What is your music like?
One thing that many people ask themselves before visiting a church for the first time is, “Will I like the music?”
I believe that’s the wrong question. What we should be asking is “Does this church worship together, and do the songs they choose overtly represent God’s Word in Scripture’s language and tone?”
You see, this question has less to do with preferences, style, and popularity, and gets to the heart of the issue. Men should give glory to God rather than themselves; period. It’s the thing we struggle with the most. So, here at Berean, we strive to worship God first and not man-made ideas.
What we believe about Worship.
I know, I know; you still want to know what our music is like. That’s fair, so here are some things we do that will give you a sense of what we sound like, and why.
First of all, our music is congregational. We believe you should join us when you come. We reject the notion that the music is for a few awesome musicians who excel in their area. We do our best to be uncomplicated and encouraging.
Second, we strive to select songs that are obviously born out of scripture. We reject songs that are generic or vague and can work in any religion or faith calling on a higher power. Our songs are specifically Trinitarian and Christian Orthodox. We don’t just choose songs because everyone knows them from the radio or because they have a good beat.
When you come, be prepared to sing about the Historical, Literal, God-Man, Jesus Christ Who made the world, was given by the Father to bear the wrath of our sin and literally rose from the dead and is sure to come again. Be prepared to be confronted with your need for salvation because of your guilt from sin as well as to be encouraged by the great salvation we have in Christ. We do this every week without fail. We believe the Holy Spirit is the teaching, convicting and moving agent in the belief of the gospel and the exaltation of Christ to the Glory of the Father.
Who Can Participate?
We ask our leaders to demonstrate a right, humble, and willing spirit. Our platform is typically filled with about 60 worship leaders. Some play instruments and some sing, and some help lead with technology behind the scenes, but they all are there to advance the congregational worship and serve as an extension of the lyrically scripture-rich text we choose. Sure, they sing and play for us sometimes, but our goal is to get the church at large, including you as a visitor, to participate fully. We are not perfect leaders, but we strive to be prepared and do our best. We have professionals, students, and just regular folks leading together every week. Our music is arranged and planned in advance from first to last note, but we also strive to be flexible and conversational together. We exalt, celebrate, cry, despair, thank and reflect together.
Most of our instrumentalists have individual appropriate parts with notes to read, not just chord charts. Chord charts and lead sheets are available to all of our worship music for musicians who read those only. At our 10:45 service, we have strings, woodwinds, a rhythm section and brass. At our 8:30 service, we usually sing the same songs the same way, but with fewer people leading.
The Worship “Experience”
Will I Know the Songs?
We sing songs that are hundreds of years old and songs that came out last week. We do not sing songs just because they are on the radio, or in our hymnal, but we don’t sound like a church from 100 years ago either. If you haven’t been in church for a while, I’m sure you’ll recognize at least one song each service. I’m also confident that if you don’t know all of the songs we sing, that you will be able to pick them up quickly. We strive to help our congregation, not leave them in the dust, and this begins with the melody we choose.
Are you Super-Hip?
The short answer is “No!” We embrace technology that enhances congregational worship and participation and stay away from technology that makes us more distant from one another or distracts from giving God full glory.
So, I would say “No, we aren’t hip for the sake of seeking worshipers. We let the Spirit and God’s Word do that.” Our lights are fully up; we don’t have smoke and other theatrical specialties. Our musicians perform live and not on a screen.
We sing familiar songs of the faith, and songs from such church friendly places as Sovereign Grace Music, the Getty’s, CityAlight and more.
Do You Have Children and Student Music?
Yes, we do. We invite the children to sing for and with us regularly, and every week children from K5 – 4th grade participate in our worship before they go to a special meeting designed for them. Although every week we have a lot of students who participate with us, The Crossfire Youth group students prepare a student-led worship service about once every quarter. For these services, the youth do it all. We have programs at Easter and Christmas in which church members of all ages worship and prepare something special together.
Still Not Sure?
I want to personally encourage you to not let the music, or a nice building or a great children’s ministry be the reason you pick a church. Ask yourself first if the Bible is being read and preached and if the death, burial, resurrection and coming of our Lord Jesus is talked about often. Even if you’re not sure, I believe you should come to check it out for yourself. No matter what you think of our music, I’m sure the text of the songs and the message from the Word will remain with you.