David Murrow’s comments are focussed on men, but they are applicable more broadly.
I don’t think projection screens are going anywhere, so there needs to be careful thought given to how songs are introduced and led in order that congregations will sing.
Among Murrow’s observations, he doesn’t note the propensity for new worship songs to be written in registers too high for men to comfortably sing.
Anyway, from his post:
Years ago, worship leaders used to prepare their flocks when introducing a new song. “We’re going to do a new song for you now. We’ll go through it twice, and then we invite you to join in.”
That kind of coaching is rare today. Songs get switched out so frequently today that it’s impossible to learn them. People can’t sing songs they’ve never heard. And with no musical notes to follow, how is a person supposed to pick up the tune?
And so the church has returned to the 14th century. Worshippers stand mute as professional-caliber musicians play complex instruments, and sing in an obscure language. Martin Luther is turning over in his grave.
What does this mean for men? On the positive side, men no longer feel pressure to sing in church. Men who are poor readers or poor singers no longer have to fumble through hymnals, sing archaic lyrics or read a musical staff.
But the negatives are huge.