Home > Andrew's Blogs > How important is worship music to you?

How important is worship music to you?

Music in worship is important, but can it become too important? Can it become the object of worship and not an agent in worship? I think so. Greg Gilbert writes in a recent blog about being overly dependent on worship music:

“I wonder if it hasn’t created a generation of functional mystics who gauge their relationship with God by emotional experience rather than the objective reality of redemption.”

Bob Kauflin (who has had a significant impact on my thinking about worship) responds with some important and helpful comments here.

Greg Gilbert responds again with some helpful questions here. But I’ve included a few of the the most penetrating questions he asks to help one diagnose the problem of being overly dependent on worship music:

  • Do you get bored when someone reads a longish passage of Scripture in your church? Do you start wishing they’d get on with the music?
  • If you’re in a big church with great music, are you able to worship when you visit your parents’ small rural church?
  • Do you tend to feel closer to God when you’re alone with your iPOD than you do when you’re gathered with God’s people in your church?
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  1. Kenneth England
    February 22, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I think music in the Church is great for me anyway. It sets up my mind to accept things God or even the leader has for the day. I can hear a message in our music at the church. There are some Churches that get a little overboard though.


    Ken England

  2. February 22, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    I’ve been following this “against music” and/or “for music” discussion across several BLOGs and I think it’s a healthy dialog.

    For some, it’s possible that “worship music” has become little more than a “music genre.” Thus, in the music industry, it can become very important because there is a potential financial gain at stake!

    At a more fundamental level, context is extremely important. Dependence upon “worship music” for most Western Christians may indeed be an issue. But consider for a moment our brothers and sisters who are persecuted Christians in the underground church around the world. Access to “worship music” is not even an option! Their dependence is solely upon God and the power of His Spirit. Again, my only point in this comparison is to emphasize that context is important.

    “Worship music” is important to me because the New Testament addresses singing and making melody with our hearts to the Lord.

    The broader issue which Greg and Bob speak to is our potential “dependence” upon “worship music.”

    As I wrote in my comment to a post by Bob Kauflin on his site:

    “The wonderful thing about this ‘against music’ and/or ‘for music’ discussion is that it has brought the following question back to the front-burner of my own heart…

    ‘Is Jesus enough?'”

    Thank you for continuing this discussion. It’s a good thing. (Pardon the Martha Stewart-ism.)

    David Guion


  3. voice in the pew
    February 24, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    I think that we have swung the pendulum too far in trying to attrack the younger worshiper and not send them away with old hymns etc. We have, by doing this, made music the focal point of the worship and allienated a good deal of the older worshipers who saw the hymns as a majestic preparation for the preaching of the Word. It’s time we swing the pendulum back toward center and put the focus back on the preaching. The drums and clanging cymbals and amplified singers are too much like watching American Idol or the local night club on a Saturday night. In traveling around I find that churches everywhere are jumping on the music bandwagon to try and attract the up and coming generation. Why do we think that the old hymns are not relevant for today. It’s all about change for change sake, not necessarily to bring the worshiper closer to the throne of God.

  4. Gary
    February 26, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    I recently left Grand Ledge Baptist as I moved away to another state, and I am now attending a church with more progressive worship than Grand Ledge, and guess what? There are plenty of old folks there. I am not even the biggest fan of the mode of singing that is there, but that is NOT the reason for the assembly.

    The assembly is for worshipping Christ and fellowship. My preferences aren’t important.

    I think the old fellars who are complaining about “drums and amplified singers” and young fellars who are complaining about hymns have bad attitudes. Stop thinking about your preferences and likes and dislikes. Sing whatever is being sung to God with a joyful heart!

  5. brianmcl
    February 27, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    There are a million preferences in music style. On the style issue we must keep in mind Philippians 2:1-11 and think of others before ourselves. This would solve it all.

    But on the bigger issue, music is absolutely important. It is one of the most potent forms of communication in the world today (and it exists in every culture. Does a music-less culture exist?). Music moves our emotions, stimulates our mind, and can be a better theological teacher (for good or bad) than a 30 minute sermon.

    So we can debate style, but music is here to stay…and I’m glad!

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