Two weeks ago I asked the question of whether it is a sin to break church unity over views on the millennium. In the midst of that discussion, my friend Greg asked another really good question.

Is it a sin to divide the Church over music and worship style?

So there you have it. Greg has posed the question. What do you think? It is an extremely relevant question for our time. Many of us have been members of churches that have argued and even divided over the style of music being played during Sunday morning services. Is musical style that important?

2 Replies to “The Monday Muse: Dividing Over Music

  1. I have two examples of this issue that may add context to our discussion. The Church in which I grew up made a drastic change to their approach to worship and services in general. They have gone about as contemporary as a Church can get. Per my Mom’s account the pastor told the congregation that its not about you, its about the lost. So with that the changes were made, and many long time members left the church. When I say many, I really mean almost everyone.

    The other example is the Church I currently attend. We have two services. One service caters to the traditional, the other service caters toward the contemporary church goer. However, the structure of the worship service is basically the same.

    Is one approach better than the other? The first sets the focus on the non-church goer while the second takes a softer approach to change. Is there a better way to be relevant to the seekers and not alienate those who have been a part of a Church for a long time?

  2. I think you are asking and wrestling with some good questions. I think it depends on what we mean by “better.” In the first example, I fear that the pastor may be oversimplifying his case. His argument is an easy way to justify a personal preference. It’s not about you so agree with what I’m saying. I’m not saying that he is doing this…but it can be used in that way. It could easily be turned around on him. On the flip side, some people have a tendency to resist any type of change because they are too wedded to their own preferences and traditions.

    One of my biggest concerns is whether a worship service is primarily about attracting the lost? If we are talking about the Word being preached, then it automatically will have an attractive and repellent attribute. The Word of God is the most relevant piece of a worship service because people haven’t changed fundamentally. When it comes to styles and approaches, I think they can (and should) vary depending on the context. But I think it reflects a mentality that evangelism is done by bringing people to church. Bringing people to church is certainly fine. But evangelism, as seen in Scripture, takes place out in the world. We go to the world and testify to the gospel of Christ through our words and deeds. If that’s taking place, I believe style is irrelevant.

    As far as two differing services go…I think it inevitably leads to two different churches. People do not know each other across services and naturally only interact with people they see when they are outside of the services.

What Do You Think?