Music Vision Series:
Remade: How Music Impacts the Soul
Music is a gift from God in its many forms, used by people to either worship themselves or to worship the Lord. Music styles vary and we usually have our preferences. For instance, I don’t love country music but I like some (gospel) hip-hop. Psalm 149 commands God’s people to “Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of the godly.” Likewise, twice Paul commands the congregation to engage one another in singing thanksgiving to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16). We are to sing to God with one another in worship. The imperative, consistently commanded, is that we sing together.
I have always loved that about our worship of Christ. We sing, and we sing together. Music impacts the soul in this way. Singing to oneself is good as well, but there is rarely a time when God is so experienced as when we sing together to Christ. Sometimes we raise our hands. Sometimes we sit or stand. At all times we pay attention both to the value of the words and the person of God. Music impacts the soul when our minds engage in the content of what we sing about God.
2. Remade: Music Empowers Generations
Charles Spurgeon quibbed, “When Satan fell, he landed in the choir loft.” And so it is that we observe the ongoing strife worship music often produces within a congregation. Music is tough when music is about us. And how can music not be emotional and about us?! Music taps us on the emotions and tugs at the corners of our souls. Yet, many a dying church has clung to musical style only to lose its gospel ministry. Spurgeon was right, fighting over music is the trap of Satan. That is why we do not do it.
Music empowers generations of people. It speaks messages of hope, trial, victory, defeat, and sensitivity. We find our grit and determination through the lyrics of certain songs. Music belongs to a generation and will, inevitably, reflect the wishes and desires of a generation. In order for a church to continually move into new zones of generational ministry, it has to predominate with the voices of that generation. The more mature in Christ must hold the message cleanly and clearly - never letting go of the truth of Christ embedded in the song. Yet, they must leverage their maturity to the service of an upcoming generation. Every believer is responsible for empowering another generation in the gospel - that is the sacrifice of ministry to new people.
3. Remade: Music Leaders Make Congregations that Sing
The idea of “leadership” is hip right now. There are numerous articles and ideas on the topic. Music leadership, however, is a lost art. Music leadership, meaning the kind of leadership that dialogues the musical team with the congregation as they sing, has the goal of making worshipers. Throughout the fabric of Cana, the staff is working to build a platform of leadership in which people with various skills, crafts, and gifts are empowered to expand gospel capability and strength. Music leading, at its core, is about empowering musicians, singers, and congregants to offer worship to Christ in spirit and truth.
The criteria, then, for leading music is threefold. First, the music must have great content. What it speaks about God must be truthful and fitting. Second, the songs should be singable. This means that the song can be learned with a few exposures to the lyrics and tempo. Finally, the song should have a chance of becoming classic. This is harder to determine but the reality is apparent. Some songs stand the test of time while most songs do not. One does not always know which songs will be classics but some will flash popular but die away. Others have a longer life span and it is those songs we want to sing. The result: songs for the congregation forged over time. This type leadership makes for congregations who sing