave. Build a set that makes room for a spectrum of attitude and response.

*And just cause I'm curious....which version do you like better? Why/why not?