Two Communication Principles God Uses With Song
God has two priorities when it comes to using song.
When it comes to song, God wants to be understood. God wants most of all that we come into relationship with Him. Thus, His priority in any type of communication is that we understand Him. That means we must use songs that help us to understand what it is He is saying. Songs should use the language that speaks to us. They should also use the musical sounds that we know and respond to. This leads us to the second communication principle.
When it comes to song, God is receptor-oriented. He knows who His listeners are. He also knows the musical language of different communities. God, in fact, is the one who enabled peoples from around the world to create their own different musical styles, so why would He want you to sing in someone else’s musical style? He is free to use the music of a people so that they may understand His life-saving message of salvation. He extends that same freedom to us.
Beyond One Style
God is not limited to any one style of music. Neither is He limited to only one spoken language. He is the Creator of the world. He knows the music that speaks to us. He works within our musical styles so that we know He cares for us. There is no musical style that is Christian or non-Christian. He is pleased with His creation, including various musics, and chooses to communicate with us in a loving receptor-oriented manner. He uses our musical languages to speak to us. He is the one and only caring God who is concerned about our needs. He communes with us through the music we know and love.
This selection and “Youth Camp” on page 79 excerpted from Roberta King, A Time to Sing, Nairobi: Evangel Publishing House, 1999, pp. 54, 79.