City Light Church Music Vision.
We are committed to a music style that is soulfully modern and both free and expressive, yet structured.
A. Genre- Modern
- We believe that it is important to actually pick a certain style of music and stick with it. We are not interested in a “blended” music service with an awkward transition from one style to another. As one person put it, “when trying to please everyone, one ends up pleasing no one.” The style we have chosen is “modern.”
- This does not mean that we refuse to sing much older songs or hymns. However, we do not put any emphasis on singing them and they are rarely sung. When we do sing them we will usually retain the original melody to make them recognizable and enjoyable to those who have sung them and will fit them into our genre of music and flow of selected songs. As a side note, what is the purpose of changing the original melody if younger and new people to the faith never heard them anyway and it will turn off the ones who are familiar with them?
- Being modern means that we believe that the Lord uses new genres of music over the time expanse of history as a tool for worship. We do not want to get stuck in one era. This means that we will need to constantly be progressing and re-evaluating over time.
B. Soulful Worship-We are interested in songs that minister to the soul and flow easily from the soul.
- We believe firmly that there is nothing sacred about the “older tried and true” songs. While it is a good testament to any song that it withstands the test of time, the age nor the era of any song gives it any significance over other songs with other ages from different eras.
- While we reject the idea that the only songs that should be sung are directly from the Bible (i.e. Psalms), we do believe that all songs that will be sung in the worship service should always be evaluated through the following grid.
a. Is the song speaking to God, about God, or to others in such a way that magnifies God and directs our gaze toward Jesus?
b. Is it Biblically informed?
- Does the song say a lot about nothing meaningful or has very little that is spiritually stimulating?
- Does the song set our gaze upon Christ's goodness and grace?
- It is a good thing to focus on songs that are lyrically capturing.
C. Flow of the music service - In leading worship several factors must be considered. There must be a flow to the songs.
- There should be a sense that it is not sing-stop, sing-stop, etc., but a constant flow. This means that as the worship band is encouraging worship even between the songs, using prayer, praise talk, continued music, spontaneous singing, etc. The worship band should prepare as much as possible for worshipful transitions.
- The worship band should think about the “singability” of any given song. Just because a song has lots of words and is very technical does not make it a good song for public worship. Neither is a song bad just because it has few words and a simple melody. We must not forget that some songs in the Scripture are simple and repetitive.
- The worship band must not forget that people need to be emotionally moved and encouraged. This means that there should be a flow even in the tempo’s and melodies of the song. It is usually appropriate to start with exuberant songs. Songs that are happy and have a good beat are excellent to begin with. Yet, within the flow of the service there often should be contemplative and even somber songs. However, an all somber service is a real downer!
D. Quality-It is our aim to have quality worship time in music.
II Chronicles 34:12 “And the men did the work faithfully. Over them were set Jahath and Obadiah the Levites, of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to have oversight. The Levites, all who were skillful with instruments of music,”
- Good musicians and singers are necessary to a good worship band. We will neither bring someone onto the band simply because of family relations, emotional ties, clicks, or friendships! What is a “good musician or singer”? That is ultimately the decision of the worship leader with consideration to the thoughts and input of other existing band members.
- Prospective band members will be interviewed by the worship leader.
- Practice is essential to having a well done worship service.
- It will be the churches aim to financially provide for the various needs of the band so that they might be at their very best. This would include sound equipment, seminars, computer software, etc.
E. Expressive and Free
- The worship band is not performing for the audience, but leading the congregation into worship. It is the worship leader’s responsibility to encourage engagement in this part of the service.
- We do not want to have a “hands in the pockets at all times”, barely audible worship time. We want to see Biblical expressions of praise, as previously listed, fully embraced at City Light Church. This must be communicated by the pastor and encouraged and embraced by the worship band.
F. Personally Prepared
- Before practice it is a good practice to spend some time in prayer together as a band.
- During the week, the practice of reading the Bible and spending time in personal prayer and worship is encouraged. By the way, worshipping often takes place in the car, while doing dishes, or mowing the lawn (Just don’t read your Bible while driving!).
- A right relationship with God is necessary to one leading in worship. The person who is not right with God does not worship God. If one, himself, does not worship God, how can he lead others to do so?
- All those who will lead in public worship must have received Christ as their Lord and Savior. This does not mean that they are living perfectly or have every item in their life in place. This also does not mean that they need to be a strong, mature believer. It simply means they love Jesus! We expect more from the actual worship leader(s) than the band members.
- Even for those who are not saved, we strongly encourage them to practice with the band (if they musically qualified to), develop relationships with the band members, and begin the journey, if they desire, to become a part of the worship band.
- While we encourage various styles of dress, all clothing must be modest.
- No skirts or dresses above the top of the knee.
- No cleavage revealing tops.
- No jeans or pants that are ripped near the crotch or rear end.
All policies within the worship band are subject to the policies of the church constitution, the pastor of the church, and the Eastern Pennsylvania district of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
I Corinthians 14:40 “But all things should be done decently and in order.”