This morning Nancy and I had the privilege of worshipping with the saints at Christ the Word in Toledo, Ohio. What a wonderful group of believers — as I told a group of their college-aged members at lunch, it is clearly, manifestly, obviously, a healthy church. It was an honor to worship together with them, and a pleasure to get to know them. If you are stranded in the Toledo area, church home wise, please visit them.
But the main reason for posting something about this is that I wanted to say something about their worship band. And some of you might be thinking something along the lines of “uh oh, we know what Wilson thinks about worship bands. I thought he was going to be nice.” But the music at Christ the Word, like everything else about the service, was God-honoring. The problem with most contemporary worship bands is not the instruments they use, but the insipid music and hollow lyrics. I have now been to two churches where the worship band led the congregation in music that was not superficial or shallow. Christ the Word was the second one. The service opened with Holy, Holy, Holy, and the next song was a really fine rendition of O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus. That was followed by their innovative arrangement of the Goudimel version of Psalm 2 out of the Cantus. You can take a listen to their version of that pslam here. The offertory was Ah, Holy Jesus, and the service closed with Now Thank We All Our God. That’s right, a worship band — drums, bass, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, piano, organ, oboe, flute, and I think I got them all, and no musical treacle to be found anywhere in the service. No “Jesus is my girl friend” music. If you have, or are going to have, a worship band, I would like to quote Mark Knopfler from a completely different context. “That’s the way you do it.”