respectful, and added that hip-hop and rap music do not promote the
But Karleen George, music director at First Lutheran Church in
Glendale, disagrees with that sentiment.
"If they would have seen my kids do a rap piece on Jonah, they'd
probably change their minds," George said.
Area church leaders agree that music is a powerful way to inspire
the congregation. They just disagree on what kind of music to use.
This spring George directed a musical about the biblical figure
Jonah that featured a group of boys performing a rap song. She said
people should be careful not to exclude music from the church because
of their own personal taste.
"Any style of music should be used as long as it strengthens the
worship," George said. "The service's style is not what's important,
as long as what doesn't change is the heart of the music."George said
the style of music attracts more people to a church.
Bunny Thornburgh, the music director at Vallejo Drive Seventh-day
Adventist Church in Glendale, said popular music is used to attract
younger people to the churches.
"It's a good first step, but then we have to get more demanding
and get into the discipline of the music," Thornburgh said.
Thornburgh, who taught music at the California Institute of the
Arts from 1971 to 1983, said it's important for religious leaders to
consider their audience when choosing music.
"A metropolitan city church incorporating cowboy music is
absolutely absurd," Thornburgh said.
She said people should look at the meaning of worship when it
comes to understanding spirituals.
"Jesus didn't give into what was popular to get people to flock
around him," Thornburgh said.
She said church music is about the life of Christ.
"We all recognize that music reaches us at a very deep level,"
Thornburgh said. "When you sing a song you have to ask yourself,
'What am I saying about God?' The music is a gift of praise to him."