A Spiritual Ministry of Music Part IV: Church Music-The Pastor’s Responsibility -- By: Donald P. Hustad

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 118:469 (Jan 1961)
Article: A Spiritual Ministry of Music Part IV: Church Music-The Pastor’s Responsibility
Author: Donald P. Hustad


A Spiritual Ministry of Music
Part IV:
Church Music-The Pastor’s Responsibility

Donald P. Hustad

[Editor’s Note: This article is the final installment of the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures on the subject, “A Spiritual Ministry of Music,” given November 10–13, 1959, at the Dallas Theological Seminary, by Mr. Hustad.]

If the reader has followed our three presentations of “A Spiritual Ministry of Music,” it should be reasonably apparent that the challenge of today requires a trained and gifted ministry.

Strictly musical requirements are demanding enough. It is the music minister’s responsibility to supply worthy music at all services of the church, to so train a group of amateur singers that their offering of praise will be a blessing to all who hear—to offer voice culture to people of all ages, and coaching to small groups and soloists as well. He must know how to relate his art and his own musical ability to the psychological and aesthetic milieu of the church which calls him. He must also be an administrator, properly organizing all the activities, the rehearsals and the performances of all the choirs, as well as the responsibilities of the counselors, the choir mothers, the robe custodians, and the chaperons who assist in supervising the young people under his jurisdiction.

By this time the basic spiritual function of the music ministry should require little argument. In the developing of a choir organization, music’s real function is to preach the gospel, and to provide an expression of worship and of testimony for the total church.

Of course, there are fringe benefits. A total choir program—graded according to age—provides organizational strength to a church. Young people are particularly gregarious, and quickly develop loyalty either to a street gang or to a youth choir. When properly directed, this can eventually become loyalty to Christ and to the entire church program.

Choirs are also an evangelizing agent. Children love to sing, and the opportunity to rehearse and perform with the junior choir attracts the youngster to the church; he stays

for Sunday School, and his heart is challenged by the message of the gospel. And, when Johnny sings in the Christmas program his proud parents must be there to hear him. They, too, hear the message of Christ, and become candidates for heart salvation and a commitment to Him and His service.

Of course, the youth choirs exist not so much for what they can offer the church as for what the church can contribute to them. Music is primarily a department of education, in which young people grow in the Christian life, ...

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