Nowhere in Scripture is worship actually defined. Prayer, praise, confession, sacrifice, faith, obedience, and many other terms describe different aspects of worship. But when three key word groups are examined in different contexts, it is clear that homage, reverence and service to God are central to the concept of worship.
—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 29
Christians can be very subjective and strongly opinionated about what constitutes ‘good music’. Pastors and song leaders need to be sensitive to the cultural context, aesthetic taste, musical expectations and spiritual maturity of each congregation in their care.
—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 137
Variety should be encouraged not simply for its own sake but to encourage spiritual vitality and the maturation of the church.
—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 138
If music is simply used to create a mood or to entertain, it can be manipulative (e.g. the excessive repetition of songs to intensify the emotions of those present). But when it is employed to highlight the meaning of words, music can plant biblical truth memorably and powerfully in our hearts. Music can help us to be involved in prayer and praise emotionally as well as intellectually. It can be a vehicle for expressing deep reflections and feelings.
—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 141
Everything we do in God’s name expresses a particular understanding of His character and will, whether we acknowledge this or not. We all have an implicit theology of worship, which may or may not be faithful to Scripture.
—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 15
Music directors or song leaders need to have a pastoral approach to the whole church, exhibiting warmth and humility and being able to inspire confidence about singing together, learning new songs and enjoying the contributions of musicians and singers. The glory of the gospel is to unite peoples of every language and culture under the lordship of Christ (Eph. 2:11-22; 4:3-6,13; Rev. 7:9-17). So we should not be content with divisions created by different musical tastes and traditions. As we grow to maturity in Christ we should be looking for ways to express the unity that is God’s goal for us: in gospel action, in the exchange of ministries and gifts, in combined services and in the sharing of musical resources and experiences.
—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 143
We need to discover how Christians from different races and cultures have expressed themselves in song to God. Song structures, musical style and instrumentation will vary. Learning to enjoy such variety is a way of experiencing the breadth of Christian experience beyond the limitations of our own context.
—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 139