Principles for Good Shepherd Band's leadership...

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Goodshepherdband

(Tim: from left, Philip Moyer, Mick Buschbacher, Andrew Henry, Jim Hogue, Jody Killingsworth) Church of the Good Shepherd is served by a wonderful group of modern-day sons of Asaph, church musicians who serve the Lord and their brothers and sisters in Christ faithfully each week, leading us in worship. They call themselves the Good Shepherd Band and on their MySpace page they've posted a statement of the musical principles we follow in our worship. To listen to their latest music, check out their web site. How our faith is strengthened through their hard work!

We believe that music used for worship

should arise from the context of the local church and should be

essentially pastoral: it should rebuke as well as encourage, it should

teach as well as emote. Consumer driven worship has its finger more on

the pulse of the pocketbook than the worshipper’s true spiritual

condition. Consumerism is driven by the mantra “The customer is always

right! Whatever the customer wants, the customer gets!” Apply that

principle to preaching and you lose preaching. Apply it to worship and

you get CCM.

We believe that music used for worship is

obligated to declare the whole counsel of God. It should lead people to

praise God both for His “Yes” and His “No”...

Many great hymns

throughout the ages do this so you’ll often find us reworking the

songs of previous centuries in addition to composing new ones of our

own.

We believe that music used for worship

should be contextualized. It’s a hindrance to the gospel if we require

that our neighbor step back in time a hundred or so years in order to

understand our worship language, and so we try where we can to

translate the past into the idioms of our day without sacrificing the

integrity of the message. This is a difficult but vital work, similar

to the Reformers translating the Scriptures from Latin into modern

languages—what they called putting things into the "vulgar tongue."

We believe that the affect or “feel” of

the music should be consistent with the essence of the lyrics. Words

instruct our minds in the truth and the music trains our emotions how

to feel about it. Often, what you’ll hear from us is very intense, very

jubilant, very strong, very sad, etc. This gets us accused of being

charismatic or promoting enthusiasm. That’s also what they accused

Jonathan Edwards of and we’re okay with that.

• Scripture instructs us to use our bodies in worship in various ways, and we believe

that the church’s music should endeavor to insist on these actions when

they are topically fitting. More than just singing along, it should

regularly make you want to stand up, clap your hands, shout for joy,

raise your hands, prostrate yourself; and yes, even dance. Therefore,

the music one prefers while relaxing at home is not necessarily

appropriate for corporate worship.

We believe that worship music should be

unashamedly masculine. This may be the hardest pill for people to

swallow. Men should not have to check their sexuality at the door and

only ever posture themselves as women in relation to God the Father.

Not only is that disgusting, it’s unbiblical. The church corporate is

the Bride of Christ but we are to relate personally to God as sons to

our Father. The absence of masculine worship lends itself to the

absence of themes central to the Christian faith—warfare being an

obvious example. Compare the content of worship songs today with that

of the Psalter and you’ll start to see that something has gone horribly

wrong.

If you’re interested in booking the Good Shepherd Band or just want to talk about these things, please

send us an e-mail.