Music in church is inviting and fun

Isabel Ward

When you walk into an auditorium where the music is playing louder than your thoughts, and the lights bounce back and forth while smoke fills the stage, you probably would not be surprised to see energetic singers with spiked hair holding guitars onstage.

But this place is no rock concert like you may think: It is Bayside church of Granite Bay.

Bayside is just one church that plays non-traditional Christian music. With Lincoln Brewster – who formerly played alongside Journey’s Steve Perry – as their lead singer, the vibe is no longer that of a hymnal.

Within the society that we live in, music has become a part of our culture. Today there are many forms, from hip hop to classical which can move and affect us in good and bad ways.

Church music is no exception. Even there, you can find that music moves and persuades us either away from or into a church.

But for most, it lures us in.

Tyler De Young, one of the worship leaders who plays with Brewster, said what attracted him to the music at Bayside was how it is a cross culture between what high school and college students listen to on the radio – and lyrics about Jesus.

“I think people like feeling like they can connect to music that they would listen to outside of church,” De Young said.

In the larger spectrum, with so many churches to choose from, music plays an influential role in attracting people to a church.

“For me, music is huge,” said Justin Abramson, attendee at Bayside. He said it is a pleasure to be able to listen to Brewster every Sunday and the music builds up the energy.

Church people “feel” the music like any other person might. This part propels church-goers into worshiping God: by playing an instrument, singing or even dancing.

Danaka Williams, who attends Harvest Church in Elk Grove, expresses herself by dancing to music, like that of Etta James.

“That’s what dancing is for me – it’s like seeking who he is by just allowing my spirit to be in tuned with him,” she said.

The gateway that music is for worship is also the opening for which people walk into or out of a church. Different music can speak to different types of people.

Alex Smal said the music at Bayside prepares his heart for worship.

“It is humbling,” Smal said.

At Capital Christian Center’s college group night, Epic Life, the music sounds similar to that of contemporary alternative music with a deep sense of longing. Its vibe is inviting and far from just mellow, a style similar to the Goo Goo Dolls band.

The band leader, Aaron Will, said sometimes people have a hard time balancing musical excellence and people’s hearts, but his theory is “they both go hand in hand.”

“I think music opens up our hearts,” Will said.

Music has long played a part in the religion of Christianity. From Psalms of David to the toppling of Jericho, where the Israeli people marched around the town shouting and blowing horns music, has always had its instrumental place.

“All throughout that book people are encouraged to open their mouths, sing to the Lord, make a joyful noise and I think that is just a God-given thing that is instilled in people – Is just the desire to sing,” Will said.

However, today, more and more churches seem to be playing contemporary church music, which is drawing people in.

According to, 64 percent of churches with contemporary worship reported a 2 percent or more increase in attendance. By contrast, only 44 percent of churches that kept traditional worship styles reported a 2 percent or more increase in attendance.

There are many different styles of church music that lead to worship. Some people are attracted to a more upbeat, passionate style of music like that of Bayside. Others may be attracted to hymns and others like gospel music. But within each genre lies the groundwork of worship, which most church-goers attest to being the meaning behind all of the music.

“We hope and we pray that when people come in they hear the message behind the songs – they hear the words – and it ministers to their soul,” De Young said.

People feel different ways when listening to various kinds of music. What draws one person to a church may be the same that repels another. However, no one can deny the power music has, bearing witness to our hearts.