The music ministry at Metro Baptist Church is an important part of the worship service. Congregational singing allows all those who are redeemed to testify of God’s grace and mercy together. We don’t gather together to worship, we are worshipers who gather together.
Metro Baptist Church Music Philosophy
The Bible exhorts us to sing to the Lord. Music is an integral part of our worship services, and the spoken praise of God is continual before His throne. As with anything touching the practice and worship of God and our view of Him, all must be scrutinized carefully. We should not approach the Lord or His business with a casual or pragmatic attitude.
Some may argue that any style of music is appropriate since there are no Biblical admonitions against certain modes of music. The Bible does however give us principles that guide our behavior. One will not find a list of acceptable clothing, or specific lists of curse words to avoid, but we use Biblical principles to guide us in decision making in those areas, and certainly music is no different. This music ministry philosophy is the application of the following principles by which we might live righteously and Godly in this present world, and by which we may approach God acceptably.
Whether old music or new music, all must be examined in light of these values.
Col. 3:16 “Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…”
Singing is not only for praise to God, but should also teach and admonish (train with the Word for correction) with truth. This singing should be spiritual in nature.
- Music is not simply to create an experience or emotion, but should emphasize truth that is clearly proclaimed. In I Corinthians 14, Paul stressed the priority of clear proclamation of the message over the ecstatic experience of tongues. Paul said he would sing with the spirit and with understanding.
- Church music should be doctrinally sound. John 4:24 says that worship is in both spirit and truth. There is no true worship without truth.
- According to Col. 3:16, the music of the church is spiritual in nature, not fleshly.
- Unbelievers and believers can be encouraged by the content of singing. The focus is on God and the truth that is being proclaimed in singing and playing.
- Style of music has an effect on this communication. The style of music as well as the words should properly reflect the character of God. Holiness, godliness and reverence for the Almighty should be manifest in the manner of music as well as the wording. Any style or lyric that is demeaning to God is considered unworthy for worship.
Since music is teaching and admonishing, care should be given to ensure that the message, and not the messenger, is primary. Music has become an idol in congregations where the experience becomes more important than the truth. Many today experience the rush but have little knowledge of what was sung. The music becomes the spiritual experience, rather than the sufficiency of Christ and His Word. Spiritual music and lyric that exalts truth edifies and encourages believers.
Heb. 12:28-29 “Let us serve (worship) God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear, for our God is a consuming fire.”
Our music is largely determined by our view of God. The worship of the church is done in an acceptable manner when it is done with reverence and Godly fear. The style and lyrics of our music should properly reflect the character of God Himself.
- Even in joy there is reverence and fear. Ps. 2:11 This awe of God permeates everything we do, and is reflected in how we approach the Lord.
- Any music performed in such a way as to draw attention to the performer contradicts this principle. I Cor. 4:7 exhorts us not to exalt ourselves as if anything we have comes from a source other than the Lord.
- To worship God acceptably or “well pleasing” means that all that is done is done with a spirit of respect to the Lord. Music should be well-prepared, excellent, and led by Spirit-filled believers. Attention to these things displays an attitude of striving to please the Lord.
- Every effort should be made so that the focus is always upon the Lord, and not upon men. The emphasis of Revelation 4 and the worship of God is the throne of God and His glory.
- The church is made up of worshipers who come together. One who does not worship during the week does not worship on Sunday. Ps. 111:1 teaches us that praise cannot be devoid of the uprightness of the heart. There is a direct correlation between holy living and true praise.
To use God’s glory as a means of displaying one’s talent is to take God’s name in vain. Music which is flippant in its style or lyric also displays a lack of respect for the awe of God. We reject the idea that entertainment is a viable method in worship, for entertainment draws attention to the skill of the performer and the reaction of the audience as its evaluation of success. Worship is neither. The style of music is not arbitrary, but should be carefully scrutinized to make sure that there is a clear, unobstructed and supported message being conveyed.
Metro Baptist Church and its music philosophy is not limited necessarily to one particular style. However, all music considered must be done with excellence, reverence and characterized as being well-pleasing to God. Our congregational singing consists primarily of hymns, which we feel best accomplishes these purposes. Choir music and special music may include a variety of styles, but are also chosen under these criteria. While we attempt to present music which is well done and God-honoring, we recognize that any style of music can be performed in a way that draws the attention only to the musician. Every effort is made to avoid this attitude in appearance and heart.
Ps. 89:6-7 says, “For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him.” What an honor it is to be able to praise the incomparable God. This privilege was provided by the blood of Christ which redeems us and gives us access to the Father. To God be the glory, great things He has done.