We are all wired differently. For some, music and singing isn't part of your wiring. Should I, as your pastor, give you permission to skip that part of our service? I suspect that you know I'm not going to say "yes" to that question. Keith Getty wrote an article entitled, "Why You Need to Sing Loudly in Church". So, here's a few reasons why you need to sing and why we (our church) needs your voice. I've pulled quotes from the article and then commented on them below.
1. We are Commanded to Sing.
"...the Scriptures command us more than 250 times to sing. It’s hardly one of those 'controversial' issues that is hard to ascertain precisely what scripture is saying. It’s not a choice. It’s not dependent on 'feeling like it.'"
I believe that God will honour a decision to sing His praise when we don't feel like it. He will lift you up as you choose to honour Him with your voice. Notice it doesn't say, "sing the songs you like". I sing songs all the time that I don't necessarily like. But then again, it's not really about me anyway. What a good reminder.
2. Singing together completes our joy.
"...for the faithful, the joy of living, of praying, of studying Scripture cannot be complete until shared. Singing together reminds us — not just intellectually, but experientially — that we are not slaves to the rugged individualism promoted by society. We’re actually responsible to one another."
When believers join together in song, declaring the truths of scripture, there's nothing like it. It's in those times I think the enemy runs. There is spiritual power when we sing praises together.
3. Singing is an expression of brotherhood and unites generations.
"Singing together is a picture here on earth of the hope of heaven where every tribe, tongue, and nation will sing to God. Throughout history, God’s people have both discovered and affirmed their solidarity in times of celebration and in times of tragedy through singing."
It is very sad that what we sing so often divides us. It shouldn't. Young people need to ask "why is this old song so treasured by the older believers in the church?" It just may lead you to powerful stories of God's faithfulness that need to be heard. In the same way, older believers need to ask the same question, "why is this new song so treasured by the new believers in the church?" It just may lead to powerful new testimonies of God's faithfulness. I make great effort to choose singable songs that honour what God has done in the past but also what He is doing in the present. There have always been new songs. If we stop writing new songs as a Church (capital "C"), we've got bigger issues to deal with. Instead of focusing on your own preference (and it often does just come down to personal preference), focus on what God is saying through the song whether old or new. Familiar or unfamiliar.
4. We are what we sing.
"Singing affects how we pray, think, and feel. It influences our memory banks and even the deepest parts of our subconscious."
Music has a way of getting into you. I dare say, even those who would say they don't like music, could recite lyrics from songs we sing at church. Sometimes a song can cement the truth into our minds like nothing else.
5. Singing bears testimony to our faith.
"How we sing, if we sing, how passionately we sing — our singing itself — is a witness to those looking on. There is no choice in the matter. In the level of our engagement with the songs and participation in the singing, we testify to the joy of an excited believer or betray the chill of a disinterested spectator."
There are times for silent reflection. There are times when your heart is broken and you find it hard to sing and you just need to listen to the voices of others around you to receive their faith. I get that. I honour that. But I also know those should be the exceptions.
So, do we hear your voice on Sunday? Remember, real men (and women :) sing real loud :)
"My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have delivered." -Psalm 71:23, NIV
To read the article by Keith Getty, click here.
I love you and welcome your comments.