As a church family, one of our great joys is singing songs, hymns and spiritual songs to our God. He is worthy of all praise and honor! Music is a powerful way that we celebrate and memorize the truths of scripture so it is important that we think well about how we select songs and which ones we sing.

Here are four aspects that we consider when selecting music for our Lord's Day gatherings at BBC.

1) Biblical Truth
Songs touch our emotions and if we are not careful we can let emotions carry us beyond the scripture. So we must be focusing, as Colossians 3:16 teaches us, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” This captures our goal with singing biblically accurate songs that help the word of Christ (the Scripture) dwell in us and therefore teaches us about God. This not only informs but trains us about what we should be thankful for as we go throughout each day. So we select songs that have lyrics that are derived from or consistent with scripture. If we do that, then the emotions that we experience as we sing, can do what emotions are meant to do, bring us closer to the Lord.

2) Congregational Singing
The songs we select with either help or hinder our congregation to sing. There are musical genres that are different as you would go to churches around the world. Even within our community at Bethany, we have different tastes in music and what sounds good to us. So when it comes to our songs selected for worship, we want our songs to be "singable". This is a subjective term but the hope is by selecting simple arrangements that are easy to pick up, we will encourage more of the congregation to sing and therefore we are able to build each other up (1 Corinthians 14:26).

3) Historical and Contemporary
In 1530, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" was brand new. It would have been learned by Martin Luther's congregation and gained popularity from there. At one point, it was "contemporary music". So when we gather each Sunday at Bethany, we want to consider the best songs historically that connect us to the historic faith "once for all delivered to the saints" and the contemporary songs which do the same (Jude 1:3). There may even be new arrangements of historical hymns that we choose to aid the congregation in singing. So each Sunday you will notice an intentional blending of old and new for the sake of knowing that God will always be working and inspiring worship in his people!

4) The Whole Counsel of Christian Experience
We wish our selection of songs to capture the wide range of biblical themes and christian life experiences that come out of the Scriptures. Our goal is to have songs that stretch from sorrow and shame to redemption and resurrection. We want to reflect on the grave and on heaven. As music is easy to memorize, the hope is that the songs we sing allow us to bring songs to mind as we go through the highs and lows of life.

Music plays an important role in our lives and in the life of our church. We pray that as we sing together and live together as a congregation we are growing in appreciation for the glory of God! May the Lord unify us as we joyfully proclaim His excellencies in song!