Copyright, Grantley Morris, 1996 All rights reserved
I've prepared a banquet. Some dishes - especially the Appendix - have plenty of meat. Others are much lighter. Some have sugar. Chapters differ so much that even the most finical of us should be satisfied. Feel free to select that balance that most satisfies you.
This feast is for everyone. Whilst those directly involved in the music ministry comprise my target audience, I believe that everyone who loves God, irrespective of musical interest or ability, will find something of worth within these pages.
Throughout the book, I have broken the bounds of normal language to use the term musician as a compact way of referring to anyone whose service to God incorporates the use of music, whether as a composer, lyricist, singer, instrumentalist, conductor, creative ministries' director or worship leader.
In some Scripture quotes, words appear in capitals (and occasionally
italics) to draw attention to pertinent aspects of the verse.
It in no way reflects the structure of the underlying Greek or
Music's fashion parade
Though music has great power to unify, it is so subject to differing tastes that, sadly, there is probably no type of music I could mention that some readers would not regard as inferior. I'm the jittery dude standing in the cross-fire. Illustrations add power and interest, but when they wander far beyond your favourite music style I can only beg your mercy, asking that you look below the surface to see that the point of the illustration applies to your type of music. Accessibility to information has forced far more references to older music than I would have preferred.
Mention of specific people or musical styles does not imply my
endorsement, but Christian musicians face enough hostility outside
the church without turning against each other. I long to bandage
wounds, not make new ones. When I refer to individuals, my prayer
is not that you be inspired by the style of their music, but by
the Lord of their music.
A preposterous goal and how to achieve
I have sought to sculpt a book that will grip and thrill readers
who have no interest in music, and yet a book that, especially
in the notes and scripture references, is so crammed with information that it will
be treasured as a valuable resource book by Christians devoted
to music. My prayer flies much higher, however. If your ministry
involves music, my goal is that your ministry will be more inspired
by God and more blessed by Him than anything you have so far experienced.
Passive reading of anything I write is unlikely to achieve such
a preposterous goal. For the miracles I have cited, your prayers
must empower this book. I beg you to pray right now - and regularly
as you proceed through the book - that you will soar beyond my
words into the presence of Almighty God and that He will open
to you new realms, transforming both you and your ministry for
Setting the scene
'How I long to glorify God through music!' In his fervent cry was a plea for help. 'If only my music were fully empowered by God. Sure, the Lord has used me, but the results are hardly indicative of God's infinite love and power.
'I've feared the corrupting power of worldly music. I've preached against it. I've even destroyed albums. Yet the world doesn't fear my music. Something must be wrong.'
Someone of this intensity needed no reminding about the obvious essentials of practice and prayer. So I tried something deeper.
'Do you see your music in its true perspective?' I wondered aloud.
'Do you know why music exists?
'How does human music fit into God's entire creative programme?
'Where is God taking music?
Silence spoke loudly.
These basic questions seem so unanswerable that few of us even ask them. Yet would our Lord, the Light of the world leave us in the dark? Answers could give us fresh inspiration and new direction in the challenging task of magnifying God through music. They could boost our faith concerning God's interest in our chords and quavers, propelling us into a new realm of Spirit-empowered music.
Let's lift our eyes from the music sheets of present-day earth and, Bible in hand, scan the horizons of time and space in search of answers.
Our search will take us to the very limits of divine revelation. But although we might plot tentative ventures into the unknown, we will always quickly return to the reliable landmarks of Scriptural truth.
At first, our exploration will seem to produce little fruit, but as we proceed, we will pick up momentum, and apparent trivia will gain fresh significance. Don't worry if it begins to seem up in the clouds; we'll come back to earth with a thud in later chapters! Returning with a broader vision, we will face head-on the thorny issues involved in musically serving the Lord today on this needy planet.