Testing Music for Worship

Ed Stetzer proposes seven tests in choosing music for Christian worship:

While it may be difficult, I do believe it’s possible to evaluate musical preferences using God’s word. The following seven tests each relate to biblical principles that we can apply to our music to determine its suitability.

1. Message Test

2. Purpose Test

3. Association Test

4. Memory Test

5. Emotions Test

6. Understanding Test

7. Music Test

These tests lead us to one simple fact: God can use any form of music. He has no musical style or preference. With the exception of the message and purpose test, the biblical tests listed here are all really about reflecting a biblical grid.

When you or your church is choosing music, it is important that you think through these issues. You may have the freedom to choose, but use discernment to choose wisely. Any musical style can pass the test in the right context, but it takes wisdom and a biblical perspective to determine whether that is the case. Hopefully, these seven tests can help you in that process.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Bradley Currah

    Thanks for the article… interesting.


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