"We need to keep up with the times!""We need to preserve our history!""We need to attract more millenials!"
Contemporary vs. traditional. It's enough to spark debate (or cause a war) in some congregations. But why does it have to be one or the other? Why does including contemporary music mean that we can't have a choir or use the organ or sing hymns? I believe there is a place for both in modern worship.
Emerging in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) was influenced by the Rock 'n' Roll of the 1950s and popular styles of the times (source). Today, contemporary worship often refers to musical style (rather than date of composition), incorporating popular song forms (verse, chorus, bridge), style (hip-hop, rock, acoustic, country, etc.), popular instruments (guitar, drums, keyboard, electric bass, etc.), and simple lyrics written in modern language.
The big question is, can all musical styles be considered sacred? Here's what I think:
"Music has sacred significance and purpose within the liturgy whenever it brings sacred associations to the minds and hearts of the worshipers. Does all music have the potential to acquire sacred meaning? Swain (2012) wrote, 'As long as the music is a means of proclaiming the Word and is not the Word itself, it is theoretically possible for any kind of music to acquire a sacred semantic' (p. 196)." - On Musical Meaning