Where do we find a right knowledge of God? In the revealed truth of Scripture. A worship leader who barely knows the Bible can’t be a faithful worship leader. But how do we get our arms around everything the Bible says about God? It takes thoughtful, disciplined study.
That introduces two words many Christians are uncomfortable with–theology and doctrine. Sadly, doctrine and theology rank fairly low on the popularity scale these days. But biblical worship is impossible without them.
Theology literally means “the study of God.” It includes our concept of God as a result of that study (or lack thereof). So every Christian, musical or otherwise, is already a theologian. The question is, am I a good theologian or a bad one?
We’re good theologians if what we say and think about God lines up with what Scripture says and affirms.
We’re bad theologians if our view of God is vague, unblical, distorted, or based on our own opinions.
Doctrine is a word meaning “what is taught.” Doctrine is everything the Bible teaches on a particular topic, such as worship or holiness or the church or spiritual gifts. Paul told Titus that a leader in the church “must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it ” (Titus 1:9).
The study of doctrine isn’t opposed to studying the Bible; it is studying the Bible. It’s how we find out what God is like, what he wants us to believe, how he wants us to worship him.
So that means we need to be reading. We need to be studying. Because we’ll be learning about God for the rest of our lives.
Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008), p. 28.