Some people tell me that it doesn’t matter how we play the songs. Now most of the time its someone trying to encourage me after having made a few mistakes.
But, though I may appreciate the encouragement at the time, I think they are wrong.
That is to say that the way we do things matters. It matters to God but also He uses us as we are to unfurl His plans. So that means He uses the emotions you have, the characteristics He’s given you, the relationships in your life, they all matter. Particularly when we are dealing with His word.
We’ve all heard those Sundays right? People stand, they sing, they sit. But they sing the words and not the song. What I mean is they see the words on the screen/service sheet, and their eyes pick it up. But their hearts are seemingly completely unengaged.
Now, I know people respond differently, sure. But too often I see a mismatch where people express joy in another area of life and then in church singing ‘Up from the Grave He rose again!’.
Are the truths we sing boring and unexciting? I think not! But we can reduce them to that.
We have to work very hard at the way we communicate Gods truth to affect the hearts of people. Every area of Word ministry needs this. Particularly Music Ministry.
I’m sure there are more, but heres 2 contributing factors we need to be aware of:-
- Be Culturally sensitive. I think thats pretty obvious right? What is the culture of your church? What is the culture of your area? Be aware of that! Don’t try to be Hillsong in a Church which loves Vivaldi! Don’t continue to enforce classical when the church has moved on to for a more contemporary style. See what people are listening to around your church. Engage with that!
- Be Pastorally sensitive. Which means you need to be pastoring. You need to know your congregation. Some people may well struggle with your particular style. Don’t forget your likes aren’t going to necessarily be that of others. I’ll never forget the moment I played the original tune to ‘When I survey’ and seeing the tears of an elderly lady who sang that song the day she became a Christian.
Because music is an emotional gift, we should be careful and aware of how we use it.
Leading the sung worship in Church should be to ‘Magnify the greatness of God in Jesus Christ, motivating the gathered Church to proclaim the Gospel, to Cherish God’s presence and to live for Gods glory.’ (Worship Matters, Bob Kauflin)
That should be our aim, not just to get the job done, or give our second best. We should aim to stir up the emotions of the saints so that they love Him more deeply, serve Him more fully and Glory in His greatness through their whole lives.