This is a Q&A from World Magazine (June 2013) with Alex McDonald, a Christian and Julliard trained pianist. He offers some helpful insights on worship music.
“What role do you think church music should play in one’s experience of worship? In modern churches, we have a graven image of what the experience of God ought to be like, and we want our music to simulate that experience in us. It could be an organ or a praise team—either can create a God experience that may not have any of God in it at all. But people will feel like they’ve worshipped. And because the existential experience of God is more important to us than the [actual] experience of God, we’re satisfied—wrongly, I would add. If it feels impossible to worship God through styles that are uncomfortable to us, it’s because we’re asking the music to do for us what is actually an issue of the heart. The problem with the ‘worship wars’ is that they’ve hidden the real issue: We are in love with ourselves, and we blame the music. “