3 comments Written on October 28th, 2011     
Filed under: Better Together, Music
Today’s post is written by Chris Logan, Pastor of Worship Arts at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, KS.

Music is powerful.

Music has the ability to convey and evoke emotion, even without words. Music is the one thing that every single culture on earth has in common, and while the form of music differs, not a single culture on earth is without it.

Because we are what we sing.

Two posts on our forum and some introspection this week got me thinking about the role of music in our gatherings and why we do what we do. Why do we use music as a form of worship? Why bother singing when much of our culture that seems to spend so much time with words and bullet points and lists?

Because we are what we sing.

Music helps us learn our theology. Whole movements have begun with this concept; the Wesleyan and Methodist movements began with a pair of brothers who adapted bar songs to teach theology – now we call them “hymns,” songs that used the poetry of music to teach that which is mysterious. Music helps us remember our theology; we remember what we sing, often, better than we remember what we study. Music helps us to express our theology; there is something special about poetry and lyrics that can make sense of paradoxes and contradictions, that helps us lament in times of sorry, express our joy in times of plenty. Music inspires us to use our theology; a good song will move us beyond what we sing, beyond the walls of our building and into our community to serve.

We are what we sing.

We can learn about ourselves and our congregations by what we choose to sing; our musical choices and a congregation’s response to them tell us more about what we are struggling with (or trying not to struggle with) than a survey can. So my question for you all is this:

What does your music say about who your church is? Are there things you feel you ought to sing about more? Less?

As you answer, consider one of the posts that got me thinking:

“When our songs are reduced to the pleasant, the comfortable, the domesticated, or the pompously self-serving, the emotional reach of the liturgy is diminished and the aesthetic range dulled.” [Don Saliers]

I look forward to your responses …

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3 comments “Sing”

Amen to that Chris. I have discovered that music and then second, the visual art form are the fastest, most direct route or “piercing” of the soul. Perhaps there are other ways equal or deeper to reaching our innermost spirit, such as prayer and the spoken Word, but none will get there quite as fast. This makes music such an incredible prayer, such a meditation, such a joyful noise, such a fantastic “tool” to reach the unsaved, those desperately looking for Jesus…sometimes….sadly without even knowing they are looking. In answer to your question I think our music so reveales both who our church is – a church who Honors and Worships a Mighty God and what is missing the calling of our lost flock

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