<< Previous | Index | Next >>"CONGREGATIONAL SINGING" INTRODUCTION 1. In his web log, Ray Pritchard asked: "Whatever happened to congregational singing?"... a. In visiting many (denominational) churches, he often found the practice lacking altogether b. In some churches that had it, he found the singing lackluster 2. He offered some reasons why such may be the case... a. Song leader chooses songs no one knows b. Style issues confuses people (Fanny Crosby vs. Hillsong) c. Architecture not always conducive to singing d. Not enough people (e.g., 70 in a building that seats 500) e. Too many new songs presented too fast f. Wooden worship leader g. Musical instruments so loud that singing is overpowered h. Songs with little sense of order or progression or theme i. Some congregations seem to not expect members to sing j. Choirs and orchestras to do their singing for them k. Lack of spiritual zeal l. Preachers and other leaders don't sing m. Entertainment culture leads us to expect to be entertained n. We have lost the theological truth that God is to be praised in the singing of His people 3. In churches of Christ, congregational singing has been held as a matter of principle... a. In opposition to instrumental music and choirs b. Yet some churches today are getting away from congregation singing c. In many churches that have it, the singing seems half-hearted at best ["Whatever happened to congregational singing?" is a question some may do well to ask themselves. In seeking to ensure congregational singing its proper place in our worship, we first review...] I. THE BASIS FOR CONGREGATIONAL SINGING A. THERE IS BIBLICAL PRECEPT... 1. The Messianic age to be a time of singing praise - Isa 12:1-6 2. Christians were commanded to sing to one another - Ep 5:19; Co 3:16 -- Prophet and apostle make it clear that we are to sing praises B. THERE IS BIBLICAL PRACTICE... 1. Jesus and His apostles sang a hymn following the Last Supper - Mt 26:30 2. Heavenly beings and the sainted dead fill heaven with their praise - Re 5:9-14; 7:9-12 -- If such deemed it proper to join together in the praise of God, shouldn't we? C. THERE IS BIBLICAL PRINCIPLE... 1. One purpose of singing is to praise the Lord (inherent in the meaning of "hymn") 2. Another is to teach and admonish one another - Col 3:16 3. A third is to be enriched by the Word and filled with the Spirit - Col 3:16; Ep 5:18-19 -- Congregational singing reaches upward, outward, and inward! [But not all congregational singing praises God, teaches one another, and uplifts ourselves. To help reach that goal, here are some suggestions related to...] II. THE PRACTICE OF CONGREGATIONAL SINGING A. WHAT SONG LEADERS CAN DO... 1. Lead with enthusiasm a. The song leader generally sets the tone b. His influence goes beyond announcing the number and starting the song c. The song leader's demeanor should reflect the nature of the songs he leads 2. Lead with familiarity a. People respond to songs they know and love b. Few people are able to catch on and sing songs that are new to them c. Too many new songs, and people get out of the habit of singing with fervor d. There is a time and place to learn new songs; not every service is the time or place -- Song leaders need not be accomplished, but they should be thoughtful of their function B. WHAT THE CONGREGATION CAN DO... 1. Sing with their understanding - 1Co 14:15 a. It is the words of the songs that express praise and provide edification b. Melody is enhanced when we pay careful attention to the words 2. Sing with their heart - Ep 5:19; Col 3:16 a. We are to make melody with our hearts, sing with grace in our hearts b. Thus we should let the words of the song influence our emotions 3. Sing with their voice - Ps 51:14-15; Col 3:16 a. The Psalmist wrote of praising God aloud with his lips, tongue and mouth b. We are to teach and admonish one another; how can we if we do not hear one another? 4. Sing with their presence - Ps 122:1 a. Practice makes perfect; sing with others whenever there is opportunity b. Sit close to those who like to sing; you are more likely to sing louder -- Praising God and edifying others should engage our whole being! CONCLUSION 1. Congregational singing is a spiritual activity with great potential... a. Offering hymns of praise to God constitute spiritual sacrifices - He 13:15 b. Teaching and admonishing one another in song is one way we exhort one another - He 10:24-25 2. Whether congregation singing fulfills its potential depends on us... a. Whether we appreciate the precept, practice, and principle behind it b. Whether we sing as God intended: with our whole being (mind, heart, and voice) May we as a congregation of God's people always have the attitude of David when it comes to singing... Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. - Ps 146:1-2<< Previous | Index | Next >>
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