The 10 C’s of Musical Worship Part 2

Continued from last week. Part Two of the 10 C’s of Musical Worship.

  1. Conviction
  • Do we believe what we sing? It is affecting us and does it move us emotionally? Our emotions should be stirred because we really believe what we are singing.
  • It is not enough to sing truth, we must believe the truth. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Our singing must be faith-filled.
  • From time to time the church should be challenged directly by what we are singing. This can be addressed before or after a particular song by giving a 30-60 second word of admonition or encouragement. It is helpful for those leading to sketch these words out ahead of time to avoid rambling.
  • Instead of saying “I just love this song,” it is more helpful to say something like “I love the truth that is proclaimed in these words,” and then briefly state that particular truth. Aim to let the affections be drawn to truth and not the songs by pointing directly at the truth. Songs don’t change people; the truth of God’s Word changes people. Focus on these truths.

 

  1. Comprehensive Themes
  • Are we covering the Biblical themes or are we just stuck on one or a few things?
  • There are many themes and we should cover all of them in proportion to the weight they are given in Scripture.
  • Examples: Baptism – we wouldn’t want all of our songs to be baptism songs as the Bible isn’t all about baptism. The character of God – we should sing about all aspects of His character: love, mercy, holiness, grace, goodness, faithfulness, wrath, etc.

 

  1. Cheerfulness
  • Is our music marked by joy? This comes not by just choosing upbeat songs. The joy comes when we really believe what we are singing and are engaged in the process by responding to the text and not just the style.
  • When we sing phrases like, “And bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again,” we need to encourage joy-filled responses and not be afraid of them. While it is possible to be drawn away by excesses, this should not prevent the right use of physical expression (clapping, lifting hands, shouting, etc.) as a faith-filled response.
  • Even though there should be space allowed for times of lament, confession of sin and repentance, the lasting mood should be joy as we are drawn to remember the hope of the gospel and the forgiveness given through Christ. When coupled with the assurance of pardon, knowing and confessing our sins becomes a freeing experience. While we should spend some time in the dust, we are not to stay there as we remember that our sin debt has been paid in full.
  • Psalm 34:5 “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

 

  1. Color
  • Is all of our singing of one flavor, or are we using many different styles? Are we using varied instrumentation that is faithful to the gifts that are possessed within our congregation?
  • We make style an issue when we make style the issue. However, we should be able to step back and see that there are many different styles being used in the worship of the church.
  • This is not done to please some of the people some of the time. It is done so that we can reflect the diversity with which God made us.

 

  1. Communal Love
  • Many churches are struggling over the issues of music and worship, and most discussions can be solved when we do as we are instructed in Colossians 3:14; “Beyond all these things, put on love, which is the perfect body of unity.”
  • This also means that we might have to endure some songs that may not be our “favorites.” If these songs pass the other criteria, then we must be willing to include them for the sake of the congregation at large and learn to rejoice as we sing them.
  • Chip Stam, former professor of worship at SBTS, would often remind his classes that “The mature believer is easily edified.” As we grow in Christ, we will find it easier to be edified as the body of Christ sings together even when our favorite song or song styles were not included in the service.

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