THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG
I am the song leader in my church. I am not very proficient as a musician or a choral director. I pray that, someday soon, God will send someone more capable, to take this ministry from me. But for the time being it is my responsibility to select the music and lead the congregation in the singing every week.
I take that responsibility seriously. The hymns and songs that I select must be doctrinally sound, they must be appropriate for worship with a God-centered worldview, and, withing those parameters, I try to select music that will reinforce and, support the text and subject of my pastor’s messages.
Some of us have been singing the hymns for years; the words roll off our lips but the messages often don't engage our minds or penetrate our hearts. With the apostle Paul, I want the congregation to "sing with understanding."
So for the past couple years, it has been my practice to select one hymn each week, research it, and then highlight it with a short introductory commentary so that the congregation will be more informed regarding the origin, the author's testimony, or the doctrinal significance of the hymns we sing.
It is my intention here with this blog, to archive these hymn commentaries for my reference and to make them freely available to other church song leaders. For ease of reference, all the hymn commentaries in this blog will be titled IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Other posts (which will be music ministry related opinion pieces) will be printed in lower case letters.
I know that some of the comments contain traces of my unique style, but please feel free to adapt them and use the content any way you can for the edification of your congregation and to the glory of God.
All I ask is that you leave a little comment should you find something helpful.
Ralph M. Petersen
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Monday, February 19, 2018
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Sunday, February 11, 2018
But why the three-fold repetition, "Holy. Holy, Holy?"
In addition to holiness, the author introduces another of God’s attributes; His tri-unity. Our God is One holy God in three holy persons.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Sunday, January 28, 2018
I have been bringing these hymn commentaries for about three years, now, and I have tried to present interesting and edifying illustrations, stories about the faith and struggles of the authors, or the importance of the hymns in church history. Today's hymn does none of that. This is the most difficult hymn commentary I have ever written.
(Listen, here, to the hymn recorded by Evie)
Sunday, January 21, 2018
Friday, January 19, 2018
These are the most Important elements of church Worship Music.
1. Accurate lyrics- Most Christians, whether they are aware of it or not, learn doctrine from the songs they sing in church or hear on "christian" radio stations. Therefore lyrics about the nature and attributes of God, or the Person and work of Jesus must be doctrinally accurate. They cannot contradict the Word of God.
2. Christian Worshippers- Real worship occurs in Spirit and in Truth. Unregenerate attenders cannot worship God; they are observers desiring to be entertained or emotionally stimulated. If you are doing it right, they will be convicted by the Gospel and converted OR they will go somewhere else.
3. Leadership- Music is selected and directed by a Christian who is accountable to God for the appropriate content, message, and application of the lyrics.
These elements are NOT Important.
4. Talented Entertainers
Expanded from a Tweet by Tim Bates (@TimmmmBates) and shared by Dan Phillips.