Musical leadership is a great challenge, with musical and pastoral demands. It is also a great privilege, with opportunities to celebrate the gospel and work among God’s people. This article describes the practical life of the church musician in terms of these challenges and privileges.
Throughout history, the church has related to the culture in which it exists in very different ways, choosing in some cases to oppose cultural developments and in others to adopt them to a greater or lesser extent. Such variety is certainly evident with regard to the contemporary church’s response to cultural developments in music. Understanding these relationships and the special demands of contemporary culture is essential in developing a thoughtful approach to church music.
Music in worship serves many purposes and manifests itself in a variety of expressions. It is used both to praise God and to proclaim the Word; it both expresses prayer and relates the Gospel story. This article examines the various functions of music in worship and describes their implication for the church musician, who is the leader of the people’s song.