Why did Alanna Story decide to record a hymns project?
We grew up singing hymns in church and with our family, and we have always loved the depth of the lyrics and the way the melodies get into your head and heart. But we have also seen how the heritage of our ‘hymns’ has often divided the Church’s worship culture in some ways. We have seen the young generation grab ahold of new choruses and melodies (which are so great and help many connect to the heart of God), but many times this is at the expense of losing touch with the songs of old.
We have also seen a generation who grew up singing hymns cling to those songs and the way they have always been done at the expense of embracing some of the new and powerful ways worship has grown and allowed the Church to engage with the presence of God in an authentic way. We need both in our worship! As a ministry, Alanna Story has often been called to lead both sides of this polarity, and we have struggled to discern how to help unify the Church’s expression of worship so it doesn’t become a generational ‘us and them’ mentality.
So over the past few years, we tried to get creative with how to approach this ever-growing gap. We started experimenting with taking the hymns that the generation before us loves (and we do too!) and put them in a modern context with fresh sounds and new, sing-able choruses in an attempt to connect both generations to the heart of God. As we did this, we found that whether we were leading at a youth convention or a pastor’s conference, these songs bridged the generational gap and helped usher the Church into engaging worship. And because we know that many churches and leaders are struggling to find the same balance in their worship culture, we are making available all of the tools needed to lead these songs in the local church context in hopes of helping to unifying the generational worship gap. The worship leader’s tool package will include all of the charts and scores (band, choir, strings) and live tracks (stems and accompaniment).