HYMNS FOR HIM
Hymns For Him is a movement born out of the ministry of
noted gospel music composer, V. Michael McKay in 2002 in an
effort to preserve hymns, educate the music community about their
importance, as well as keep them alive in the worship experience.
Since that time, McKay expresses the spiritual growth experienced in his
life through the declaration that he “once was” but “now is.” He parallels
his personal change to a change in the sound of music in the church, a
change that has moved away from the expression of hymns as
congregational music. However, what has not changed is the need for
hymns in our worship experiences…hymns that are essential
to authentic, God-centered worship…hymns that are powerful in their
context and expression…hymns that take us into the presence of God.
The power of God is never separate from the presence of God;
and the presence of God is an introduction to the power of God.
What are we without God's power?
The fifth chapter of Matthew calls the followers of Christ the salt of
the earth, metaphorically referring to salt’s preservative properties.
McKay, likewise, is committed to preserving hymns through purposefully
passing the torch of their sustainability to the next generation.
With hymns being one of the three categorizations of sacred music
referred to in Ephesians chapter five, their importance is sanctioned in
the eternal Word of God. The resulting commission then becomes,
because the alternative is non-biblical, “How shall we sing and
preserve the language of who He is through hymns?” The language,
then, of today’s hymn should be in keeping with the worth-ship of God,
and meaningful for the contemporary Christian. However, it is
essential that God remains the focus of the text of the hymn.
Today's hymns should be written in our own language, and the music
should complement the text, creating a holy matrimony between words
and music. While setting the music to the words, the writer of the hymn
should always keep in mind the fact that hymns are primarily designed
to be sung to God in public worship by the congregants as opposed to
being sung as prepared music presented exclusively by a choir
of rehearsed singers. While either is appropriate, the former is the goal.
Perhaps, ultimately, a hymn should follow a format or definition that clearly
identifies it with its description, and separates it from other styles,
but most importantly, that glorifies the God of whom it sings and edifies
the believer to whom it encourages.
Our Definition of a Hymn
A hymn is a formal, God-centered song, doctrinal in content, rooted in
God’s Word, theologically sound, speaking of God’s deity, displaying
precision, poetic technique and reverent expression, turning the heart
upward, typically arranged in verse-chorus form, and sung to God in
public worship by the entire congregation.