Thursday, June 15, 2006

Give of Your Best to the Master

Or, Excellence in Worship Music

Here's an issue that spans every style and preference of worship practices: the quality of the music sung/played during worship.

Whether you have a cantor, a choir, an organist, a pianist, a keyboard player, drummers, name it, or if it's the congregation together singing unaccompanied, how well music is presented is important.

I don't mean that we must all be expertly trained professional musicians. However, I believe God deserves the best we can give.

I believe we human beings probably cringe more than God does. After all, even the glorious sounds of a Cecilia Bartoli or Yo Yo Ma must sound like the tiniest, most amateurish efforts to the One who invented music and created our various gifts in making music. However, I suspect that the Almighty is saddened far more often than we are when we sing or play in a lackadaisical or careless manner. What a waste, and for such an Auditor!

I also don't mean that any one type of music is superior to any other type. There is nothing more intrinsically holy about a baroque organ cantata or plainchant than a Southern Gospel song or edgy rock-style piece, so long as the text (if any) is a genuine expression of the faith we profess and is sung/played with the intention of worshiping God.

I only mean, for heaven's sake (and I mean that literally), let our music be presented with excellence!

1 comment:

robert said...

Thanks for your comments. I don't quite agree that the genre doesn't matter. But the desire to present to God our very best should motivate all we do, including our hymn singing.

Here's a very strong comment by pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards that is to the point. Whether we would put it quite as strongly as he does, I do agree with the sentiment.

"As it is the command of God that all should sing [cf. Col. 3:16], so all should make conscience of learning to sing, as it is a thing which cannot be decently performed without learning. Those, therefore, who neglect to learn to sing live in sin as they neglect what is necessary in order to their attending to one of the ordinances of worship."