Worship Music In The Church - Part 10 by Jim Mell
In this article we conclude the review of the ten questions regarding Worship Music in our church, posed by author John MacArthur in his book Fool’s Gold? Discerning Truth in an Age of Error. “Is your church’s philosophy of music based on biblical principles?” is MacArthur’s tenth question. His exposition of the question includes his understanding that “Church leaders should not simply adhere to certain standards because they have always done so. Nor should they blindly permit just any type of music to be played in their church services.” He refers to Acts 17:11 describing Paul and Silas’s observation of the Jews in the synagogue at Berea being “…more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Finally, MacArthur states that “…pastors must be careful not to exalt personal preference to the same level as biblical principle, or to ignore biblical principles under the assumption that everything about church music is preferential.”
At Knowlton Presbyterian Church great care is taken to assure that the music presented in our services is fully in keeping with the principles set forth in the Bible of praising and glorifying God at all times, regardless of the style of the music presented. The Worship Committee not only meets regularly to review the status of music in services, but is consulted weekly in the selection of hymns, offertory anthems, and other special music for any given service. Traditional formats, such as lessons and carols at the Christmas Eve Service, are offered, but not within rigid constraints. Rather, there is flexibility with regard to what music is selected and what the format of the lesson might be. The structure remains true to promoting the Biblical principles of worship, rather than becoming “entertainment” or a “performance”. Pre and post service musical selections are designed to enhance worship by assisting in the creation of an atmosphere conducive to reflection and generating a focus on the worship of God prior to the beginning of the service and a sense of celebration and jubilation at its conclusion.
The leadership at Knowlton Presbyterian Church is conscientiously attentive to providing services that are both glorifying of God and instructive about the meaning of Scripture. It is keenly aware of the diversity within the congregation and always includes in its considerations the ways these differences can be served and utilized to increase the reception and understanding of the Gospel. If the readers of this series have any questions or requests regarding the music in worship services, they are welcome to bring them to the attention of our pastor, Stephen Lewis, or music director, Jim Mell, to discuss them.
(MacArthur, John, Fool’s Gold: Discerning Truth in an Age of Error, Crossway Books, 2005, Wheaton, ILL, pg.128, 129)