Music has the inherent ability to shape us. The question is: How are we being shaped?
Not all Christian music is created equally. As faithful as writers may try to be, some songs are simply thicker theologically or more interesting musically. Some songs even fall into dangerous zones and breed false theology. It is important to ask questions about the songs you listen to: What is this song saying about God?…about me? Are the images used flat or do they make room for diversity? Does this song challenge me? How does this song connect me to other believers? We need to be careful in choosing our music, not just for its great beat, but for what it might be teaching us as we bing listen to it for the 20th time.
We also need to be careful in how we curate our playlists. Filled as they might be with great songs, if our playlist is imbalanced, we become imbalanced. When I select songs for a given Sunday or new music to teach the congregation, I always begin by considering the the other songs already in place. Where are the gaps? What aren’t we singing about? If 80% of our songs are about Christ’s sacrifice, our worship becomes imbalanced. This doesn’t mean that those songs aren’t worth singing or listening to, but it potentially flattens our theology surrounding Christ. It could leave us anemic, starved for celebration around God Almighty, the Holy Spirit, and other themes of our faith. When putting together your playlist, you don’t just need good songs that are theologically rich and musically interesting, you also need to consider the larger themes they create in conversation with one another. A well balanced diet isn’t just about putting veggies on your plate.
So in light of all of this, I’ve begun to start thinking about what’s on my playlist. Although short, this is a growing list of songs that I’m compiling for my own use. Click on each to find out why I think they belong on my playlist and should belong on yours.