Participant

Christy Olsen

About Me: 

I grew up in southern Minnesota, a member of Hollandale CRC.  I attended the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, so that I could participate in Air Force ROTC.  I served as an Air Force officer for 6 years.  My last station was in Colorado Springs, CO and we’ve remained here since.  My wife, four boys, and I are members of Cragmor CRC, where I have been active in worship and church leadership (not always as much as I’d like, but sometimes more).

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4 Reasons Not to Teach a New Song During the Service

Teaching a song before you sing it might not be the best way to introduce it. In fact, it may be wishful thinking or downright harmful. Here are my 4 reasons for not teaching new songs.

Worship
Blog
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Does Sin Not Matter Anymore?

What is our music teaching about consequences of sin? Despite their catchy melodies, I’ve never liked these songs because of the way they talk about sin. Sin does matter. I am not flawless. 

Worship
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Why Love Has Nothing and Everything to Do with Same-sex Marriage

I’m not saying legal standing, such as the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling on Same-sex marriage, doesn’t mean something or carry any weight. It certainly does. It just doesn’t have anything to do with love.

Let's Talk About...
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God's Work Through a Worship Team Goes Way Beyond Sunday

Harry had been coming to church for months, but I didn’t really know him. When he said he was thinking about playing guitar with the worship team, I hope my face did not reveal my incredulity. 

Worship
Discussion Topic
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Is It Time to Rethink Our View of Millennials?

A Millennial shares his take on what will draw his generation to the Church...and you might be surprised. But what do you think? Is Jonathan right?

WorshipYoung Adults
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Music Fasting Part II

We felt many members were placing too much emphasis on the style of our music. We needed everyone to focus on the essence of being a church. We saw a music fast as an impactful tool...

Worship
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Music Fasting

Last summer, though it wasn’t for Lent, our church gave up something bigger than chocolate; we gave up music. Taking a break from music can help a church reach a deeper understanding of worship.

Worship
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Using Obscure Songs

Are there any not-so-well-known songs that you’ve used recently? Making room for good songs that aren’t widely used can be an effective way to add theological breadth and musical diversity.

Worship
Discussion Topic
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Did You Attend the Calvin Worship Symposium?

What did you like about this year’s symposium? What did you not like so much? Any ideas for next year? Please take a moment to contribute.

Worship
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What Do We Mean by "Vibrant" Worship?

If vibrant means giving back to God the life he has ignited in you, then I think it can happen in any type of service, of any style.

Worship
  • Thanks Adom for starting this discussion, and to everyone who has added to it.
    There have been lots of great points made already.

    When considering a new song, (in addition to all the...

  • I think this issue is particularly prominent in so-called "mega" churches.

    Mega-church pastors tend to make a lot of money. And why not? After all, the sheer size of their congregations...

  • Thanks Sam. We are big Crowder fans here; I'll have to check out Audrey Assad.

  • MJill, that's really good advice. We all need to hear it. Thank you.

  • You did a very good job with this answer, Salaam. I'm probably still not going to refer to Muslims as my "cousins" but I don't have a better term either. Thanks for the work and care you put into...

  • Adom, I started writing a comment, but it got so long I decided to create a new blog post on this topic. So for my thoughts on this issue, please see the post here.

  • Thanks for the song ideas, Kevin.

    I, too, am trying to sing each prayer song for a month so the congregation really learns it.
    And, yes, it is always surprising how cyclical tastes are...

    posted on: Prayer Songs
  • Also, "Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me" (BPsH #388) is in neither the GPsH nor LUYH.

  • Great discussion!

    I, too, have found LUYH to be a really good hymnal.  There are a few choices (in song selection and lyrics) that I don't totally understand, but overall it's very good.  I...

  • That's true, Chad; doxology doesn't have to be a concluding song.  But for the purposes of this post, I was using that way to discuss the tradition of ending with the same hymn/song every week. ...