Posted by: charityliz | October 24, 2010

Stump the Organist

Today, I learned something  that I don’t usually expect to learn at church– a new “game”!  🙂
Let me begin with explaining that I’ve been attending this awesome church in my neighborhood for a couple months now, and I’ve mostly been going to their “Contemporary Service” on Sunday evenings.  But today I decided to go to the early “Traditional Service” at 9am, because I had a lot of plans for the rest of  the day.  The moment I walked through the door, I could tell it was indeed the “Traditional Service”, as everyone else was at least twice my age and dressed way nicer than my own jeans and ski fleece.  Ooops, I thought…I guess it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a traditional service.  (But it wasn’t that big of a deal. I think people were just happy to see a young face!)
Anyways… the service opened with singing a hymn I hadn’t heard for years.  And then the most amusing thing happened…the hymnal leader announced that it was time to play “Stump the Organist”, AKA “let’s have a hymn sing”.  Now he announced this in the most casual way and everyone automatically seemed to know what was going on and began playing along.  But I was still back at his first words….”game”….”stump the organist”…
A game at church??
At the traditional service, no less?!
I gotta see this!
And so here’s how the game is played.  People from the audience get to shout out a hymn number (from the hymnal book) and then the organist/pianist has to play the first verse, with no real prep time.  When he plays the song, everyone sings along, just as they normally would in church.  We sang the first verse to about 8 different hymns, and that was it.  So nobody really “wins” this game per se…and nobody managed to stump the organist.  But I gotta say…this game was GREAT…and I honestly loved being able to sing  that many songs (even if it was just one verse) in such a brief time!
And it was a truly beautiful picture to see how folks in the audience was totally engaged and enjoyed shouting out their favorite hymn numbers and getting to sing them right then and there. Plus it was still a very genuine worship experience (at least I can speak for me).  I hadn’t sung some of these songs for years, but as the powerful words of various hymns crossed my mind, I soon lost track of the “game” and was inspired by the weight of Truth in so many of these verses.
I think these traditional folks are onto something!  Has anyone even heard of this game before?? I mean, what if us “younger & hipper” church kids played “stump the worship band” at our contemporary service?  I would love to make requests for my favorite worship songs right there in the moment.  Anybody with me??
PS: I hope this does not offend any “traditional service” goers.  This post is not just about my amusement, but my genuine appreciation of the experience this morning. Praise God for a diverse church and generations of believers that have gone before me and are still worshiping the same God today!


  1. oh my! This is so great. makes me want to go to the traditional service with you! So glad you’re in the area lady. Love PCC! And I’m so excited to know you more. xo -e

  2. I, for one, would love to play “stump the worship leader.” I think your experience was awesome and wish I could have been there too. Some of those old hymns are really moving, even in, no ESPECIALLY in, today’s setting.

  3. Ha! That is hilarious! I don’t think I have been to the traditional service in 20 something years, but who knew they were having such a great time!? I think we should have a “contemporary church” field trip to the traditional service sometime! =)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: