We would be amiss to think that the words that we put in our mouths and others from the songs that we pick don’t matter, have value or teach something. Over the years my song list has shrunk because of this. The thought that we put words in people’s mouths at least every Sunday should terrify us. It is a heavy responsibility. I want to take a look at four different ways that singing teaches us.
Singing Teaches Us to Declare God’s Goodness
Every song we pick declares something. It is my hope that the songs we pick declare things that are eternal truths from God’s Word based on His character, reminding us of the things we have forgotten and encouraging us to run swiftly back to what we know is true. Singing teaches us to declare that God is holy, good and righteous. Singing teaches us to declare that all that is good comes from God. Our singing needs to be so Godward focused that we forget ourselves and are wrapped up in the truth of who God is and what He has done. The things that we declare are the basis of what we need to know in times of uncertainty, loneliness and confusion. The world needs to hear the goodness of God and singing teaches us to tell them.
Singing Teaches Us to Confess Our Sinfulness
Confession is part of a healthy and growing Christian walk and we need songs that teach us how to do it well. We need songs that remind us that in light of a holy God we are sinful people. We need songs to remind us that we are not bent toward good, rather evil, and need God’s correction. We need songs that remind us in the congregation that none of us are perfect and we all need the saving work of Christ. Singing songs that teach confession remind us that confession is not a shameful act but a freeing one because scripture tells us that if we confess our sins Jesus is faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Singing Reminds Us of Our Assurance in Christ
Just as we learn to declare and confess through singing we are also reminded of our assurance in Christ. There is nothing better than singing, “Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God. He to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood!!!” In one stanza we can sing of our separation from God and His holy pursuit of us. We must never get over the work of Christ in our songs. Our people need to be reminded of this every time that we gather.
Singing Teaches Us to Celebrate Our Great God
When you put the three previous things together it should lead us to celebration and celebration leads us to mission. When we sing every week that a holy God pursues sinners through the person and work of His son, to save them from death and unto a mission of making disciples and building His church, it should cause us to celebrate. Every week, no matter how we feel, if we are singing the truths of God we have cause to celebrate. Our celebration should turn into evangelism and mission. When we teach people to celebrate our great God, it leads them to want to tell people and that is beautiful.
My prayer is that as worship leaders we would guard our sets well and seek to teach our people well of the goodness of our God through our songs. Challenge yourself by asking, “What am I teaching my people through the songs that we are singing?” I would argue that people will leave our gathering remembering bad teaching through song before they will remember bad teaching through sermon. Teach well through your songs this week.
This article originally appeared here.