The people of God have always been a singing people whose experiences shaped their songs. This has been particularly true of the black church whose musical heritage can be traced from African slavery to the African American culture. Dr. Mapson’s concern is—what are the people of God singing in the contemporary black church and is the music relevant to their theology?
In this study he questions whether theology is shaping music in the traditional sense or whether music now is shaping theology. There is an increasing trend in the church to separate music from theological and historical foundations. In many instances, music has become an end in itself. Music is fostering the goal of commercial entertainment rather than contributing to the worship of God.
Mapson’s objective is to help today’s pastor take the leadership in improving the worship experience through the use of music that meets the biblical norm and serves theology as a legitimate response to God. In addition to evaluating the quality and relevancy of music to the worship service, the guidelines suggest ways for improving the relationship between pastor, music director, choir, and congregation. Specific helps are also provided for organizing a music committee, setting qualifications for choir director and musicians, and developing a music education program for the choir and for young untrained musicians.