“Let’s turn down the lights.”
“Let’s turn up the music.”
“The drums are too loud” and “the song is too long.”
“Let’s sing the old stuff.”
“No, let’s sing the new stuff.”
“Why can’t we be more like the church down the road?”
“Let’s don’t be like that church down the road.”
Statements like these and more are typical comments pastors are prone to hear. Music is a big deal to people, and everyone has an opinion–and most are not shy to share them!
But here’s a radical idea: The content of the music is really important–but so is the SINGING!
To be clear, there are aspects to consider when thinking about music selection in a church (theologically rich, singable, God-centered, gospel focused, etc), but let’s just think about the sound of the singing for a moment.
Paul tells the church in Ephesus to “address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (Ephesians 5:19).
So we are to “sing to the Lord,” and in doing so we are “addressing one another” at the same time.
When was the last time you heard your fellow church members singing? Think about it. The drums, yes. The guitar or piano, yes. The singers up front, yes. Even maybe the organ, yes! But what about your fellow members–in all the variations of their voices?
What if the SINGING itself is a means of grace from God to help fellow believers persevere in the faith. For example…
You hear the woman beside you singing loudly through tears, “Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, it is well with my soul” even though you know she just lost her father last week.
Or you hear the former addict in your church proclaim deliverance by singing victoriously, “My sin–O the bliss of this glorious thought–My sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, O my soul!”
And you think, “Wow what a mighty God–To meet my sister in her heartbreak!” And “yes, praise the Lord! My sin has been nailed to the cross!”
See, HEARING the singing of brothers and sisters in Christ pushes you on in your faith. It reminds you to keep going. It serves as an exhortation to you to remember what’s really important. It addresses you in whatever situation you walk in with and proclaims the beauty of the gospel to you and provides a spring of hope and nourishment to your soul.
Don’t let the voices in your church be suppressed with the volume of the music or platform singers. Yes, we are primarily singing to the Lord, making a melody to him–but in doing so we are also pushing each other along in the faith.
Many churches are known for their highly produced bands. Some are known for their extremely gifted worship leaders. What if your church was known for the intensity of the congregation’s singing? Seriously, what if people left your worship gathering saying, “Wow! That church sings!”
Do yourself a favor–listen to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYNA0HBC84I
Isn’t that powerful?
So, yes, turn the music down and turn up the voices! Sing loud…really loud. The Lord will be glorified in it, and the faith of your brother or sister depends on it!