Via a friend:

“The style of music a church uses is one of the first things we will notice about any church, and we tend to respond to music at a very emotional level. Music makes us feel a certain way. Yet what does it say about my love for Christ and for Christ’s people if I decide to leave a church because of the style of its music? Or if, when pastoring a church, I marginalize a majority of my congregation because I think the style of music needs to be updated? At the very least, we could say that I’ve forgotten that the church, fundamentally, is a people and not a place.” – Mark Dever, What is a Healthy Church?

Thought #1: If we’re going to say “Music isn’t the most important thing,” then let’s not make music the most important thing.

Thought #2:  Though the church marketing movement has largely blown over, it’s easy to unwittingly adopt its mindset. That is, the church isn’t a location or a brand that offers services to those who attend. If the church splits, it’s not merely that a large group of customers were dissatisfied and decided to do business with a competitor, like switching from Coke to Pepsi. It’s more serious than that. We have a responsibility as a church to express our unity in Christ, and we need to take care not to take that lightly.

Of course, we occasionally need to update, and as a church we’ll face disagreements and moments of apparent impasse. The point is that the decisions we make reflect our true beliefs and priorities.

From the pastor’s perspective, it’s helpful to remember that pastoral ministry (or leading in worship) is a stewardship over someone else’s sheep, not a Petri dish for pastoral or liturgical or musical experimentation. And I say that having been a music pastor, occasionally struggling between doing what’s best for the congregation or using some of the “cool stuff I learned in school” that may have been legitimately cool but not very helpful. A closing quote from C.S. Lewis (Letters to Malcom):

“There is really some excuse for the man who said, ‘I wish they’d remember that the charge to Peter was Feed my sheep; not Try experiments on my rats; even, Teach my performing dogs new tricks.'”

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