I’m from Nashville, Music City — home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Mother Church of Country Music and home of the CMA Festival. Here are some things that the church can learn from Country Music:
* Let people tell their stories. Country songs tell heart-felt stories. People love other people’s stories. They are touched and moved by them. The church has a tradition of storytelling. It is called testifying — letting people share what God has done in their lives. Perhaps it is time for the church to revive the act of testifying by letting people share on Sunday mornings their stories of how Jesus is working in them. (Click here for an example of a testimony church.)
* Be real, honest, heart-felt, and genuine. Country comes from the heart. There is no pretence. It is what it is. People need a place that is open and honest, where they can let down their guard. Perhaps the church should be that place.
* Be creative. Country music lyrics are some of the most creative in the music industry. They are inspiring, funny, and out of the box. (Drop Kick Me Jesus Through The Goal Posts Of Life; I Been Roped And Thrown By Jesus In The Holy Ghost Corral; If Love Were Oil, I’d Be A Quart Low; Your The Reason The Kinds Are Ugly, Lil Darlin’; etc.) Perhaps the church could use a dose of innovation to help reach the coming generations.
* Jesus, Take The Wheel. Carrie Underwood had a number one country song said it all. It is the tale of a young woman seeking help from Jesus as her car is about to crash. She ultimately lets Jesus take control of her car and her life. Perhaps the church should give Jesus the wheel and let Him actually run the church, Himself. Perhaps we should allow Jesus to directly control the Sunday services. Like an old hymn says: Have Thine Own Way, Lord.