Singer-Songwriter Sandra McCracken Says Worship Music Should Focus More on Sound Doctrine and Community, Less on Emotionalism

Singer/songwriter Sandra McCracken is highlighting the importance of sound doctrine in worship music and urging the Church to focus less on emotionalism and more on community in today’s individualistic, scripturally illiterate society.

“One of the challenges in general culturally is the connection between entertainment and church music,” McCracken told The Christian Post during a sit-down interview in Tennessee last month. “When you come to church, there’s a sense that you are there to be entertained. The music is so professional: A big, tall stage, separated from everyone else and very disconnected. I think that can be detrimental to the experience of formation in the church.

“The human experience of living life together and being across the table and having conversations — that is the place where we can really ground and connect most profoundly,” she continued. “I think people are pretty lonely and pretty isolated and music is a way of bringing us together. Being in a room with people singing one song together is a powerful experience. It’s counter-cultural in a way; other than a rock concert, where else do we do that?”

Health and maturity in the Church, McCracken said, would be to “take the emotionalism down a notch and elevate the dailiness of living life together” when it comes to music.

“That sense of community can come through singing in a living room, or in a Sunday school class, or on a Wednesday night or whatever that looks like,” she said. “I think a big part of it is allowing music to be integrated and personal in community life.”

Scripture, she said, reveals the importance of congregational singing. She pointed out that throughout the Psalms, the singular “I” and the plural “we” are “almost interchangeable” and frequently used just several stanzas apart.

“The Psalms constantly go from the personal to communal,” she said. “I think that’s commendable and even a good thing to explore. I think maybe the job of creative worship leaders is to be able to curate those old hymns in a way that is both applying them to the specific community and drawing from what’s already been written and pulling that back in.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett