There was a church where the preacher and the music director were not getting along. As time went by this began to spill over into the worship service. The first week the preacher preached on commitment and how we all should dedicate ourselves to the service of God. The music director closed with “I Shall not be Moved.” The second week the preacher preached on tithing and how we should all gladly give to the work of the Lord. The music director closed with, “Jesus Paid it All.” The third week the preacher preached on gossiping and how we should all watch our tongues. The music director closed with, “I Love to Tell the Story.” With all this going on, the preacher became very disgusted over the situation and the following Sunday told the congregation that he was considering resigning. The music director closed with, “Oh Why Not Tonight?” As it came to pass, the preacher did indeed resign. The next week he informed the church that it was Jesus who led him there and it was Jesus that was taking him away. The music leader closed with, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”
Thankfully, at Wingham Baptist Church, the pastor and the musicians get along with each other because musically we are both on the same page. And the one word on that sheet of paper that dominates all the other terms making up music (beat, harmony, intonation, major, minor, rhythm, etc.) is melody. This is because in the New Testament, it is God’s one instruction given to the church regarding worship music.
Ephesians 5:19 says, …singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. And what is melody? Melody is an organized group of notes that are done in such a way that make a song singable (i.e. a tune that can be hummed). So here, when choosing hymns or choruses, melody is the first musical criteria. And this is vitally important because Scientific American has just released a major study entitled: Science Confirms It, Music These Days Is Worse Than It Used To Be. And the two man reasons for the conclusion? One, there’s too little melody (can’t tap your foot to it) and two, there’s too much volume (can’t hear yourself think).