As a result of both the autonomy of their local churches and the ethnic diversity among member congregations, diversity is the dominant adjective used to describe the use of music and the arts in American Baptist churches. The size, theological orientation, and geographical location of individual congregations are all factors that influence the music and arts used in individual congregations. National conferences are important in providing vision and leadership for music and the arts.
Two realities that shape any attempt at generalization about American Baptist churches make it difficult to characterize worship in the American Baptist Churches/USA. First is the fundamental principle of the autonomy of local congregations in matters of governance and practice.