Why The Crossing is Releasing Our First Worship CD

Music and singing, with all its wonderful complexities and simplicities, exists because God exists. It has such marvelous power in our lives. It’s part of being human beings created in God’s image. Music and songs can transform our emotions in an instant. As Bob Kauflin wrote in a recent blog post, “In Scripture there often seems to be a connection between music being played and the Spirit moving in people’s hearts. See 1 Chron. 25:1, 1 Sam. 10:5-6, 2 Kings 3:14-16, also Eph. 5:18-19.” God created music, and he created human beings in such a way so as to be remarkably touched by music. It’s uniquely powerful in our lives.

This is especially true for children. I realized this afresh watching the CBS Evening News (5/30/11). They showed how gunshots erupted outside a kindergarten glass in Monterrey, Mexico. In the video you can see and hear the teacher quickly but calmly telling the startled and frightened kids to drop to the ground and put their faces down. But they’re kids, right? So they are in panic and alarmed and some are screaming and others don’t want just to drop to the floor. So the quick-thinking teacher begins to sing a song, and immediately we see their mood transform into a joy and peace amidst the chaos and turmoil happening outside. Wow! The power of music and song to transform a child’s mind and heart in an instant. You can see this for yourself here.

But not just for children. Music and song has a God-given power to transform and reform OUR chaotic and troubled minds and hearts as adults into joy and peace as well. That’s why, as a church, we take the arrangement of songs, and the improvement of musical talents and skills, and the writing and development of new songs very seriously. Rather than being stagnant, we always want to be dynamic in our music in our worship services.

And starting this year, we have put significant time and resources and effort in writing and developing new songs for our congregation to listen to and sing beyond Sunday mornings. We are releasing two separate, brand new CD’s in the next few months, the first being available starting this Sunday.

Why write our own songs for The Crossing?

Well, it’s not essential to do so. There certainly are good songs already out there and accessible now more than ever. That’s true.

And it’s also true that with the Internet, there is unprecedented access to thousands of really good sermons written and preached by many wonderful pastors out there. And they are readily available. I could just download one and give it as my own sermon on Sundays (OK, I do borrow occasional sentences or thoughts of other pastors’ sermons here and there, now and then, as you know). But the sermons I preach on Sunday mornings to the people at The Crossing are written by me FOR the people of The Crossing. I know them and their struggles. I know our local culture and the typical issues people face in their faith. So although there are indeed good sermons already available and accessible out there, I believe God wants me to take the time to study and pray and write and preach a new sermon that he wants me to give to these people here. He wants me to write new sermons with the struggles and issues of the people of The Crossing in mind.

I believe the songs we sing have a similar principle at work. There certainly are good songs already available and accessible out there, and we do sing them at The Crossing. But I believe that God also wants us to take the time to study and be creative and pray and write and develop and record new songs that he wants us to sing with our people here at The Crossing in mind. And this is why we have begun to do exactly that this past year.

So this Sunday we release the recording of our first worship CD entitled, Forever/Home. It’s geared toward all ages of families. We wanted a CD that parents could play in the car/minivan while driving around town or on trips, or play at home during the 4:00 pm. “witching hour,” or play by kids’ beds when they’re falling asleep. All the songs on Forever/Home are written by, played by, sung by, and recorded by The Crossing’s worship team members. They were all written with our congregation—our families and our kids here at The Crossing—in mind.

The theology of these songs is superb (something not always the case with “Christian” kids songs out there), and the music is complex enough for adults to enjoy and the lyrics are simple enough for kids to understand. All the music and lyrics of Forever/Home is focused on teaching all of us to long more and more for the promises of all that God is for us in Christ and his eternal kingdom. So don’t just play it for your kids. Listen to Forever/Home for you.

I’ve personally been listening to Forever/Home while driving around town for several weeks. And I’ve listened to it probably 20 times now. I’ve found that the more I listen to it, the more I notice certain aspects musically and lyrically that I had not noticed before. It keeps my interest while helping to transform my mind and heart to long more and more for Christ and his kingdom. I need that. My guess is you do too.

As four-year-old Jack Tiemeyer said to his parents while listening to this CD, “This song makes me love Jesus more.” Me too.

You can read a nice interview with my son, David (who headed up the writing, recording, and producing of Forever/Home) about the conception and formation and recording of Forever/Home in a blog posted today on The Crossing’s Leaving a Legacy blog post. It’s an interesting read. You can view it here.

Forever/Home will be available for purchase at The Crossing staring this Sunday. You can also purchase Forever/Home by The Crossing Music starting June 5 at www.crossingsongs.com. We wish we could give Forever/Home away for free, but we have several thousands of dollars we’ve spent on this project that we need to recover before we can start on the next one. So your purchase helps us toward writing, recording, and producing The Crossing’s next CD.

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