Church Offers iPods for Musical Variety
Members of a small Lutheran church in rural Iowa aren't ready to give up their traditional hymns on Sunday morning, despite their new pastor's prompting. But Pastor Jim Drew, 58, says he's found a way around their opposition. He has won a grant from synodical officials allowing Redeemer Lutheran church to buy 25 iPods, which will be filled with various types of praise music and other songs.
"We have to draw people together as a community," said Drew. "And one way of doing that is through music.
"Kids today don't want to hear a lot of old hymns. They want modern stuff that was written by their peers -- songs like 'Peace Like a River,' and 'Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore.'"
Ushers will distribute iPods, along with a worksheet listing which of the pre-loaded songs will create the desired affect for that particular service. Drew said he knows everyone won't want to stick to the scripted songs, though.
"We've loaded the iPods with all sorts of music, because worship needs to be about creating a receptive mood," he explained. "We've got everything from Michael W. Smith to Nine Inch Nails, because we know God created all kinds of people, with all kinds of musical tastes."
Of all the positives of the project, Drew says he's most excited about the implications for his small, elderly, rural congregation to grow again. "This church has been looking inward for so long," mused Drew, "it's exciting to think about young and old worshiping together in the same place, lifting their voices to the Lord in their own way. This project is really all about bringing us all together as one body to share our praise."