CD, DVD set introduces contemporary gospel music and moves for use by youth ministries

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Young people in Carroll County are known to perform remarkably beautiful "specials" for worship services using sign language and mime with a background tape or CD for music. Sometimes it is so well synchronized, you can't be sure if the performers are doing the singing or if it's the recording.

The folks at Willow Creek Association in Barrington, Ill., have taken this idea a step further for youth productions for worship, introducing a rock/hip-hop/techno/rap/praise blend of contemporary gospel music with tracks for both action performances and vocal solos with backup singing.

The sound may not be for everyone, especially if tradition ---- which is difficult to instill in today's face-paced, media-saturated society ---- is very important. But for those churches with a little more freedom and open to experimentation, this "Move" set could help revitalize a youth program, as well as enhance regular worship services. The sound can be reminiscent of hard rock, but the message is the rock of salvation.

Every Move I Make contains 10 songs, each one with both full-vocal and background versions. The PromiselandOnline web site also offers vocal, orchestral, horn and other charts for those who would rather not use pre-recorded music.

The songs are upbeat without being irreverent or unscriptural. "Davey! Davey!" presents David the Shepherd boy king, as a role model. "Lovely Noise" is a straight-forward praise song. "Bend My Knee" is a song of awe and faithfulness using contemporary rhythms and descants.

Amy Grant's "Joy" is a contemporary version of the old children's church song of 50 years ago. "Big House" is a song of acceptance and meeting the needs of others. "Psalm 113 (let the name)," as the name indicates, is a song of praise based on scripture.

The companion DVD is for youth leaders and music ministers to help with the contemporary moves and choreography. It includes a caution for the leaders that letting youth see the DVD may lower their estimation of how "cool" the leader is.

Creative types could also use the moves in original productions.

Generally, the Move series would work best with teenagers and older pre-teens. With the right people, it could lay a foundation that could serve your church for decades. Even if only used in Children's Church services, it could make a difference, as well as provide direction for all that youthful energy.

Every Move I Make; Promiseland, Willow Creek Association; compact disc with lyrics; Zonderkidz.

Move It Like This; Promiseland, Willow Creek Association; companion DVD with motions and "how-tos"; Zonderkidz.

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