For over a half century, God has used Jerry Maxwell to serve the people at CBC in the worship of God through music. The adult choir has been a vital part of communicating the gospel each Sunday. Jerry's faithfulness is seen each week in our Order of Worship where our corporate worship is arranged and organized in such a way that seeks to bring unity, instruction, admonition, confession, praise, and exaltation to our worship. CBC enjoys worship that combines passion and enthusiasm with appropriate reverence for our great God. We design our services so that everyone can participate wholeheartedly in the worship of God—our audience!
Singing in the Assembly
Here are some thoughts about how we choose music in our worship of God.
Both lyrics and music should reflect the character and excellence of God, both of which are very wide and multi-faceted in kind. We see His character and excellence manifested in nature. There is not just one kind of bug, flower, cloud, or planet, but multitudes of them. Expressions of God in music and in words should have variety, but should always undergo the scrutiny of Scripture. Both the character and excellence of God should be reflected in an undistracting way.
The words are the edifying factor of a song, though the music can reinforce or distract from edification. Since a church sings music in order to worship God, our songs should function like a musical confession of faith. Those confessions of faith should contain substantial and accurate truth about God. The use of wisdom born out of the Word of Christ dwelling richly within is key to selecting songs (Col. 3:16).
Singing praise to God is a sacrifice and, as such, needs to fit the criteria for acceptable sacrifice (Ps. 27:6, 54:6; Jer. 17:26, 33:11; Heb. 13:15).
Assemblies are for God and His body (Col. 3:16). They should not be targeted toward (though they should be sensitive to) unbelievers who may be present (1 Cor. 14:23-26).
All of worship (including singing in the assembly) involves truth and response (Ps. 95:2-3, 106:1). Consequently, all singing will contain some element of both. Two questions come out of this: How is that truth presented, and what response does it solicit?
Singing as part of worship in the assembly should be a response to God and engage the entire person (mind, will, emotions, and body [Ps. 47:1, 63:4, 134:2]). God’s people must intentionally engage in praise and passionately pursue worship. Music assists the heart to emotionally engage with the truths being sung, so that one’s life properly conforms to those truths and helps the congregation remember, even memorize, those truths. We sing to God to stir up our hearts to exalt and honor Him.
Worshipful, corporate singing comes from being controlled by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18-21).
Singing in assembly should focus on the corporate (“we”) aspect of songs (1 Pet. 2:9; Rom. 15:6). It should then communicate effectively and appropriately to the church body. Everyone should sing! Old, young, new believers, mature believers, emotional, less emotional, gregarious, melancholy--all should be able to connect with the singing and worship God.
We do not necessarily reject a tune because of the character of its composer. We will not necessarily disqualify a song just because someone else, even the composer, performs it in a style that leadership deems inappropriate for our congregation.
Congregational worship (including singing) should serve as only part of one’s weeklong (24/7) worship of God (Ps. 103:1; 1 Cor. 14:15).
One church is merely a single, contemporary manifestation of the timeless people of God. Consequently, every church should strive to avoid both the danger of dead traditionalism that is inaccessible to the average worshipper and the danger of contemporary commercialism that glorifies the performer and trivializes the character of God. Instead, great care should be taken in our worship to offer the best materials from many current and historical sources—songs and texts that accurately reflect the excellent character, work, and purposes of God.
Since the people of God are many and are different, unity in worship should center on the truth of the person and work of Christ. Musical preferences in style provide the church an excellent opportunity to “count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3).
All aspects of the assembly fall under the elder’s oversight of teaching (1 Tim. 5:17; Col. 3:16).