Worship Music


“Worship music” is one element of worship on the Lord’s Day among several (e.g., prayer, confession of faith, giving of offerings, submission to God’s Word, etc.). The congregation sings together to the Lord. Musical accompaniment is meant to engage the whole person—heart, soul, mind, and body (voice)—in singing to God. And, really, it’s not just the person as an individual who is to be thus engaged, but the whole church together.

Yet it is inevitable that, in any particular church, not everyone will be moved by the same music to the same experience of worship. Some will find it easy to pour themselves enthusiastically into most of the songs a congregation sings. Some will find it difficult to resonate with any songs anywhere. Is it a failure of the style or performance of the musical accompaniment, that it doesn’t have universal appeal? Is it a failure of the musicians to consider the tastes of every individual who may be present? Is it a failure of the worshiper to appreciate what constitutes “good worship music”? Is it a failure of the congregation to unite in the Spirit and devote itself fully to praise?

Or is this dynamic an opportunity to join with our spiritual siblings in an element of worship we don’t find entirely instinctive? Is it an opportunity to be stretched and, potentially, to stretch others? Is it an opportunity to question our expectations and resist our consumeristic culture? Is it an opportunity to exalt the love of Christ that compels us to set aside our preferences and commit to something that we may not find entirely gratifying?

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