Jump directly to the Content

Sparring Over Worship

5 points to make when your congregation dukes it out over musical styles.

I wrestled with whether to let Kevin sing during the morning worship service. I felt uncomfortable with one of his selections, a soft rock song done in a falsetto. But I overrode my reservations; the song was theologically correct and had a clear message.

Afterward, one church leader told Kevin his song was "an abomination that totally ruined the worship service" and that "this sort of thing has no place in the church of Jesus Christ" and that a man singing in falsetto was "unnatural."

It wasn't long before Kevin left the congregation. "It's obvious this group will never accept what I have to offer," he told me. "I want to use the gifts the Lord has given me for him."

The music-style-in-worship debate is nothing if not divisive. Those who prefer traditional hymns clash with those bringing drums and guitars into the sanctuary. People on each side of the debate believe they are defenders of the way God wants to be worshiped.

Can congregations make a lasting peace over this issue?

Those ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
They Might Be Giants. (Or Angels. Or Superhuman Devils.)
They Might Be Giants. (Or Angels. Or Superhuman Devils.)
Who, or what, are the Nephilim? We don’t know—and maybe we don’t need to.
Editor's Pick
Why Suffering Belongs in Our Sermons
Why Suffering Belongs in Our Sermons
Matthew D. Kim believes addressing pain is part of a preacher’s calling.