I'm back to answering the questions you asked on 3x5 cards last year. Some may be dated. I forgot about it for a while and time just passes so swiftly. I was reminded recently on the Communication Card. So it's been way too long, but I'm recommitted to finishing the pile of questions.
Does Five Oaks have a choir? Does worship ever include more traditional music--hymns, etc.?
We have done a seasonal choir at Easter and Christmas. The last couple didn't generate a whole of interest, so we've not done one in a while. Maybe we will again.
We do occasional hymns and sometimes do them quite regularly. We rarely do them in a traditional style. The Christmas season is a season we go heavy with traditional sounds. In our doUwant2change.com series, we'll be doing one hymn per week because of the familiarity they spark, especially for new folks and people who have been de-churched, but they'll be done in a non-traditional way.
We have experimented with trying to do one per week at times and find that to be constricting. There's a lot that goes into planning a worship song set and having to do a hymn just makes the process that much harder and may detract from the flow of what we want to accomplish in the set.
Some of the advantages of hymns--in addition to the the message in a good, favorite hymn--is their familiarity. People sing louder and more people participate. The down side is that there are not many newly arranged and singable hymns out there for us to use. I often hear a great rendition of a hymn by, say, Jars of Clay, and think we ought to do that, only to find that's it's not really singable. It's arranged for performance.
Why don't we just do the hymns in the old way? Answering that would take too long. Sorry. Nor would most people asking that question usually care about my answer or agree with our take on this topic. But here's the short answer for those who are merely curious. The bottom line is that it's not the style of music we do and it wouldn't "fit" except on some occasions.
Simple analogy: If you go to the opera because you like opera, you wouldn't appreciate the orchestra and singers breaking into a rock and roll song for 1/4 of the opera (we do about four worship songs per week). It wouldn't fit. And if you were a rock and roller who got dragged to the opera, you'd know how lame they sound trying to do it. (I'll leave it to you to apply the analogy.)
On the other hand.....if you have ideas for making hymns "fit" (examples you've seen), then I'm all ears and a genuine seeker. And when you come across singable new arrangements that fit or you know some creative ways of integrating old arrangements in ways that fit, pass the info on to me or David.