by Arnfield P. Cudal

IS MUSIC WORSHIP?

Today, churches, Christian universities, and seminaries most commonly associate the word worship and worship arts with music and any activity related to it such as music programming, music media presentation, the creation of mood and atmosphere with music, and the utilization of various methods to evoke congregational musical participation. Webster Dictionary defines art as skill acquired by experience, study, or observation. Therefore, worship arts may be defined as the application and honing of skills necessary toward the creation and enhancement of the musical experience.

A college track in worship arts will typically encompass music-industry fundamentals such as scoring, recording, performance, and production. Included will be marketing, artist development and repertoire (A & R). Such industry fundamentals are then applied toward album production, publication, concerts, and so-called church music ministry. But, is there much of a difference between a mainstream music-industry track and a Christian worship arts degree? It doesn’t seem so. Perhaps the church models itself after the music industry in hopes of also obtaining its successes and market reach. A side-by-side comparison reveals that both operate in much the same way, utilizing the same marketing, artist development, and business models. However, the Bible does not use the word worship this way, nor is worship arts a concept for the Church, which leads us to wonder why the Christian community thinks and does so. If worship is about ascribing value or worth to someone, how exactly would music do or express this?

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