Overseers Adam Diehl & Jon Paul Robles

Hymnody: The role of worship music in spiritual formation

Posted on February 21st, 2011 by adamdiehl

I’m currently reading a book on spiritual formation, and there is a paragraph written by Kenneth O. Gangel regarding worship music in the spiritual formation of a believer. I want to share it with you below. It should be noted that where Gangel says “hymns,” the context seems to indicate that he is referring to “the congregational songs we sing in church” rather than making a stylistic division.

Worship music exists to glorify God and edify others. Based on God-given ability and skill (1 Chron. 15:16-24), those who serve the church in this capacity must develop their ministry most carefully (1 Chron. 16:4-6). and above all focus a doctrinal understanding of what they and we hear and sing (1 Chron. 29:20-21). We render all this in the power of God’s Spirit (Col. 3:15-17) and focus on hymns [songs], that reflect simplicity, singability, sound doctrine, clarity of message, and God-centeredness. In a fascinating study of New Testament hymns, [another author] concludes that the early believers developed their theology in precisely this way. (1)

What are your thoughts about this quotation? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Do the songs we sing shape our theology as much today as they did in the early illiterate societies? Leave a comment below. I have a few thoughts, but I’ll let you weigh in first.

For more information on this and more, be sure to join in the Phone Seminar this upcoming Thursday evening, February 24th. Click here for more information. In the meantime, sign-up to receive this blog’s updates sent to you via email on the sidebar to the right!

1 The Christian Educator’s Handbook on Spiritual Formation. Edited by Kenneth O. Gangel and James C. Wilhoit. Published 1994 by Baker Books, Grand Rapids. isbn:0-8010-2167-7.

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