October 17, 2017

Ep. 8 April Stace


My conversation with April Stace about the role of music and worship in new faith communities. You can find April on Twitter. April is the author of Secular Music, Sacred Space and co-editor of Crossing Boundaries, Redefining Faith. Her forthcoming book is titled, Chaplain: Lessons from the Ledge Between Life and Death.

After recording, April sent these notes to me:

Rules for punk rock church planting:
  1. Music is a way of being in the world. Finding the “right music” is never about figuring out what will attract people: it’s about being the people you are.
  2. Don’t ask “What kind of church do people want to go to?” Ask, “What kind of church do I want to go to?” Because people want a church led by people who know themselves.
  3. BUT: Don’t ask yourself, “What kind of music do I want at this church?” Ask yourself, “What kind of music already exists at this church, even if it’s not being heard? How can we become that music together?”
  4. Better yet, ask yourself, but only in the context of asking the gathered community. In a church context, music is always about the gathered community.
  5. Music is relationship. It is always a pastoral care/congregational development issue.
  6. Don’t chase “excellence” at the expense of authenticity.
  7. Remember that music is closely tied to language and identity. What “sounds good” to you isn’t only about personal taste, it’s also about your cultural location and your socioeconomic situation. There is no inherently “good music,” but there is the “right music” and “wrong music” for a community. It is always a community issue.
  8. A vibrant spiritual/musical expression is always in conversation, in flux with the “ways of being” of the gathered community. Allow for flexibility, innovation and creativity in musicmaking.
Also mentioned in this episode:

The Goonies
Katy Perry
Led Zeppelin
U2
Pachelbel's Canon
Anglo-Catholicism
Brian McLaren
Cedar Ridge Community Church
Tom Keith on Prairie Home Companion
Music created by Adam Powell of Best Friends Creative.

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