“Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the people are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.’ Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes, to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.” -Psalm 96
While sadly our culture does seem to be overwhelmed and infatuated with superficial and even un-biblical worship in song, there are talented men and women who are writing and producing songs for the Church which are theologically rich and God exalting. Many people do not see a connection between theology and song, believing that theology is to be restricted to the pulpit. But that is not the case. The American Church has been starved over the lack of worship leaders who are willing and able to lead and to teach their people of the richness of the gospel which we have recieved through our Lord Jesus Christ. There are of course worship leaders in local Churches across the country who are faithful to their congregations in this way and who have a deep desire and conviction to proclaim the unadulterated Word of God in the sets that they put together every week, however they are the minority. We should be hungry to learn deeper and deeper truths about our Savior and God and desire to sing songs that Honor and Glorify Him alone. Matt Boswell in his book Doxology and Theology says this: “worship leaders ought to come to lead the people of God with a guitar in one hand, a Bible in the other, and know how to use each weapon well. We are a people formed by the word of God, and it is His Word that calls us to worship. The only element needed for congregational worship to occur is God’s Word laid open in the midst of His people.”
With that said, these are a few men and women, singers and song writers, who are faithful to produce biblically formed worship in song.
- Keith and Kristyn Getty: “Keith and Kristyn Getty occupy a unique space in the world of music today as preeminent modern hymn writers. In re-inventing the traditional hymn form, they have created a catalogue of songs teaching Christian doctrine and crossing the genres of traditional, classical, folk and contemporary composition which are sung the world over… The Gettys’ hymns are used increasingly both in contemporary and traditional circles, being included in most modern hymnbooks (with a number of these now listing “Getty” as the most-featured composers), while in the more contemporary church, more than 60 of their songs are featured on top 2,000 CCLI charts between the UK and USA… Keith and Kristyn Getty continue to be global ambassadors for modern hymns in the USA and throughout the world. In addition to their Christmas show, the Gettys tour internationally, visiting venues as diverse as the Ryman Auditorium, Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, The Pentagon, and Royal Albert Hall, with performances for George W. Bush, the United Nations, and South Korea President Lee Myung-bak. This worldwide representation of modern hymns has led to the creation of their first global church music conference, to be held in Nashville, Tennessee, in September 2017.”
- Bob Kauflin and Sovereign Grace Music: “Bob serves as the Director of Sovereign Grace Music. After receiving a piano performance degree from Temple University in 1976, Bob traveled for eight years with the contemporary Christian group GLAD as a songwriter, speaker, and arranger. He continued to write and arrange for the group until 2010, and was a major contributor to the A Capella Project(1988). In 1984, he left GLAD to pursue active involvement in a local church associated with Sovereign Grace Churches. In 1997, after 12 years of pastoring, Bob moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland, where he led corporate worship at Covenant Life Church and became the Director of Sovereign Grace Music. He’s written two books: Worship Matters (published 2008 by Crossway) and True Worshipers (published 2015 by Crossway). Through conferences, seminars, and his blog, Worship Matters, he seeks to equip pastors, musicians, and songwriters in the theology and practice of congregational worship. He also oversees the production of Sovereign Grace Music albums. He currently has the joy of being a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville.”
- Matt Boswell: “Matt Boswell is the Pastor of Ministries and Worship at Providence Church in Frisco, TX. He has been leading worship and involved in church planting since 1995. His passion is to see his congregation engaged in gospel-centered ministry, and in that environment live out the great commission. He writes songs for congregational worship and is also a student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.”
Worship should never be exclusively formed by what sounds good to us, what kind of emotional experience we may be able to create through music, or what songs other churches around us may use. Rather, our joy in worship should come from a sincere outpouring of our love for our God and King, and a commitment to worship Him in spirit and in truth. We should be striving to know, to exalt, and to praise the God and Father of our faith for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have received eternal life with Him. We can begin to do that by using theologically accurate verses in our songs and reverent music that doesn’t attempt to imitate what the world loves.