Thinking Out Loud

June 16, 2013

We Don’t…

Not AllowedAs someone who has spent a lifetime in and around Christian music, whenever I visit a church I often make my way to the front after the service and converse with the worship team, especially when I know one or two of the musicians.

A few weeks ago I did just that, and we started talking about songs that have the possibility of two parts being sung at the same time. Then we talked about ‘call and response’ songs where the worship leader sings a line and then the congregation repeats it. Then we talked about songs that parts for men and women.

At that point someone on the team said, “We don’t do men’s and women’s parts here.”

Days later, I was sharing this story with someone who knew exactly where I had been and they made an interesting comment, “I wonder how many times in the course of a week someone at that church begins a sentence with ‘We don’t?’

So true. So sad. Some Christian institutions have policy after policy; operating guidelines carved in stone for no particular reason. My feeling is, if you don’t have worship songs that offer something where women’s voices and men’s voices can highlight their unique giftedness, then next week would be a good week to start.

I hope the place where you worship isn’t characterized by a spirit of ‘We don’t…’


  1. Love the photo choice for this piece. My church is moving from we don’t, to we might ,to we will. It is a beautiful thing!

    Comment by Cynthia Almudevar — June 16, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

  2. Love the photo and the message. I think it’s even more frustrating and more difficult to deal with when “we don’t…” isn’t verbally said, but it’s caught.

    Comment by dianelindstrom — June 16, 2013 @ 10:33 pm

  3. A lot of Flagrant Regard’s ‘Reimagine’ video was shot in Edward’s Gardens. Good thing there were no “NO CHRISTIAN MUSIC VIDEO FILMING” signs that day.

    Good post, Paul. :-)

    Comment by Flagrant Regard — June 17, 2013 @ 12:11 am

    • And you didn’t even include the link. For everybody else, the video in question, which admittedly has nothing to do with today’s topic, can be seen at

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 17, 2013 @ 9:04 am

  4. We don’t have a spirit of “we don’t” at my church (ha, ha). Perhaps that’s the one “we don’t” which is allowable. Good thoughts.

    Comment by J. Randall Stewart — June 17, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

  5. When I became a Christian, back in 1958, Christians were thought of only in the sense of ‘they don’t’ – Christians DON’T drink, smoke, swear, go to the movies, dance, etc. While that had a good side (separation from the world) it shouldn’t be the identifying marks of a Christian, who should be known for POSITIVES – they DO care, they do help where they can, they do encourage and inspire; they do show the life of Christ and make people want what they have.

    A blanket “we don’t” – except in regard to sin and sinful activities – is wrong, and prevents Holy Spirit from leading us into new ministries.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — June 20, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

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