Music in the church has become one of the most significant areas of controversy in recent decades. Many people base their selection of a church home primarily on the style of music found in the church -- sometimes more than how the Scriptures are handled during the sermon and in study groups.
We encourage our entire congregation to SING! New songs are introduced and sung each week until the members of the congregation are familiar with them and can sing them well. We realize that there are people who want to know how to sing alto, tenor, and bass notes in a song. They like harmony, one of the gifts for enjoyment music provides. We use a new song book, "Hymns of Grace". Great songs and hymns from the past and present were compiled by the music ministry of Grace Community Church (Pastor John McArthur). It contains theologically deep and melodiously beautiful music selections, presented in a way which everyone in the service can sing without reservation. One thing visitors have commented on is the joyous and powerful singing they hear. Since the Scripture tells us to "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord", we attempt to do what we can to encourage every person during the singing portion of the worship service to participate with enthusiasm and joy.
Members of CBC listen to and sing from a variety of Christian music styles at home, while driving, and so on. However, when gathering for corporate worship, the music selection at CBC is based on the following:
Scriptural Integrity -- Songs are selected when the words match the truths of Scripture. Subjectivity, sentimentality, and surmising are avoided. Songs which exhort and edify the congregation because of accurate doctrine are preferred. Songs like "And Can it Be?" to "Before the Throne of God Above" -- great songs which are full of accurate theology -- have been written in almost every decade.
Musical Style -- Two grids through which a song style must pass when selected for corporate worship at CBC are "Does the music style support or overwhelm the message of the song?" and "Is the music style appropriate for the song?". In the first case, if the style of the music is too forceful, the message can become secondary, or may even be obscured. Regarding the appropriateness of style, if the style of music and the message of the music are not a good mix, then the song may be sung to another tune (in accordance with copyright law), or it may be discarded as an option. In either case, care is taken when songs are selected so that the message of the song is supported by the music style.
THE FOCUS OF MUSIC AT CBC IS CONGREGATIONAL SINGING. God wants ALL His people to praise Him in song! While, on infrequent occasions, a choir or other musicians may present music for special events, it is primarily the congregation who joins together to sing "as unto the Lord". Singing is considered an active, not passive, form of participating in the corporate worship of God. Corporate singing allows everyone to be involved in this expression of praise.
Singing is only one expression of worship. Worship includes any of our devotional time or service to God. He can be worshipped when we take food to the needy. He can be worshipped when we offer a brief, silent, "Thank You" after we receive good news. He can be worshipped when we choose to obey one of His commandments, or when we ask forgiveness for a sin committed against Him.
Worship, when believers gather, should be based primarily around the Word of God. In our services, the Word is prayed, preached, read, and sung. The singing portion of the service is not the "worship time". While singing is an expression of worship, "worship" is not limited to singing. The congregational song leader is not the "worship" leader. Anyone who is offering a public prayer, reading Scripture aloud, or preaching the Word is leading in worship. Congregations do not "worship"and then sit down after "worship" is over to listen to the sermon. God holds His word in high esteem. The proclamation of His Word is the high point of the worship service.
Those within the congregation who play musical instruments are invited to participate in music accompaniment for singing, to play offertories, or prelude music for special programs.
It is our desire that those coming to visit our fellowship will see that the members of CBC love to sing truth, with joy and energy, as we praise our Lord and Savior in song.