We sing a blend of lyrically rich songs both recent and historic. Those of us who are comfortable with music from one particular era have discovered that we come to enjoy other songs we had not previously encountered. We sing congregationally, which emphasizes the gathered body enthusiastically singing praise to God with one voice.
Here are some distinctives of our musical selections. Specifically, our music is:
Centered on God
Congregational singing is a corporate expression of delight in God’s character and work. Therefore, all corporate singing must seek to bring glory to God as we sing about God (Ex 15:1, 21; Ps 115:1; Ps 100).
Be Filled with the Word
Singing is a way for the church to sing the truths of the Word corporately as a spiritually united body. Therefore, worship songs should never contradict the Word, and, more importantly, must accurately communicate truth and be saturated with the Word (Ps 95-96; Col 3:16).
Point to Redemption
The response of the redeemed is to sing of that redemption and of their Redeemer, which we see in the songs of Moses, Deborah, David, Israel, and the believers in heaven. Therefore, singing in the church must focus on communicating and celebrating the gospel (Ps 95-96; Col 3:16).
Unite Text with a Complementing Tune
Musical worship should not aim for professionalism or be haphazard, but the musical team should have an appropriate level of proficiency and be sufficiently prepared to lead the church in worship. A song’s tune should not distract from worship but support and enhance the message of the song. Therefore, the musicians should aim, with the text, the tune, and the presentation, to create an environment that draws the congregation’s attention to the Lord and His work (1 Chron 15:22; 1 Cor 14:15).
Incorporate Appropriate Diversity
Worship must not aim for traditionalism or contemporary innovation, but it should aim to glorify God and to edify believers in consideration of the cultural diversity of the church. Therefore, musical worship should incorporate songs that magnify the glory of God and reflect the cultural diversity of the local church and of the surrounding community (Eph 5:19; 1 Cor 10:31).
Stir the Inner Man
Congregational singing should help each disciple experience a range of feelings from contemplation to thanksgiving to sorrow to comfort to awe—as we see in the Psalms. Singing should not aim for emotionalism but the truth in song should cause an appropriate, emotional response. Therefore, singing and instrumentation should stir the heart of each believer to enjoy the Lord in an emotionally, Christ-focused way (John 4, Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).