Colossians 3:16 and the deliberate growth of disciples
LE3 .A278 2005
Doctor of Ministry
Acadia Divinity College
Colossians 3: 16 gives several guidelines for congregational smgmg. In the context of a congregational worship environment, such permanent guidelines are crucial for ordering worship in a manner that is biblical. According to Colossians 3: 16, and its parallel passage in Ephesians 5: 18 and 19, Christian congregations are to sing. They are to sing a variety of songs that teach in a meaningful and clear manner, theologically accurate doctrine. Such singing is to be understandable so as to be mentally engaging and life-changing. Congregational singing is to be directed both to God through Christ, i.e. it is to be mainly Christocentric, and to "one another." Such worship calls for each congregant's involvement, not his or her participation as an observer. This is the subject of Chapter One. Chapter Two summarizes interviews with seven worship leaders. These seven worship leaders were interviewed to determine what contribution they believe congregational singing makes to the doctrinal diet and understanding of their respective congregations. For most, Colossians 3: 16 plays no role in the planning and structure of worship and though all recognize the importance of accurate doctrine in songs, most have no plan in place for teaching the Church's doctrines through congregational singing. In the final chapter, songs both old and new are examined for doctrinal content. This comparison determines what doctrines are taught in each song group and which song group, if either, is doctrinally stronger. The study concludes that Colossians 3: 16 offers inspired guidance for congregational worship. The Church needs to listen.
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