In coming to Seminari Alkitab Asia Tenggara (SAAT) for the spring 2018 semester, I came from a music department in a liberal arts college to a church music program in a seminary—different kinds of programs in different kinds of institutions.
And while I love the interconnectedness and cross-disciplinary nature of a liberal arts education, it has also been a gift to spend one semester more narrowly focused on music for the Christian church with students who are all working and studying toward church ministry.
One unexpected result of this semester was the many chances I had to talk about music for the Christian church with students, professors, pastors, musicians, church workers, and others in a variety of contexts. I am thankful for invitations to speak at:
- Seminari Alkitab Asia Tenggara, Malang, for students and professors in the church music program, for a public lecture shared with Dr. Michael Hawn, and for the English language student fellowship.
- SAAT Ministry Center, Jakarta, for local pastors, musicians, and music ministers.
- Sekolah Tinggi Theologia HKBP, the seminary of the Batak Lutheran church in Siantar, North Sumatra, forstudents studying liturgy and church music and singing in the seminary choir.
- Wesley International School, Malang, for students planning and leading music for chapel.
These opportunities gave me the chance to lecture on a wide variety of topics, most on church music and some on the relationship between Christianity and culture. Here is a quick summary of topics I got to discuss:
- Biblical Principles of Christian Worship. Basic principles of Christian worship, drawn from Psalm 145 and Romans 11:31-12:2 and addressed to those who are planning worship, including pastors, worship leaders, and musicians.
- Foundational Principles of Church Music. An overview of key principles for music in worship that can guide the choice of music in any local church.
- Singing God’s Whole Story. A consideration of the songs a local church sings, with encouragement and strategies for singing the whole Gospel story.
- And All God’s People Sang “Amen!” An encouragement to broaden the scope of music sung in a local church, with particular attention to receiving gifts in song from God’s people of all times and all places.
- What J. S. Bach’s Music Can Teach Us about Church Music Today. Practical, creative, and spiritual recommendations for our church music today growing out of J. S. Bach’s life as a church musician.
- Music Leaders in Christian Worship. A theological basis for music leadership roles in Christian worship, with particular attention to song in the Christian church.
- God’s Story in Pop Culture. An encouragement for Christians to explore this question when considering the relationship between Christianity and popular culture: “Where does God’s story show up in pop culture?”
I had a great time discussing these topics with so many different people. Thank you for all those who made these discussions possible and all those who joined them!