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Cruciform Music Continuum

 This categorization system is meant to help worship leaders find special songs to use in worship experiences, songs that connect the mission of God with our worship of God. This system does not designate “good” or “bad” songs. It is only a method to group songs according to the focus of their lyrics. Very good and helpful songs may have any rating, from 1 to 5. Conversely, there may be songs that score as cruciform songs (2-4) but will rarely be used in worship because of uninteresting musical or lyrical characteristics.

 

1

2

3

4

5

 Vertical

— — — Cruciform — — —

 Horizontal

         
This music exclusively deals with topics related to the character of God and our relationship to Him
Is primarily vertical but has slight or passing reference to horizontal
Addresses vertical as well as horizontal aspects of the faith in a somewhat balanced way
Is primarily horizontal but has slight or passing reference to vertical
This music exclusively deals with topics related to the mission of God and/or our role in His mission
         

Two Cautions

  • Just because a song celebrates God’s work in the world (like the presence of people from every tongue worshiping around the throne) does not necessarily mean the song should receive a cruciform or horizontal rating. To be considered cruciform or horizontal, the lyrics must communicate that God’s people have a role in the mission of God.
  • It is easy to read meaning into songs. You may be tempted to see meaning in the lyrics of songs that almost no worshipers will catch as the song is used in worship. For example, the use of one word or phrase that might be missional is not a reason to consider the song as cruciform.

Back to Cruciform Music Project
Cruciform Song List

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