Theological Depth in the Songs We Sing

From Beginning to End

Every generation is shaped by the songs it sings. Whether or not we realize it, worship leaders have a profound influence on the body of Christ. Our songs inform the congregation about what we believe to be true. Because of this, we need songs that teach theology well. D.A. Carson joins Keith Getty and Matt Boswell to discuss the centrality of worship in the lives of all Christ followers.

D.A. (Don) Carson (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Co-Founder and President of The Gospel Coalition. Keith Getty is a British, Northern Irish composer, best known for pioneering "modern hymns." The most widely used are "In Christ Alone," "The Power of the Cross," and "Speak, O Lord." Matt Boswell is the Pastor of Ministries and Worship at Providence Church in Frisco, TX and founder of Doxology & Theology.

How does theology shape the ways you lead corporate worship? How does it inform the way you prepare? What do you try to communicate to your congregation through worship?
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How do you use worship to reflect the Word of God in song? Has this discussion helped you see news way to incorporate it into the way you lead? If so, how?
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Do you use older hymns in your worship? What is the value of musically connecting a modern audience with saints of the past? How might it benefit your congregation?
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Matt noted that many contemporary worship songs focus primarily on the love of God. While this is a true aspect of His character, it neglects to consider His many other attributes as well (holiness, omnipresence, sovereignty, etc.). Would you say that your worship preparation offers your congregation a balanced view of God as He has revealed Himself through His Word? If not, what characteristics do you focus on more than others? What could you do to widen the perspective musically?
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As Keith said, we don't go to a restaurant simply because the food is edible. We go because it is delicious. In the same way, if a song is not beautifully memorable, you will waste your time trying to force it on a congregation. The songs we sing require depth musically, melodically, and lyrically. Such depth reflects the wonder of the God we worship. Devote yourself arranging music that moves those in your care into a deeper worship of the Savior. May your songs point to Him, the only One worthy of our deepest forms of praise.

For more information about The Gospel Coalition, click here