Back in September, the Elders asked for further feedback regarding the direction of our worship ministry. The Elders greatly respect and appreciate those of you who took the time to email, write, or speak to us about this important issue. Each of us has diligently listened, read, discussed, and prayed about your responses, and they have shaped our conversations and our studies.
Henderson Hills has always been a place of hospitality and warmth towards new people coming in its doors, and it is part of our mission at Henderson Hills to make disciples—of both current and upcoming generations. The philosophy and style of worship music have adapted from generation to generation over millennia, mostly reflecting the contemporary style of that period. The current movement is toward a simpler, theologically rich, and Gospel-centered-yet-musically-excellent worship that includes hymns (modern and older), praise songs, and various genres of instrumentation. It is a movement that is chiefly motivated by making much of Jesus and minimizing man. The majority, of both the current and upcoming generations, desires this movement, with the goal of making more disciples.
Taking the New Testament Church as our example, the only directive we find regarding musical worship is that we are to address "one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart" (Eph 5:19). Since this verse says nothing about the musical style of those elements, we find much freedom in pursuing its goal—flexible according to culture yet grounded in His wisdom as we care for believers and reach out to unbelievers.
Therefore, the Elders have decided to move forward with a worship style that is simplified, flexible, creative, excellent, and primarily congregational. This means we intend to continue singing a wide variety of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, using diverse mixes of instruments and worship leaders—similar to what you have seen and experienced over the past six months. We also expect to occasionally add in choral and orchestral elements as is fitting. Further, as we progress forward in our search for a Pastor of Worship, we will trust God for an Elder-qualified man who is an exceptional artist/musician, to ensure a standard of excellence alongside creativity and diversity; a discerning theologian, to ensure solid truths are being taught in our songs; a compassionate shepherd, to ensure the whole church is being cared for in our services and otherwise; a trustworthy leader, to ensure cohesion and development in the worship ministry; and a passionate missionary, to ensure we continue to consider the lost.
One of the most beautiful parts of our church is how we pursue unity amid our diversity. Henderson Hills continues to have the opportunity to be a unique "city on a hill" that shows off what God can do through older and younger people together submitted to Him and His mission as they constantly defer to one another in love. What a beautiful picture of selfless unity, as Paul envisioned in Philippians 2 and Ephesians 4. We can be that kind of church, in the power of God's Spirit, where every person walks in and says, "Truly God is among you."
We love you, church, we praise God for all of you, and we are incredibly excited about the future God has for us together. Please continue praying for God to bless our church for His glory—in His way and in His time.