“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God”
Music is a gift from God and is to be used for His glory. Music can be used to convey praise, thanksgiving, and confession. As a community of God’s people it is a great privilege to come together in corporate praise and worship of our God. It is also an opportunity to display our unity and love for one another in Christ Jesus as we join with one voice to proclaim His glorious works, mercy and love for His people. At HBC our desire is that the hymns and songs that are sung are faithful to the Scripture, doctrinally rich, exalt God rather than man and are ultimately Christ-centred.
1. THE PURPOSE
The music ministry at Hills Bible Church has two primary purposes: (1) the exaltation of God and (2) the encouragement of God’s people. In the Heavenly scene the saints of God sing, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11). God is worthy of our worship and the Bible is replete with the command to “praise the Lord”. In addition to exalting the Lord in song, the people of God are to encourage one another (Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16). Our music ministry will strive to achieve this by accompanying God’s people with music based on the following principles and practices.
2. THE PRINCIPLES
The principles that will guide our approach and music style are listed as follows:
The songs we sing will be Biblical in their message. The songs may be Psalms, other Bible passages put to music, or simply words that are faithful to the Scripture. In singing music that is Biblical, we are striving to sing songs that are theologically rich, Biblically based, and honouring to the Lord.
When we gather as a church to sing, we desire for this to be something all participate in and merely listen to. The purpose singing of songs in the church service is to exalt God, but it is to also to be encouraging one another (cf. Eph. 5:19). The focus of our music will be congregational and not presentational.
Music that has exalted God and encouraged believers is not limited to a single generation. Our music will not be restricted to only old hymns or to contemporary music. We want to sing, value, and benefit from the best of Christian music from the centuries.
Worship music will convey a variety of emotions and expressions depending on the song and occasion. The Bible makes mention of praising the Lord with instruments, so we think it right to make use of a variety of instruments incorporated into our worship to praise the Lord in line with the previous principles.
3. THE PRACTICE
It is our desire to honour the Lord in worshipping Him through music and song. So as to guard from the extremes of being legalistic or loose, the following section discusses our approach to songs and instruments in public worship.
The Eldership is committed to maintaining the balance of classic and modern hymns, psalms, songs, and choruses that are suitable for congregational singing so that we can all join together with one loud voice of praise. There are many songs that are suitable and beneficial for private worship, but won’t necessarily be suitable and beneficial for public worship. Usually this is due to the song not being congregational or as doctrinally rich.
When it comes to songs sung in public worship at HBC there will be a growing and expanding list of songs authorised by the Eldership. These songs will be placed into two categories. Category 1: Songs we should regularly sing and Category 2: Song that we can sing. Songs in category 1 are characterised as: teaching rich Biblical truth, doctrinal depth, and are congregational in style. Songs in category 2 have the same characteristics, but don’t tend to have the same level of scope and suitability.
The Bible sanctions the use of a variety of instruments in public worship (Psalm 33:2-3; 71:72; Eph. 5:19). Instruments can be used for the glory God and it is appropriate for some styles of music to use different instruments to convey the differing expressions of praising, preparation, and pondering. The use of the varying instruments in public worship is to offer a joyful sound that is to sing songs that are Biblical, congregational, multigenerational, and diverse to the glory of God.
Approved by the Elders July, 2017