I'm not writing this to slam the church, because I really, really like it. Rather, I want to 1) rant a bit to get it out of my system and 2) get my thoughts in order before I talk to the pastor.
Last spring I visited a new church (new to me, but new...to everybody; it was a new church plant and I got a flier in the mail)
The preaching was saturated with the Gospel and I was so hungry for that (and still am, on a daily basis)
The singing part of the service was WONDERFUL; full of rich and deep theology, respectful of the writers of the old hymns and completely focused upward. I could leave behind the horizontal and be pulled into the vertical.
One thing happened and I almost didn't go back...but I did go back - and it was equal parts sermon and singing that drew me back.
I spent most of my summer out of town, and I went back to this church in the late summer, early fall. My first time back, was the last day for the (now former) music minister.
Since then, my haven for worship has steadily changed. The preaching is still some of the most Gospel saturated that I have EVER heard.
On the singing...three things have been added, that add up to one huge negative (for me)
1) the insertion of man-centered band playing both at the beginning and middle of a worship song. No matter how theologically rich a song is, if you stop singing in the middle, because the band puts the focus on...well...the band....the focus is now OFF God.
2) More 7-11, less conscience worship. 7-11 singing is the equivalent of the "repetitive prayers" that Jesus said belong to the pagans
3) The utter disrespect for the great people of God whose hymns and songs reflect the pain and faith in their lives, but raping them with the insertion of 7-11 in the middle.
I detest the thievery of old and beautiful hymns by a crop of youngsters to steal the hymns, add a few 7-11 choruses in the middle and slap their own name on them.
4) (and this is a "me thing") when you spend 20 minutes focusing my mind and soul upward toward heaven in worship, don't pull me back into the horizontal with a 10 minute "meet and greet" toward the end of it.
look up, look up, look up...and now for something completely different!
If you want to do the "meet and greet" - do your band and 7-11 early (one or two songs, please) THEN do the meet and greet early, THEN let's do business with God.
I love the preaching, but if the music keeps slipping toward K-FLUFF, I'll reevaluate.