Music in the Church: Performance or Ministration?

ABSTRACT

This paper focuses on the controversial issue of performance versus ministration in Church Music which has given rise to contentious arguments amongst Christians and Christian musicians. This recurrent theme in Christendom is not only peculiar to Africa but worldwide. The paper attempts to resolve this obvious controversy as it strikes a delicate balance. Music in the church is Christian music as distinct from secular music. It is created by human beings to serve God's purpose; it must be from the heart. Furthermore, Church music has some element of performance but the Christian musician should go beyond the display of skills and emotions in the realm of performance and rise to the spiritual level of focusing on prayerfully selected music that will lift up the awesome and majestic name of the Almighty God; directing men and women to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christian musicians therefore are not just artistes but ministers of the gospel with the responsibility of impacting lives for Christ through music. This is a distinguishing factor. It is pertinent therefore, that the Christian musician consider himself as ministering everywhere he goes to make music. His main objective should always be to exalt the name of the Lord and to preach the gospel of Christ so that all men would be drawn to God.

AUTHOR
YESIDE ODIASE holds a DMA in Church Music from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Ogbomoso, Nigeria where she currently serves as a lecturer; head of the Western Music Department and a member of the Governing Council. Yeside is also an ordained Baptist Minister.