Who should lead the church musically?
Leading the church through singing and playing music is a kind of diaconal service, whether or not the people in the position have been formally affirmed as deacons. It’s diaconal in that musicians employ their common grace skills in order to serve the church for larger spiritual ends. Such a ministry is analogous, one could say, to the situation in Acts 6, in which several men were chosen to “wait on tables” in order to serve the larger purpose of unity in the church (see Acts 6:1-6).
Leading the church through singing and playing music requires not just musical skill, but character and spiritual maturity. The men in Acts 6 were chosen principally because they were known to be “full of the Spirit and wisdom” (v. 3). By the same token, a church should choose musicians whose lives will commend the gospel. After all, the musicians are leading and representing the church publicly, which means they’re representing Christ publicly. Churches do well, therefore, to both choose from among their own members, and choose those who are spiritually mature.
In short, those who lead the church musically should meet the biblical qualifications for deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13).
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