“Can you tell a bird to just go chirp, chirp, chirp? No, Andy, I’m like a bird. I was born to sing.” – Barney Fife
This quote comes from one of my all-time favorite Andy Griffith episodes in which Andy is trying to find a diplomatic way to keep Barney from singing a solo. Barney retorts with this quote to rebuff all attempts to keep him from singing. He just can’t help but sing.
With all the noise around whether or not singing poses a threat to worshippers through the spread of the Coronavirus, the question comes, “Can we force a worshipper not to sing?” I heard one leader say they were going to give their congregation the option of singing if they wanted to sing. Don’t they already have that option? I haven’t seen many worshippers escorted out because they weren’t singing before this all started.
The question remains, “Can we tell people not to sing?”
Either way, the spirit of a person can sing anyway. The hymn writer says, “Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.” Another song says, “My heart will sing, no other name, Jesus.”
Regardless of the approach each church takes, the song planted in our mouths (Psalm 103) will find its way out. We can’t help but sing. Follow the instructions of your leaders, by all means, but also find a way to get the song out.
You can’t tell a bird to just go “Chirp, chirp, chirp.” and you can’t tell a blood washed, heaven bound, saved sinner to stay silent.
We were born to 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.