Monday, July 23, 2007

Music in the Worship Service

Another book I am currently reading is on being a missional church (the term missional being the topic for another post). In reading through the book one of the author's quoted in the book was saying how much freedom we have to be creative in the music portion of the worship service (yes, I call it the music portion because the whole service is a worship service). It sparked the question in my mind as to how much freedom do we really have? Are there some guidelines that need be, must be followed in order for the music to be acceptable to God and spiritually effective for the people? I do believe that the regulative principle of worship gives us the guidelines of what is acceptable to God so what I am going to do is share what I believe makes it spiritually effective for the people. These are the questions that I ask of the music portion of the worship service. These questions apply whether you are participating in a traditional service or one that is considered contemporary.

Is it reverent? Does it create an atmosphere of reverence. The elements of reverence being:

Holiness
Respect
Awe
Transcendence
Majesty
Humility
Submission

Does it take us up to God or does it bring God down to us? Is it

God focused
God honoring
God exalting
God glorifying--defined as that which gives an accurate representation
of who God is, His nature and character?

Is it Scripturally true and accurate?

Does it present and teach right theology?

Does it add to and enhance our understanding and appreciation of God and Christ?

Does it spiritually inspire, not a rock concert high, but does it feed the
soul by engaging the mind, thereby taking the people to a higher and
deeper place than themselves?

Does it prepare the mind and heart, does it open them up to receive the
word that will be preached?

Does it minister to the people?

Does it teach?
Does it admonish?
Does it exhort?
Does it encourage?
Does it enlarge?
Does it take them to the throne of God?
Do they experience the presence of God as
part of the corporate communion?

Is it balanced through Psalms, Hymns, and spiritual songs?

Is it worship driven and ministry driven versus performance driven?

Does the instrumentation overpower the singing?

Is it transcendent versus being temporal?

Does it make people spectators rather than participants?

Does it occupy its proper place in the service, not as the focus of the service?

1 comment:

reformedlawless said...

MB

This is a very important topic and one that is gets me going. Here is a quote I pulled out of a post I wrote several months ago. The quote comes from a music leader of a Baptist Church in southtern California:

“To sing songs in corporate worship for any other reason, other than the desire to teach the great truths of scripture, edify one another, and testify to what God has done for a congregation is a dangerous, dangerous game. Picking a song because of its popularity or its ease of use has no place in corporate worship. To flippantly choose a song without thoroughly checking its accuracy is no different than stepping to the mic to preach error. If you choose a song that teaches error then you have just taught that same error to your congregation. Do you think God will hold you responsible? I do.”