Have you seen the latest commercial for a satellite television provider featuring Peyton Manning and his alter ego, “Really High Voice Peyton Manning?” It contrasts the two personalities by suggesting the elite NFL QB is the one with satellite. The high-pitched voice one has cable. Then, to drive home the difference, the ultimate example of his inferiority is singing tenor in a quartet. It’s really funny and creative.
But it raises a point about the stereotypes around men who sing. The real men are tough and athletic. The ones who sing are lame and the opposite of real macho guys like an NFL QB. I laughed the first time I saw it.
Reminds me of when I registered for my music classes my freshman year of college… the registrar didn’t believe me when I said I was there on an athletic scholarship. “What? A baseball player on scholarship is majoring in music?” He actually called the baseball office to make sure I wasn’t making it up.
I’ve heard jokes for years about the academic colors assigned to the various disciplines. In college and seminary graduations, the education leaders wear a beautiful blue. The preachers don a deep and meaningful cardinal. And the musicians wear Pepto Bismol pink (no offense to the stomach medicine intended)! And don’t think for a second on graduation day all the guys with pink tassels aren’t hearing about it from everyone else. It’s all good-natured fun.
But, let me add something serious here – if you have a church full of men who don’t sing, you’ve got an anemic worship culture that needs serious attention. Because singing in worship is not only a very masculine thing to do, it is what spiritual leaders are supposed to do.
Those pink-tassel guys have a huge responsibility to our churches; to challenge and lead the followers of Jesus to obey the Biblical admonition to sing and to lead out spiritually in the worship response of the body of believers. Men are commanded to lead spiritually. Now, just how can they do that if they won’t open their mouths in praise?
If you ask me, the real men of courage are the ones who stand and testify unashamedly in the house of praise and also kneel humbly at the altar of obedience and submission – no matter what anyone else thinks.
David was a man’s man – just ask Goliath and the Philistines. But, he was skilled as a musician and songwriter. I bet nobody made fun of his pink tassel. The sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthan were the lead singers of David’s army. They weren’t chosen because they were weak. They were chosen because they were warriors and often placed out front in the battle.
You want to see a revival of worship in your church? Then get your men to sing. Pretty soon, everyone will join the song and declare the awesome nature of our God.
This fall, after the worship services of our church, I’ll enjoy watching NFL QB Peyton Manning play for the Broncos – on satellite.
Might even put on my pink hood and tassel just for fun.
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. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.