““For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
Matthew 25:14-30 ESV
Music is going digital. Perhaps too far digital.
I don’t mean to sound behind the times, but I feel like in a worship setting, the lead instrument shouldn’t be coming from a computer. And let me explain why.
God pieces us together in our womb, and knows us even before then, and He has given us all certain abilities and talents. Some people have the natural God-given talent for music, and it’s up to those people to cultivate that talent and faithfully steward what God has given them.
In another way, some people have a God-given talent for producing and creating digital instrumental tracks. Those gifts, if used correctly, are perfectly fine. I’m not anti-synth entirely.
But the fact is digital synths, loops, tracks, whatever you want to call them, are becoming more of a crutch than an accent in today’s worship setting. “Just play basic chords; the loop will take care of the lead,” many churches seem to say today.
As digital synths slowly become more and more prominent in music, other instruments become less and less prominent, and it begins to take less and less talent to be able to play them in a worship setting.
The end result is a lack of cultivation for the particular skill of instrumentation from within the church. Someone can improve on their skills on the guitar all they want, but if they aren’t getting to use that for God’s glory during the church service, then the practice and hard work that went into cultivating that talent aren’t seeing their fullest potential.
Again, the hard work of a producer of digital synth is fine, but it shouldn’t take away from someone else’s opportunity to use what God gave them. Especially when the person who put in the work for the digital synth isn’t there playing live, but is instead playing from a recording on the computer.
How dare people use that as the lead in their worship services? How dare people replace what God designed humans to do with what humans designed machines to do? To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, you’re so concerned with whether or not you can that you don’t stop and ask yourself whether or not you should.
It’s sad when the church starts accepting the beat fetishism that’s prevailing in the secular music industry. It’s sad when music that took hours of practice and perfecting among several people who master their craft in their instruments is taking a back seat to music that was all created on a computer. And I don’t want to discount what producers do; they can make incredible things. But what happens if God gives us a talent and we literally have no place to invest it? Just something to think about.