Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Constitutes Worship Music Worthy Of Congregational Singing?

Thabiti Anyabwile over on Pure Church blog has been invited to speak at Worship God '08. He asks a pertinent question: What songs should be sung in worship to God?

He asks if these are "worthy". Are they?

You can check out Thabiti's thoughts and comments here.

Some questions:
-What dictates whether a song should be sung in corporate worship?
-Is it okay to utilize popular music in the culture and substitute lyrics of our choosing? Does this infringe upon the artist's rights? Is it illegal without acquiring performance licenses and permission to change lyrics?
-If what is displayed above breaks the law, do you think that it pleses God?
-Should there be criteria that songs must meet to be sung in corporate worship? If so, what?
-What is the goal of corporate worship as it relates to singing?


Craig said...

This is an issue I think churches need to address. In my opinion there is a huge contrast between songs for entertainment and songs of worship. Actually a couple of months ago I was reading something about Hymns and how there is a noticeable change on the focus. I forget the time period but even classic hymns went from God focused to man focused.

I think today there is a problem with entertainment. Many churches have auditions and as my friend Layne likes to say "make a production" instead of worshiping God. Even children's choirs are so choreographed that you don't even see the funny little mistakes that children make.

I think it can lead to wrong motives. For instance, I drive by a decent size church regularly. They recently switched to a contemporary service and heavily advertised it. Since then they have been building some major additions i.e. a full size gym.

As Charles Spurgeon said "When I have heard of large congregations gathered together by the music of a fine choir, I have remembered that the same thing is done at the opera house and the music hall, and I have felt no joy."

j razz said...


I think you are right. Churches do need to address it. I believe the culture surrounding most modern day americanized churches is such that we have positioned ourselves for a very shallow christianity- something that scripturally will not pass for biblical Christianity. We need to be careful to proclaim biblically based, guided and driven truth from the pulpit as well as the songs we sing to the Lord in corporate worship.

We do not need distractions. Worship music should aide us in keeping our focus on the Lord- the object of our worship. It should be easy [musically] for the congregation to sing togther, corporately. We should be able to proclaim the truth of the hymn or worship song and know that it is biblically sound. The elders/pastors should have an active role in picking the music to ensure that it is one: biblically based, two: easy for the congregation to sing, three: fits into the whole picture of the Sunday morning service by buttressing the sermon with common themes found in the passage of scripture being preached on that morning.

There is great responsiblity when it comes to corporate worship and one day those who are in pastoring positions will have to stand before God and give an account of how they led the flock entrusted to them. And in that account responsiblity will have to be taken for how corporate worship was orchistrated.

j razz

Josh said...

My view is the veiw taken by David in Psalms chap.98 verse 4:"make a joyfull noise unto the lord." It says nothing about wether your worship service should or shouldn't be singing "Amazing Grace" or rocking it out with something from "Third Day" or "Toby Mac".

Craig said...


Will all due respect, I do like Third Day and Toby Mac, but were is the line drawn. Can we accept any type of music genre and add Christian lyrics to it and it be suitable for worship?

I have been to many Christian rock concerts and have enjoyed them. Purely good wholesome entertainment. However, I wouldn't classify it as worship music. There are also a plenty of Christian rap artists. Should a church rap to some of their songs?