The City Pres music ministry exists to glorify God through leading the body of Christ in the corporate singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph 5:19). We seek to play skillfully and sing joyfully to the Lord (Psalm 33:3), in response to who God is and what He has done. We aim to worship God with our hearts and our heads (John 4:23), in order to stir up our affections for Him and increase our understanding of His glory. We sing songs that are theologically rich, rooted in scripture, and Christ-centered, that through these songs, the word of Christ may dwell in us richly, equipping us to teach and admonish one another in all wisdom (Col 3:16). Our God is great and He is worthy of great praise (Psalm 145:3)!
The following are some basic values that guide the selection and performance of music for worship at City Pres ABQ.
All songs used in corporate worship must exhibit biblical and theological orthodoxy. Obviously not every song can hit every theological note, but no song may bring in false teaching. The musicians themselves must also be committed to orthodoxy in their faith and life.
Excellence Is Inclusive
We seek to be skillful and excellent in our sung worship (Ps. 33:3). We pursue excellence as a theological and missional commitment. This doesn’t mean we require professional standards but we are committed to growing and developing musically in order to give God and his church our best. This commitment also makes it easier for people unfamiliar with our congregation or the Faith to engage in the worship of the church.
Less Is More
In our musical worship we understand that volume, instrumentation, and arrangement can all become cluttered and distracting. Oftentimes a minimalist approach to artistic or aesthetic matters is most effective and so we seek excellence through simplicity. The goal is to engage not to impress; to that end we pursue an authentic and excellent minimalism in our music. This does not preclude occasional times of more musical complexity.
Music in Christian worship is meant to be an aid to congregational engagement rather than a mere performance. To that end, the songs we sing and the way we sing them invite congregational participation and singing. Songs that are more difficult for a congregation to sing may occasionally be performed as special music during the worship.
Best of the Old, Best of the New
We recognize valuable worship music has been created in every generation and location of the Church throughout history and into the present. Rather than being culturally or chronologically bound we seek to use the best and songs from throughout Church history that are appropriate to our context.
Worship music must be in tune with the overall liturgy of the church. This means songs should be thematically and musically appropriate to their place in the liturgy. Our song selection demonstrates the range of liturgical movements and the emotions that correspond to them. Including, but not limited to praise, adoration, joy, rejoicing, thankfulness, confession, sorrow, lament, gratitude, hopefulness, expectation.