Grace Bible Church Music exists to help the church exalt, proclaim and rejoice in Jesus Christ as Lord. Just like Colossians 3:16 says, we aim to “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.” Below are 5 core values of music at Grace Bible Church.
Tim Keller, in his book Center Church, writes that the gospel “is not something we do, but something that has been done for us and something that we must respond to.” Just as the Israelites were quick to forget what God had done for them (Psalm 106:21), we too are a forgetful people. To help combat this forgetfulness, we sing songs with the explicit gospel: that we were dead in our sins and fully deserving of God’s wrath, but God, who is rich in mercy, has made us alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:1-10). Each week we remember Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection through communion and we sing in response with songs that celebrate and clearly articulate the good news of Jesus Christ.
Colossians 3:16 encourages us to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” We aim to let the word of Christ dwell in us as we sing by singing songs that are rooted in and saturated with scripture. We value rich theology in the content of our songs, and we take great responsibility in selecting new songs through a biblical lens. Scripture also influences and guides us in what types of songs we sing. We try to sing a wide variety of songs (adoration, confession, lament, assurance, thanksgiving, etc…) at Grace Bible Church in order to accurately reflect the breadth and depth of the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs found in the Bible. We believe that having this variety is both biblical and healthy for the Christian Church.
When we gather each Sunday, we have the opportunity to celebrate and be shaped by the story of God (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation). We experience and remember this story through structuring our service and songs to reflect a gospel progression that God is holy, we are sinners, Jesus saves us, and Jesus sends us (taken from Rhythms of Grace by Mike Cosper). Our music and singing aims to help remind us week-in and week-out of God’s story and our place in His story.
It doesn’t take long, reading through the Bible, to realize that God’s people are a singing people (Ex. 15:1-18), His Church is a singing Church (Eph. 5:19), and God himself is a singing God that “exults over us with loud singing” (Zeph. 3:17). The Bible speaks hundreds of times about singing, with many direct commands to sing. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:19 to “speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” By singing together as the body of Christ we remind each other and ourselves of the gospel, and we set our preferences aside to come together as one family (young & old) and unite our voices around the name of Jesus Christ. Our desire is to cultivate and foster a rich culture of congregational singing at Grace Bible Church.
We aim and strive for musical excellence that supports and invites congregational singing and that reflects God’s creativity. Psalm 33:3 tells us to “play skillfully” and 1 Chronicles gives evidence of temple musicians being skillful in their music (1 Chron. 15:22, 25:7). While a musical experience or performance is never the goal of our gatherings, we do believe music can be used in a powerful way to help support and bolster the words being sung. Our desire is that our music and musicians would humbly help lead people into praise and worship of our great God.
If you have any questions about music at Grace Bible Church or are interested in serving through music, please email our Director of Music, Calvin Hemphill, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more of Calvin’s thoughts on worship at www.gospelcenteredworship.com.