Why church music matters
The old saying among pastors is that the music department in the church is often referred to as the war department. Because, well, that’s where some of the epic church fights take place. Here’s why it matters.
I’m not going to pick sides on the “hymns vs. choruses” debate. I’m not going to debate acoustic versus electronic. I’m not even going to bring up the various styles like gospel, reggae, R&B, pop, and jazz. All that is irrelevant for why music matters.
Music matters because it can transform us. It can change our thinking, our beliefs, our values, and ultimate our actions. It can change a person, a group, a church, and a community. Here’s an example.
Last weekend we sang a song called, Hosanna. It was partly in Spanish. (I have to believe God chuckled at the way some of us pronounce the words in a language we don’t understand!) But there was a line that we also sang in English. It says:
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
It doesn’t matter what your preferred style of music is. What matters is whether you can sing those words, and actually begin to make them your honest prayer.
The phrase that I can’t get out of my head is, “Break my heart for what breaks yours.” Do I know what breaks God’s heart? Do you? It’s actually a sign of maturity to be able to understand another’s heart. It requires that we think beyond our own concerns, and consider the concerns of another. (That’s why adults often get upset with their teenage children, because they want them to think about someone other than themselves.)
If you had to make a list of the top five things that break God’s heart, what would be on your list? And then once you had that list compiled, would any of those things break your heart? And if so, what would you do about it? That’s what it means to give everything I am for His kingdom’s cause. (Hint: Your kingdom come, your will be done…)
And that’s why music matters. It opens up a crack in the busy shell of our life and drives home the character and heart of God long after the music dies down.
P.S. This is a great reason to be seated in the auditorium when the music starts each week. You never know how God is going to use the gift of music to change your life and your world.