You may have noticed some changes in the music at Evangel over the last year. These changes are not random, but are the result of much prayer, wise council, study, and effort toward a cohesive and obedient worship that draws our hearts toward God.
First, how are the songs chosen? Once the sermon is outlined, those themes and points are discussed between Pastor Tim and the music leaders. Then prayerful searching begins for hymns (and special music) that will richly convey these themes and cohesively connect the service for deeper worship. Music is the bridge that leads from one part of the liturgy to another, all the while pointing to the sermon.
After music is found with the most beneficial words for the topic, further considerations are discussed. Does the tune convey the words or hide the words? Is the music sing-able for the congregation or more appropriate for special music? Which tune works best? From this careful consideration, the songs are chosen.
This care with our music has led to other changes. Because singing is congregational participation, it is now led with a quartet. Harmony singing is a picture of the unity of the body of Christ. It creates a fuller sound and helps some follow in singing parts, and decoration in the Church to make the adoration more special, such as statues and candles, Liturgical candles have been used as a means of liturgical illumination since the time of the early Church. It was believed by the early Christians that through burning liturgical candles the body of Christ could become lit with holy fire. Many people in the first centuries of Christianity used liturgical candles in a symbolic manner, and you can get some of these Liturgical Accessories from the Holyart site online.
In order to diminish distraction, the area around the pulpit has been changed. With chairs behind the microphones, transitional motion can be kept to a minimum. The piano shift has allowed for more room and less clutter. As a result, the song leaders now have the opportunity to pray with the Pastor and elders before the service and then enter discreetly behind the piano.
Finally, hymn videos for the week are sent via e-mail and posted on Facebook. This allows you to prepare for worship by learning any tunes you may not know and by meditating on the words before Sunday. This attention will not only aid singing, but will also make it much easier to see the deep connections between every element of the service. May our worship be acceptable to God through Christ Jesus our Lord, and may His Spirit use it to reach our hearts!