Music is always a matter of conversation! Since we have to define ourselves, we hope that the following rationale will be helpful in explaining why we choose the music and styles (note the plural!) that we do.There are four major considerations that we feel are important for faithful worship through music:
Content is king. Congregational music is about saying something substantive to one another. The New Testament says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). We think that teaching with all wisdom through congregational singing requires some consideration of content!
The music ministry in church worship is about the congregation being able to participate. We are all invited, even commanded to sing to one another. Thus, the styles that we choose are styles that are accessible to all demographics of the congregation for singing. This goes for the lyrics as well.
We are not afraid to sing old hymns! The Scriptures teach that all the people of God throughout all ages comprise one Body and therefore we like to celebrate the continuity of our Christian tradition by including in our repertoire of songs hymns that have ministered to God’s people for centuries. Often, we adapt the music to accommodate our generation, but we enjoy the traditions that have been handed down to us through great music.
We will use contemporary music, but we use the word contemporaneity to speak, not about a genre, but about a mindset. Music is a language and different styles of music have different levels of meaning to different people. We strive to choose musical styles (“languages”) that can be “spoken” by a very diverse and changing church culture. We will not use styles that we are not skilled to do. We will speak the “language” of the congregation.
Finally, while we will always seek to improve our skills in the area of music, our primary goal will be to provide a quality of musicianship that enhances congregational worship and diminishes performancism.