Limits and liabilities of church music

Last week our church called an associate pastor for music to serve on the pastoral staff. If social security is the third rail of American politics, music must be that third rail for the conservative American church.

It’s been interesting to hear the different perspectives on music and music ministry in the local church as our leaders and members have traversed a varied landscape in a relatively short amount of time: from being without a full-time music pastor, to questioning whether we needed a full-time music pastor, to utilizing an interim music director, to forming a search team who called a music pastor, to the church membership voting to affirm the new music pastor.

I wasn’t privy to every conversation but two related opinions that I heard generated some informal reflection:

1) A church’s music will affect church outreach.

2) A church’s music ministry should welcome all participants as we minister to people where they are.

Barring any further clarification–terms like “outreach” & “all” are extremely ambiguous–I’m not so sure these sentiments are entirely true or desirable.

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Author: Jonathan P. Merritt

Happily married father of six. Associate pastor for education at Edgewood Baptist Church (Columbus, GA). Good-natured contrarian and theological Luddite. A student of one book.

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