, , , , , , , ,

A great article from Dan Kreider of Grace Music:

Hillsong and the issue of association

Sifting, sorting, choosing

If you’re a church music minister, there’s a lot out there to choose from. It’s overwhelming, in fact. Strike out the songs with weak theology or inaccessible music, and it’s still overwhelming. Since the Reformation, the church has seen such a wealth of songs as to be nearly uncountable (Charles Wesley himself wrote more than 6,000). Even if your church is guilty of chronological snobbery and sings only songs written in the past few decades, you could still make weekly song selection into a full-time job. Part of the reason for such a recent glut of music is that what once was the purview of pastors and trained theologians (that is, writing song texts) has been taken up by musicians, often with little thought for the magnitude of the responsibility they’re assuming. Right or wrong, the songs we sing shape our understanding of who God is and what He does. And there’s plenty of material, both old and new, that’s weak or even heretical. But happily there’s much that is excellent and rich, especially in the past fifteen years.

It ought to go without saying that every leader should first examine lyrical content with a critical and a pastoral eye. He also needs to evaluate the music: is it beautiful? Is it easily sung by a congregation of diverse ages? Does it accurately reflect the text? A song may pass the first test but fail the second, or vice versa. If your church is like ours, you have a limited amount of time each week to sing together. And most importantly, you’re leading and teaching a congregation of people whose time on earth is limited. Our life is a vapor, and part of the purpose of corporate worship is to prepare us to stand around the throne and sing in adoration. With that mindset, we shouldn’t have time for weak lyrics and kitschy music. But content isn’t the only factor to consider.

Read the rest of the article here.