(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.