Have We Become Too Dependent on Songs?

Dependent on Songs

The problem with worship songs is that we become dependent on them.

But I love songs. I really do. But they are a blessing and a curse. While worship is a song, it’s not only a song. And we can become so accustomed to songs that our hearts have forgotten how to worship.

When was the last time you were alone in a room without an incredible song, and just poured your heart out to God?

Have songs become more than they should be?

Preparation for Sunday morning becomes scouring CCLI for the top songs and picking our favorites. There’s no need to pray. There’s no need to consider our people. There’s no need for pastoral, theological consideration.

Instead of only picking songs, we should be asking these questions:

  • What is on God’s heart?
  • What is God saying?
  • What truths do we need to declare?
  • Where are we lacking?
  • What do we need to repent of?
  • What is God calling us to?
  • Who is Jesus?
  • What facet of God’s glory do we need to behold?

This shifts your worship planning from “picking out songs” to leading the church in healthy, systematic declarations. It becomes not just the singing time but the time to encounter truth and declare greater realities.

It’s not just a meeting with songs but an encounter with Heaven. I know you may be ready to lead songs, but are you ready to run into His presence?

Worship and Time Constraints

Sometimes when I lead worship, I don’t get through many songs. Because I’ve learned to go where the worship is happening. If worship is happening, there just isn’t a need to rush through a set. Sit for a while. Sing spontaneous songs. Lead people in declarations. Read Scripture. Let the moment breathe.

Obviously, Sunday morning isn’t always the place for that kind of patience and spontaneity. There are time constraints and multiple services and parking lots to clear. And the Holy Spirit knows that. Deep, Spirit-led worship doesn’t need to be long to be effective. It just needs to be planned well and lead well.

The issue isn’t how much time we have, though extended times of worship are wonderful and refreshing. The issue is the state of our hearts and our ability to worship Jesus over and above worshiping worship leaders and worship songs.

Singing through a worship set isn’t enough. The worship leaders who will lead in the future won’t be skilled song leaders. They will be skilled in leading rooms in secret place encounters with God. They will help people engage with God on a new level. They will help people see Scripture a little clearer. They will help people place their hope and trust in something greater.

Simply put, they help others find their voice rather than trumpeting their own. Let me say that again. The worship leaders of tomorrow will help others find their voice rather than trumpeting their own.

It won’t be about big stages and grand opportunities. It will simply be about faithfulness to make the Bride’s song as strong and unified and beautiful as it can be for her Bridgegroom.

So let’s not just become better song leaders. Stop spending all your time picking better songs, executing songs well and worshiping worship songs. Use songs as a tool for the real thing—true, real, genuine encounters with Jesus. Heaven touching earth.

A worship leader dependent on songs will breed a congregation dependent on songs.

So what do you think? Have we become too dependent on songs?

I’d love to hear your input on this.

This article originally appeared here.

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David Santistevan
David is a Worship Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA.