Let me begin by saying I am young in the pastorate, and some would quickly point out that I have no business attempting to share counsel about music in the church. I am somewhat of an enigma because I am soon to be fifty years old, but I have only been a pastor for less than seven years. So I am an older guy with very little experience in the pastorate! My goal is to be biblical in these thoughts!
In part 1 of this post, we set the context for wanting our music to be honoring to God and offered three principles related to music. In part 2 we looked at seven more principles, for a total so far of 10:
I thank God for the gift of music. I am particularly thankful for sacred, Christ-honoring music. Music is an integral part of worship and edification. It can draw our hearts closer to the Lord and reinforce scriptural truths in our minds, or it can weaken our walk with God and pull our flesh toward the world.
The purpose of church music is to enable the congregation to corporately worship God in one voice of praise and adoration. The word worship means to, “Ascribe worth to something, to show God’s worth.” True worship should come from our hearts.
There seems to be a great deal of confusion regarding church music. On the one hand, there are those who believe that if music is not of the formal, anthem-ish type, it cannot glorify God. On the other hand, there are those who select music only on the basis of what they like, forgetting that their flesh may like any number of things that are unscriptural and displease the Lord.
Most Contemporary Christian Music proponents say music is neutral and therefore all music is acceptable for the Christian. They say it is only the lyrics that make music good or evil. Through the years, I’ve questioned different people regarding the neutrality of music.
The Bible is the basis and foundation of everything I believe. This is why I reference so much Scripture when I write about music. There are at least 500 verses in the Bible that refer to music. The Bible instructs believers to praise God, “In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19).
Music is the accompaniment of life. The music a man chooses as his accompaniment says a lot about his lifestyle and his belief system. The world uses rock music to accompany themselves in their revelry and reflect their philosophy and approach to life.
What would you say the “spiritual temperature” of our society is today? Is it predominantly Christian? Are the world’s morals becoming more godly? Should Christians emulate the worldly cultural system we find ourselves in or be different—set apart?
There are many criteria to evaluate music (technical, poetical, structural, and stylistic criteria). These and other judgments on the subject of music lead to some wide variations in response to the question, “What, exactly, is good music?”
It is said that a healthy church is a growing church. Likewise, a healthy choir is a growing choir. The larger the group, the more potential impact the choir has. Set a goal to have a BIG choir. How big is BIG?