| Music is indeed the
backbone of the typical Baptist worship service. In fact, it plays
a part in many of their organized activities and events. That being
said, here is a general description of the various types of musical presentations
that can be found in various Baptist churches...
The Church Choir:
A well practiced choir presentation
on a Sunday morning can reach the souls of worshippers and prepare them
for the preaching of God's Word. Those who take part in the music
program of a church share the experience of using whatever talent they
might have to be a blessing to God and His people.
You will not find it uncommon
for a Baptist church to use membership in the choir as a guideline for
all other musical presentations. Otherwise, whatever musical talent
the church might possess is asked to be active in the choir, thus, allowing
its members to either present solos or group presentations during other
parts of the church services/programs.
Although, this may seem restrictive
at first glance, those who practice this policy are able to better determine
the type of music used in the church. All of us have certain preferences
when it comes to music. A church is no different. Due to the
varied styles of contemporary gospel music, most Baptist churches have
set limitations. Since the normal tendency of music is to stretch
those limitations, the leadership of a congregation may determine to maintain
control of through choir membership. Again, the policy may be a narrow
one but it works.
Whether it is a Sunday morning
presentation or an Easter Concert; whether the singers wear nice suits
and dresses or choir robes; whether their presentation rates a nod of approval
or a standing ovation, the church choir is the central hub of the music
ministry in Baptist churches.
There are those who are blessed
with exceptional voices. Some have a quality that captures the hearts
of their listeners, especially when well practiced and sung with expression
from the heart. Others may not be so excellent but there is still
something about their presentation that truly connects with worshippers
in such a way that they are always much appreciated.
Those who perform solos in
God's House are afforded a wonderful opportunity to assist their pastor's
in the presentation of God's Word. Therefore, they should remember
that their part in the service is not central but supportive. They
lock arms with their pastors with the deep desire to prepare worshippers
to receive the message of the hour. Those who humbly do so can expect
to be used of the Lord in wonderful ways.
Hearing a saprano and an
alto deliver an inspiring duet or four men harmonizing in a joyous quartet
number has a way of bringing a worship service to life. Furthermore,
there are those churches who are now using small groups of practiced vocal
musicians to lead the congregational music of the church. This is
a contemporary change from the previous tradition of using a song leader
for the singing of hymns.
Being able to take a "part"
in a group, create a "blend", and produce a "sound" has a way of exciting
a musician like nothing else. Delivering a presentation with perfect
harmony is a fulfilling experience. Being able to focus in individuals
in the congregation whose facial expressions indicate that they are tuned
in to every word of the song brings a kind of spiritual fulfillment that
those in a musical group both understand and very much appreciate.
Whether it's a smaller church
with a pianist and an organist or a larger church with a full orchestra,
instrumentalists are most welcome amongst the Baptists. Piano and
organ accompaniament when singing the great hymns of the faith or a recent
composition adds so much to worship. When other instruments join
in, the sound becomes richer, fuller, and all the more appreciated.
Brass horns, flutes, percussion, and stringed insturments played by talented
musicians can do much to lift up any service.
The Sound Technicians:
Although not necessarily
vocally or instrumentally talented, Baptist churches provide opportunities
for service to those who have good ears and technical expertise'.
It is no longer uncommon to walk into a church auditorium filled with various
types and sizes of speakers, tweeters, woofers, monitors, mixers, etc.
Those who are able to blend all of these technological marvels into a system
that produces a "sound" that causes the soul to sour when in corporate
worship with God's people are just as much a part of the music ministry
as is anyone else.
All of the Above:
A description of the typical
Baptist church music ministry cannot be complete without mentioning two
very important factors that provide the motivation for those who take part
First of all, they do it
Secondly, those who are involved
in church music fully understand the joy and excitement of being part of
a ministry where musicians get together and do what they truly enjoy most.
Being able to share their talents together for God and His people makes
that joy complete.
If you don't believe me,
well, you just might be singing to the choir.