Our guest blogger is Richard Simpkin who heads up the music at St Helen's
What do you think of the worship at St Helen’s?
Here are some comments that St Helen’s musicians receive about the music they provide:
We don’t sing enough
Can we have more hymns on the organ?
The drums are too loud
The songs are too slow
The songs are too quick
Why don’t we have a choir?
It’s a bit classical
And here’s a positive one! Professional without being a performance
The thing about these views is that they express feelings not about worship, but about the style of music. Music is part of worship, but worship is much broader than music.
There are more than five words that mean worship in the Bible, and none of those words are ever linked solely to music or singing. In fact, worship is even only once attributed to corporate church activity (Acts 13:2). Instead, biblical worship involves the sacrifice of the life of the whole believer to the God who himself gave everything in mercy to his children (Romans 12:1-2). Paul goes on in the rest of Romans to define worship as building one another up, not judging each other, bearing up under affliction, submitting to authorities, showing hospitality, paying taxes. Worship is a beautifully rich and diverse commitment of a life lived wholly for Jesus. Therefore, worship may involve music but can’t be defined by it. This means that those who serve us coffee and tea on a Sunday are worshipping as much as those who lead our singing.
So, what’s the worship like at St Helen’s?
If we love the Word of God, are building each other up to maturity in Christ as we speak and sing the truth of the gospel to each other, if we are faithful in reaching the lost through the gospel, if we are committed to prayer, if we are not judging each other (even if the music doesn’t suit our tastes), if St Helen’s has clean toilets, if the Sunday School rota is full, if we have paid our copyright licence, if the auditors give the accounts a clean bill of health…
…then the worship at St Helen’s is awesome – even if you hate the music!
(Image: Feliciano Guimarães)