More about Kevin . . .

Kevin enjoys musical theatre, both attending and occasionally performing in or music directing area productions.  Recent theatre experiences include music directing & conducting Sweeney Todd for Leawood Stage Company and playing Gould in The Barn Player’s production of Gray Gardens. Over the years Kevin has appeared in or music directed many other shows at Kansas City metro-area theatres including, Oklahoma!, Forever Plaid, 110 in the Shade, Camelot, Titanic, Once Upon a Mattress, Children of Eden, Avenue Q, Rent, Little Me, Assassins, The Music Man, I Do! I Do!, Urinetown, Smoke on the Mountain, Schoolhouse Rock, [title of show], Ragtime and Hello, Dolly!

Here are some of Kevin’s thoughts on music & worship in the church:

Music has always been a huge part of my church upbringing and worship life.  I was raised in a traditional Mennonite church where hymn-singing was a proud tradition, done a cappella in four-part harmony.

When my parents received the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” in 1975, I was ten years old. I remember hearing about a great deal of conflict and disagreement amongst the congregation about the new Scripture choruses and praise songs that the charismatics were always wanting to sing, thus neglecting the old hymns that the patriarchs of the church loved so dearly. I think it was this exposure to both traditional worship and what in the ‘70’s was considered “contemporary,” that I came to love and appreciate both.

Having said that, it’s important to note that Scripture tells us repeatedly to “sing a new song unto the Lord” (Psalm 96 and 33, Isaiah 42).

We are never commanded to sing to the Lord our old favorites 😉 While we may receive comfort and enjoyment from singing songs we have known for years, Scripture never admonishes us to do that. The purpose of worship is never our own comfort & enjoyment.

This is an important point because even in the church today there are factions who disagree over what songs are best suited for worship.

In the book of Revelation (14:3; 5:9), the disciple John writes of the redeemed who are gathered around the throne singing a “new song” to the Lord.  Just think: In heaven we will be singing NEW SONGS to God!  What great joy it brings me by simply knowing that in heaven, the music will never get old!!

One of the great by-products of learning a new song of worship is that while I’m learning it, I will find myself singing it or humming it, outside of the congregational worship setting. I call this getting an “ear loop” of a song.

Recently at The Ridge we have been learning the song “Do What You Want To” which has these lyrics:

We surrender all to you
Do what you want to
Do what you want to

God we love to see you move
Do what you want to
Do what you want to

With an ear loop like that, before I know it, the Holy Spirit has used a new song to direct my mind to God and surrender my will to his. Ear loops from new worship songs are powerful tools to deepen our relationship with the Creator.

But what happens after you learn a new song? It’s not new anymore, HAHA!  So, what does that mean? We must keep learning new songs. We keep singing new songs of praise and worship for our entire life, even in eternity!

Since we’re going to be doing it for eternity, let’s get started now! And may our hearts here on earth never tire of finding NEW SONGS of love and praise to sing to our God.

Kevin can be reached at KevinHershberger@blueridgechurch.org