The Shape of Worship 4: Music and Singing

For Meditation

This week our exploration of how Christian worship shapes us to be the distinctive and sent people of God in the world turns to the importance of music and singing––elements that occur throughout the service, not just at one point in our gathering.   Music is a distinctive and complex expression of being human.  Music moves bodies and minds and shapes relationships and communities in every culture on earth.  We tend to be passionate about our response to it. 

But because music and singing are so familiar and integral to being human, and because the Spirit works so powerfully and personally through them, we need to pay special attention to what Scripture says are the characteristics and purposes of musical worship for and in the church. We need to look at how sharing music together in worship reflects and forges our Christian identity in particular, directing our attention upward to God, but just as importantly, connecting us with those around us.  Here are three points we'll look at together:

1. Music Glorifies God.  When we join our voices and instruments in praise, we are joining in the song of creation. Singing engages and praises God not just with our minds but our emotions and bodies, too. It reminds us that God is creator of all, and that we, like Christ, are embodied and sent to this creation.

2. Music Expresses Our Diversity in Unity. God delights in diversity in his creation and in his one church.  Our diverse forms of music and singing are an expression of how God is creating a new people out of all nations--here and now, not just in the future.

3. Singing Edifies One Another.  Because of the power of music, reminding each other of the truths of the gospel through song pushes them deep into our hearts. Music gives us a well to draw from when we are spiritually dry, and keeps us singing songs of hope in a broken world.

As we prepare to share worship music of many styles this Sunday, pray that–through song–our hearts, minds, and souls will be drawn towards God, but also towards each other and the world.

For more on this Summer Series, click HERE.

Psalm 150

1 Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.

2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,

4 praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe,

5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Ephesians 5:18-21

18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Our Worship Guide for Sunday's Services can be viewed by clicking the image below: