10 Commandments …for music in worship Source: Jim Shaddix, Riverside Baptist Church, Denver, June 2006
1. Thou shalt worship God, not worship worship. • Exclusive focus on style detracts from God, the object of our worship
2. Thou shalt worship as a lifestyle and not as a music style. • If what happens in the worship experience is disconnected with life lived outside of that, then there is a problem • This is more important that someone singing off-key!
3. Thou shalt make the Divine Seeker comfortable first and foremost. • Kierkegaard’s audience • Worship is not musical performers in front of evaluating spectators, but all of us as performers before God the spectator
4. Thou shalt use music as a sacrifice of praise, not as a synonym for worship itself. • Music is a necessary but not sufficient component of worship • Oblation, proclamation, confession/absolution, etc.
5. Thou shalt be theologically equipped. • Worship leaders need to be pastoral theologians, not just good musicians • Filter music for its actual theological stance
6. Thou shalt reflect a holistic theology in worship content. • Celebration is not the only kind of worship • Lament … • Confession … • Adoration … • Where are these reflected in our worship?
7. Thou shalt worship in a rhythm of revelation and response. • Worship is never separated from revelation • Likewise, we can never separate music from proclamation experiences
8. Thou shalt employ lyrics that reflect a communal identity. • Songs that are all “me” instead of “we” do not reflect the communal outlook of the Bible
9. Thou shalt use technology with theological and pastoral sensitivity. • While the Bible speaks of cymbals and loud music, hearing others sing encourages worship • Amplification of instruments to the point of excluding voices is a problem
10. Thou shalt foster worship that reflects the diversity and unity of heaven. • With Parthians, Medes and Elamites in the Kingdom come, what will worship look like there – and how should that impact worship here? • Pentecost
10 Commandments for Music in Worship Dr. John P. Chandler www.rasnet.org Copy right John P. Chandler 2007