No one can claim, of course, that every God-human encounter in Scripture follows this clear pattern; even if it did, there is no forthright command to fashion Christian worship using this deep structure. Nevertheless, with such a consistent pattern of divine-human conversation seen in Scripture, it suggests a normative approach—even a solid rationale—for seriously considering this pattern for the divine-human encounters of corporate worship.
—Constance Cherry, The Music Architect: Blueprints for Engaging Worshipers in Song, 82
Musical sequencing cannot, of itself, produce an encounter with God. Only the Holy Spirit can do this and regularly does so quite apart from our own strategies.
—Constance Cherry, The Music Architect, 79
Music itself doesn’t change us, of course, but God often uses music to work in us on our journey of transformation. It is a way through which we are continued and strengthened in faith.
—Constance Cherry, The Music Architect: Blueprints for Engaging Worshipers in Song, 247
The words we sing contribute to the faith that is forged in us. The power that our corporate songs of faith possess pours into us, helping to mold us as devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. They encourage us to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.
—Constance Cherry, The Music Architect, 99
Neither worship music nor its style should be the primary defining mark of any church. Its real engagement with the living Lord should be that defining mark in both attractions and missional ways. While leaders must give loving guidance to and development of the musical style of their community, there is something more profound to discover: its worship voice.
—Constance Cherry, The Music Architect: Blueprints for Engaging Worshipers in Song, 181
The sequence of God-human exchange found most prominently in the Scriptures is that of revelation and response. Is it not appropriate then, that the prominent sequence for God-human exchange in worship is also revelation/response? Christian worship is always a response to truth, the truth as revealed in Jesus Christ. This sequence is the native pattern of worship: it is the natural result of what happens when humanity encounters God. It therefore forms the basis for the simplest twofold service, Word and Table. The word is revealed and worshipers respond with Eucharist (thanksgiving). Revelation/response is the normative pattern of dialogue between God and the worshiping community. Ultimately, worship is a conversation between God and God’s chosen people. There is a mutual exchange, a holy dialogue, an invested sharing back and forth in worship. The reciprocity inherent in a true worship experience is a beautiful thing in which to participate; it is a living, vital conversation, not a religious program.
—Constance M. Cherry, The Worship Architect, A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services, 9
Jesus whom we worship was born into a specific culture of the world. In the mystery of the incarnation are the model and the mandate for the contextualization of Christian worship. God can be and is encountered in the local cultures of our world. A given culture’s values and patterns, insofar as they are consonant with the values of the Gospel, can be used to express the meaning and purpose of Christian worship. Contextualization is a necessary task for the Church’s mission in the world, so that the Gospel can be ever more deeply rooted in diverse local cultures.
—Constance Cherry, The Worship Architect, A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services, 293