What is the role of music in worship?
What is largely absent from the New Testament texts on worship is any mention of instrumentation or musical style. This is deeply troubling to many people who want to make musical style a point of orthodoxy. For them, God’s silence means that God only likes their kind of music.
I think the reason the Bible doesn’t call for one style of music or sanction only a certain instrumentation is that God enjoys the variety and is actually magnified by the diversity of worship offered to him around the world on any given Sunday.
Think of all the worship styles offered as worship to him today. From the rhythmic song and dance of African worship to the a capella worship in the Non-instrumental churches to the cathedral organ to the praise and worship of a contemporary church. God is not in heaven tuning his radio so he only hears one style of worship. He hears them all and is honored by them all when they are offered from hearts that are full of gratitude.
Which leads to the question of what is the role of music in worship? The answer is simple: Enhancement. Music is powerful. Music has an ability to touch the heart like nothing else and when combined with lyrical truth about God engages the affections for worship in a very meaningful way.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2011 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address (http://www.bethelweb.org/) on the copied resource.