The Key To Making the Most Out of Congregational Singing

Singing is not just a vertical act, but also a horizontal one.

Of course we sing to God, but we also sing for one another. God is the object of our worship, but our singing is also a means of mutual encouragement. In our singing, we all have equal opportunity to proclaim truth. When we open our mouths to sing, we all take on the role of teacher, of encourager. My words go to you—and your words come to me—as challenge, rebuke, edification, comfort, encouragement (see Colossians 3:16).

 

It’s good to go to a conference or a concert and to sing with hundreds or even thousands of strangers. There is something majestic and soul-stirring about gathering with other believers and using the common language of song to join together in worship. But I believe it’s far better still to go to a local church—to your local church—and to sing with just the few people who make that church their home.

To understand why I believe this, we need to establish a key premise: that singing is not just a vertical act, but also a horizontal one. Of course we sing to God, but we also sing for one another. God is the object of our worship, but our singing is also a means of mutual encouragement. In our singing, we all have equal opportunity to proclaim truth. When we open our mouths to sing, we all take on the role of teacher, of encourager. My words go to you—and your words come to me—as challenge, rebuke, edification, comfort, encouragement (see Colossians 3:16).

Singing is an act of community, and the key to making the most of singing is to know the people who make up that community. This means your enjoyment of singing as an act of Christian community varies with your knowledge of the people around you. The better you know them, the more they can challenge and encourage you—and you can challenge and encourage them—in this way. When you know their story, you know their song. Let me show it to you.

Over there is that man who has told the church how he has battled long and hard to overcome an addiction. He’s told you how he has often grown weary in the battle and how he has sometimes suffered serious setbacks. But he has repented and persevered and seen victory. And as you glance in his direction, he is singing of the assurance he has: “Still the small inward voice I hear, / That whispers all my sins forgiven; / Still the atoning blood is near, / That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven. / I feel the life His wounds impart; / I feel the Savior in my heart.”

Read More

×

2019 Matching Funds Campaign: Goal is $7000 ... Donate now!