Music In Worship

Greg Wilbur from King’s Meadow opines on the role of music in worship.

From the time of David, music has played a prominent role in the worship of God. Participation in that worship is crucial for the health of the Church. Too often we are “worshiped at” as opposed to being led in corporate worship.

I am not the most musical of worshipers. I can read music enough to know whether to sing the next word higher or lower than the last, but chords and parts elude me. However, as an observer I have noticed the changes in musical worship that have happened in recent years.

First of all, the word “worship” itself has been changed to mean merely singing in church, as opposed to any of the other faculties of honoring God. This deserves an entire topic for itself.

I recall being in church as a child and opening a hymn book and singing with the rest of the ecclesia. The folks who could read the music did so, it was right there in the hymnal. Sometimes there was a piano for accompaniment, sometimes nothing. The voices of the people created music. It was nice.

My more recent memories are quite different. The lyrics of a song are projected on a big white screen, sans music. A band performs on stage, with a keyboardist, one or two guitarists, a bass guitarist, and a drummer. The lead singer has a microphone, connected along with all the electric instruments to massive amplifiers, thus drowning out the voices of the congregation.

It is more like a rock concert than a church service. This is not theecclesia of Christ worshiping, it is an audience being sung at. When did style and panache supersede reverence for God?

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