Music in worship

By Elizabeth Prata

I saw a couple of quotes today one after the other (not linked or published on purpose, just happenstance) that made me think about music in worship once again.

Not to debate contemporary vs. traditional. Though I’m a huge traditionalist, I’m also a realist, and I know there has been good music written after 1900, though, lol.

I enjoyed my own church’s service yesterday, as I always do. We are a nearly three-year church plant. We have a plurality of elders (4), a time of confession during the service, and good music. It’s a mixture of old and new. The team takes care to select songs and hymns that match the theme of the sermon.

Music isn’t all there is to a service, meaning, it’s not primary. But it’s not secondary either. It’s important and has its place. Yesterday I was thinking about how important it is when we hear the word preached and when we sing and hear the song words sung. It is all supposed to edify us.

Ligonier tweeted,

Ligonier Ministries, @Ligonier
3:30 PM – 29 Jul 2018

We should be careful about the words of the music we sing and ensure that those words communicate truth. —@RCSproul

My friend Rachel tweeted,

Rachel, @REL4077
8:21 PM – 29 Jul 2018

I’ve listened to a lot of Christian music from the 70s/80s and a lot of CM from that time focused so much on Christ’s return, who Jesus is, and the need to share the Gospel. What happened since then that we have songs about reckless love and our “messed up” lives?!! Give me Jesus.

I agree. To that end, here is a thoughtful article from the Reformed Church in America. (Note: I liked the article but don’t know much about the website as a whole, but they seem a bit social justic-y to me “make the world a better place”, and they use the word ‘broken’.)

This article lists some thoughtful things about how we approach music in worship.

THE THEOLOGY AND PLACE OF MUSIC IN WORSHIP

Here are just a few quotes from the article, which again, I enjoyed. It outlines some facts about music in worship and then outlines a framework to think about when selecting music.

The church’s ministry of song is for the edification of God’s people

The church’s ministry of song is for the glory of God
It is also important that the emotional power of music in worship be evocative rather than manipulative, honest rather than manufactured, and that the congregation’s singing allow for the full range of emotions in worship.

Does our congregational singng include the many moods and types of prayer, including praise, thanksgiving, confession, lament, intercession, and dedication? A congregation which sings only “upbeat” praise choruses and hymns, for example, will have a diminished and restricted understanding of prayer.

I pray that you enjoy the thoughts here, the article at thelink, and most of all, music in worship.

music verse 1