Systematic Theology Professor Teaches, “Why Pastors Should Be Learned in Worship and Music”

The role of the preaching pastor, or senior pastor, is fundamentally joined to the role of the music pastor. Not only does the senior pastor most often have supervisory authority over the music pastor, but the functions of these pastors crucially complement one another in the cultivation of God-centered worship. Last week I pointed to David Toledo’s foundational article for music pastors, “Why Worship Leaders Should Study Theology.” This article was written to work in tandem with today’s focus article—Dr. Kevin Bauder’s (PhD), “Why Pastors Should Be Learned in Worship and Music,” published in Artistic Theologian.

Citing words of Paul regarding profitable instruction from Acts 20:17-35, Dr. Bauder instructs that pastors should teach the entirety of the Christian faith (4). He emphases the greatest commandment, Mark 12:28, as central to the Christian faith and the worship of God (5). Related to worship are affection, imagination, expression, and the biblical commands to produce poetry and music (6-14). In relation to affection (love), Bauder explains that there is a critical difference in attributing to things “instrumental value” versus “absolute value.” To assign something instrumental value means that it serves as a means to an end. To assign something absolute value means we value it as its own end. Things to which we attribute absolute value are things we worship (6-7). God reserves this place for only himself. Bauder teaches,

The Shema states that the Lord alone is God. In other words, in all the universe only one Being exists who deserves to be treated as an end rather than as a means. Only one being can rightly be recognized as a center of value from which all other things derive their values. Only one being is capable of bearing the weight of the human soul in its anxious search for a center of delight, pleasure, and satisfaction. Only one being has the right to tell people who they really are, and he requires them to find their identity in him. Only one being merits unconditioned loyalty and absolute trust. Only one being is worthy of worship, and he is the Lord (7).

If this is true, and it is, then we need to understand, as Augustine taught, that our loves must be ordered rightly. They must be ordered so that our worship is duly expressed unto God (7-11). This means that art forms must be discerned for their place in aiding in the enterprise of worship (11-14). Encompassing the teaching of right belief, right practice, and right affection—Dr. Bauder’s article offers excellent instruction. If you are a pastor I highly recommend this article to you.


Source:    Kevin Bauder, “Why Pastors Should Be Learned in Worship and Music.” Artistic Theologian: Journal of Worship and Ministry Arts 1 (2012): 1-14. Accessed January 12, 2017. Available from Kevin Bauder is Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary.


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