Have you ever wondered about singing in church? Is it really necessary, every time we gather together as the people of God, that we sing?
It makes sense for people who like to sing. But what if you don’t?
But then I come across portions of scripture like this:
Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart (Ephesians 5:18-19).
This is no isolated verse, jolted out of context. Did you know the Bible contains over 400 references to singing?
King David not only commanded it be done, appointing people to do so, but also created instruments that were designed for praise.
Woah. This is a big deal. And there’s a reason music and singing in church is a huge part of the gathered church.
Vertical and Horizontal
There is a horizontal and a vertical aspect to singing in church. Did you know this?
Horizontal in that we sing to encourage one another. To lift each other up. To love one another. The Bible doesn’t call us to perform for one another. We are on level ground with our congregation, gazing up at the glory of Jesus.
I always find it interesting when Christians lambaste the “corporate” church and minimize the gathering of God’s people. There’s nothing wrong with meeting in homes as a small group, but there’s something special when the Bride of Christ gathers together.
I have a responsibility. You have a responsibility. We are a body of imperfect people. We are hypocrites in more ways than one. But that doesn’t give us the license to shun the bride whom Jesus died for.
That’s why it’s not enough to just listen to your worship music instead of singing with your church. That fosters independence and we need interdependence. We need each other.
For Worship Team Vocalists
If you sing on a worship team, there’s something very important for you to realize.
The purpose of our singing is to help people sing.
We sing, and lead, and express ourselves not to find our own voice, but to help people discover theirs. We want to help the church sing, discover who they are in Christ, and encounter His presence.
But we also sing to the Lord.
In a sense, all of creation is singing, declaring the greatness of God. The rivers, the wind, the trees, the towering mountains. By their existence they exalt God. But we as the people of God have a special privilege—to praise God by our existence but also to praise him with our song.
Seven Reasons Why Singing in Church Matters
Singing in church matters. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Singing Is Commanded in Scripture – This isn’t an upgrade for deeper Christians. This isn’t a suggestion. The Bible commands us to sing to the Lord. His glory compels us.
2. Our God Is a Singing God – I love this verse in Matthew 26:30, “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Before Jesus was given up to be crucified, he sang with his disciples. Zephaniah 3:17 also says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness.”
3. Singing Engages Our Memory – The songs we sing shape us and form us. Primarily because we remember them. They stick with us. Through joyful times and dark times they provide us with an anchor of hope.
4. Singing Engages Our Emotions – Worship is more than just agreeing with theology. C.S. Lewis said, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” While we don’t want to worship emotionalism, singing and worship helps us find the best outlet for our emotions. It compels us to sing.
5. Singing Is an Overflow of Seeing – I once heard someone say a healthy church is a singing church. Because the overflow of seeing God at work is to praise Him for his vast excellencies. The more we see, the more we want to sing and be in the presence of such an amazing God.
6. Singing Unifies a Congregation – Singing in church unifies. It’s the best way to bring together a large group of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences and focus them on a single goal. I remember seeing U2 in concert. Thousands upon thousands of people singing together.
7. Singing Is Our Battle Plan – Worship is the way we do war. We don’t face our giants and fight our battles in our own strength. We simply lift up the name of Jesus and watch Him work. He is our breakthrough. He is our answer.
In some ways, we need to be less concerned with the practicalities of our singing and more concerned about the spiritual fire of our presence.
Good singing in church matters. Tone matters. Control matters.
So lead with a fire in your bones. Open Your Eyes. Smile. Own every lyric. Lead Worship. Be Bold. And watch what God will do.
This article originally appeared here.