For years now, much has been written and said about the lack of singing in many of our churches. We recall the days of four-part, full-throated singing with nostalgia and wonder if it will ever return. Most of us realize that a church that won’t sing, won’t do very much else either.
Is it starting to change? I believe the answer is, “yes.”
What has changed? Why are more of our churches emphasizing singing and more of our leaders making decisions that will engage the church in participation of the corporate worship experience?
Here are three reasons:
A Return to the Familiar
I’m hearing about more and more leaders giving much more thought to how often they introduce new songs to their church. It’s something I call, “Song Velocity.” It’s true, more songs are being written by more people than ever before. But just because a song is written doesn’t mean it should be sung. Putting the needs of the congregation before the interest of the songwriter seems obvious enough. And, thankfully, more leaders are thinking this way.
A New Expectation
Our churches will do pretty much what leaders expect them to do. Pastors and worship leaders are starting to teach congregations that participation is something that is expected because of the benefit it brings to the body of believers in a church. More and more, leaders are calling their congregation to participate in worship and making choices in planning worship to help them do so.
A Call for Response
Where the Gospel is preached and the Spirit is present, a passion for worship will be cultivated. As churches focus attention on the Word of God and then provide opportunity to the congregation to respond to the revelation of Christ through singing, praying, testifying, giving, and more, a glorious and biblical cycle of worship begins – revelation and response, revelation and response – and it goes on an on.
The congregational momentum begins to build week to week and is contagious. When every believer understands their voice is vital and belongs in the song, the praise of God’s people begins to fill the house.
Singing is making a comeback, and it is about time. Until every believer’s voice is part of the song, the song is less than it should be and not what God has intended. Let the Church sing!
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book (checkout his latest book: Worship Essentials). In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family (and his two new grand-babies). Visit MikeHarland.com to keep up with all that Mike has going on.