Great quotatation from Bob Kauflin’s Worship Matters that resonated with me. I especially liked his point on the importance of words over music – how good music can make shallow words seem profound – as well as his application of Philippians 2:4. Found this on the Take Your Vitamin C blog.
Too often we can be tempted to choose songs because of the music rather than the theological content. We need to realize that when words are combined with music we can be deceived. Music can make shallow lyrics sound deep. A great rhythm section can make drivel sound profound and make you want to sing it again.
That’s why I typically read the lyrics before listening to a CD or playing a song from a songbook. If the words on the page are theologically shallow or vague, music won’t add anything. It will only give the illusion that the words are actually substantive.
It’s not that music is irrelevant. If great words are being sung to terrible music, no one will remember them or want to sing them. But according to the Lord’s command, what should be dwelling in us richly is the Word of Christ, not musical experiences…
…Churches can potentially undermine this unity by offering different Sunday meetings based on musical preferences and styles. While it may mean numerical growth for the church in the short run, it also can separate families and tends to cultivate a consumer mind-set in the long run.
There are other options. Diverse music teams can take turns leading on a Sunday morning. Different styles of music can be brought together in one meeting. More importantly, the church can be taught that setting aside their musical preferences for the sake of others is obeying Philippians 2:4: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Taking this path will probably require patient instruction, but over time the congregation will begin to see that the determining factor in our unity is not musical styles – it’s the gospel.